Reply To: Is the Universe losing weight?

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#615309
Duncan Hale-Sutton
Participant

On a slightly more serious note, and writing as a non-physicist, there seems to me something rather suspect about saying ‘Our model works – but only if we invent entities x and y.’ Might it not be an alternative to say, ‘The anomalies are so great that it looks as if our model doesn’t work. Perhaps it’s time to re-examine fundamental axioms and build a new model.’ Could we perhaps be heading for an exciting ‘paradigm-shift’?

Alan – agreed. The problem is that the standard model of cosmology works very well and it matches observations from very early times until now. It means that people are reluctant to accept a paradigm shift until there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary. It is like having a black box which predicts results for an experiment. If it keeps predicting the right results you might not be tempted to get your screwdriver out and fiddle with its innards in case you mess it up. Interestingly there are a few things on the horizon that may cause concern. One is the so called “Hubble Tension” (see for example https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/hubble-tension-headache-clashing-measurements-make-the-universes-expansion-a-lingering-mystery/) and the other would be if the James Webb Space Telescope starts seeing lots of well-formed galaxies at very high redshifts (see, for example, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/jwsts-first-glimpses-of-early-galaxies-could-break-cosmology/)