Astronomers Confirm Redshift of Distant Galaxy seen by JWST

I spotted an article today that gives an update to this thread JWST and Large Distant Galaxies

“We were initially concerned about the slight variation in position between the detected oxygen emission line and the galaxy seen by Webb,” author Tom Bakx notes, “but we performed detailed tests on the observations to confirm that this really is a robust detection, and it is very difficult to explain through any other interpretation.”

The observations do more than confirm the galaxy’s age, they also shed light on its metallicity. They show that enough stars had already lived and died by then to enrich the galaxy with elements like oxygen. “The bright line emission indicates that this galaxy has quickly enriched its gas reservoirs with elements heavier than hydrogen and helium. This gives us some clues about the formation and evolution of the first generation of stars and their lifetime,” said co-lead author Jorge Zavala of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.

The observations hold another tantalizing clue, too. At least some of the stars that lived and died and populated the galaxy with metals may have exploded as supernovae. “The small separation we see between the oxygen gas and the stars’ emission might also suggest that these early galaxies suffered from violent explosions that blew the gas away from the galaxy centre into the region surrounding the galaxy and even beyond,” added Zavala.

The first in a flood?

(After re-reading through @Dan_Eastwood prediction in the thread I linked, I suppose they’re just suggesting “hyper evolution” :wink: for galaxy formation.)

Responders in the linked thread didn’t like my bumbling prediction. Jason Lisle wrote it out more clearly.

These are the predictions I published back in January before we had any data from the JWST. You can read my original predictions here. Namely: (1) I expected to find galaxies at higher redshifts than the secularists were expecting. This would force secularists to conclude that galaxies formed earlier than their secular models had predicted. (2) These galaxies would be fully-formed, not in the process of assembly. (3) I expected evidence of some heavy elements in these galaxies, rather than pop III stars with no such elements.

Jason Lisle is probably the only astronomer on the planet who correctly predicted what the JWST would find? (If other creationists did, I’m not aware of it.)

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Does your tagging me here indicate that you have accepted my offered wager? Quoting for reference …

The loose definition of “All these” gives you a fair chance of winning, since one high-metal star could win the bet for you. However, it may be un-resolvable, since even JWST probably can’t pick out small but high-metal stars like our Sol at that distance. Note that Oxygen isn’t a metal.

I haven’t read this article yet, and I have no idea what is has to say about metal content. I will hold to my offer if you still want to take me upon it? :slight_smile:

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Very interesting, Valerie! I’m not sure why you think that some galaxies being older than expected is evidence for a drastically younger universe, though. It might necessitate a reappraisal of current theories of galaxy formation, but not of the age of the universe (at least, not toward a younger universe). As far as I can tell, the only reason someone would see this as evidence for a young universe is if they already presupposed a young universe.


One thing that’s worth pointing out is that Jason Lisle’s Anisotropic Synchrony Convention is not actually young earth creationism. He claims that it is, but it’s more accurately described as a form of day-age creationism. It works by changing the coordinate system of spacetime in a very contrived way to make the speed of light towards us infinite by definition and c/2 when moving away from us. It doesn’t change the fact that in the conventional, everyday coordinate system that everyone else uses, where the speed of light is the same in both directions, we still end up with an age for the universe of 13.8 billion years. This being the case, it’s simply a variation on the theme of “a day with the Lord is like a thousand years and a thousand years are like a day.”

It’s also worth pointing out that while the ASC is mathematically legitimate, it doesn’t respect the physical reality of what light is or how it works. The speed of light is intimately connected with all sorts of other physical phenomena such as the strengths of electric and magnetic fields, the relationship between matter and energy, the physical and chemical properties of matter, and a whole lot more. All that would break down completely if the speed of light towards us and the speed of light away from us were different.

I haven’t read his predictions very closely, and I’d probably need to ask the opinion of a professional cosmologist, but given the day-age nature of the ASC, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s used a lot more conventional science in making them than he’s letting on.


Nah, I personally don’t actually gamble, even if I do joke about it. :slightly_smiling_face:

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The presence of elements heavier than helium, including oxygen, is considered metallicity in astrophysics.

