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Sebastian
New Member

44 Posts

Posted - 09/13/2011 :  20:28:52  Show Profile Send Sebastian a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hello. This is my first post on this site. I came across the site accidentally whilst doing a Google search on the historical references to Pontius Pilate. I'd heard (hearsay) that Pontius Pilate had at some stage of his career been recalled to Rome to be chastised for his excessively brutal treatment of misbehaving Jews.

I wanted to know if this event took place before or after the crucifixion of Christ.

If it took place before the crucifixion of Jesus, then that would in part explain Pilate's reluctance to crucify Jesus.

If it took place after the crucifixion of Jesus, then that event would cast doubt on the gospel's depiction of a Jewish mob braying for His blood, and a gentle, thoughtful Pilate reluctantly caving in to the Jews' request that Jesus should be eliminated because he was a trouble-maker.

So here I am, by fault rather than design.

Why am I making my first post in the astronomy section? It's because I still can't come to grips with the current assessment by astrophysicists that 90% of the matter and energy in the universe is invisible and unknown.

The Big Bang theory has been largely accepted by scientists for a good many decades now. One could call it a 'consensus of scientific opinion', much like the consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming.

As I understand, a scientific theory is considered to be correct, or sufficiently correct for our practical purposes, when all events or circumstances that the application of the theory predict, are found in reality to be true, or broadly true. (Nothing is perfect).

If a prediction is way out, then we have to consider a number of reason as to why it is 'way out'. The first may be that the theory is simply wrong. Another may be that our methodology in analysing and interpreting the results is deeply flawed or inadequate. Yet another may be that there exist certain unknown factors which are influencing the result, that we are simply not aware of.

This last reason is the one employed by current astrophysicists. That is, for some time we have thought that we have understood that the universe began with an explosion of nearly infinitely dense and hot 'singularlity', and that eventually the rate of expansion will slow down due to the force of gravity, and the universe will then begin to contract.

However, recent and more sophisticated measurements have indicated that the rate of expansion of the universe is not slowing down as predicted, not even nearly.

Does that mean that our theories of the Big Bang and the consequent expansion of our universe are wrong? It could be.

On the other hand, it could be that there's something out there, influencing the results, which we are simply not aware of.

To put it another way, if our current theories of the Big Bang and the rate of expansion of the universe are correct, then according to the scientific consensus, approximately 90% of the matter and energy in the entire universe must be totally and utterly invisible and unknown to us.

As far as I know, no-one has discovered a single atom or particle of this invisble matter or energy, called dark matter for good reason.

Aren't we stretching credulity a bit here? One might as well believe in the existence of a God.

Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25973 Posts

Posted - 09/13/2011 :  20:47:45   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Welcome to the SFN!
Originally posted by Sebastian

To put it another way, if our current theories of the Big Bang and the rate of expansion of the universe are correct, then according to the scientific consensus, approximately 90% of the matter and energy in the entire universe must be totally and utterly invisible and unknown to us.
No, we can see its effects.
As far as I know, no-one has discovered a single atom or particle of this invisble matter or energy, called dark matter for good reason.
Nobody has ever seen an electron, but the fact you posted here is a testament to the success of atomic and related physical theories.
Aren't we stretching credulity a bit here? One might as well believe in the existence of a God.
There is no hypothesis, based upon verifiable observation and sound logic, which predicts the existence of any god.

Our current cosmological theories are based on objective data, and where they are speculative, they don't predict magic. Because dark matter and dark energy both lead logically to testable hypotheses - some of which have been confirmed - they are on much firmer footing than any amount of faith in anything.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13457 Posts

Posted - 09/13/2011 :  21:12:45   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
CRESST team finds new 'evidence' of dark matter

Dark matter is of course, at least theoretically, the stuff that holds everything in the universe together. WIMPS are thought to be a kind of dark matter that doesnít interact much with normal matter such as the stuff that we call the Earth and everything on it. Thus, such WIMPS wouldnít have any trouble passing through the mountain above the detector, which is comprised of bunches of tungsten held very near absolute zero. The idea being that if a WIMP were to strike the tungsten, a tiny bit of light would be given off that could be observed and recorded. Of course regular old run of the mill cosmic rays can pass through mountains as well and collide with tungsten too. But those kinds of strikes are easily discernable and thus can be discounted; hence the excitement of team and their findings.

