Hand of God, or Apophenia?
The new NASA high energy X-ray “Hand of God” image is pretty spectacular. (You can see it on the NASA site at http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/nustar/B1509-pia17566/#.UtCpzvYq9q8.) It’s not hard to see a few different human-related images in there…which brings us right to: Apophenia.
According to Wikipedia, “Apophenia /æpɵˈfiːniə/
is the experience of seeing patterns or connections in random
or meaningless data.” More specifically, because visual patterns are involved here, Wikipedia tells us that what we’ve got going on here is the form of apophenia known as: “Pareidolia,” which in turn we are told is defined as follows:
“Pareidolia is a type of apophenia involving the perception of images or sounds in random stimuli, for example, hearing a ringing phone while taking a shower. The noise produced by the running water gives a background from which the brain perceives there to be patterned sound of a ringing phone. A more common human experience is perceiving faces in inanimate objects: the headlights and grill of an automobile can appear to be “grinning,” individuals around the world can see the “Man in the Moon“.
Here’s something to muse on (although you will have to drop your modern sensibilities to consider it properly): what if we aren’t seeing random patterns; what if, roughly, WoMan is, indeed, made in the image of G0D, or the Goddess, or the gods, and we are actually seeing just a bit of what It/He/She/They actually look like here…