Cosmology Intelligent Design

At Aeon: Dark matter search derailed by dogma?

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Question: Have we found more dark matter than fairies all this time?

The issues at stake are huge. Acceptance of dark matter has influenced scientific thinking about the birth of the Universe, the evolution of galaxies and black holes, and the fundamental laws of physics. Yet even within academic circles, there is a lot of confusion about dark matter, with evidence and interpretation often conflated in misleading and unproductive ways …

This is how I stumbled into the field in the late 1990s. I was studying the dynamics of small satellite galaxies as they orbit our galaxy, the Milky Way. From observation, we expected that these satellite galaxies must contain a lot of dark matter, from 10 to 1,000 times as much as their visible, normal matter. During my calculations, I made a perplexing discovery. My simulations produced satellite galaxies that look much like the ones actually observed, but they contained no dark matter. It seemed that observers had made wrong assumptions about the way the stars move within the satellite galaxies; dark matter was not required to explain their structures.

Pavel Kroupa, “Has dogma derailed the scientific search for dark matter?” at Aeon

It’s a lot like Darwinian evolution except that, in this case, people are willing to talk about it.

See also: Are dark matter and dark energy scientific?

8 Replies to “At Aeon: Dark matter search derailed by dogma?

  1. 1
    PaV says:

    How about this?

    Together with Benoit Famaey in Strasbourg, my small group in Bonn is moving ahead anyway. Yes, we are being punished by not being granted some research money, but in our computers we are discovering a universe full of galaxies that look just like the real things – and this is awfully exciting. MOND could be the next great advance in gravitational research, building on the work of Newton and Einstein. This year’s detection of gravitational waves allows exciting new possibilities. Those waves have travelled cosmological distances, and so have passed through regions where Milgrom’s low-threshold effect should be significant. Gravitational wave studies will provide the kind of data needed to refine our ideas about MOND, and to explore cosmological thinking outside the constraints of dogma.

    What do you know? Scientists being “punished” for their views by being denied grants and who also feel the “constraints of dogma.” Yes, just like Darwinism.

  2. 2
    Seversky says:

    “Punished” for being denied grants? I wonder how many researchers are denied grants without feeling that they are being “punished” by an establishment for holding unorthodox views?

  3. 3
    Seversky says:

    Actually, it is the vicious attacks by unreconstructed Paleyists on theistic evolutionists that looks more like an attempt to impose religious orthodoxy.

  4. 4
    Jim Thibodeau says:

    If being denied a research grant is punishment, then literally every scientist I’ve ever known has been punished.

  5. 5
    Truthfreedom says:

    Moreira and López-García put forward their review (Ten reasons to exclude viruses from the tree of life. Nature Rev. Microbiol. 7, 306–311 (2009) as a decalogue on the position of giant viruses in the tree of life, mainly directed against our work on Mimivirus. My opinion is that, according to K. Popper,
    this reaction is more religious than scientific,
    and more the result of deductions than observed data. I propose an eleventh reason to exclude viruses from the tree of life: there is no such thing as a tree of life.
    Didier Raoult

    Dogmas anyone?

  6. 6
    Belfast says:

    If I ever buy a parrot I am going to call it Seversky.

  7. 7
    BobRyan says:

    The problem with science today is that most scientist must work for a corporation, university/college or a government. They must rely on grants for the money they need and will say whatever they need to say in order to get grants. Without grants, there is simply not enough money to perform experiments.
    What is needed is a modern day Edison. He may have been arrogant and had no problem taking credit for the work of others, since he never included their name on the patents. Edison also paid his people well and left them alone to experiment without red tape.
    Of scientists were not as afraid of the loss of grants, I wonder how many would actually be in support of macro-evolution today?

  8. 8
    martin_r says:

    Belfast @6

    i know it was your idea, i hope you don’t mind – if I ever buy a toy clown I am going to call it Seversky.

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