The 10 biggest physics and astronomy lies from 2023

Science, as an enterprise, is a work in progress.

And sometimes, dubious work on its frontiers masquerades as revolutionary truths.

Here are 10 cases where bad science might have fooled you in 2023.

population iii stars

10.) Astronomers found the Universe’s first stars.

galaxy spectrum He O

Truth: they’re definitely out there, but remain undiscovered so far.

lensing magnification curves dark matter wave

9.) Dark matter is wave-like in nature.

lensing geometry standard wave dark matter

Truth: one poorly-observed system is no basis for such sweeping conclusions.

jwst background galaxies

8.) JWST’s distant galaxies disprove the Big Bang.

likelihood of early galaxies vs age for jwst

Truth: deviations from expectations are slight, and remain consistent with modern cosmology.

big bang mirage

7.) The expanding Universe is a mirage.

hydrogen spin flip

Truth: terrestrial laboratory experiments contradict the study’s unphysical assumptions.

age vs cosmology and redshift

6.) The Universe is actually 26.7 billion years old.

uranium oxide oklo nuclear reactor

Truth: Historical observations rule this alternative out.

superconductor quantum levitation

5.) LK-99 is a room-temperature superconductor.

LK-99 conductor not superconductor

Truth: its resistance never drops to zero; it never superconducts.

Earth-like exoplanet

4.) Exoplanet K2-18b is an inhabited ocean world.

atmosphere spectrum jwst K2-18b

Truth: that claim crumbles without dimethyl sulfide, which was never detected.

galaxy quasar hybrid

3.) Time ran slower in the cosmic past.

expanding universe

Truth: time’s passes remains unchanged, but cosmic expansion dilates propagating light.

Nasa's nasa spacecraft nasa's nasa spacecraft n.

2.) Binary stars prove (or disprove) MOND.

albireo yellow blue double star

Truth: this uncertainty-riddled method begets only unreliable conclusions.

Loeb metal spherules

1.) We’ve found alien technology on the ocean floor.

metal spherules pollution

Truth: it was industrial pollution, and a charlatan fooling himself.

iron fractionation ratios as found in the 9 spherules recovered by Avi Loeb

Always demand overwhelming evidence.

baryon acoustic oscillations Ho'oleilana

Mostly Mute Monday tells an astronomical story in images, visuals, and no more than 200 words.


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