No, the James Webb images do not disprove the Big Bang

Πώς προέκυψε το σύμπαν; Η επικρατούσα θεωρία είναι όλα όσα ξεκίνησαν με τη Μεγάλη Έκρηξη (Big Bang). Με λίγα λόγια, η θεωρία αναφέρει ότι τα πάντα ζωντάνεψαν, παντού, και ξαφνικά.

james webb space telescope

The Big Bang theory is currently the best model we have for the birth of our universe. Astrophysicists have shown that the theory explains, quite comprehensively, phenomena we have observed in space for decades. It's a powerful framework that gives us a very good idea of ​​how the Universe came to be about 13,8 billion years ago.

Αλλά με τον καταιγισμό των draft papers και των δημοφιλών επιστημονικών άρθρων για τις πρώτες εικόνες του διαστημικού τηλεσκοπίου James Webb, παλιοί, εσφαλμένοι ισχυρισμοί ότι το Big Bang δεν συνέβη ποτέ, κυκλοφορούν στα μέσα κοινωνικής δικτύωσης και στον Τύπο τις τελευταίες εβδομάδες. Ένας επιστήμονας ισχυρίστηκε ότι οι images of JWST are causing “panic among cosmologists” – that is, of the scientists who study the origin of the universe.

Αυτό δεν είναι αλήθεια. Το JWST (James Webb Space Telescope) δεν έχει δώσει στοιχεία που να καταρρίπτουν τη θεωρία του Big Bang και οι κοσμολόγοι δεν δεν έχουν πανικοβληθεί. Γιατί, λοιπόν, βλέπουμε viral αναρτήσεις στα μέσα κοινωνικής δικτύωσης και τίτλους που υποδηλώνουν ότι το Big Bang δεν συνέβη ποτέ;

To answer this question, and to show why we should be skeptical of claims like this, we need to understand where the idea came from.

It all started with an article in The Institute of Art and Ideas, a British philosophical organization, on August 11. The piece was written by Eric Lerner, who has long supported this Big Bang theory. He even wrote a book called The Big Bang Never Happened in 1991.

The provocative article in IAI is also related to an upcoming discussion in which Lerner is participating, called “Cosmology and the Big Bust”.

Lerner's article went viral on social media and was widely shared on Twitter and Facebook over the past week. It makes sense why:

It's a controversial idea that overturns what we believe and know about the world. In addition, it is connected to a new technology the James Webb telescope, which sees parts of the universe that we could never see before.

The inclusion of the James Webb Space Telescope as a news item suggests that there is new data that overturns a long-held theory.

Of course there are new and interesting data coming out of JWST. Just not the kind that would debunk the Big Bang theory. Most of this new data comes to the public in the form of scientific drafts, articles that have not yet been peer-reviewed and land in repositories like arXiv.

Lerner's article uses some of the early JWST studies and tries to disprove the Big Bang theory. What is troubling is how it misinterprets the early JWST data to suggest that astronomers and cosmologists are concerned that the established theory is wrong. There are two points in Lerner's article that show this:

  • It shows a draft with the word “Panic!” in its title, and calls it a "sincere exclamation".
  • He misuses a quote from Allison Kirkpatrick, an astronomer at the University of Kansas.

The first point is simply a case of Lerner not defining "panic" as a pun. The full title of the paper is “Panic! At the Disks: First Rest-frame Optical Observations of Galaxy Structure at z>3 with JWST in the SMACS 0723 Field.”

The author of this draft, astronomer Leonardo Ferreira, clearly interprets the popular emo band Panic! of the 2000s with its title. It is a linguistic reference, not a cosmological judgment.

As for the second point, Lerner takes this quote from Allison Kirkpatrick, taken from a Nature news article published on July 27:

"Right now I'm staying up until three in the morning wondering if everything I've done is wrong."

This selective passage does not directly refer to the Big Bang theory. Instead, Kirkpatrick is thinking about the first data to come from JWST about the early evolution of the universe. It is true that there are some puzzles for astronomers to solve, but, so far, they are not going to rewrite the beginning of the universe. Kirkpatrick has stated that her quotes were misused and even changed her name on Twitter to "Allison the Big Bang happened Kirkpatrick".

"We as scientists have a responsibility to educate the public, and I take that responsibility very seriously," Kirkpatrick told CNET. "Deliberately misleading the public makes it difficult for them to trust real scientists to distinguish fact from fiction."

In addition, Lerner's article claims that his ideas are censored by the scientific establishment and also points out that his theory is important to the development of fusion energy on Earth. It is no coincidence that the same paragraph is associated with LPPFusion, a company run by Lerner aimed at developing electronic energy technologies.

Why does this matter?

One of the main reasons why the Big Bang theory is supported is because of the cosmic microwave background. This was discovered in 1964. In short, the CMB is radiation left over from the Big Bang when the universe began and scientists have been able to "see" it with satellites that can detect this lingering radiation.

So to strengthen the evidence that the Big Bang theory is wrong, you have to explain the CMB in some other way. Lerner's rejection of the CMB has been debunked before.

Είναι επίσης σημαντικό να αναφέρουμε ότι το Webb δεν είναι κατασκευασμένο για να βλέπει και να αναλύει το CMB. Το τηλεσκόπιο δεν μπορεί να “δει” τόσο πολύ πίσω στο χρόνο. Ωστόσο, θα εξετάσει μια εποχή μερικές εκατοντάδες εκατομμύρια χρόνια μετά τη Μεγάλη Έκρηξη. Αυτό που θα βρει εκεί θα αλλάξει σχεδόν σίγουρα τις opinions μας για το πρώιμο σύμπαν, τους γαλαξίες και την εξέλιξη του σύμπαντος. Είναι όμως ανειλικρινές να ισχυρίζεται κανείς ότι οι πρώτες εικόνες και τα αποτελέσματα της μελέτης έρχονται σε αντίθεση με τη θεωρία του Big Bang.

Kirkpatrick reports that the JWST images actually do the opposite. He said they "support the Big Bang model because they show us that the first galaxies were different from the galaxies we see today – they're much smaller!"

Scientific theories can – and should – be challenged by scientists with highly detailed and thoughtful arguments.

Thanks to our reader ABCD for the hint of the CNET article The Best Technology Site in Greecefgns

Big Bang,James Webb,James Webb Space Telescope,iguru

Written by giorgos

George still wonders what he's doing here ...

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Leave a reply

Your email address is not published. Required fields are mentioned with *

Your message will not be published if:
1. Contains insulting, defamatory, racist, offensive or inappropriate comments.
2. Causes harm to minors.
3. It interferes with the privacy and individual and social rights of other users.
4. Advertises products or services or websites.
5. Contains personal information (address, phone, etc.).