No way would it let the baby and bubble universes have all the current attention to themselves, endearingly cooing and kicking, while the parallel universe lurks jealously in a dark corner …
So yes, a possible parallel universe of dark matter is also currently on offer at Discover:
Acknowledging that dark matter might have some of the same kind of diversity as visible matter may seem a minor adjustment. But it’s one that has, as Randall narrates in an excited staccato, “super-dramatic consequences.” If one variety of dark matter can clump together, it could form a panoply of previously unimagined dark structures. It could ball up into dark stars surrounded by dark planets made of dark atoms. In the most extravagant leap of possibility, this new kind of dark matter might even allow the existence of dark life.
We could be sitting right on top of a whole shadow galaxy and not even know it.
The turnabout shouldn’t really come as much of a surprise. Galileo began chipping away at humans’ sense of self-importance a full five centuries ago, when he proved that Earth does not sit at the center of the universe, no matter how things look to us. Yet the tendency to judge the cosmos based on appearances (and assumptions of our primacy) has proved tenacious.
Once the argument devolves into “We think we are special but we aren’t,” one can be pretty sure that most of what follows is tech-friendly bunk. Whether we are special is irrelevant; that rhetoric is just a sign of a bad argument.
Rule of thumb: If these guys really had evidence of anything significant, it wouldn’t matter whether it endorsed or detracted from the opinion that we are special.
Content warning: Skeptical scientists also accused of “light-matter chauvinism”:
Getting mainstream scientists to move past their light-matter chauvinism and take that shadow world seriously will require some highly convincing evidence. Weniger frets that the Fermi observations are too ambiguous to do the trick. “What one needs is more data with the same experiment to establish that the signal is there,” he says.
It’s not like the signal’s not there, or anything. No, never that.