James Web Telescope Shows BIg Bang Didn't Happen? WAIT!

James Web Telescope Shows BIg Bang Didn't Happen? WAIT!

But to most professional astronomers and cosmologists, they are also incredibly surprising — not at all what was anticipated by theory.

In the surge of technical astronomical papers published online since July 12, the authors report again and again that the images show surprisingly many galaxies, galaxies that are surprisingly smooth, surprisingly small and surprisingly old. Loads of surprises, and not necessarily pleasant ones. One paper's title begins with the candid exclamation: "Panic!"

For what reason do the JWST's images inspire panic among cosmologists? And what theory's forecasts are they contradicting? The papers don't actually say.

Reality that these papers don't report is that the hypothesis that the JWST's images are blatantly and repeatedly contradicting is the Big Bang Hypothesis that the universe began 14 billion years ago in an incredibly hot, thick state and has been expanding from that point forward.

Since that hypothesis has been protected for decades as unquestionable truth by the vast majority of cosmological theorists, the new data is causing these theorists to panic.

"At the present time I find myself lying awake at three in the morning," says Alison Kirkpatrick, an astronomer at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, "and wondering assuming that everything I've done is wrong."

Although we didn't usually hear of it, there's been dissatisfaction with the Standard Model, which begins with the Big Bang, since it was first proposed by Georges Lemaitre nearly 100 years back. But nobody expected the James Webb Space Telescope to contribute to the debate.

Now, Lerner is the author of a book called The Big Bang Never Happened (1992) but — while that makes him an interested party — it doesn't make him wrong.

He will be speaking at the HowTheLightGetsIn festival in London (September 17-18, 2022) sponsored by the Institute for Art and Ideas (IAI), as a participant in the "Cosmology and the Big Bust" debate.

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