Tangled Webb

There is a scandal in the American space programme. It was caused by the James Webb telescope, which was launched at Christmas 2021, and then arrived at the Lagrange Point (of equilibrium between Sun and the Earth) a year later, beginning to take its infrared pictures last summer. It was thought to be the most trustworthy of cosmic photographers.

The Webb Space Telescope would be capable of depicting conditions some thirteen-point-five billion years in the past, within the first few hundred million years after the Big Bang. Fans would not only see proof of stellar evolution in development, but gatefolds and centrespreads of primitive exoplanets as a bonus. We would get a smooth account of what we previously glimpsed choppily, thanks to the latest technology. In the words of a leading scientist: “We expected only to find tiny, young, baby galaxies at this point in time.”

But then he continues: “We’ve discovered galaxies as mature as our own in what was previously understood to be the dawn of the universe.”

Surely the expensive James Webb programme (to which Canada contributes) will have to be cancelled. For it is not “following the science,” as our political authorities had promised. It not only threatens but actually contradicts the settled science in this age of progress. It depicts, among other improprieties, galaxies too monstrously large to be accommodated within our cosmic scheme. There are super-massive black holes, too, and altogether, the universal mass seems to be more than a hundred times what we were prepared to allow.

Biological evolution had already been seriously disturbed — by almost everything we have discovered about the early life of our planet. The Darwinian “scientific community” has often had to wince. But to suggest that even the background physics of our universe, is wrong! That is more than we should expect the friends of science to endure.

Secular humanism must respond to this impertinence! Progressives must now insist on more vigorous enforcement of the “scientifically correct.” It is time to suppress the latest astronomical “truthers”!