jeeprs
 
Reply Tue 14 Apr, 2009 05:50 am
Hi All

I note an earlier thread on this topic here. I too have puzzled over this idea and would like to put it up again for any responses.

I am not scientifically trained, nor with any expertise in physics. I am a writer who reads about such topics in New Scientist and so on. So these are all the wonderings of a layman - they are certainly more poetic than technical, but here goes.

The current 'model of the universe' holds that dark matter 'accounts for the vast majority of the mass in the observable universe.' (Wikipedia.) Furthermore, we are told that Dark Matter is 'not directly observable'. Its existence is inferred from measurements of the rate of expansion of the observable universe. It is described as 'non-baryonic' meaning in layman's terms 'not consisting of atoms'.

Well pardon me, but I can't help having the feeling that this opens a can of worms of cosmic proportions. If in fact a large percentage of the Universe consists of something we can't even detect or see but only infer, then I would have thought that the 'scientific materialist' picture of the universe is in pretty dire straights. After all, the very ground of scientific materialism is that what we can detect and measure with our senses and instruments IS the sole reality. Now we are told that he existence of most of the stuff around us, by weight, can't even be detected. So doesn't this leave room for other kinds of beings or entities or intelligences that might originate or dwell in the same unknowable and un-measurable dimension? (I won't even hazard a guess what these might be.)

There is an expression called the God of the Gaps, referring to 'the role of God as being confined to the "gaps" in scientific explanations of nature.' Of course we are told that with the triumphal march of science, etc, the gaps are nowadays pretty small. However it would seem to me that with the current state of cosmology - dark matter being only one of several very mystifying developments - the gaps have suddenly gotten an awful lot bigger. Big enough to contain entire other dimensions of reality, one would think. (I am not looking for a definite answer. I think "We don't know" is actually OK in this context, but would be interested in any thoughts.)
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Kielicious
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Apr, 2009 07:03 pm
@jeeprs,
First I just want to say--and this has nothing to do with you, its just a pet peeve of mine-- that 'materialism' is a extremely outdated term. We already know 'materialism' comes up short when trying to define certain aspects of reality/existence. So the more appropriate term would be 'physicalism'.

Now that we got that out of the way...

Now when you say DM isnt 'directly observable' I'm not really sure what the problem is because we dont 'directly observe' lots of things, yet we know they exist. Like gravity or black holes for example: we dont 'directly observe' gravity or black holes but we do see the effects it produces and the same can be said with DM. We dont 'directly observe' DM but we see the gravitational effects it produces on matter....
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2009 06:44 am
@Kielicious,
Please forgive me my armchair explanation here - many of us are, admittedly, mortal. [INDENT] But from what I've seen and read on this issue it strikes me as a 'likely' explanation. As I understand the topic, this postulation arose when astrologists, astrophysicists and others from the various scientific community realized that the observable mass (and resulting gravitational pull) of the galaxy wasn't sufficient to 'hold it together'; that there must be something else we couldn't see or otherwise didn't know about.
[/INDENT]Most of what we call 'truths' start out just in this way; a hypothesis that - over time - comes into more or less support. Personally I think this is a healthy and productive way to gain knowledge (especially about concepts so far removed from our environment). Whether or not it's materialistic isn't much relevant.

Thanks
0 Replies
 
xris
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2009 08:01 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs wrote:
Hi All

I note an earlier thread on this topic here. I too have puzzled over this idea and would like to put it up again for any responses.

I am not scientifically trained, nor with any expertise in physics. I am a writer who reads about such topics in New Scientist and so on. So these are all the wonderings of a layman - they are certainly more poetic than technical, but here goes.

The current 'model of the universe' holds that dark matter 'accounts for the vast majority of the mass in the observable universe.' (Wikipedia.) Furthermore, we are told that Dark Matter is 'not directly observable'. Its existence is inferred from measurements of the rate of expansion of the observable universe. It is described as 'non-baryonic' meaning in layman's terms 'not consisting of atoms'.

