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Dark Matter/Dark Energy

  1. Jul 10, 2009 #1
    Its been said that anomalies point the way to new revelations. Surely the only way to find a model that fits reality is to understand the anomalies. Would it be contentious to suggest that dark matter and dark energy are place holder labels for things we don't understand ?

    If it is, I'll use the vastly different theories proposed by serious scientists to describe both to prove, in terms that would be acceptable in any court of law, that they are just that - place holder labels for things we don't understand. Even a million different papers supporting an hypothesis around dark matter as a type of particle in the 3D matter world view, would not mean anything if the models to support them are made purely to match the results of our observations. Surely ? Otherwise I may as well accept that Father Christmas delivers my Xmas presents.

    When did we abandon fundamental understanding as the primary goal, and instead accepted any old theory that could be argued to support the data ?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 10, 2009 #2


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    It looks like you are making a straw man argument. Dark matter and dark energy are open questions in current physics. There are various ideas trying to describe them, but there is nothing definite. A comparison with Father Christmas is nonsense.
  4. Jul 10, 2009 #3
    When I was learning about modern cosmology it was very love/hate, for exactly the reasons you describe. One week I would be amazed, and the next week I would doubt everything.

    For me the bottom line is that dark matter / dark energy sound far fetched until you start to read real textbooks or research papers, and start to think for yourself about how the logic excludes other possibilities. I really think that modern cosmology is an amazing example of the power of thousands of people working on little bits of science (sincerely no offense!) by which I mean there are so many little facts which require agreement, and the theory is double checked from so many angles, that my belief in dark matter and dark energy is pretty strong; it could be wrong, but it would be a honest mistake if it were, not a thin lie.
  5. Jul 11, 2009 #4
    So do you have any evidence against the new versions of the modified gravity theories that explain the velocity of stars at the outer reaches of galaxies ?

    Do you have any reason to believe that the acceleration of the expansion of the galaxy is not the natural result of the plateaux like energy of the quantum zero field ?

    I don't care much about honest mistakes, I only care about the truth.
  6. Jul 11, 2009 #5


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    Read up on the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullet_Cluster" [Broken]. It is direct evidence (though, of course not conclusive evidence) of matter that does not appear visibly to us.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  7. Jul 12, 2009 #6


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    Physics is not about truth, it is about fact. If you want to learn about truth you should go to philosophy classes (Indiana Jones quote which I love to give to amateurs)

    And we already have zillions of threads about Dark Matter and Dark Energy...
  8. Jul 13, 2009 #7


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    The case for dark matter is pretty compelling these days due the the bullet cluster, as Dave noted. The case for dark energy remains indirect, based mostly on the Perlmutter supernova study, but has no real competitors thus far.
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