The team using the CRESST II detector isnít the only game in town, and the problem is, some of them arenít able to obtain the same results. Otherís looking to discredit the whole notion of dark matter such as the CoGeNT project going on in Minnesota, wound up finding evidence of the opposite, as did the DAMA/LIBRA team, which has been running experiments for the past 12 years. Unfortunately, other teams such as XENON and CDMS II havenít been able to find any evidence of dark matter at all.

In addition to recording the strikes on their tungsten detector, the team also recorded the amount of energy released when such collisions occur, which can be used to calculate the mass of the particle that did the striking. In this case, the team found that they weighed somewhere between 10 and 20 gigaelectronvolts, which is lighter than researchers have expected.

This new bit of evidence helps boost the idea that dark matter really does exist, though it doesnít go far enough to prove it. As is the usual case, more science will have to be done before anything definitive can be declared...

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Sebastian
New Member

44 Posts

Posted - 09/13/2011 :  22:19:13   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Sebastian a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

Welcome to the SFN!


Thank you.

No, we can see its effects.There is no hypothesis, based upon verifiable observation and sound logic, which predicts the existence of any god.


This is surely a tautology. We've propositioned the existence of an unknowable and invisible quantity, then claim that we can see it's effects. That's simply crazy.

Our current cosmological theories are based on objective data, and where they are speculative, they don't predict magic. Because dark matter and dark energy both lead logically to testable hypotheses - some of which have been confirmed - they are on much firmer footing than any amount of faith in anything.


Same applies, as above. In order to support our theories based upon observation, we've invented the existence of something that is invisible and (so far) undetectable. You might as well believe in HG Wells 'The Invisible Man'.

Sorry for the confusion of quote marks.

[Edited to fix quoting - Dave W.]
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Machi4velli
SFN Regular

USA
854 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2011 :  02:13:20   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Machi4velli a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Sebastian
This is surely a tautology. We've propositioned the existence of an unknowable and invisible quantity, then claim that we can see it's effects. That's simply crazy.

Same applies, as above. In order to support our theories based upon observation, we've invented the existence of something that is invisible and (so far) undetectable. You might as well believe in HG Wells 'The Invisible Man'.


As for Dave's analogy, are we to suppose electrons don't exist as well on this basis? They're also invisible and only detectable in the sense that we detect their effects.

Invisible is not the same as unknown. Heck, radio waves and x-rays are invisible too, but we use them all the time.

Dark matter is surely not a tautology. We've said: "we already know x and y happens -- dark matter would explain these and it would cause z to happen." Now we don't already know z happens, we've used the dark matter formulation to predict it. Then we see that z does happen by some observation. This is what gives credibility to the concept of dark matter.

Another thing that makes this different from having faith in something is that we're not at all permanently committed to the existence of dark matter. If another model is devised that works better, we'll reject the model with dark matter. We always have an incomplete picture of the world, we have to invent models to explain literally everything, and they all change over time as we develop greater understanding of the world.

"Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people."
-Giordano Bruno

"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, but the illusion of knowledge."
-Stephen Hawking

"Seeking what is true is not seeking what is desirable"
-Albert Camus
Edited by - Machi4velli on 09/14/2011 02:14:21
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25973 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2011 :  04:41:13   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Sebastian

This is surely a tautology.
If you're going to call an independently verifiable hypothesis a tautology, then you're saying that all of science is tautological.
We've propositioned the existence of an unknowable and invisible quantity...
You keep saying "unknowable." That is incorrect. Dark matter is hypothesized to have mass, just like all other matter, and we can make specific predictions of how it and the rest of the universe should behave based on that.

