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Too Big for the Big Bang?

on August 18, 2007
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ScienceNOW: “Growing Up Fast in the Cosmos

Astronomers looking at galaxies far, far away have found five that don’t quite fit big-bang ideas. The scientists’ explanation for why this finding doesn’t upset the tottering big bang hypothesis is reported online this week in Astrophysical Journal.

The problem for the big bang hypothesis is that these galaxies are “big for their age.” Astronomers have concluded that the images we are seeing are from 12 billion years ago, shortly (relatively speaking) after the big bang occurred (according to the big bang model). Since these galaxies are supposedly “young,” then how did they develop in so little time? “[T]his process was supposed to take billions of years,” ScienceNOW’s Phil Berardelli reports.

These new galaxies show there is something wrong with the big bang model.

Berardelli is quickly joined by study coauthor Giovanni Fazio, an astronomer at the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics: “We have no idea why these galaxies grew so large so soon [...] I think we still have a lot new to learn about what’s happening in the early universe.”

Of course, according to the principle of falsifiability—that scientific hypotheses are valid only if subject to falsification by contradictory data—these new galaxies show there is something wrong with the big bang model. Unsurprisingly, however, big bang advocates, rather than admitting an explanatory flaw in their model, simply claim that there’s “a lot new to learn”—effectively putting their faith in the big bang model, despite its inadequacies from a strictly scientific standpoint.

Not that this is the first problem with the big bang; you can read about its numerous shortcomings in What are some of the problems with the big bang hypothesis? in our Get Answers: Astronomy and Astrophysics.


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