I would grant @thoughtful this much, that the JWST has handed us some confounding surprises. This is not like “we believed we would find the Higgs and we found the Higgs”. A number of observations so far do not line up with the timing of the expected evolution of the universe. But we already know that we have not figured out dark matter and some big picture factors.

On the other hand, Jason Lisle has also said that nobody has ever seen stars being formed, that gas tends to disperse, and blue stars are incompatible with an ancient universe. Kaput to that.

NASA’s Webb Catches Fiery Hourglass as New Star Forms

Despite the chaos that L1527 causes, it’s only about 100,000 years old - a relatively young body. Given its age and its brightness in far-infrared light as observed by missions like the Infrared Astronomical Satellite, L1527 is considered a class 0 protostar, the earliest stage of star formation. Protostars like these, which are still cocooned in a dark cloud of dust and gas, have a long way to go before they become full-fledged stars. L1527 doesn’t generate its own energy through nuclear fusion of hydrogen yet, an essential characteristic of stars. Its shape, while mostly spherical, is also unstable, taking the form of a small, hot, and puffy clump of gas somewhere between 20 and 40% the mass of our Sun.

As the protostar continues to gather mass, its core gradually compresses and gets closer to stable nuclear fusion. The scene shown in this image reveals L1527 doing just that. The surrounding molecular cloud is made up of dense dust and gas being drawn to the center, where the protostar resides. As the material falls in, it spirals around the center. This creates a dense disk of material, known as an accretion disk, which feeds material to the protostar. As it gains more mass and compresses further, the temperature of its core will rise, eventually reaching the threshold for nuclear fusion to begin.

The disk, seen in the image as a dark band in front of the bright center, is about the size of our solar system. Given the density, it’s not unusual for much of this material to clump together - the beginnings of planets. Ultimately, this view of L1527 provides a window into what our Sun and solar system looked like in their infancy.


The CNO cycle(Carbon-Nitrogen-Oxygen cycle) is thought to be a normal process occurring in the cores of giant stars(the first stars are predicted to be giant stars). While the first stars would have begun almost exclusively with Hydrogen and Helium, as they age they are expected to gradually convert more and more of their Hydrogen into Helium, combine Helium into Carbon through the triple-alpha process, at which point Carbon becomes available to participate in CNO cycles of various types that produce Oxygen.

The term “metallicity” is used in astronomy to refer to gas-phase abundance of oxygen relative to hydrogen, O/H. Not necessarily the metal content.

  1. Why would he expect galaxies at high redshifts? What reason is there to suppose high redshifts should even occur if the universe is 6000 years old or less?
  2. Who exactly predicted no galaxies should be found at these redshifts? It’s a bs claim, plain and simple.

Jason Lisle writes:

Secular astronomers use primarily the ESC system, in which case the light from very distant galaxies left billions of years ago and is only now reaching earth. In that system, the most distant galaxies we see are also the youngest. Therefore, secular astronomers expect that the JWST will show galaxies in the earliest stages of formation. They expect to see the earliest stars in the process of formation and in the process of assembling into galaxies.[6]

So I click reference 6 there to see who predicts this thing Jason is claiming will be overturned. So what’s reference 6? It’s this:

[6] Individual stars will not be easily visible at such distances. But astronomers will look for indirect signs of star formation.

That’s his reference 6. Him writing that is his reference 6 which is supposed(?) to be a citation to a claim about what secular astronomers are predicting will be observed by the JWST???42

What the actual…

What does that even mean? Galaxies come in a huge range of densities, sizes, and shapes, and they have different compositions in terms of their star age and size distributions, their metallicity ,and dust contents. There is no such thing as a galaxy that isn’t “fully formed”.

There is no real measure of galaxy “completeness”. And they aren’t “assembled”. They are basically just clusters of stars, gast and dust that coalesced under mutual gravitational attraction. And they come at a range of densities, compactness, sizes, etc.
At no point during this continuous process does a galaxy somehow transition from half-way “assembled” to fully “assembled” or whatever. The whole thing is a gradual and continuous process of gravitational collapse.