Just like with photons, electrons, neutrinos, the internal structure of the Sun, the core of the Earth, etc. If our hypotheses regarding dark matter are "simply crazy," then so is General Relativity, no matter how practically successful it's been.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
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Sebastian
New Member

44 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2011 :  07:02:46   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Sebastian a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Exactly! The existence of dark matter is only hypothesised.

Electrons, protons and neutrons etc are the names we give to stuff that we know exists. We're able to examine the effects of such particles and predict their behaviour with a dergree of accuracy which enables us to build computers and communicate over the internet, as we're doing right now.

As far as I know, but correct me if I'm wrong, we have never captured nor examined a single particle of dark matter nor dark energy, yet it is claimed that 90% of our universe consists of the stuff.

I'm surprised that some of you guys seem so complacent about such an unproven hypothesis, especially considering how prevalent this stuff must be if 90% of our universe is hypothesised to consist of it.

I recall reading of Paul Dirac's dilemma when his mathematical explorations relating to quantum theory pointed to the existence of antimatter. Without a scrap of physical evidence that antimatter existed, should he publish his results, a mere hypothesis, and perhaps put his reputation at risk.

As I understand, friends persuaded him to publish because, if he didn't, someone else would probably get the credit. He took the risk, and at least some people took him seriously and began ardently searching for antimatter.

Since matter and antimatter annihilate each other when they come into contact, one can appreciate the problems of isolating the stuff, yet within just a few years of Paul Dirac's hypothesising its existence, the first positron was discovered.

The CERN laboratory now routinely traps and examines hydrogen antimatter, but no sign of dark matter nor dark energy yet, despite the fact its existence was first postulated as early as 1934 to explain anomalies of the orbital velocities of glaxies.
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25973 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2011 :  08:02:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Sebastian

As far as I know, but correct me if I'm wrong, we have never captured nor examined a single particle of dark matter nor dark energy, yet it is claimed that 90% of our universe consists of the stuff.
Kil was trying to correct you, in that we've seen the effects of dark matter already. We've never directly examined the core of the Earth, either. Do you doubt that it is iron?
I'm surprised that some of you guys seem so complacent about such an unproven hypothesis...
Hypotheses are never proven, only supported.
...especially considering how prevalent this stuff must be if 90% of our universe is hypothesised to consist of it.
I'm surprised you object to it so strongly despite being ignorant about it (and science) to the point where you think a testable hypothesis is a tautology.

As an exercise, please provide the evidence that allows you to know (your word) that electrons exist.
I recall reading of Paul Dirac's dilemma when his mathematical explorations relating to quantum theory pointed to the existence of antimatter. Without a scrap of physical evidence that antimatter existed, should he publish his results, a mere hypothesis, and perhaps put his reputation at risk.
"A mere hypothesis" is how every scientific theory begins. Hypotheses are vital to the scientific process, "mere" they are not.
Since matter and antimatter annihilate each other when they come into contact, one can appreciate the problems of isolating the stuff, yet within just a few years of Paul Dirac's hypothesising its existence, the first positron was discovered.
No, people saw the effects that were predicted if positrons existed. You forget: nobody has ever seen a positron.
The CERN laboratory now routinely traps and examines hydrogen antimatter, but no sign of dark matter nor dark energy yet, despite the fact its existence was first postulated as early as 1934 to explain anomalies of the orbital velocities of glaxies.
Dirac predicted the positron in 1928, and that prediction was confirmed in 1932. Four years. How long did it take to detect the CMB after Gamow proposed it? 16 years. How long did it take to detect the effects of neutrinos after they were posited? 26 years. How long did it take to amass solid evidence for Continental Drift after Wegener suggested it? 44 years.

It's now been 45 years since Peter Higgs described the boson that got his name, and we still haven't detected one. Shall we trash the Standard Model until it is seen?

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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TG
Skeptic Friend

USA
121 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2011 :  09:38:48   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send TG a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I may be way off base, but Sebastian appears to be headed toward the "Science can't explain everything, therefore God exists" proof we're all so familiar with.
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sailingsoul
SFN Addict

2830 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2011 :  11:13:20   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send sailingsoul a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by TG

I may be way off base, but Sebastian appears to be headed toward the "Science can't explain everything, therefore God exists" proof we're all so familiar with.

