nasa-ngc-6984-potw1344aNow that the James Webb Telescope is upsetting the apple cart of mainstream astrophysics by finding large galaxies in a distant region that was supposed to have fewer and smaller galaxies, or hopefully none at all, since we were supposed to be closing in on the neighborhood of the Big Bang, I’ve decided that I have to do this post on astronomer Edwin Hubble that I’ve been putting off for a long time.

I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard, or read, that  Hubble discovered the Big Bang.

When you hear one of these establishment astrophysicists, the aging ones the media are fond of interviewing, tell us that Edwin Hubble discovered the Big Bang, or “discovered that the universe is expanding”, you need to know that if Hubble was here he would respond, “No! I told you again and again, that all we discovered was that the light of distant galaxies was redshifted, and the more distant they appeared to be the more pronounced their redshifts were. We didn’t know the cause of the redshift then, and you still don’t know it now.”

Yes, almost everyone has chosen to completely ignore everything Hubble said. Even his biographers, the only reason that I know about this, were reluctant to talk about it. They almost apologize for Hubble, as if his resistance to the Big Bang is an ongoing inexplicable embarrassment. 

Hubble did agree that it was possible that the redshift was the result of a so-called doppler effect caused by an expanding universe – but he insisted to the end of his life that the cause had not been determined. No telescope has ever imaged the movement required in an expanding universe.

By the way, it’s no coincidence that the expanding universe/big bang idea was first put forward by a Catholic priest who was also a physicist, George LeMaitre. Apparently because there was a longing in science circles for a creation story of their own, almost everyone ‘jumped on the bandwagon.’

Also, I should say that another ‘proof’ of the Big Bang that you’ll hear is that Einstein’s theory of relativity predicts expansion. In fact the math of it predicts both expansion and contraction, it doesn’t require one or the other.

Again they often say the CMB – cosmic microwave background – is proof of the Big Bang. This also is in dispute. The source of it hasn’t been established at all.

Just because the math in a theory works, doesn’t mean the theory fits the facts of reality.

Just because a scientist says something, doesn’t make what they say scientific. Most scientists understand that, but, for some reason, many astrophysicists have developed this idea whatever they say is science.

The main thing supporting the Big Bang theory is consensus of opinion. Most physicists support it, so it must be true. That’s a political conclusion, not a scientific one, especially when those who disagree are publicly scorned and ridiculed.

But there have always been Big Bang dissenters. Fred Hoyle, physicist, mathematician and prolific SF novelist, the Carl Sagan of his day, rejected the Big Bang theory to the end of his life; famous quantum physicist Richard Feynman said he couldn’t understand why the astrophysicists were ignoring the effect gravity has on light as a factor in determining the cause of those galactic redshifts.

Carl Sagan, in the book that accompanied his TV Series Cosmos, said that if we find large black holes at the center of galaxies, it will be necessary to determine how much of the those galaxies’ redshifts are caused by the gravity of those black holes. Well, we’ve known for some time now that almost all large galaxies have central black holes.Yet, as far as I’ve been able to find out, there’s no ongoing research into that.

Anyway, if he’s watching, I’m sure Edwin Hubble is cheering on the James Webb Telescope, which is probably going to change our understanding of the universe in more ways than one.

PS – the galaxy seen above is NGC 6984 – 180 million light years away from us – photo courtesy of NASA

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