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Does dark matter really exist?

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In “Dark matter no-show hobbles elegant particle theory” (New Scientist, 19 July 2012), Lisa Grossman reports

Dark matter stubbornly refuses to come out of the shadows. The latest results from an underground detector show no sign of WIMPs, or weakly interacting massive particles, the still-theoretical particles thought to make up the invisible majority of the universe’s mass.

The result puts the strictest limits yet on the particle’s properties, and may squeeze out some favourite extensions to the standard model of particle physics.

Dark matter is the mysterious stuff dreamed up by cosmologists to explain why galaxies don’t fly apart and why matter in the universe clusters the way it does. To explain the universe we see, dark matter must make up 83 per cent of all matter. But it doesn’t emit light or speak to ordinary matter at all, except through gravity.

If it exists. Read on.

Just a few weeks ago, astronomers claimed to have proven the existence of massive amounts of dark matter by its effect as a gravity lens-- http://in.news.yahoo.com/invisible-dark-matter-skeleton-universe-detected-first-time-044410646.html "But no one had directly detected it until now. "We found the dark matter filaments. For the first time, we can see them," said Jorg Dietrich, a physics research fellow in the University of Michigan College of Literature, Science and the Arts. Dark matter, whose composition is still a mystery, doesn't emit or absorb light, so astronomers can't see it directly with telescopes. They deduce that it exists based on how its gravity affects visible matter. Scientists estimate that dark matter makes up more than 80 percent of the universe. To "see" the dark matter component of the filament that connects the clusters Abell 222 and 223, Dietrich and his colleagues took advantage of a phenomenon called gravitational lensing." mahuna
The existence of Dark Matter was predicted by ID. Mung
butifnot: That's "ad hoc" -- no k, and no hyphen -- but I agree with you. It seems to me that much of modern cosmology is made up of ad hoc adjustments to preserve the previous body of theory. And this is striking. In the mainstream, successful natural sciences, experimental chemistry and physics, once a theory requires too many "patches," it falls into disrepute, and scientists start to look for a new theory; but in cosmology, even though the Big Bang scenario has been patched so many times that it's now more patches than original theory, the cosmologists are still holding onto it. It never seems to occur to them that at some point, by Ockham's Razor, junking the Big Bang altogether may be the most economical approach. I stress here that I have no theological objection to the Big Bang; the Big Bang is compatible with the theology of just about any significant religious tradition. But I'm pretty unimpressed with scientists who hold onto the Big Bang by inventing major entities -- dark matter and dark energy -- which had nothing to do with the original theory, and are barely, and then only with great theoretical and empirical strain, even compatible with it. Especially when they loudly announce to the world every six months that the latest measurement or the latest theoretical breakthrough is going to challenge our most fundamental notions of time, space, creation, etc. If it's time to scrap the Big Bang, let's bite the bullet and get on with it. Timaeus
- NO - dark matter is an ad-hock explanation added because things weren't behaving the way astronomers theories said they should. butifnot

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