Cosmology in Perpetual Crisis
Secular cosmologists are no closer to the truth than they were 20 years ago.
Cosmologists, like occult wizards, deal in dark secrets. Dark matter and dark energy are their stock in trade. Nobody seems to know what these mysterious entities are; they seem to lurk in “dark sectors” or “hidden valleys” of the universe, PhysOrg claims. Could dark matter be linked to primordial black holes, as another PhysOrg piece suggests? That notion seems as good as any other, since empirical studies have led nowhere.
The nature of dark matter remains one of the most important unresolved issues in astrophysics. Scientists currently favor theoretical models that explain dark matter as an exotic massive particle, but so far searches have failed to turn up evidence these hypothetical particles actually exist. NASA is currently investigating this issue as part of its Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope missions.
“These studies are providing increasingly sensitive results, slowly shrinking the box of parameters where dark matter particles can hide,” Kashlinsky said. “The failure to find them has led to renewed interest in studying how well primordial black holes—black holes formed in the universe’s first fraction of a second—could work as dark matter.”
Another crisis surrounds early maturity in the universe. Since we first reported that the “grand finale came first” (1/08/02), astronomers have continued to find massive structures further back in time. An example is this recent headline on PhysOrg, “A young mammoth cluster of galaxies sighted in the early universe.” Do cosmologists know what’s going on? No; “The formation and early history of these clusters is not well understood.” Science Daily announced the faintest galaxy ever seen, when the universe was even younger. There’s only hope that this observation will contribute to “unraveling one of the biggest mysteries in astronomy: how a period known as the ‘cosmic dark ages‘ ended.” Dark, dark, dark.
A new crisis came to cosmologists this week. Astrophysicists were surprised in the 1990s to find that the universe is not only expanding, but accelerating in its outward expansion. Now, they’re saying it’s expanding about 9% “faster than thought” (Science Daily), and none of them know why. Dark matter, dark energy, and dark radiation all play roles in this tragic drama. Space.com describes the reaction of the experts of our culture: “Surprise! The Universe Is Expanding Faster Than Scientists Thought.”
New Scientist asks why this is happening. Notice the options:
“The results are pretty clear right now,” [David] Spergel [of Princeton] says. “In a year or two they will be better. Either the discrepancy will start to go away as the data improves, or it will turn out to be the signature of new physics.”
The situation has many physicists, including [Adam] Riess [of the Space Telescope Science Institute], excited. It could mean that dark energy is growing denser over time, and the universe will eventually end in a catastrophic “big rip“. It could mean Einstein was wrong, requiring changes to his well-tested theory of relativity. Or it could invoke a shady new particle secretly pulling the universe’s strings.
A video clip in the article explains that two methods of measuring the universe’s expansion don’t agree. Either one or the other is wrong, “but if both are right, we’ve got physics seriously wrong.” Physics is commonly thought to be one of the hardest of the “hard sciences.”
Maybe Elon Musk is right. Maybe we’re all living in a huge computer simulation. Why does the technology innovator think so? New Scientist says it’s because he’s been watching the explosive growth in computer power over the last few decades. Geraint Lewis, author of the article, points to the uncanny fine-tuning of the constants of physics that allows complex life to exist. “Science offers no definite answers to the question of whether our universe is really a simulation, and Musk’s odds are little more than wishful thinking,” Lewis ends. “But at the moment, they are as good as anyone else’s.” Just hope the simulation computer doesn’t suffer a power outage.
Two truths are evident in these articles: (1) Secular cosmology is not supported by the evidence (indeed, it is contrary to the evidence). (2) When people cease to believe in God, they will believe the craziest ideas imaginable. One of our first articles was about “cosmic illogic” where an astronomy writer listed all the puzzling and contradictory things about cosmology then. That was in 2001. Here, 15 years later, the world’s leading cosmologists, even Nobel laureates, are still clueless, despite better instrumentation and data (WMAP, Planck, etc.). The dark ghosts have still not shown up. Yet secular cosmologists, mostly atheists, have the audacity of accusing their opponents of believing in fairies and goblins. Let the evidence speak for itself.