Philosopher of science Bjørn Ekeberg, author of *Metaphysical Experiments: Physics and the Invention of the Universe,* reflects on recent discrepancies in the measurement of the universe’s expansion, the so-far-unsuccessful hunt for dark matter, and other research downers:

It’s perhaps worth stopping to ask why astrophysicists hypothesize dark matter to be everywhere in the universe? The answer lies in a peculiar feature of cosmological physics that is not often remarked. For a crucial function of theories such as dark matter, dark energy and inflation, which each in its own way is tied to the big bang paradigm, is not to describe known empirical phenomena but rather to maintain the mathematical coherence of the framework itself while accounting for discrepant observations. Fundamentally, they are names for something that must exist insofar as the framework is assumed to be universally valid.

Each new discrepancy between observation and theory can of course in and of itself be considered an exciting promise of more research, a progressive refinement toward the truth. But when it adds up, it could also suggest a more confounding problem that is not resolved by tweaking parameters or adding new variables.

Bjørn Ekeberg, “Cosmology Has Some Big Problems” atScientific American

Sometimes what we are looking for isn’t there because things don’t work the way we thought. Phlogiston and the ether are examples of that. They were reasonable ideas centuries ago but chemistry and physics don’t work the way proponents thought.

Are we there again?

The crux of today’s cosmological paradigm is that in order to maintain a mathematically unified theory valid for the entire universe, we must accept that 95 percent of our cosmos is furnished by completely unknown elements and forces for which we have no empirical evidence whatsoever. For a scientist to be confident of this picture requires an exceptional faith in the power of mathematical unification.

In the end, the conundrum for cosmology is its reliance on the framework as a necessary presupposition for conducting research. For lack of a clear alternative, as astrophysicist Disney also notes, it is in a sense stuck with the paradigm. It seems more pragmatic to add new theoretical floors than to rethink the fundamentals.

Bjørn Ekeberg, “Cosmology Has Some Big Problems” atScientific American

All that said, faith in mathematics is better than faith in a lucky rabbit’s foot because the mathematics might make sense someday.

*Note:* Sabine Hossenfelder seems to be writing along these lines in *Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray.*

*See also:* Rob Sheldon: Here’s why physicists are surprised by the universe’s increased expansion rate The two methods differ in that one is “direct” and the other “indirect”. Clearly one or both of them is making a mistake. Since it is hard to find (and people have looked) a reason why the direct method is failing, the feeling is that the indirect method must have a mistake in its model.

and

Discover: Even the best dark matter theories are crumbling

there is a difference between applying math to empirical observations and using math for an assumption based fudge factor like the missing dark matter or the missing dark energy, or the assumed ongoing cosmic expansion..

reference the Moshe Emes for understanding science series volume II ‘SPIRAL cosmological redshift hypothesis and model’ where all the empirical evidence can align without those assumptions and fudge factors, based on a light speed limit of ‘c’ standard light speed. (so still assumption based, as is science by nature, as probability based.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DP4TBZ5

as to:

The belief that there should be just one overarching theory of everything, whether theoretical physicists realize it or not, as the OP hints at, is a belief that is not born out of empirical evidence, but is a presupposition that is born out of theism.

As John D Barrow stated “Our monotheistic traditions reinforce the assumption that the universe is at root a unity, that is not governed by different legislation in different places.”

Professor Steven Fuller articulates the hidden Theistic presumption, that undergirds the belief that there should even be a single overarching mathematical ‘theory of everything’, very well in the following quote;

Likewise, Father Robert Barron weighs in here:

In fact, it was Sir Isaac Newton’s Theistic presupposition that allowed the first major unification in physics (and arguably the founding of modern empirical science itself):

In regards to this first unification, Sir Isaac Newton stated: “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. And if the fixed stars are the centres of other like systems, these, being formed by the like wise counsel, must be all subject to the dominion of One;,,,”

Nor is it a presupposition (that there should be just on unifying mathematical theory of everything) that is born out of math. In fact, Godel proved mathematics is incomplete.

And as Vern Poythress stated in the following article after detailed analysis of Godel’s incompleteness theorems, since anti-theistic mathematics “will not acknowledge the true God, wise Creator of both the human mind with its mathematical intuition and the external world with its mathematical properties”,,, then the “anti-theistic philosophy of mathematics is condemned to oscillate between the poles of a priori knowledge and a posteriori knowledge.”

