I detect a blind spot in this article. Theorists were quick to offer explanations of why the fine-structure constant might have been different 12 billion years ago. But no one thought to question the chain of reasoning that led to that conclusion. We know that quasar spectra are drastically redshifted during their multibillion-year journey to Earth. Is it absurd to imagine that they might be slightly stretched or compressed as well, that the cosmological redshift might act differently on different wavelengths? Of course, to entertain such an idea would be to question our understanding of Big Bang cosmology. Apparently, these theorists find the notion of variable constants easier to swallow. Gregory Kusnick
Seattle, Wash.