He's obviously here to argue and not to learn about that which he is confused about. The words he uses indicates that both he or those he gets his arguments from, which he parrots, have very little clue about the subject. Sebastian, surely you can understand that if you don't understand how something works your lack of understanding does not make it impossible. Insisting that it is impossible to those who do understand it when you clearly don't will get you nowhere. They might be able to explain it to you but only after you take down your wall of defense and denial opening yourself up to learning about what you don't understand. Anyone who took basic and higher math in school learned it not by arguing with their instructor that is doesn't make sense and is impossible but by trying to understand the instruction and applying themselves. To understand new things that you don't takes the desire to learn, do you want to learn about what science knows or not? If not than your just wasting time, your and others. SS

There are only two types of religious people, the deceivers and the deceived. SS
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13457 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2011 :  12:20:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would give Sebastian the benefit of the doubt. We don't really know what his motives are. And it's too soon to speculate. For the moment, I welcome his questions.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Machi4velli
SFN Regular

USA
854 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2011 :  12:44:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Machi4velli a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by SebastianElectrons, protons and neutrons etc are the names we give to stuff that we know exists. We're able to examine the effects of such particles and predict their behaviour with a dergree of accuracy which enables us to build computers and communicate over the internet, as we're doing right now.


We predict "dark matter" with a level of accuracy that allows us to predict physical phenomena that we can observe, which we couldn't explain before.

This is really the same as what you're saying about electrons, just these predictions of physical phenomena have been developed into applications like computers.

And of course, you're right that dark matter is only hypothesized, but as is literally every scientific position we have. It's impossible to use science to prove anything with absolute certainty -- everything is empirical, everything is open to challenge.

"Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people."
-Giordano Bruno

"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, but the illusion of knowledge."
-Stephen Hawking

"Seeking what is true is not seeking what is desirable"
-Albert Camus
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2011 :  13:44:15   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I still don't understand what dark matter/energy has to do with being skeptical about the Big Bang. While these things are hypothesized to explain discrepancies in the rate of expansion and/or galaxy formation, they don't touch the fact that the Universe is expanding. That's been pretty well established. Just because there are still places where the model doesn't quite work doesn't mean that the whole thing must be thrown out.

While I would repeat Kil's advice about giving Sebastian the benefit of the doubt, he does seem to be falling victim to one aspect of religious thinking. Namely, that all knowledge is binary. Either something is truth and useful or false and garbage. Either a person's testimony is credible or it's a lie. Either Jesus was the son of god or he was a dishonest madman. Either a theory is 100% supported or it's the equivalent of any wild, totally unsupported faith position.

Of course, scientific progress doesn't work this way. Our knowledge of reality is continually honed and focused over time. Yes, today's working hypotheses are often tomorrow's discarded failures, but those failures help us clarify our picture of how things really work. Science weeds out errors over time and converges on better and better explanations. As Isaac Asimov so clearly explained, "[W]hen people thought the earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the earth was spherical, they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together."


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 09/14/2011 13:57:55
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Sebastian
New Member

44 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2011 :  18:44:35   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Sebastian a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I see that some of you are already trying to analyse my motives. I'm not aware of anything sinister in my motives. I'm merely expressing the surprise that I remember experiencing when I first read about this curious proposition that 90% of the universe is essentially invisible and undetectable, and the surprise I now experience that such skeptical people as yourselves, seem to accept this hypothesis, almost without batting an eye, so to speak.

I really can't see the similarity between something that can be detected, measured and used, such as an electron, and something like dark matter which existence is no more than speculation.

For example, Dave W makes the point:
We've never directly examined the core of the Earth, either. Do you doubt that it is iron?


I haven't examined this particular issue in any detail, so I can't comment on competing theories as to the precise composition of the core of the earth, but I do know that iron exists.

If someone were to postulate that the core of the earth consists of a type of matter we know nothing about whatsoever, I would tend to draw the conclusion that we simply do not know what the core of the earth consists of.

