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Astrophysicist: What’s to choose between dark matter/energy and ghosts?

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Adam Frank confronts the question at NPR: One difference, he says, is data:

There are literally thousands of studies now of those rotating-too-fast galaxies out there — and they all get the same, quite noticeable result. In other words, data for the existence of dark matter is prevalent. It’s not like you see the effect once in a while but then it disappears. The magnitude of the result — meaning its strength — also stays pretty consistent from one study to the next. The same holds true for studies of dark energy.

No such luck with ghosts.

Sure, but a true believer in ghosts would be sure to point out that ghosts are considered intelligent, not inanimate. So seeing them is harder if they don’t want us to. Yes, yes, we know, but Frank’s analogy doesn’t quite work at this point.

But here is the rub. For years now, people have been looking for direct evidence of dark matter. This is the equivalent of seeing a ghost with your own eyes rather than seeing the kitchen drawers it keeps opening. After a whole lot of work, no one has found conclusive evidence for a dark matter particle (dark energy is different kind of story in terms of direct searches).

It’s still early in the game but, at some point, if nothing is found, scientists may have to re-evaluate their “belief” in dark matter. More.

Yes! That’s just the point: People who believe in ghosts tend to believe no matter. The physicists’ willingness to rethink the belief if no evidence turns up is what makes it science.

See also: Scientific American: Dark matter explanation flawed, but what should replace it?

How do dark energy and dark matter relate to ID?

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6 Replies to “Astrophysicist: What’s to choose between dark matter/energy and ghosts?

  1. 1
    ppolish says:

    A galaxy 10 billion lights years away sees us flying away at an extraordinary speed due to Dark Energy. My older brother swears he saw it bend a spoon once. Swears to this day.

  2. 2
    ppolish says:

    Although that distant galaxy sees us speeding away at an incredible speed – I feel pretty stationary laying on my couch. I do get dizzy sometimes when I get up. Dark Energy right there.

  3. 3
    Jon Garvey says:

    Astronomical inference to dark matter would, of course, be about the statistical aggregate of the stuff. If dark matter were made up of, say, ghosts, they would still behave predicatbly at cosmic level, just as human behaviour can be studied statistically.

    There are more things in heaven and earth…

  4. 4
    ppolish says:

    It’s called “dark matter” because it does not shine or reflect light. That rules out “ghost matter” – think Casper or Harold Ramis.

    But isn’t that a bit narrow sighted? Maybe dark matter has a peculiar smell or vibrates distinctly. Eyesight Privledge boo hiss.

    Launch a sniffing, vibration seeking satellite? Name it the “Helen Keller”. Or how about “SBD” (Silent but Deadly).

  5. 5
    Vy says:

    There are literally thousands of studies now of those rotating-too-fast galaxies out there — and they all get the same, quite noticeable result. In other words, data for the existence of dark matter is prevalent.

    Let me get this straight: The supposed “evidence” for the dark matter fudge factor is the consistent observation of stuff (“rotating-too-fast galaxies” and friends) that made cosmic Darwinists invent the dark matter fudge factor? Circular reasoning much?

    But here is the rub. For years now, people have been looking for direct evidence of dark matter. This is the equivalent of seeing a ghost with your own eyes rather than seeing the kitchen drawers it keeps opening.

    What???

    After a whole lot of work …

    … and wishful thinkful + extensive after-the-fact model tweaking.

    dark energy is different kind of story in terms of direct searches

    I can imagine considering the search for this fudge factor and its brother, dark matter, has been a complete and utter failure, need I mention an enormous waste of money just to cling onto BB Theory straws.

  6. 6
    BrianFraser says:

    From the paper “Beyond Einstein: non-local physics” by Brian Fraser (2015):
    ***
    “Galactic rotation: no “dark matter” is needed”

    The existence of “dark matter” is inferred mostly from the characteristics of galactic rotation: “most stars in spiral galaxies orbit at roughly the same speed. . . . These results suggest that either Newtonian gravity does not apply universally or that, conservatively, upwards of 50% of the mass of galaxies was contained in the relatively dark galactic halo. ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_matter#Galactic_rotation_curves )

    But no dark matter is needed, just an alternative conclusion: Stars in a galaxy do not “orbit” the central bulge. Their motion is NOT comparable to planetary orbits in a solar system. This is a much different situation.

    Picture two small galaxies approaching each other. The chances are good that the approach will be off-center (not co-linear). Two effects will become apparent immediately. The differential effects of gravitation will cause the galactic blobs to “string out” into a line of stars. The off-center approach will cause the system to rotate around its barycenter (forming a spiral). The barycenter core is initially formed from the stars on the leading edge of each galaxy which experience a stronger gravitational pull and form a central nucleus of stars, usually accompanied by a visible “bar” of stars connecting the leading edges of the strung-out stars. Gravitation changes the direction of the stellar motion far more than the speed. The result is that, as quoted above, “most stars in spiral galaxies orbit at roughly the same speed”. And they do so because their original speed of approach remains mostly unchanged.

    It is not rotation or “centrifugal force” that keeps the stars separated. The separation is maintained by the same mechanism as with non-rotating star structures like globular clusters. There is a mass-dependent distance where gravitation and the outward expansion of space are at an equilibrium. Gravitation has an inverse square force distribution, but the expansion of space is centerless and uniform. There is necessarily an equilibrium position for these forces. For stars it is a few light years; for galaxies, it is a few million light years. Hence, the galactic stars will not coalesce with each other, but they are still stuck inside the galaxy’s overall gravitation.
    ***
    The free 22 page paper can be downloaded from: http://scripturalphysics.org/4.....stein.html The .html file gives a link to the .pdf file but the former has additional information, and many more links and insights.

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