Moreover, as Stanley Jaki stated, “Clearly then no scientific cosmology, which of necessity must be highly mathematical, can have its proof of consistency within itself as far as mathematics go.,,, This is true even if the theory happened to account for perfect accuracy for all phenomena of the physical world known at a particular time.”

Yet we do not have just one theory in science that has ‘perfect accuracy’. We have two theories that reveal ‘perfect accuracy’.

Of related interest, and as the following article states, “The first attempt at unifying relativity and quantum mechanics took place when special relativity was merged with electromagnetism. This created the theory of quantum electrodynamics, or QED. It is an example of what has come to be known as relativistic quantum field theory, or just quantum field theory. QED is considered by most physicists to be the most precise theory of natural phenomena ever developed.”

The unification of special relativity and quantum mechanics came at the expense of ‘brushing infinity under the rug”

Richard Feynman (and others) were only able to unify special relativity and quantum mechanics into Quantum Electrodynamics by quote unquote “brushing infinity under the rug” with a technique called Renormalization.

This “brushing infinity under the rug” with QED never set right with Feynman.

In the following video, Richard Feynman expresses his unease with “brushing infinity under the rug” in Quantum-Electrodynamics:

I don’t know about Richard Feynman, but as for myself, being a Christian Theist, I find it rather comforting to know that it takes an ‘infinite amount of logic to figure out what one stinky tiny bit of space-time is going to do’:

The reason why I find it rather comforting is because of John 1:1, which says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” ‘The Word’ in John 1:1 is translated from ‘Logos’ in Greek. Logos also happens to be the root word from which we derive our modern word logic.

So that it would take an infinite amount of logic to know what tiny bit of spacetime is going to do is pretty much exactly what one should expect to see under Christian presuppositions.

In fact, as a Christian Theist, I find both the double slit and quantum electrodynamics to be extremely comforting for Christian concerns.

Besides ‘brushing infinity under the rug’ the mathematical unification of special reality and quantum mechanics also came at the expense of quantum measurement. As Sheldon Lee Glashow states, “Although quantum field theory is fully compatible with the special theory of relativity, a relativistic treatment of quantum measurement has yet to be formulated.”

That is to say, although special relativity and quantum mechanics were mathematically unified in QED by “brushing infinity under the rug”, this unification between special relativity and quantum mechanics into Quantum Electrodynamics has left the entire enigma of Quantum Measurement on the cutting room floor.

Yet quantum measurement is precisely where conscious observation makes its presence fully felt in quantum mechanics. As the following researcher stated, “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it.”

Thus since QED, and by extension the standard model itself, has left quantum measurement, i.e. conscious observation, on the cutting room floor by “brushing infinity under the rug”, then it necessarily follows that our best theory of the interactions of the fundamental particles of the universe will never include an adequate account of consciousness. Yet consciousness is inextricably bound to quantum mechanics in such a fundamental way so as to make it an irreducible part of quantum theory, and thus an irreducible part of any other theory that may seek to be unified with quantum theory:

In short, although QED is empirically robust, it is still, since it has left measurement on the cutting room floor, nonetheless fatally flawed as a correct step towards a coherent mathematical ‘theory of everything’.

And although special relativity, by ‘brushing infinity under the rug’, has been successfully unified with quantum theory to produce Quantum Electrodynamics, no such mathematical ‘sleight of hand’ exists for unifying general relativity with quantum mechanics.

General relativity, as the following articles show, simply refuses to be mathematically unified with quantum mechanics in any acceptable way. In technical terms, Gravity has yet to be successfully included into a theory of everything since the infinities that crop up in that attempt are not renormalizable as they were in Quantum-Electrodynamics.

The irreconcilable infinity problem between Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity, and how it relates to Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem, is dealt with in a little bit more detail in the following video.

And as was also touched upon in the preceding video, I believe that the correct reconciliation of Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity into the much sought after ‘theory of everything’ was accomplished via Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead.

Verse:

According to wikipedia, dark matter was invented in 1932 by Ian Oort specifically to fudge his data to agree with his theory. No such phenomenon has ever been observed without first assuming that it was there.

The first step in the scientific method is “Observe something.” Dark matter is not science, it is fiction.