I've read an analogy that finding iron-rich galaxies just 900 years after the Big Bang is like finding an old man in a crib in a nursery. We just recently found a supermassive black hole 12 billion solar masses at Z > 6. Our current understanding is that a Black Hole this size would take billions of years to form, yet there it is just 900 million years old. There is also the Methuselah star in our own galaxy that is on the very edge of the margin of error. What other evidence is there that the universe might be older than the currently popular age of 13.8 billion years?

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    $\begingroup$ Did you mean 12 billion solar masses? $\endgroup$ – John Rennie Feb 27 '15 at 16:29
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    $\begingroup$ This doesn't count as "evidence" but it's interesting to note that the 13.8 was calculated for a flat universe. Increasing the curvature to a slightly closed universe and adjusting the other values of matter and dark energy densities to balance the total back to 1 (as it needs to be) gives ages for the universe that are between 13 and 16 billion years, but in all cases, the age of the universe calculated is always around $1/H_0$ (which is the factor in front of that integral coincidentally). Point is, if the universe is slightly closed, you get the age as older $\endgroup$ – Jim Feb 27 '15 at 16:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Jimdalf, I have a tough time with lambda-CDM. As a general rule, if you throw six variables at an equation, you can describe just about anything by tuning them. lambda-CDM hasn't predicted a single thing, it is simply the result of making a formula with six degrees of freedom match the data. $\endgroup$ – Quarkly Feb 27 '15 at 16:54
  • $\begingroup$ Related: physics.stackexchange.com/q/11136/2451 and links therein. $\endgroup$ – Qmechanic Feb 27 '15 at 16:54
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    $\begingroup$ @DRAirey1 well I disagree with that part about $\Lambda CDM$. It's predicted lot's of things. And there's not much tuning you can do, it's just that slightly closed is not usually a considered option for reasons that were nullified some years ago. The data fits flat, but it also fits slightly closed and the age increases but not by much. Either way, $\Lambda CDM$ is a good model $\endgroup$ – Jim Feb 27 '15 at 17:10

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