Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Rebel Science: The Dark Matter of Faith

The basis of something that has never been seen, never been felt, never been measured, but a lot of people believe exists anyway, is faith:

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed ... so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible ...

(Bible, Hebrews 11:1, emphasis added). What is seen in our universe by scientists is called matter. No faith needed.

What is not seen is what cosmologists and physicists are now calling "dark matter", and its existence really by definition is a matter of faith.

Dark Matter has never been seen, measured, touched, felt, put in a test tube, or any other things experimental, but scientists do believe that it exists.

So far they have only seen it in their minds. In fact they say there is 5 times more of this stuff no one has ever seen, felt, measured, or otherwise got a handle on, than there is of the stuff we can see, measure, and get a handle on.

There is 5 times more dark matter than there is of the matter we can see, feel, weigh, and make things with?

The existence of matter, then, comes down to matter of faith and matter of proof, depending on the type of matter, doesn't it?

Just how faithful are these scientific faithful who believe in that which they have not measured, felt, touched, or seen?

I watched a program on PBS (Nova, Dark Matter, 2008) about physicists spending millions and millions of dollars to renovate an abandoned mine in Minnesota. The abandoned mine where a super lab has now been constructed is a half mile underground.

It is way down below a half mile of bedrock so that no radiation from space or elsewhere on the surface of the earth will mess with the search for the as of now missing but most abundant matter in the universe.

They have faithfully made very, very special detectors which are kept at super cold temperatures just above absolute zero in an effort to detect the most abundant stuff in the universe, which no scientist has ever seen, touched, felt, tasted, or heard.

When asked how many units of dark matter they had actually detected in this super laboratory specially made for that purpose, the answer was none, zero, nada.

One can imagine what Jesus of the Bible would say about this degree of faith, and whether he might see it like the faith he saw in some sinners compared to the faith the chosen had shown:

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, "I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel."

(Bible, Luke 7:9). Yep, church goers stand down, you can't hold a candle to these dark matter scientists, because they take faith to the degree it is practised by the ultra faithful.

Anyway, this is probably a good time to switch to the subject of competing theories. The degree of fairness in this field is not what one would expect:

A proponent of an unorthodox idea is likely to encounter several types of difficulties. First, it is difficult to obtain funding: very few research grants are awarded for proposals to re-examine long accepted theories. Most funding agencies expect that proposals will build on existing science rather than challenge basic postulates. Second, it is difficult to publish in mainstream journals. Third, proponents of unorthodoxy may come under attack: their colleagues may shun them, they may be blocked from jobs or promotions, lab space may be withdrawn and malicious rumors spread about them. Even if they can overcome these problems, they have a hard time gaining attention.

(Challenging Dominant Physics, page 11, PDF, emphasis added). As in religion with its doctrinal wars, in science there are the hypothesis wars. As in religion these wars can resemble turf wars, because lots of money and fame are at stake.

Let me just mention one scientific protestant (protesting) denomination that does not follow the dark matter cult but prefers to evangelize another dogma, based on a well known yet invisible matter:

In papers published about a decade ago, the author and colleagues predicted the widespread presence of hydrogen in the molecular (H2) form in space (Marmet and Reber 1989; Marmet 1990a,b). Although hydrogen in the atomic form is easily detected through radioastronomy, the molecular form is difficult to detect ...

Atomic hydrogen (H), composed of a single proton and electron, is the simplest existing stable atom. Because of the spin structure of the particle, it is easily detectable using a high frequency radio signal at 21-cm wavelength. Atomic hydrogen in galaxies and in intergalactic space can be detected very easily, because the atomic hydrogen can change its spin (which changes its energy).

Electromagnetic radiation is emitted at the wavelength of 21 cm, or an absorption line is observed (in the background radiation) at that wavelength. However, when two atoms of atomic hydrogen combine, forming molecular hydrogen (H2), their spins are coupled and completely cancel each other. The radio-frequency spectral line at 21 cm no longer exists, and the molecular hydrogen becomes totally invisible at that wavelength ...

The recent discovery of an enormous quantity of molecular hydrogen not only solves the problem of missing mass; it also solves the problem of the redshift, in a non-expanding unlimited universe. The Doppler interpretation of the redshift is a variation of the Creationist theory, since it claims that the universe was created from nothing, 15 billion years ago, with a sudden Big Bang. Since a much larger amount of molecular hydrogen than previously admitted has been observed in the universe, we can now see how this hydrogen is responsible for the redshift observed. That molecular hydrogen is responsible for the redshift which is erroneously believed to have a cosmological Doppler origin.

It is unfortunate that the existence of H2 has been ignored for so long. As noted by one of the recent discoverers, E.A. Valentijn, the missing mass problem might never have arisen if the Infrared Space Observatory results (or predictions of H2) had been known earlier. It is also true that the problem would not have arisen, if the arguments presented by this author and others for the necessary presence of H, had been heeded.

With the new discovery, science can now have a logical and realistic description of nature, because we no longer have to speculate with such exotic hypotheses as WIMPs and "quark nuggets" to explain the missing matter in the universe.

(Paul Marmet, emphasis added). Did you get that? This scientist explains that yes there is invisible matter out there, but it is the common molecular hydrogen they forgot to look for. He as much as says their dark matter hypothesis is a matter of faith like the "Creationist theory" is.

Ecocosmology only asks that the scientists and religionists and theologians of all sorts work together to solve the problem of avoiding the extinction of the human species.

All theories should be analysed with that goal in mind.


Anonymous said...

I think you've left something out here:
Scientists have detected dark matter. Its gravity is what is causing galaxies to spin faster than they should be if it wasn't there.
It is also possible that gravity itself starts to act differently on large scales, but this is considered less likely.
To state that thinking dark matter exists is faith makes no sense - it has been detected. While scientists could be mistaken, there is at least some good evidence suggesting they are not.

Dredd said...

Italian scientists claimed to have detected a particle of dark matter but other scientists are skeptical.

Other scientists have alternate hypotheses to account for the data that gave rise to the dark matter / dark energy hypothesis.

Heretics Deny The Dark Matter of Faith

That is in addition to the hypothesis set forth in this post that a form of hydrogen accounts of the data (higher acceleration than predicted) that led to the unseen matter hypothesis.

The science counter to the dark matter hypothesis is good science according to those who do not buy dark matter.

Randy said...

Dark matter assertions constitute a hypothesis, not a theory.

Mainstream science has gone too far with an unsubstantiated hypothesis in the past (Link), which is one reason the textbook companies sell so many books (Link) after recycling those later found to contain pseudoscience in them.

The lens in space observations may support a hypothesis, but the claim that matter we can test in labs is a tiny fraction of all the matter we can't test in labs is just another hyperbolic mistake by scientists who are overstepping the empirical evidence.