Well pardon me, but I can't help having the feeling that this opens a can of worms of cosmic proportions. If in fact a large percentage of the Universe consists of something we can't even detect or see but only infer, then I would have thought that the 'scientific materialist' picture of the universe is in pretty dire straights. After all, the very ground of scientific materialism is that what we can detect and measure with our senses and instruments IS the sole reality. Now we are told that he existence of most of the stuff around us, by weight, can't even be detected. So doesn't this leave room for other kinds of beings or entities or intelligences that might originate or dwell in the same unknowable and un-measurable dimension? (I won't even hazard a guess what these might be.)

There is an expression called the God of the Gaps, referring to 'the role of God as being confined to the "gaps" in scientific explanations of nature.' Of course we are told that with the triumphal march of science, etc, the gaps are nowadays pretty small. However it would seem to me that with the current state of cosmology - dark matter being only one of several very mystifying developments - the gaps have suddenly gotten an awful lot bigger. Big enough to contain entire other dimensions of reality, one would think. (I am not looking for a definite answer. I think "We don't know" is actually OK in this context, but would be interested in any thoughts.)
Well it definitely exists and we certainly cant see it, only its effects.Im with you, it does make you think that when science talks of mass being vibrations are we in one spectrum of vibrations and a milliard of other existences, all vibrating in different spectrum's..When we have these strange anomalies of sightings of strange creatures and crafts in our history , could it be they have drifted into our realm, we certainly disappear without trace on occasions.
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2009 03:08 pm
@jeeprs,
Well I think with many developments in physics and cosmology over the last century, the world has become, to paraphrase a physicist, not only stranger than we imagine, but stranger than we can imagine.

Quote:
Whether or not it's materialistic isn't much relevant.


The point is that few of us have noticed that the commonsense notion of reality itself has been completely transformed in the last century. You might have this thought in the back of your mind, oh well, I don't understand the details, but scientists have got it worked out. Well - do they?

We have an implicit understanding of 'reality' as being this 'extended space in which separate beings exist'. This is the 'consensus reality' of naive realism. Call this view materialism, physicalism, or whatever you like: it has been completely undermined by physics itself. I don't think many people realise the enormity of this.
0 Replies
 
hue-man
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2009 07:21 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs wrote:
Hi All

I note an earlier thread on this topic here. I too have puzzled over this idea and would like to put it up again for any responses.

I am not scientifically trained, nor with any expertise in physics. I am a writer who reads about such topics in New Scientist and so on. So these are all the wonderings of a layman - they are certainly more poetic than technical, but here goes.

The current 'model of the universe' holds that dark matter 'accounts for the vast majority of the mass in the observable universe.' (Wikipedia.) Furthermore, we are told that Dark Matter is 'not directly observable'. Its existence is inferred from measurements of the rate of expansion of the observable universe. It is described as 'non-baryonic' meaning in layman's terms 'not consisting of atoms'.

Well pardon me, but I can't help having the feeling that this opens a can of worms of cosmic proportions. If in fact a large percentage of the Universe consists of something we can't even detect or see but only infer, then I would have thought that the 'scientific materialist' picture of the universe is in pretty dire straights. After all, the very ground of scientific materialism is that what we can detect and measure with our senses and instruments IS the sole reality. Now we are told that he existence of most of the stuff around us, by weight, can't even be detected. So doesn't this leave room for other kinds of beings or entities or intelligences that might originate or dwell in the same unknowable and un-measurable dimension? (I won't even hazard a guess what these might be.)

There is an expression called the God of the Gaps, referring to 'the role of God as being confined to the "gaps" in scientific explanations of nature.' Of course we are told that with the triumphal march of science, etc, the gaps are nowadays pretty small. However it would seem to me that with the current state of cosmology - dark matter being only one of several very mystifying developments - the gaps have suddenly gotten an awful lot bigger. Big enough to contain entire other dimensions of reality, one would think. (I am not looking for a definite answer. I think "We don't know" is actually OK in this context, but would be interested in any thoughts.)


This is more suited for the philosophy of science board, but I the relationship between metaphysics and science can make certain topics too close to call.