While on that topic, there is a whole range of proposed models of early stellar evolution, and part of the desire to build the JWST and try to look even further into the past is so that astronomers can better discriminate between models of early star and galaxy formation. There are huge uncertainties in the ranges of all sort of parameters, and it takes observation to rule certain models out.

So where is that evidence, again? Where are these heavy elements? And why did he expect that, again? Where in the Bible do I find a chart depicting the expected metallicity of population III stars with redshifts higher than 10?

The whole thing reads like a giant coping mechanism. Jason Lisle is trying to 1-up astronomers by “predicting” that stars in the universe are even older than they do?

Where’s his model that predicts these features? That’s right, nowhere. There is no model that says the distant universe should be any particular way on “Biblical” cosmology.

Now as for the actual paper that pop-sci article is based on:

It actually says these extremely distant galaxies appear to have essentially no dust in them and are metal-poor.


Life itself is a long series of gambles.

Let me try an analogy: Suppose scientists invent a scanning device that could find any almost fossil within the earth, and hominin fossils were found that dated to the Jurassic period.

It would be a result that would be difficult to explain. I see the JWST results being similar to that analogy.

The results are not evidence for a young universe. They’re evidence that the distribution of mature galaxies doesn’t fit the Big Bang model.

As far as I’m concerned, a modern creationist cosmological model could not give the age of the universe. In a model, age would be unknowable by science alone.

I have to read more of what Lisle wrote about ASC, but every time I read about things like negative energy or quantum entanglement, I think - there’s no reason why exotic physics can’t be at play. Maybe the photons far away and the ones we see are just entangled? Lol. Idk if that even makes sense. But physics is weird enough that it’s not impossible to imagine we could see things in the space almost as soon as they happen. The fact there is no one-way speed of light allows for it.

Lisle should have just quoted and referenced NASA for what secular astronomers predict. Their webpage says basically the same thing he does.

  • Assembly of Galaxies - Webb’s unprecedented infrared sensitivity will help astronomers to compare the faintest, earliest galaxies to today’s grand spirals and ellipticals, helping us to understand how galaxies assemble over billions of years.

So speaking of spiral galaxies and Webb:

You probably meant “the expected metallicity of [stars] with redshifts higher than 10” but anyway: God could create stars to be “mature” and place them anywhere in the universe, so He probably did. That sums up the prediction in my mind. :slightly_smiling_face:

That fits within the predictions of what he wrote that hasn’t been quoted so far. Emphases mine.

Furthermore, I expect the signal of some heavy elements in these galaxies. That is, I don’t expect to see evidence of genuine Population III stars – those with no heavy elements at all. Since I reject the big bang as the cause of the three lightest elements, I have no reason to believe that the universe was not created with some heavy elements already in it. So, I expect lots of Population II stars with low quantities of heavy elements, but not zero. Note that some secularists might try to “move the goalpost” by redefining Population III stars as having a very low fraction of heavy elements. But I predict it won’t be zero as required by the big bang model.

I’m looking to understand what predictions were about Population III stars were. This was helpful. Stellar population - Wikipedia

I guess the problem of few Population III stars has been around a while, and JWST is only going to make it worse.

Simulations and theoretical arguments predict population III stars to be substantially more massive than the chemically enriched stars that formed at later epochs. However, none of this has been observationally confirmed, since no bona fide population III objects have so far been found. Members of our group are using a combination of observations and numerical models to search for signatures of these stars in the first generations of galaxies.

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You’re missing the most important aspect of this prediction thing. People don’t make the predictions–the mechanistic hypotheses they advance do. I’m not seeing mechanisms here.

Exotic physics is always a possibility, but it isn’t a free pass to let you reject anything and everything about science that you don’t like.

This is the difference between science and pseudoscience. Science sees weird things such as quantum entanglement, and responds by conducting careful experiments and studies to try and figure out what we can and can not legitimately say about them. Pseudoscience sees weird things such as quantum entanglement, and responds by taking them as a free pass to make things up.


That would make hominin fossils approximately 500-1000% older than previously thought. That’s a very bad analogy, in terms of the magnitude of adjustment, for the situation with these galaxies.

