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The Big Bang: Last Summer, Doubt Suddenly Exploded. Why?

Why did a story that cast doubt on the Big Bang quickly go viral about a year ago? An experimental physicist offers some thoughts

Earlier this month, we learned from the National Academy of Sciences that the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is prompting a rethink of how galaxies form. Experimental physicist Rob Sheldon wrote to comment that “The doubts about ‘galaxy formation’ are trickling upwards into mainstream channels.” There is talk of the JWST observations as a “watershed moment,” of dark energy and dark matter failing, and … while theorists are not quite at the point yet of criticizing the Big Bang model itself, that’s certainly not as implausible now as it might have seemed a decade ago. Many People Seem to Harbor Doubts About the Big Bang Well, we do live in unsettled times. Roughly a year ago (August 13, 2022), I Read More ›

The Big Bang

A Recent Big Bang Debate: Sheer Politeness Underscores Shakeup

Takehome point: “Everyone would be keen to abandon the theory if there’s a better alternative, nobody’s married to the Big Bang theory”

Scientific American told readers recently that the James Webb Space Telescope is “breaking the Big Bang paradigm” so we can be fairly sure that astrophysicists have a lot of questions. The October 1 debate at the HowTheLightGetsIn festival in London represented a variety of views: There are those, like Sabine Hossenfelder, who think that physics will probably never be able to tell us how the universe came about and argue that we should think of the Big Bang theory as little more than another creation myth. And then there is Eric Lerner. The author of a recent article “The Big Bang Didn’t Happen” that went viral, Lerner articulated a challenge to the current scientific consensus in cosmology that caused quite Read More ›