In the philosophy of science a proposition is considered to be a scientific theory if and only if it can be empirically verified and tested. A proposition that can only be verified by logic is considered to be a scientific hypothesis. Dark matter and dark energy are both considered to be scientific hypotheses because they are only able to verified by logic, and logic has its limits. Science places empirical verification as the higher standard to something that is verified by logic alone.

Dark matter and dark energy helps to explain the very slight gaps in the theory of relativity. All of the tests and observations to date have confirmed the theory of relativity, and all of the current data confirms the dark matter hypothesis. Until science consolidates, (which it is very close to doing) it is a provisional process that is used to ultimately find the objective truth. Science approaches knowledge as a practical concept.

God, whether we speak of metaphysics or science, is a failed hypothesis. Some conceptions of God are logically decidable (theism and divine revelation or interventionism), but other conceptions of God (deism and the first cause argument) are logically undecidable, and therefore logically invalid. A sentence does not state a proposition if it is neither logically decidable nor empirically verifiable.
Theaetetus
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2009 07:40 pm
@hue-man,
hue-man wrote:
This is more suited for the philosophy of science board, but I the relationship between metaphysics and science can make certain topics too close to call.


I moved the thread to the philosophy of science, because cosmology is a science rather than a branch of metaphysics.

hue-man wrote:

In the philosophy of science a proposition is considered to be a scientific theory if and only if it can be empirically verified and tested. A proposition that can only be verified by logic is considered to be a scientific hypothesis. Dark matter and dark energy are both considered to be scientific hypotheses because they are only able to verified by logic, and logic has its limits. Science places empirical verification as the higher standard to something that is verified by logic alone.

Well, actually scientific hypotheses are verified by observation, not logic. Logic can be valid for arguments that postulate that the moon is in fact green cheese. It is observation that verifies that the moon is not made of green cheese, but rather is pretty much made of a rocky substance.

hue-man wrote:

Dark matter and dark energy helps to explain the very slight gaps in the theory of relativity. All of the tests and observations to date have confirmed the theory of relativity, and all of the current data confirms the dark matter hypothesis. Until science consolidates, (which it is very close to doing) it is a provisional process that is used to ultimately find the objective truth. Science approaches knowledge as a practical concept.

Dark matter does not so much explain the gaps in the theory of relativity, but rather the gaps in how much matter exists in the universe. According to theory (I forget specifics, and I am lazy to look it up right now) visible matter cannot alone cannot account for what is observed in the universe (I think it has to do with gravity holding together galaxies).

hue-man wrote:

God, whether we speak of metaphysics or science, is a failed hypothesis. Some conceptions of God are logically decidable (theism and divine revelation or interventionism), but other conceptions of God (deism and the first cause argument) are logically undecidable, and therefore logically invalid. A sentence does not state a proposition if it is neither logically decidable nor empirically verifiable.

Its not that God is logically invalid, it is that observation cannot verify or deny God's existence or nonexistence. Logic's job is to show that conclusions follow from the premises. Now whether or not those conclusions are factual or not is outside the real of logic.
hue-man
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2009 07:58 pm
@Theaetetus,
Quote:
Well, actually scientific hypotheses are verified by observation, not logic. Logic can be valid for arguments that postulate that the moon is in fact green cheese. It is observation that verifies that the moon is not made of green cheese, but rather is pretty much made of a rocky substance.


The fact that the moon is made of a rocky substance is not a hypothesis. Dark matter is a hypothesis because it cannot be directly observed. A proposition can only be verified by the use of logic if it cannot be directly observed. That's why they call it a hypothesis.

Quote:
Dark matter does not so much explain the gaps in the theory of relativity, but rather the gaps in how much matter exists in the universe. According to theory (I forget specifics, and I am lazy to look it up right now) visible matter cannot alone cannot account for what is observed in the universe (I think it has to do with gravity holding together galaxies).


Dark matter is used to explain gravitational observations which logically say that there should be matter in the spaces within solar systems and galaxies, and this matter and dark energy are causing the observations that aren't explained by the theory of relativity alone. I saw it on that history channel show - the universe. I've also read about it at science daily. So you and I are both right because E=MC2.