Is anything being pushed back 500-1000%? That’s a no. Extremely exaggerated analogy you went for.

No, they’re not. That’s just not true.

Well I agree, because one can’t make a model for “God did it” if there is no reason to posit in what state or age God would create anything. So you can’t actually predict anything with creationist cosmology. You can only rationalize things as “what God totally would do” after the fact.

God could have done anything, literally. Created a perfectly spherical space 0.374 meters across and filled it only with empty soda cans and pocket lint.

Since your “prediction” comes after observation, and follows from no actual model (by your above admission you have none and consider the state of the age of the universe to be unknowable), it isn’t actually a prediction. It’s just ad-hoc rationalization.

Anyone can do this sort of after the fact “I knew it all along” bs.

First link: 8-10 billion years ago, not 100 million years after the Big Bang. That leaves 3.82 to 5.82 billion years for galaxy formation.
Second link: 8-11 billion years ago, not 100 million years after the Big Bang. 2.82 to 5.82 billion years after current estimates of the Big Bang.

At what redshift, Jason? 50 million years after the big bang? 100 million years? 367 million years?

Since I reject the big bang as the cause of the three lightest elements, I have no reason to believe that the universe was not created with some heavy elements already in it. So, I expect lots of Population II stars with low quantities of heavy elements, but not zero.

Why? You also have no reason to believe the universe was created with heavy elements other than on the Earth itself. So why are you predicting low-metallicity population II stars at very high redshifts again, I mean other than you trying to pull a fast one?

Note that some secularists might try to “move the goalpost” by redefining Population III stars as having a very low fraction of heavy elements. But I predict it won’t be zero as required by the big bang model.

Jason Lisle is proposing a physically very naive and unrealistic scenario for population III stars to have “very low fractions of heavy elements”, rather than absolutely zero. That just isn’t true, and in fact it is physically unavoidable that very massive stars will produce non-zero amounts of elements heavier than Helium, particularly when they go SN and pollute neighboring gas clouds with their ejecta, so that surrounding stars also contain heavier elements.

It’s a physically unrealistic and ridiculous notion to think you can somehow catch a glimpse of a galaxy before any of it’s blue supergiants stars have gone supernova and polluted nearby stars with it’s heavier elements. You’d have to detect it within the first 5-10 million years of it’s formation, because otherwise some of it’s most massive stars will already have gone supernova and polluted nearby stars with heavy elements. Stars would be continously forming and dying in overlapping intervals.

Jason is being fantastically misleading here.

Your last link says:

The very first stars likely formed when the Universe was about 100 million years old, prior to the formation of the first galaxies. As the elements that make up most of planet Earth had not yet formed, these primordial objects – known as population III stars – were made almost entirely of hydrogen and helium. As they exploded as supernovae, they ejected the heavy elements produced in their interiors into the interstellar medium.

100 million years. Almost entirely. The galaxy presumably observed at redshift 12 is approximately 367 million years old, so it’s stars had 267 million years to synthesize heavier elements and get polluted by neighboring SN explosions. Likely even have formed from such ejecta. Incidentally, the lifetimes of blue supergiant stars are thought to be in the 10 million year range. That’s 10 million years from formation to they go SN and eject heavier elements into the surroundings. The 367 million year old galaxy has already had quite a lot of time to blow up a lot of it’s stars. Finding that they aren’t composed exclusively of Hydrogen and Helium isn’t a contradiction to expectations.


But it isn’t analogous. Because it isn’t that difficult to explain. It’s not as if we had really firm predictions that this would not be seen.

These galaxies seem to represent a younger state of the universe, which would seem to fit the Big Bang model more than a model which had no identifiable age.

I’m pretty sure that it doesn’t make sense. How would the photons get entangled in the first place? And of course there is good reason not to invoke “exotic physics” when you have neither evidence nor even a reasonable hypothesis. It’s just wild and unsupported speculation - at best.


Maybe @thoughtful would be more amenable if the wager was a box of chocolates? :grin:

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Ah, the definition police. “Mechanistic” -that is a clever way to make this prediction not count.

Hmmm…hyperbole. Also a clever way to change the subject.

