A net friend alerted me to the article “Galactic Monster Mystery Revealed in Ancient Universe” (Nov. 19, 2015, by Ian O’Neill). The “monsters” involved are massive galaxies. There are lots of massive galaxies in the universe. What makes these such monstrous mysteries is that they are very far away, and (given the time it would take light to travel so far) we’re seeing them as they were (or would have been) billions of years ago, so long ago that the earliest are said to be at the stage when the universe was just one billion years old: “This selection of massive galaxies all seem to have formed no earlier than around 1 billion years after the Big Bang;”
Now, a billion years seems like a long time to us, but it is just around 1/13th the age of the universe, and the research turned up a whole bunch of these monsters:
“We uncovered 574 new massive galaxies — the largest sample of such hidden galaxies in the
early Universe ever assembled,” said Karina Caputi, of the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute
at the University of Groningen.
It seems to me that something is missing when they mention that none of them were earlier, and emphasize “there is little evidence from this survey that suggests massive galaxies formed before this time,” but say nothing about whether or not any smaller galaxies or anything else was detected that seemed earlier. At any rate, finding so many galaxies that are so large and so early “has thrown a wrench in modern galaxy formation models.”
It’s not just that they didn’t expect quite so many, or thought they would be a little smaller. According to the standard models of how the universe should have evolved,
these massive galaxies shouldn’t even exist; these monsters represent approximately half of the galaxies that were present between 1.1 and 1.5 billion years after the Big Bang. Models predict that only small galaxies should have existed during this epoch.
Pretty big wrench. Oh, and there’s more!
these large galaxies contain huge quantities of dust. In fact, they have to be really dusty for the UltraVISTA survey to detect them at all. This is yet another contradiction to current galaxy formation models.
Two contradictions in one! That’s quite a large problem. If the models didn’t predict something that was necessary for detecting these galaxies, the researchers must have been very surprised when the first turned up. It must have been even more of a shock when more and more were detected. Hmm, if they didn’t expect to detect these, then isn’t it possible there are still-undetected farther, “earlier” ones after all? Who can say what else the models are wrong about, and how badly? As the article puts it, “At the very least, there’s a fundamental problem with our galactic formation theories…”
I think it would only be honest to say that scientists don’t really know if the galaxies and the universe formed by natural processes, starting with a Big Bang. Would it be so bad if the universe formed by a process beyond any scientific explanation? Some people seem to think that if “Science” cannot explain everything, and there is a supernatural explanation for the origin of the universe and of life (even if not the Bible’s account), then science would be “broken” and there would be no point in pursuing it further. All or nothing at all.
I hope nobody actually thinks that way, for it is totally illogical. We don’t have to believe or “know” that supernatural events have never happened to use the results of repeated observations and experimentation. The supernatural creation of the universe and life on Earth doesn’t mean that airplanes can’t fly, electrons won’t flow in a circuit, and chemicals won’t react as they always have. The founders of science believed in the supernatural all along.
Of course, when science includes telling stories about how everything happened naturally, there’s always hope that someone will think up an explanation or excuse for why things don’t fit, and a new model can be devised. Darwin suggested that some parts of his model might never have fossil support, and for the 150 years and more since then, evolutionists have been satisfied that the vast majority of the history of evolution simply didn’t get recorded as fossils. Current astrophysics posits that most of the universe is made of forms of matter and energy we know nothing about except we need something to explain otherwise inexplicable observations.
It shouldn’t be considered forbidden to suggest that perhaps we’re just plain wrong, and “God did it!” really is the only answer to one or two things, or even everything, on a level beyond our capabilities to detect. All the findings and blessings of science we have already established and can continue to build on will remain.