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Is Discover mag’s “blasphemy” about dark matter really about fine tuning?

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It might be.

Further to Blasphemy about dark matter: A second career for Torquemada? Or is the whole “denialism” sturm-und-flapdoodle beginning to attract well-deserved mockery?:

Note this from the paywalled article:

If dark matter is responsible for such uniform rotation speeds, it would require an extraordinarily precise distribution of the invisible stuff – “fine-tuning in the extreme,” as Milgrom calls it. “It’s like taking 100 building blocks and throwing them on the floor, and lo and behold, I see a castle.” MOND offers an explanation he finds more plausible: “You don’t need the hidden mass.” The desired effects can be explained by modifying our understanding of gravity.

The two scientists who propose tweaking Newton’s laws of gravity to eliminate the need for dark matter (not a single particle of which has so far been captured, despite the claim that it makes up 84% of the matter in the universe) are Milgrom and Stacy McGaugh.

McGaugh’s investigations of the countercultural MOND have exposed him to professional hardship and a barrage of criticism. “I’ve forgotten more slights than most people suffer,” he quips. “A new generation of students raised to believe in dark matter often assumes I must be some kind of crackpot.”

Still, he and Milgrom are not alone in taking MOND seriously. Other respected physicists have signed on, too, among them contemporary researchers in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, the U.K., the U.S. and elsewhere. All told, more than 100 astronomers have published scientific papers on the subject.

Yes, but all that might not count for anything.

Consider: The multiverse is unfalsifiable, which is okay.

But fine tuning is radioactive.

Proposing a change to our statements of the laws of gravity in order to eliminate fine tuning as a factor in our universe merely advertises how severe the problem  is.

That’s got to be playing a role in these guys’ problems.

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2 Replies to “Is Discover mag’s “blasphemy” about dark matter really about fine tuning?

  1. 1
    ppolish says:

    While the recognized mother of all fine tuning is Dark Energy (ie cosmological constant), you’re right News – Dark Matter is pretty darn special too. Need just the right amount to keep the galaxies spinning consistently abnormally.

    Material 4%. Dark Matter 23%. Dark Energy 73%. Materialists, even if right, understand 4%. And they’re not even right.

  2. 2
    lukebarnes says:

    No, it’s not about fine-tuning for life.

    “Fine-tuning” is a technical physics term. It just means that some outcome is very sensitive to input assumptions. In this case, the thing that is sensitive is claimed to be the flatness of galaxy rotation curves. It’s not about life.

    I haven’t read the article (paywall!) but the claim made above seems implausible. Uniform rotation speeds don’t require a very precise distribution of dark matter. It just needs large, diffuse haloes, which is exactly what we see in massive simulations of cosmological structure formation.

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