There are many theories about how the universe began.
So when science writer and independent physics researcher Eric Lerner reported that NASA’s new James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) had collected images disproving the widely-accepted Big Bang theory, the ensuing media excitement was perhaps understandable.
Writing in a journal published by the British Institute of Art and Ideas, Lerner reported that NASA’s new telescope detected galaxies that are older and more numerous than astronomers expected. The discovery was a confirmation of his decades-old assertion that the universe is crowded. “the Big Bang never happened”Also, astronomers can be found here “panicking”Learn more.
Though many media outlets picked up the story, astronomers aren’t actually worried and for good reason.
According to the Big Bang, the universe was created a finite amount of time ago. It then expanded rapidly from an infinite state of density and temperature. The first evidence for this came in the 1910s and ’20s. Astronomers observed that the light coming from distant galaxies could be stretched or distorted. “red-shifted”It was as though the galaxies were leaving us. As sound waves emanating from receding police sirens stretch out, dropping in pitch, so light waves coming from receding objects in the night sky extend out and appear redder on analysis.
Edwin Hubble, an astronomer in the 1920s discovered that distant galaxies’ light exhibits greater redshift than nearby galaxies. That implied galaxies farther away from Earth were receding faster than those close at hand, as if the universe were expanding like a balloon from an explosive beginning — a “big bang.”
Since then, astronomers have made many measurements that confirm the expansion. And that’s where the James Webb telescope comes in.
JWST has the ability to see galaxies that are further from Earth than anything else. Because light travels slowly, the light coming from distant galaxies can reveal what those galaxies look like long ago. NASA’s new telescope can detect light from some galaxies as old as 13.6 billion years, or 200 million years after the Big Bang.
If the universe expands from a Big Bang then light from faraway galaxies must be stretched very wide. “uber”The red shift. Astronomers have calculated that this light would not be visible but rather in the longer wavelengths of the infrared spectrum.
But detecting long wavelength infrared radiation requires special equipment — thus, NASA’s decision to build a telescope, the James Webb, capable of detecting such radiation.
What has this to do the cosmic origins question?
If the JWST was to be found “uber”Redshifted radiation from distant, extremely old galaxies would further confirm that the universe is expanding as predicted by the Big Bang theory.
The JWST has also detected this radiation. The JWST has. The JWST would not have detected the long wavelength infrared light coming from extremely distant galaxies. The JWST was designed specifically to detect infrared radiation. The fact it was able to capture images of galaxies far away shows that it has captured the type of radiation that astronomers might expect, if the universe expands as the Big Bang theory suggests.
Lerner does not mention any of these. He instead highlights the surprising discoveries regarding how many galaxies formed during these distant periods of cosmic history. According to current theories, it is unlikely that we will see as many galaxies early on.
Perhaps. However, the evidence he points out challenges the models for galaxy formation and not expanding universes or the Big Bang.
Lerner admits, however, that the JWST detected very red-shifted radiation. He explains the phenomenon as “The…” “tired-light hypothesis.”While he acknowledges the fact that wavelengths increase in distance, he denies that space expansion causes that effect. He claims that light loses energy during transit and stretches as it does so.
However, the tired-light hypothesis was discredited. It is not known how to decrease the energy of photons of light, but it can be done without changing their direction or momentum. Any such change could cause blurred images to be produced by the photon emitting object. However, blurring of the photon has never been seen.
Lerner’s arguments have also been rejected because of other astronomical evidence — the observed abundance of light elements and famed “Cosmic Background Radiation”—that the Big Bang model explains uniquely well.
What’s more, the scientist that Lerner quoted to prove “panic”One astronomer has made a disclaimant of the quote. She stated that JWST data makes her reconsider galaxy formation and not the Big Bang.
Albert Einstein is not the only scientist who has found Big Bang theory to be philosophically objectionable. If the physical universe of matter, energy, space and time had a beginning – as observational astronomy and theoretical physics suggest – it’s hard to envision a physical cause for such an event. At the Big Bang, matter and energy were created. Before that, no matter or energy — no physics — would have yet existed that could have caused the universe to begin.
Such considerations have led some scientists — Israeli physicist Gerald Schroeder, the late Caltech astronomer Allan Sandage and Nobel laureate Arno Penzias — to affirm a creator beyond space and time. Some remain skeptical about the ultimate origins of life.
However, regardless of their philosophical views, the majority of physicists or astronomers follow the evidence to the logical conclusion that the universe did have a beginning and that there was a Big Bang. The James Webb Space Telescope and the vast amount of evidence that supports it has not shown anything to change this consensus.
Stephen C. Meyer directs Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture in Seattle. From Cambridge University, he received his PhD in Philosophy of Science. He is currently publishing Return of the God Hypothesis, Three Discoveries That Reveal the Mind behind the Universe (HarperOne).
The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of The Daily Wire.
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