Cosmologists Cling to Ghosts
Dark matter has never been found, but their pet theory needs it. What will secular cosmologists do next?
Why do cosmologists cling to a substance they cannot find? It’s like hugging a ghost. They love it, and they want it. But the ghost vanishes whenever they try to embrace it.
In current cosmology, dark matter is like the Force that binds everything together, but it has no light side. It emits no energy, does not interact with ordinary matter, and cannot be seen directly. And like the dark side, it drags its believers further into conflict – with reality. The more money they pour into the search, the bigger the letdown at non-detection.
Cosmologists insist it must be there, because galaxies and clusters would fly apart otherwise. The favored hot big bang model also requires dark matter to cause ordinary matter to clump into galaxies. Cosmologists are fond of telling impressionable outsiders that only 4% of what we see is ordinary matter; the rest of the universe is dark matter and dark energy. But how can scientists be confident in the existence of material that escapes all their most sensitive instruments?
Physicists Keep Trying — and Failing — to Find Dark Matter in Dark Places (Space.com). Rafi Letzer, who concurs with the materialists’ belief in dark matter, nevertheless has to admit that cosmologists haven’t found it and don’t even know what it is. Another hypothesis has just bitten the dust:
Scientists have very good reason to believe that dark matter exists — that there’s some unseen stuff tugging on everything with its gravity but that’s invisible to our telescopes. But they don’t know what that dark matter is actually made of. Physicists have some guesses. But researchers have never spotted any direct evidence to suggest that any particular guess is correct, with one possible exception: A single detector in Italy sparkled more in the winter than the summer, hinting that a particular model of dark matter was correct. But now, a new experiment trying to replicate that annual sparkle cycle has failed to turn up significant results, indicating that the Italian detector’s dark matter evidence is likely wrong.
Scientists Pinpoint Where Dark Matter Is Hiding in the Universe (Space.com). Despite its optimistic headline, this earlier piece by Rafi Letzer does not suggest dark matter has been detected. Letzer only reports about a new map of galaxy clusters that might show where the ghost is “hiding.” The hiding places, suggested by the shapes of gravitationally-lensed objects, are theoretical. Their identification as “hiding places” depends on the theory of what the mysterious unknown stuff is supposed to do to ordinary matter.
The search for dark matter that runs on time (Nature). In this news brief, Nature hopes that “A far-flung network of atomic clocks could hunt for defects in the fabric of space-time.” Perhaps the universe is crooked. Perhaps dark matter is a set of topological defects since the big bang. Perhaps. But the article admits from the beginning, “Most of the matter in the Universe is unaccounted for — it seems to exert a gravitational pull on other objects, but emits no light.” If scientists could organize a network of atomic clocks, perhaps they could waste more time testing the “topological-defect theory and other dark matter candidates” before the next non-detection letdown.
The 11 Biggest Unanswered Questions About Dark Matter (Live Science). The unanswered questions listed by Adam Mann are pretty basic: What is it? Where is it? Does dark matter even exist?
A new era in the search for dark matter (Nature). Optimism in the headline gives way to despair in the first paragraph. Notice the words crisis and problem in this piece by Bertone and Tait, who call for a time out and change of direction from all previous search efforts.
There is a growing sense of ‘crisis’ in the dark-matter particle community, which arises from the absence of evidence for the most popular candidates for dark-matter particles—such as weakly interacting massive particles, axions and sterile neutrinos—despite the enormous effort that has gone into searching for these particles. Here we discuss what we have learned about the nature of dark matter from past experiments and the implications for planned dark-matter searches in the next decade. We argue that diversifying the experimental effort and incorporating astronomical surveys and gravitational-wave observations is our best hope of making progress on the dark-matter problem.
What they have ‘learned,’ though is that dark matter might not even exist. They’ve been thinking about it for over a century. When do they give up and admit defeat? Bertone and Tait end with strategies to “leave no stone unturned” in the search for the unknown substance. At what point do scientists realize: ‘We have looked under enough stones now. The ghost we are looking for probably will not be found under the next thousand stones.’
Ironically, they claim they all want to pursue natural knowledge. “In the quest for dark matter, naturalness has been the guiding principle since the dark-matter problem was established in the early 1980s.” Ghosts, by definition, are not natural.
Since one can never prove a universal negative, we cannot state emphatically that dark matter does not exist and will never be found. The dark matter problem, though, resembles the search for the ancestors to the Cambrian Explosion. Darwin thought they would turn up as more fossils were located. Unfortunately for him and his disciples since 1859, they are still missing. We have found many thousands of fossils, but they sort into existing categories. Paleontologists can safely assume they have turned over enough stones; ancestors to Cambrian animals likely do not exist.
What an odd thing: thousands of intelligent, well-educated scientists pursuing ghosts with indefatigable intensity. You thought falsification was a criterion of science. The dark-matter believers have been falsified for a century but won’t give up. What drives these people to keep bashing their heads against the wall? The answer: it’s an obsessive-compulsive disorder, inherited through teachers, that insists on believing in an old, materialistic universe. Continuous pain in the forehead is not too large a price to pay to avoid the implications of Genesis 1:1.
Exercise: Think of other areas in science where the consensus clings to a belief in spite of the evidence.