The new James Webb Space Telescope images throw the Big Bang theory into doubt

The new James Webb Space Telescope images throw the Big Bang theory into doubt. By Eric Lerner.

To everyone who sees them, the new James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) images of the cosmos are beautifully awe-inspiring. But to most professional astronomers and cosmologists, they are also extremely surprising — not at all what was predicted by theory.

In the flood 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. Lots of surprises, and not necessarily pleasant ones. One paper’s title begins with the candid exclamation: “Panic!”

Why do the JWST’s images inspire panic among cosmologists? And what theory’s predictions are they contradicting? The papers don’t actually say. The truth 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, dense state and has been expanding ever since.

Since that hypothesis has been defended for decades as unquestionable truth by the vast majority of cosmological theorists, the new data is causing these theorists to panic. “Right now I find myself lying awake at three in the morning,” says Alison Kirkpatrick, an astronomer at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, “and wondering if everything I’ve done is wrong.

Yet another field of science held hostage to the status quo by the funding mechanism, evidence be damned:

While Big Bang theorists were shocked and panicked by these new results, Riccardo and I (and a few others) were not. In fact, a week before the JWST images were released we published online a paper that detailed accurately what the images would show. We could do this with confidence because more and more data of all kinds has been contradicting the Big Bang hypothesis for years.

Based on the published literature, right now the Big Bang makes 16 wrong predictions and only one right one — the abundance of deuterium, an isotope of hydrogen.

Readers may well be wondering at this point why they have not read of this collapse of the Big Bang hypothesis in major media outlets by now and why the authors of so many recent papers have not pointed to this collapse themselves.

The answer lies in what I term the “Emperor’s New Clothes Effect” — if anyone questions the Big Bang, they are labeled stupid and unfit for their jobs. Unfortunately, funding for cosmology comes from a very few government sources controlled by a handful of committees that are dominated by Big Bang theorists. These theorists have spent their lives building the Big Bang theory. Those who openly question the theory simply don’t get funded.

Until the past few years, if researchers could self-fund cosmology research as a sideline, as is the case with me, they still could publish “heretical” papers, although those papers were often ignored by the cosmological establishment. …

But as the crisis in cosmology became obvious in 2019, the cosmological establishment has circled the wagons to protect this failed theory with censorship, because it now has no other defense. It has now become almost impossible to publish papers critical of the Big Bang in any astronomical journals. …

I have personally called on leading Big Bang theorists to openly debate the new evidence. For cosmology — as for any research area — to advance, this debate must happen openly in both scientific journals and the public media.

Another marker of society dumbing down and corrupting, even in fields with advanced degrees.