In other words, the following two statements mean essentially the same thing. (1) The core of the earth consists of a completely unknown substance. (2) We don't know what the core of the earth consists of.

Likewise, any measurements or predictions about dark matter or dark energy can be seen as errors in measurements according to the existing theory, prior to the postulation of the existence of dark matter.

It seems to me, to put it in a nutshell, that astrophysicists and astronomers, having discovered some serious flaws in their existing theories relating to the Big Bang, the consequent expansion of the universe, and the amount of matter in the universe, have invented or imagined a mythical substance (which they've called dark matter and dark energy), that makes their theories fit, and makes them correspond with the observed universe.

This really does seem to me a bit mind-boggling. Now, please don't jump to the conclusion that I am asserting in any way that the existence of this mythical substance which corrects all our observations of the universe, cannot exist, and will never be found to exist. How would I know? Please don't think I am that arrogant.

If I do have some ulterior motive here, it is to point out a 'too-ready' acceptance, even amongst skeptics, of consensus views amongst scientists.

Any implication that the acceptance of the existence of a God is on no more tenuous grounds than the acceptance of the existence of the mythical Dark Matter, is interesting.

This concept is in the back of my mind, I admit. I think there is an analogy here, however weak, but the analogy would only apply to agnosticism about God. In other words, "I don't know whether or not there is a God, but I have an open mind", which would be similar to "I don't know whether Dark Matter really exists, but I have an open mind."

Machi4velli has written:
And of course, you're right that dark matter is only hypothesized, but as is literally every scientific position we have. It's impossible to use science to prove anything with absolute certainty -- everything is empirical, everything is open to challenge.


Well, Machi4vellie, you are certainly an excellent apologist for unsound scientific theories. Your statement also fails to distinguish between hypothesis and verified theory.

You seem to be moving here from one extreme to another? Moving from a position where the existence of a mythical substance is predicated on the fact that it seems to correct errors in our measurements, to the fact that there is no absolute certainty in any scientific theory, however often such theory has been verified.

I agree there is no absolute certainty, there are just degrees of probability. Often, what we imagine to be certain is just a 99.9999999467321% probability, or even a mere 99.9% probability.

I'm not absolutely certain that the sun will rise tomorrow, but the chances that it won't are too slim to worry about.

Generally, my view is, if we can't detect, capture and examine something, then it can't be claimed to exist. When I use the word invisible in this context, of course I don't just mean invisible to the naked eye. I know one can't use an electron microscope to see an electron (at least I think I know. I might be wrong). But one can use an electron microscope to view molecules.

I've never heard of anyone using Dark Matter for any practical purpose whatsoever, except to correct massive errors in existing theories.




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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2011 :  18:54:04   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Sebastian
I think there is an analogy here, however weak, but the analogy would only apply to agnosticism about God. In other words, "I don't know whether or not there is a God, but I have an open mind", which would be similar to "I don't know whether Dark Matter really exists, but I have an open mind."
Agnosticism does not mean to be undecided while "keeping an open mind." Atheists too are usually willing to both admit that they don't know and that they are open to new evidence. Perhaps you might benefit from reading up on what agnosticism is in one of our concurrent threads.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25973 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2011 :  19:26:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Sebastian

