Many of you read my first post on Dark Matter. Some people, particularly Mr. Sophismata, didn’t quite get it. Therefore in this post I’m going to expand greatly on my thoughts. It will include some overlap, but not very much. It is important that I, for example, am more explicit about precisely how the analogy between a frightened child and a contemporary physicist works. I begin with a little history.
A Brief History of Dark Matter
In the 1970’s it was reported that as much as 90% of the Universe doesn’t exist. Physicists had discovered that their theories, hiding behind very confusing mathematical equations, were simply wrong. Contrary to what you or I would do, the scientific response to this startling revelation was not to abandon the defunct theories. Exercising incredible hubris, scientists decided that their theories couldn’t possibly be wrong. But they needed a large amount of non-existent matter to keep the theories going. So physicists instead chose a more insidious route, and invented one of the most ridiculous ideas of the 20th century:
In positing the existence of Dark Matter as an escape from abandoning their theories, scientists fell into the same philosophical fallacy as influential philosopher of biology Alvin Plantinga when he stated that the following form of reasoning is “compelling”:
If X were true, it would be inconvenient for science; therefore, X is false.
The X in this instance is the proposition “Our theories are false.” So there’s a little bit of history, explaining how Dark Matter theorists fell into an egregious logical fallacy, on top of an already absurd empirical farce.
Understanding Dark Matter
It is not difficult to understand Dark Matter, because there is quite literally nothing to understand. No one has seen it, felt it, or heard it. Yet because the Universe is such an eerie place, we are supposed to accept on faith the statements of the high priests of theoretical physics. The Pope of science, Stephen Hawking, explains to us – merely on his own authority – that all “cosmologists” think that the edges of spiral galaxies are “dominated by dark matter that we cannot see directly.” His loyal disciple and lackey Brian Greene simply asserts – again on mere authority – that there is “strong evidence” that our world is “permeated with dark matter.” For these thinkers it is inconceivable that their theories could be wrong. Instead, they blame the Universe.
The Child/Physicist Analogy
Physicists, in this respect, are like children who are afraid of the dark. They cannot explain the empty closets opposite their beds. The child reasons thus:
Why is my closet so empty, so dark? Surely there should be something in my closet; closets are after all, according to my explanatory framework, made for things. Indeed I remember putting my toys away just yesterday. And besides, Stephen Hawking says there just must be stuff in my closet. But I can’t see it! Therefore: monsters.
This is exactly how physicists think about Dark Matter. They see an empty darkness, they haven’t any notion of what is happening, and so they create invisible monsters as explanations.