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I believe I understand what you are saying, but no matter what the aliens did, it would have no effect on us, since time dilation and whatnot is relative to the observer. I don't think an alien ship travelling to earth would even have to attempt to increase the distance to change the time, as they could just alter their speed, because the faster they travel, the more time will slow down for them, while it remains the same for us.
I've read about the term "timeline" as if it were some solid, or non-changing thing that was universal. That is not how I understand things to actually be, because there is no such thing as universal time. So comparing the time of one location with the time of another location, and noting the difference, does not seem very significant to me. Maybe I am not understanding exactly what is being stated here though. I will admit that it all gets extremely confusing.
The way I understand time dilation is that the more a body approaches the speed of light, the more time relative to them and their ship slows down, and this makes sense if the theory of relativity is correct. Gravity is what slows time down basically. And Einstein pointed out that there is no difference between being stationary in a gravitational field, and being outside a significant gravitational field, but accelerating at a constant velocity. Time would behave in the same manner in both instances.
What always intrigued me is the consistency of the speed of light. More specifically the fact that if spaceship A is travelling near the speed of light, or any speed really, and they shoot a beam of light, that beam of light is travelling at the speed of light, despite the fact that the ship is moving in the same direction. Intuitively it seems that the speed of light should be added to the speed of the ship, but it turns out it doesn't work that way. I've just always found that incredible.
Anyway, going back to the topic at hand, if an astronaut from earth were travelling near the speed of light, and a year passed, it would still seem like a year to them, as time is relative to the astronaut and the spaceship. But here on earth, although a year would pass to us in the same manner as well, the difference between our year and his year, although neither of us could perceive any difference relative to ourselves, would be great. I guess what I am saying is that it is only when you compare the two times does anything show up, since it isn't like the astronaut would feel or perceive any differences aboard his spaceship. I suppose that is what you were talking about with the aliens and whatnot.
This "scientist" has no idea what time dilation is, I'd recommend that he reads an article or two prior to spewing more nonsense.
First of all, time dilation is affected by two factors: either velocity or gravity. Distance has NO effect on time dilation (he is most likely confusing the finite velocity of light with time dilation). For example, it would take light 200,000 years from the time it was emitted to reach us if that galaxy was 200,000 light years away from us. This is due to the finite speed of light and has absolutely nothing to do with time dilation.
As distance has no affect on time dilation, an individual bicycling a few kilometers towards or away from us would also have no effect on time dilation. That said, velocity would affect time dilation. Suppose the individual is bicycling at or near the speed of light (irrespective of the direction), then they would experience time dilation. Similarly if the person was living on a black hole, the enormous gravity of the black hole would contribute to time dilation.