I see that some of you are already trying to analyse my motives. I'm not aware of anything sinister in my motives. I'm merely expressing the surprise that I remember experiencing when I first read about this curious proposition that 90% of the universe is essentially invisible and undetectable, and the surprise I now experience that such skeptical people as yourselves, seem to accept this hypothesis, almost without batting an eye, so to speak.
Well, that's just bizarre. It's like you think that because you were surprised and unread regarding dark matter, the rest of us must be, also.
I really can't see the similarity between something that can be detected, measured and used, such as an electron, and something like dark matter which existence is no more than speculation.
You haven't provided any evidence that electrons exist, Sebastian. Working through that exercise will help you understand.
For example, Dave W makes the point:
We've never directly examined the core of the Earth, either. Do you doubt that it is iron?
I haven't examined this particular issue in any detail, so I can't comment on competing theories as to the precise composition of the core of the earth, but I do know that iron exists.
So do gummi bears. If someone told you that the core of the Earth was all gummi, what would you think?
If someone were to postulate that the core of the earth consists of a type of matter we know nothing about whatsoever, I would tend to draw the conclusion that we simply do not know what the core of the earth consists of.
If someone told you that dark matter is a type of matter we know nothing about whatsoever, that person would be wrong.
In other words, the following two statements mean essentially the same thing. (1) The core of the earth consists of a completely unknown substance. (2) We don't know what the core of the earth consists of.
Yes, they are. But nobody posits that dark matter is "unknowable" or "undetectable." You are exhibiting a stubborn resistance to learning more about the subject you have chosen to criticize.
Likewise, any measurements or predictions about dark matter or dark energy can be seen as errors in measurements according to the existing theory, prior to the postulation of the existence of dark matter.
Errors in measurement? Come on, now.
It seems to me, to put it in a nutshell, that astrophysicists and astronomers, having discovered some serious flaws in their existing theories relating to the Big Bang, the consequent expansion of the universe, and the amount of matter in the universe, have invented or imagined a mythical substance (which they've called dark matter and dark energy), that makes their theories fit, and makes them correspond with the observed universe.

This really does seem to me a bit mind-boggling.
Then it must be strange to you that Einstein's Relativity is an accepted correction to Newtonian physics. The process of correcting models to match reality better as time goes on is science.
Now, please don't jump to the conclusion that I am asserting in any way that the existence of this mythical substance which corrects all our observations of the universe, cannot exist, and will never be found to exist. How would I know? Please don't think I am that arrogant.

If I do have some ulterior motive here, it is to point out a 'too-ready' acceptance, even amongst skeptics, of consensus views amongst scientists.
Then you're arrogant enough to think that skeptics have done only as little research into cosmology as you have. You're acting like it's impossible for anyone here to know more than you about the subject, and so you blithely continue on as if nobody has been trying to teach you anything. You act as if we're all (including all cosmologists) on square one, just hearing about dark matter for the first time. Reality is quite different.
Any implication that the acceptance of the existence of a God is on no more tenuous grounds than the acceptance of the existence of the mythical Dark Matter, is interesting.
It's not interesting, because it's an argument from your own arrogance of ignorance.
This concept is in the back of my mind, I admit. I think there is an analogy here, however weak, but the analogy would only apply to agnosticism about God. In other words, "I don't know whether or not there is a God, but I have an open mind", which would be similar to "I don't know whether Dark Matter really exists, but I have an open mind."
But you don't have an open mind. No matter how people try to correct your mistakes, you keep on going as if they'd said nothing to you. You might be reading the words, but you're not learning anything.
Well, Machi4vellie, you are certainly an excellent apologist for unsound scientific theories. Your statement also fails to distinguish between hypothesis and verified theory.
Why don't you tell us what you think the difference is. Also tell us what you think the difference is between a theory and a law, and a theory and a fact.
Generally, my view is, if we can't detect, capture and examine something, then it can't be claimed to exist.
Dark matter has been detected. By your logic, we cannot claim that the center of the Earth exists, since we can't directly detect, capture or examine it.
When I use the word invisible in this context, of course I don't just mean invisible to the naked eye. I know one can't use an electron microscope to see an electron (at least I think I know. I might be wrong). But one can use an electron microscope to view molecules.
No, actually, one can use an electron microscope to bounce electrons off the electrons orbiting the atoms in the molecules, and those bounced electrons are then converted into an image. If you think that that is "viewing," then you'll have to say that we have "viewed" dark matter.
I've never heard of anyone using Dark Matter for any practical purpose whatsoever, except to correct massive errors in existing theories.
It's a shame, isn't it, that not all knowledge leads to something practical? The Cosmic Microwave Background exists, but we can't use the damn thing for anything. The center of the Sun exists, but is completely closed off to us for all practical purposes.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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