Oh, but Lisle already did. So show me any astronomer that predicted anything close to that for what Webb would see.

AND form a galaxy.

Then they wouldn’t have to be adjusting their models. Simulations didn’t show this.

I’m not saying the galaxies fit a model with no identifiable age. That science hasn’t been discovered yet. But they don’t seem to fit current physics either.

No YEC has ever come up with a coherent cosmological model; not Jason Lisle, not Danny Faulkner, nobody.

There is a fallacy of proportion here. Just because there exists some degree of uncertainty as to whether the universe might be 13 or 15 billion years old, does not allow that 6 thousand years is somehow in play. For one, science does not recognize any distant starlight problem, that light takes billions of years to travel from the horizon of the observable universe to earth is perfectly in line with all known physics. For another, there are hundreds of gravitationally interacting galaxies which display disruptions which would take place over millions of years. As well, we can see cosmic jets which stretch out distances that, from the velocities observed, would would require tens of thousands of years to traverse; and the compressed boundaries of bubbles where powerful radiation has pushed out gas. Then of course there is the CMB. The dynamic universe does not display some end point of maturity. The universe displays age.


Um, no. That makes no sense. ASC says light gets here instantaneously and so we are observing the stars in real time. What does that have to do with discussions about the length of the days in Genesis 1? Nothing. You seem to be claiming that anyone who uses relativity theory or something must be a day-age theorist. That’s absurd.

I used to have this objection to the ASC. Then I learned that people made the same exact objection to Newtonian mechanics, and many other things in physics as well. Newton was asked how a force can act at a distance without touching something, and he famously declined to answer. IOW, his system didn’t make physical sense to people, and yet it won the day because the math worked. Since then, we have new theories of gravity but virtually all physics involves forces acting at a distance and no one today thinks that’s strange. Turns out physical reasoning depends a lot on background information and is often in the eye of the beholder.

It still counts as pseudoscience. Even if the hypothesis was mechanistic (it isn’t), it’s still a bad move to personalize predictions, as it precludes objectivity.

Ahh okay, I see how it is now. So I can just say that my own model predicts something that another model predicts, for no reason. To try to score point for my model too?

I don’t have to sort of explain why my model predicts something with, you know, a mechanism. An equation that describes the evolution of the system over time with a set of parameters, such that at certain times certain things should develop because of various forces acting on materials that are distributed a certain way initially?

Not required. Okay cool. That’ll be fun going forward.

Predicted what, exactly? At what redshifts did Jason Lisle predict that something X should exist and why? All he did was declare that the JWST should observe something actually already known to unavoidably have existed.

There isn’t any version of the Big Bang model that says we should be able to catch a galaxy in the initial state of formation in the short window of time where it’s first supergiant stars have formed but before any of them have gone supernova, with the JWST.

There are numerous models of early star formation, but none of them entail there should be entire galaxies filled with 1st generation stars consisting exclusively of H and He, that all mysteriously formed almost exactly simultaneously, but before any of them have gone SN and polluted each other.
There isn’t anyone who expected the JWST to be able to detect individual population III stars with zero elements other than H and He, among other reasons because they are expected to be supergiant stars that unavoidably due to their size will produce elements heavier than H and He. And the older such a star gets the more of it’s gas will have been converted to heavier elements.

You’d have to find and detect individual stars in their very infancy, within a few thousand years of fusion ignition. It’s ridiculous. Jason has to know this. He’s pulling a fast one on you.

Discovering galaxies composed of stars with very low but non-zero metallicity isn’t a prediction of YEC. It’s actually an expected result on big bang cosmology. It is unavoidable that before enough stars have formed and collected into an entire galaxy, some of them will already have gone SN and ejected material into their surroundings. Because the gas doesn’t just sit around waiting until all the stars can begin to form simultaneously so future astronomers can do spectroscopy on them. It’s a fatuous suggestion.



That’s not true at all. The point is that nobody claimed that the models were definitely correct. If they had, you would have a point. But they didn’t. This result was always a possibility.

That is a serious exaggeration. There is nothing contradictory to known physics in this result.