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Jacob Navia

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Sep 15, 2022, 7:29:11 PMSep 15
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The results of JWST are shaking the Big Bang model to its foundations. A
new article in Scientific American reports that a new cosmology needs to be
invented... See:
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/jwsts-first-glimpses-of-early-galaxies-could-break-cosmology/

Yeah, the whole thing is coming down with a huge BANG!

But surely a new cosmology will appear, humans are like that. They need an
explanation of how all being arises, how the Universe started.

Four elephants sustain the universe proposed the Hindu researchers some
thousands of years ago. Well, that didn't pan out. What a surprise!

"In the beginning... " how many answers to that question have we invented?
The Big Bang goes to the same garbage bin that all other theories,
elephants included.

Personally, I do not know. I do not know what is life, even if I am a
biologist. I do not know my future, and the only sure fact that I do know
is my ignorance.

jacob

[[Mod. note --
It is very likely that 50 years from now our understanding of cosmology
will be different than it is today. It is also very likely that 50 years
from now our understanding of cosmology will in the main *refine* (as
opposed to overthrow) our understanding today.

This notion -- that scientific progress is mainly one of *refinement*
rather than over *overthrowing* -- is beaufully explained in Isaac Asimov's
classic essay "The Relativity of Wrong". Wikipedia has a brief synopsis
of this essay,
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Relativity_of_Wrong#Title_essay
and there are lots of copies of the full essay online, e.g.,
https://hermiene.net/essays-trans/relativity_of_wrong.html
-- jt]]

Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)

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Sep 16, 2022, 6:31:02 PMSep 16
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I was going to recommend the same essay. In fact, I still recommend it!

As it happens, I am now at a conference on relativistic astrophysics.
No-one has mentioned JWST shaking the foundations of the big bang. I
remember being at conferences where soon after the respective events
the Higgs discovery was discussed, detection of gravitational waves, the
BICEP-2 result (which turned out to be wrong). Important results spread
throughout the community.

Of course JWST tells us things we didn't know before; if it didn't,
there would have been no reason to build it. But it certainly doesn't
question the foundations of the big bang. Some (tentative!!!!) results
might question some aspects of our understanding of the universe, but,
as noted in the essay, that is not the same as overthrowing the
foundations.

Also, 20 years ago, even though it is a popular-science magazine, I
wouldn't have hesitated pointing someone to a Scientific American
article. But in the last few years the quality of that magazine has
dropped enormously, almost to the point where one can say that if
something is claimed there, it is more likely to be wrong than right.

Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)

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Sep 18, 2022, 5:54:00 PMSep 18
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In article <d54fad3c-d53f-4b2a...@googlegroups.com>,
Jacob Navia <jacob...@gmail.com> writes:

> The results of JWST are shaking the Big Bang model to its foundations. A
> new article in Scientific American reports that a new cosmology needs to be
> invented... See:
> https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/jwsts-first-glimpses-of-early-galaxies-could-break-cosmology/

Let's look at that article in some detail.

"shocked astronomers" Yes, perhaps in some cases, though not necessarily
for the reasons you think.

"a mirage, or a revolution?" An open question (and probably a false
dichotomy).

"most distant starlight ever seen" OK, but doesn't contradict the big
bang. It would be a surprise is such a new, powerful instrument didn't
show us things farther away. We didn't notice a lack of things at the
limit of the Hubble Space Telescope, and it would be surprising indeed
if that limit happened to lie just beyond Hubble, so that JWST would
show nothing new.

Captain America sharing the study on Twitter is NOT the way to gauge the
importance of a paper.

Why was it beyond astronomers' wildest dreams? In the same paragraph,
the claim is that it was build to uncover never-before-seen details, to
revolutionize our understanding of the universe, both of which sound
like people didn't know what it would uncover. So true in some sense,
but not surprising.

Yes, some things were perhaps unexpected---but again, no contradiction
to the big bang.

The main problem with the article, or at least your interpretation of
it, seems to be conflating specific ideas of structure formation with
the idea of the big bang itself. Even if there is some uncertainty
about the former, that does not affect the latter, as the evidence for
it is very secure.

Bringing in Stacy McGaugh is a bad move. He advocates a non-standard
theory. Nothing wrong with that, but not they guy to interview here.
The article doesn't say how JWST's observations could support MOND, nor
what MOND predictions it confirmed. In any case, most MOND supporters
don't doubt the big bang.

"It's a bit too early to say we've completely broken the universe."
Indeed!

Peer review is NOT unfolding on Twitter, at least not peer review in the
conventional sense.

"Eschewing the traditional peer-review processes, which can take months,
many instead turned to publication on arXiv" displays a rather serious
lack of understanding. Most stuff on arXiv has been submitted to
peer-review journals, so a false dichotomy, and no eschewing involved.

> [[Mod. note --
> It is very likely that 50 years from now our understanding of cosmology
> will be different than it is today. It is also very likely that 50 years
> from now our understanding of cosmology will in the main *refine* (as
> opposed to overthrow) our understanding today.

Another good take on a similar theme:

@ARTICLE { MRees93a ,
AUTHOR = "Martin J. Rees",
TITLE = "Understanding the high-redshift
universe:~progress, hype and prospects",
JOURNAL = QJRAS,
YEAR = "1993",
VOLUME = "34",
NUMBER = "3",
PAGES = "279--289",
MONTH = sep
}

You can find the paper on ADS. If you don't know how to find a paper on
ADS, you should find out.
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