Has the James Webb Telescope Debunked the Big Bang Theory?

By Richard Young | Posted August 23, 2022

Why is there something rather than nothing? This is perhaps the most important question that we can ask. What we can know is that the universe is here and that we are in it—but knowing how we got here is vital for understanding the true meaning of our lives.

For much of human history, many believed that the universe always existed. It was just a “brute fact” of nature—that is, until about 100 years ago.

An Expanding Universe

It was science at its best. Various physicists and astronomers, working mostly independently of each other and looking at the universe from different angles and using different methods, all started seeing the same thing.

Putting together the work of Albert Einstein, Alexander Friedman, George Lemaitre, Henrietta Leavitt, and Edwin Hubble, scientists by the early 20th century came to the startling realization—which no one had expected, except those who believed in the Bible—that the universe had a beginning. That is, it once didn’t exist; then it did.

Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, a theory about gravity, suggested that the universe was expanding, an idea that he actually hated because of what it implied. In the 1920s, the famous American astronomer Hubble, using the 100-inch Hooker telescope, discovered evidence that indicated the universe was indeed expanding, just as Einstein’s theory predicted. 

One story goes that while Hubble and his wife were showing Einstein and his wife the telescope that Hubble used to prove the expanding universe, Mrs. Einstein quipped, “My husband figured that out on the back of an envelope.”

The Big Bang

A common illustration of the expanding universe is that of a loaf of raisin bread rising, which causes the raisins, symbols for galaxies, to get farther and farther apart from each other. But reverse the process, and the raisins naturally get closer together. What happens if that loaf keeps getting smaller?

Likewise, as time progresses, if the universe is expanding, then the further back in time you go, the smaller and smaller the universe must have been—until you get back to the beginning. According to the theory, that starting point was an infinitely hot, infinitely dense something called a singularity, which then “exploded” about 13.8 billion years ago. In that explosion, space-time and matter were created; the universe’s expansion had begun.

At least, that’s what the Big Bang Theory claims.

Reversing Course?

Whatever your personal beliefs, the new photos of the universe coming from the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope are astonishing, beautiful, and breathtaking. It causes most to ask in awe that age-old question again: “How did all this get here?”

However, the web has recently been abuzz with suggestions that these photos actually prove that “the Big Bang did not happen.” Of course, others say that such conclusions are based on “misinformation” and “misquotes.”

It’s probably too early to be making emphatic statements about what the James Webb Space Telescope proves or doesn’t prove. But it’s certainly good that it has reignited scientific inquiry and stirred people to look further into the true meaning of their lives. We can thank God that as Christians, we can take a secure hold of the Bible’s explanation for the universe. After all, Scripture has been right about prophecy so many times, we can also trust it when it comes to history.

All the same, questions remain about the Big Bang Theory. Critics argue that it violates the First Law of Thermodynamics, which states that matter cannot be created or destroyed. They also say that it violates the Second Law regarding entropy. Still others challenge the whole notion that the universe is, indeed, expanding at all; if that challenge is proven, the entire theory collapses.

But there are even deeper questions that the James Webb Telescope has not and, perhaps, cannot answer. For one, where did that infinitely hot and dense singularity come from? Some want to argue that it came from nothing. The late cosmologist Stephen Hawking wrote, “Because there is a law like gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.”

Others have already pointed out the numerous logical and scientific problems with that statement, which seems to have been made in an attempt to get rid of the need for a Creator God, which for many is implicit in the Big Bang Theory itself. However, when the theory was first proposed, the communist regime of the Soviet Union rejected it because if the universe had a beginning, something had to have started it—and what would be a more rational explanation than a Creator God like the one depicted in the Bible? “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:3).

That the universe once didn’t exist but then came into existence powerfully points to a Creator God, the One who brought it into existence. To learn more about this God, how He created us, and why, watch our video “Creation: Genesis as Foundation.

Richard Young
Richard Young is a writer for Amazing Facts International and other online and print publications.

When you post, you agree to the terms and conditions of our comments policy.

If you have a Bible question for Pastor Doug Batchelor or the Amazing Facts Bible answer team, please submit it by clicking here. Due to staff size, we are unable to answer Bible questions posted in the comments.
To help maintain a Christian environment, we closely moderate all comments.

  1. Please be patient. We strive to approve comments the day they are made, but please allow at least 24 hours for your comment to appear. Comments made on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday may not be approved until the following Monday.

  2. Comments that include name-calling, profanity, harassment, ridicule, etc. will be automatically deleted and the invitation to participate revoked.

  3. Comments containing URLs outside the family of Amazing Facts websites will not be approved.

  4. Comments containing telephone numbers or email addresses will not be approved.

  5. Comments off topic may be deleted.

  6. Please do not comment in languages other than English.

Please note: Approved comments do not constitute an endorsement by the ministry of Amazing Facts or by Pastor Doug Batchelor. This website allows dissenting comments and beliefs, but our comment sections are not a forum for ongoing debate.