The brand-new James Webb Space Telescope is displaying jaw-dropping images of a vast universe but is not returning evidence for the Big Bang Theory, Christian apologist Ken Ham says.
The $10 billion instrument is the most powerful telescope ever built and can see faint objects that its predecessor – the Hubble Space Telescope – could not record. Before the new telescope launched into space, many astronomers theorized that it would allow scientists to peek back in time to the early universe.
But Ham, the CEO and founder of Answers in Genesis, says in a new blog that images from the James Webb “haven’t helped those who cling to the big bang.” The theory posits that the universe originated billions of years ago in a single explosion from a single point and has been expanding ever since.
“The data doesn’t match what’s predicted if the big bang happened,” Ham wrote.
He cites a blog post by physicist Eric J. Lerner, an author who holds a secular worldview but who has been highly critical of the Big Bang Theory.
“To everyone who sees them, the new James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) images of the cosmos are beautifully awe-inspiring. But to most professional astronomers and cosmologists, they are also extremely surprising – not at all what was predicted by theory,” Lerner wrote. “In the flood of technical astronomical papers published online since July 12, the authors report again and again that the images show surprisingly many galaxies, galaxies that are surprisingly smooth, surprisingly small and surprisingly old. Lots of surprises, and not necessarily pleasant ones. One paper’s title begins with the candid exclamation: ‘Panic!’”
The James Webb images are “blatantly and repeatedly contradicting” the Big Bang Theory that the universe “began 14 billion years ago in an incredibly hot, dense state and has been expanding ever since,” Lerner wrote.
“Since that hypothesis has been defended for decades as unquestionable truth by the vast majority of cosmological theorists, the new data is causing these theorists to panic,” Lerner wrote.
Ham says the science behind the Big Bang Theory isn’t as settled as “most people are led to believe.”
“Many scientists – even atheistic, naturalistic ones – know there are big problems with the idea,” Ham wrote. “... As you look at the images from the James Webb Space Telescope, be in awe of the incredible beauty, wonder, and order of the heavens. But don’t stop there. Turn in praise to the One who created all of that and sums it up with the simple phrase, ‘he made the stars also’ (Genesis 1:16b, NKJV).”
Photo courtesy: James Webb Telescope/NASA/Space Telescope Science Institute/Public Domain
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.