James Webb telescope early galaxies?

They are talking about similar galaxies being in a time where they shouldn’t be, there’s some talk about “the big bang never happening” . I’m a struggling agnostic and for some reason this scared me. Because if the there was no big bang then how could God have created the universe

In glancing at some of those stories, I think it is really just a fine tuning and learning more type thing, not a change in the basic theory. The type of thing the telescope was made to discover, and the type of thing that makes science exciting. No matter what is discovered, it is part of God’s beautiful creation.


I guess I’m it sure why there must be a big bang interwoven with God as the creator. You are agnostic? You believe in a fine tuned universe outside of the belief of god?

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I’m not sure what your scientific background is, but when I was in college I took one class on evolution and the Big Bang, called “History of Life”

Learning about each in the class, evolution seemed to be pretty well understood, and there didn’t seem to be any big unsolved problems with it that were important enough to teach my class.

The Big Bang however, there was much more uncertainty. The curriculum was pretty certain of the time scale of the universe (i.e. billions of years, not thousands), but for the specifics of the Big Bang, things were murky. Different scientists had different theories, there were lots of unanswered questions about things like dark matter and black holes. Again I’m not a scientist so someone else here may be able to give some higher resolution examples.

You said “they” are talking about galaxies not being as old as they should be, I’m not sure who “they” are, but is it possible they are a scientist with a niche theory of the Big Bang that suddenly found new evidence? Or a journalist writing clickbait? Or a YEC using pseudoscience and false claims to support a YEC view?

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In what I am reading about the findings of the James web telescope, there is nothing to call into question the age of the universe but only galaxy formation as happening a bit earlier than some had thought. But even this is based on what looks like pretty vague pictures to me. I bet this is more about media hype than any real science having been done yet.


You may enjoy watching this:

Scientific models are always being refined to fit new evidence. Some of the headlines have been really click-baity and inaccurate and some of the models have already been adjusted to account for the early galaxy formation. There is a difference between “this is surprising and not what we would have predicted” and “this destroys our theory.” The data raised some questions that the current cosmology models can’t account for. But that doesn’t mean they are totally “wrong,” it means they are incomplete. There have been similar problems with our models and dark matter and dark energy. It drives more research and eventually when we understand more, we can make better, more complete models.

Nothing I have seen has implied that scientists are questioning whether the universe had a beginning. They are adjusting their ideas about timelines and mechanisms of galaxy evolution after the singularity.

The Senior Project Manager at James Webb, John Mather is a Nobel Laureate who is an expert in the Big Bang. He is not throwing out the theory any time soon and much of the click-bait “theory in crisis” stuff probably comes from people with a reductionistic understanding of the Big Bang model anyway.


Thank you for the responses, when I say I’m. A struggling agnostic and as you’ll see with my post history. I’m trying to get a confident belief in God. That article kind of scared me. In Australia where it’s highly secular it’s hard to find people to have this conversation with people .it even harder to build upon my a faith i.e why Christ, not Muslim, Hindu even Atheism. My father is an atheist and I hope he finds faith and peace.
Sorry if this was a rant


You need not be afraid to posts such ‘rants’ here. We all need a community where we can bring our struggles to the table.

Increasingly these years, I’m finding that for many - a struggle with God may just be a struggle with (or against) lesser impressions of God which end up creating images and attributes in our minds that are not worthy of the true God at all. We all are going to struggle with false or incomplete images since nobody can have complete knowledge of God. But I suspect that sometimes what is being rejected actually needs to be rejected so that the God of Christ can come into clearer focus for us.


I forget who I was listening to recently, but whichever cosmologist it was said essentially, “What “banged”? We don’t know. Why did it bang? We don’t know? We don’t even know how big it was. But that doesn’t mean we’ve thrown out the theory.”

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All of our ideas about God are wrong‡ – but so long as as we go along our ideas become less wrong, don’t sweat it.

‡ if only because they’re incomplete

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“The second and more striking conclusion is that there is no center of this expansion, even though we seem to be at the center.”

“A third conclusion is that there is no sign of an edge of the universe, no place where we run out of either matter or space. This is what the ancient Greeks recognized as infinite, unbounded, without limits.”

John C. Mather

These are indeed wonderful quotes from Dr. Mather

“There is no first moment of time, just as there is no smallest positive number. In physics we have equations and laws of nature that describe how one situation changes into another, but we have no equations that show how true nothingness turns into somethingness. So, since the universe did not spring into existence, it has always existed, though perhaps not in its current form. That’s true, even though the apparent age of the universe is not infinite, but only very large. And, even though there’s no first moment of time, we can still measure the age.”

@Christy check out these quotes from Dr. Mather

It’s hard to believe he just said, “the universe did not spring into existence, it has always existed.” :grimacing:


Interesting. I think it gets weird when you start talking about existence before the existence of space fabric and space time. I think our language and our time and space bound mental models become insufficient.


I don’t know why, but the previous responses kind of scared me

I did not expect to see a Nobel laureate use math to presuppose the universe cannot be made from nothing

This is apparent with outer and inner space and at these boundary conditions there is the problem of determining whether the universe is just beginning or still expanding

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I am genuinely floored how this conclusion is being reached and curious to know a little more about how it ties into methodological naturalism

“universe” “made” and “nothing” are doing a lot of work in your sentence though and presume a certain mental model that might be inadequate. I suspect you and Dr. Mather probably have some different concepts and assumptions tied to those words. I think this is one of those times that communication is going to be very difficult with people who do not have the same background in cosmology and theoretical physics. As someone with no background in these topics, I think it’s wise to say sometimes, I don’t really understand what this means instead of assuming it means something I can easily grasp.