Big Bang Theory RIP?

Webb Telescope casts doubt on Big Bang Theory.

I come back from fishing this morning only to find cosmology has been turned upside down. To simplify, if the Big Bang Theory is correct, distant galaxies should look very different from nearby galaxies. They don’t.

Oh well, it was a fun TV series anyway.

23 thoughts on “Big Bang Theory RIP?

  1. Very interesting article. In light of the hypothethis that the Big Bang occured and there is some end to the universe I have always asked what came before Big Bang with no answer. Nothing? What about what is beyond the universe, nothing? Even though I am not religious, one of the most compelling questions I have ever been asked was “Do you really think this all happened by accident?” I had no answer because of the depth of our existence and the world and universe we live in. I don’t know if we will ever figure it out.

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    1. “I had no answer because of the depth of our existence and the world and universe we live in. I don’t know if we will ever figure it out.”

      And we keep looking and trying. But I agree with your sentiment completely.

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  2. Back in college, during a “standard issue” bull session, I proposed an alternative to the Big Bang theory called, “The Something and Nothing Theory.” This theory held that the Universe itself is most fundamentally composed of Something and Nothing, and everything in the Universe could be identified by its unique configuration of these two basic elements.

    In effect — at least to my cultivating mind — identification, or names, or information represented the whole of the observable Cosmos.

    Perhaps, however, my theory actually described The Dick Van Dyke Show, or possibly The Young and the Restless, which was all the rage at the party house I attended.

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  3. I read the article with interest and anticipation.

    I see nothing in it that refutes the essence of the so-called “Big Bang” – that the universe we live in started very small and has been expanding ever since. The author seizes on what he says are anomalies in the earliest images from Webb that confirm his contrarian thinking. That is a little too soon and much too sketchy to throw out the standard model.

    Critical thinking skills include evaluating the source of assertions being made. The IAI has as its mission statement …

    “So the IAI seeks to challenge the notion that our present accepted wisdom is the truth. It aims to uncover the flaws and limitations in our current thinking in search of alternative and better ways to hold the world.”

    So, they are eager to publish contrarians’ non-peer-reviewed articles. That is fine but it is what it is.

    The author wrote his book “The Big Bang Never Happened” in 1991 based on flat universe Plasma Cosmology Theory which has not gained much of a following in cosmology because of the overwhelming evidence of expansion. People see what they want to see and this author has wanted to see a flat and stable universe throughout his career. And, as is very common among contrarians, he blames the lack of acceptance of his ideas on censorship and corruption. Yeah, sure.

    Skepticism is a good thing, but, in the end it must be backed by evidence. So, let me know when a peer-reviewed and accepted article overturns the last 100 years of astrophysics. I will read it with interest.

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      1. Actually, he already had a well-established scientific reputation as he began working in that patent office. His first published paper was two years earlier. But, I take your point. He was an outlier at the beginning of his career.

        In science, it is the evidence that wins in the end. When the Theory of Relativity made a prediction that Newtonian physics could not and its prediction was confirmed by observation, the case was closed. Plasma Cosmology has not had such a moment.

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          1. “Big Bang cannot be reconciled with the new observations.”

            I think it is way to early to say that. But a lot depends on what you mean by “Big Bang.” Do you include current ideas about star and galaxy formation, for example? Or do you think that this disproves that the universe started small and has gotten larger over time?

            I admit to a rudimentary understanding but I believe the mathematics that says those distant galaxies should appear larger than they do are a effected by the overall expanse of the Universe. Our observations and calculations tell us the approximate age of the universe but tell us nothing about its extent. Is what we can observe a very large or a very small part of the whole. We really do no know.

            At any rate, if expansion is to be dismissed as reality, there are countless observations with no viable explanation starting with the red shift itself.

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    1. RE: “Critical thinking skills include evaluating the source of assertions being made.”

      No doubt, but an appeal to authority is never a sufficient basis for judging the truth of an assertion. For this reason, critical thinking skills must also include analysis of the assertion itself.

      Here the assertion is that the JWST images show galaxies that are too small, too smooth, too old and too numerous to be explained by the Big Bang hypothesis. It is reported that other astronomers have also been surprised that JWST images reveal smaller, smoother, older and more numerous galaxies than expected:

      https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-02056-5

      So, it would seem that accepted theory did not accurately predict the observations JWST was able to make. Under the circumstances it is reasonable to apply critical thinking skills to the analysis of the assertion itself, which holds that the Big Bang hypothesis is wrong in some way.

      Besides, peer review is overrated.

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      1. Thanks for the link. The four findings – after two weeks of work on the first data – raise questions about past ideas about galaxy formation. They do not challenge the fundamental observed fact that the Universe is expanding.

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        1. RE: “They do not challenge the fundamental observed fact that the Universe is expanding.”

          Of course they do. For example, if the red shift is proportionate to distance, then the most distant galaxies should appear larger to us than the new images show.

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          1. RE: “It is a little more complicated than that.”

            Perhaps, but the result is the same, even according to your link.

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          2. “Perhaps, but the result is the same, even according to your link.”

            Well the link points out that this effect does not kick in until you are looking 14.6 light-years away. See the graph. So the data is at the very edges and is very preliminary.

            Clearly, there is plenty to think about and try to understand in the new data. People who study the size of the universe, its curvature, the effects of dark matter and dark energy, star and galaxy formation, etc. have plenty to chew on. To conclude that the entire model of an expanding universe is not reality is about six bridges too far, IMHO.

            It is also worth noting that the COBE data set goes back even further in time than these images. Its observations are very strong evidence for the current expansion model.

            I see where this contrarian is getting a lot of play in “conservative” and Christian media (e.g. The Trumpet). I find that very interesting and it is part of an age old tendency for Believers to cherry pick science looking for the hand of God.

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          3. RE: “To conclude that the entire model of an expanding universe is not reality is about six bridges too far, IMHO.”

            No one has concluded that. It is simply and factually true that the new observations cannot be reconciled with the existing model. The contrarian view is the one that denies this reality.

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          4. RE: “Except the author of the original piece who titled his work ‘The Big Bang Didn’t Happen.'”

            Do you know the difference between a hypothesis and a conclusion?

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          5. “Do you know the difference between a hypothesis and a conclusion?”

            I think so.

            I imagine that the author of the piece does as well. He has, in fact, concluded that the Big Bang never happened. He put it in his title “The Big Bang Never Happened” and he put it in the last sentence of his article where his last sentence is “Cosmology can emerge from its crisis once it is recognized that the Big Bang never happened.”

            Why you feel the need to attack my reasonable opinion with nonsense (someone HAS concluded that) and then refusing to acknowledge when the error of your attack is made clear, I leave to you to figure out.

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    2. The million dollar questions are where did that supposed initial state of high density that exploded and keeps expanding come from and what is beyond the edge of the universe. Those questions alone shed skeptism on Big Bang because the answer can’t be nothing for either.

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      1. “Those questions alone shed skeptism on Big Bang because the answer can’t be nothing for either.”

        According to quantum theory things pop in and out of existence all the time.

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        1. Not buying a poof its magic theory. That would be synonimous with the explanation provided by the bible. Everything has to come from something. Matter doesnt magically appear from nothing.

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          1. “Matter doesnt magically appear from nothing.”

            Actual it does. Though it is not “magic.” Completely empty space is full of virtual particles bubbling in and out of existence. The force of their presence has been carefully measured. There is no reasonable doubt that it is an aspect of reality.

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