In my book, NO REGRETS LIVING (HCI Books, 2021), I discuss the relative “credibility” of the Big Bang versus religious theory about the beginnings of the universe. I wrote this:
“On May 20, 1964, two scientists listening to noises of the universe through a powerful audio telescope accidently stumbled onto an “echo” that, now knowing where to listen, could be heard at all times, continuously and uninterrupted. Turns out that echo, which can still easily be heard today by anyone on internet astronomy sites, is the remnant of the Big Bang. That faint echo changed science forever. Until then, many of the most esteemed scientists in the world believed that the universe always existed, that there was no “beginning.” But now we know there was a beginning, and it occurred nearly 13.8 billion years ago in a most astonishing way if we are to believe the modern scientific dogma on the origin of the universe. According to that theory, which I believe to be true (until and unless proven otherwise), there was an infinitesimally small and unimaginably compact singularity containing every bit of energy and matter that would come to comprise our universe.”
But science is riddled with examples of disproven theories and hypotheses. More from NO REGRETS LIVING:
“Medical and scientific dogmas have been carefully studied and expanded since the beginning of humans’ exploration of ourselves, and I believe the dogmas to be true. Proven and true. At least for now, until new facts are uncovered and today’s truths either advance or are retracted. Indeed, the list of yesteryear’s dogmas that have been disproven is long. Hippocrates’s theory of the Four Humors and Four Temperaments, which sounds comical to today’s doctors and scientists, persisted as dogma and influenced medical care for centuries.”
That is, Hippocrates’ theories were true – until they weren’t. Until they were proven otherwise. That’s why I found the recent news features about the surprising discovery of gigantic new galaxies so exciting. CNN reporting on 2/23/2023:
Astronomers have used the James Webb Space Telescope to peer back in time to the early days of the universe — and they spotted something unexpected.
The space observatory revealed six massive galaxies that existed between 500 million and 700 million years after the big bang that created the universe. The discovery is completely upending existing theories about the origins of galaxies, according to a new study published Wednesday in the journal Nature.
“These objects are way more massive than anyone expected,” said study coauthor Joel Leja, assistant professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State University, in a statement. “We expected only to find tiny, young, baby galaxies at this point in time, but we’ve discovered galaxies as mature as our own in what was previously understood to be the dawn of the universe.”
What does this mean? It may mean that the Big Bang theory needs to be rethought. Indeed, if massive galaxies existed as “recently” as 500-700 million years after the Big Bang, maybe the Big Bang wasn’t the “beginning” that we thought it was! Has the BB theory now met the “until and unless proven otherwise” threshold I set forth for my believing it in NO REGRETS LIVING? Could be…