New Theory Unites Dark Matter & Dark Energy

Dark Matter, Dark Energy: The Dark Side of the Universe

Quote:
Its not that God is logically invalid, it is that observation cannot verify or deny God's existence or nonexistence. Logic's job is to show that conclusions follow from the premises. Now whether or not those conclusions are factual or not is outside the real of logic.
The God proposition cannot be empirically observed, and so we are forced to fall back on logic.The God hypothesis is logically invalid because it can be logically deduced as false (theism and divine interventionism), or it's not logically decidable (deism and the first cause argument). This renders the conceptions of God and any other supernatural agents as either logical falsehoods or meaningless propositions. Parsimony also demands that supernatural agency be rejected until it can be logically verified, or empirically verified as true.
Theaetetus
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2009 09:41 pm
@hue-man,
hue-man wrote:
The fact that the moon is made of a rocky substance is not a hypothesis. Dark matter is a hypothesis because it cannot be directly observed. A proposition can only be verified by the use of logic if it cannot be directly observed. That's why they call it a hypothesis.


A hypothesis has nothing to do with whether or not something can be directly observed or not. A hypothesis is nothing but a tentative statement to explain an observation, phenomenon, or scientific problem that can be tested by further observation. The moon is mad of green cheese is a hypothesis. Of course, further observation would deny it, but there is no reason why that cannot be a hypothesis to be investigated.

hue-man wrote:

The God proposition cannot be empirically observed, and so we are forced to fall back on logic.The God hypothesis is logically invalid because it can be logically deduced as false (theism and divine interventionism), or it's not logically decidable (deism and the first cause argument). This renders the conceptions of God and any other supernatural agents as either logical falsehoods or meaningless propositions. Parsimony also demands that supernatural agency be rejected until it can be logically verified, or empirically verified as true.


You are right that God cannot be empirically observed, but the God hypothesis is not logically invalid, it just cannot be observed. Since it cannot be observed it is not really a hypothesis in the first place. So the God hypothesis is really an issue with language. The idea that God exists is a notion or a metaphysical explanation, but one can logically argue for the existence of God.
hue-man
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2009 10:32 pm
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus wrote:
A hypothesis has nothing to do with whether or not something can be directly observed or not. A hypothesis is nothing but a tentative statement to explain an observation, phenomenon, or scientific problem that can be tested by further observation. The moon is mad of green cheese is a hypothesis. Of course, further observation would deny it, but there is no reason why that cannot be a hypothesis to be investigated.


You are right when you say that it doesn't really depend on whether something is directly observable or not, but there is a difference between a scientific hypothesis and a scientific theory. If a hypothesis is able to be tested and verified, it is no longer a hypothesis but a theory. Any useful hypothesis will deal with predictions by logical induction. What I'm basically saying is that dark matter would not be called a hypothesis if it was directly observable.


Theaetetus wrote:
You are right that God cannot be empirically observed, but the God hypothesis is not logically invalid, it just cannot be observed. Since it cannot be observed it is not really a hypothesis in the first place. So the God hypothesis is really an issue with language. The idea that God exists is a notion or a metaphysical explanation, but one can logically argue for the existence of God.


Scientifically speaking, God is a failed hypothesis because supernatural agency is not needed to explain natural phenomena. Philosophically speaking, being that God cannot be empirically verified due to the attributes that people have given to the concept, the justification of such a belief depends on logic. The conception of a God that possesses the attributes of omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence and benevolence can be logically deduced as false. Many of the attributes given to the theistic conception of God are incoherent with each other and incompatible with the events of the world and universe we live in.

The deistic conception of God is logically undecidable because it depends on the first cause argument. The first cause argument does not lead to a logical conclusion. If everything must be created by something or someone else then what created God? This leads to an infinite number of creators, which is not logical at all because it doesn't lead to a conclusion. One can make a logical argument for the existence of God in terms of form, but one cannot make an argument for God that passes the test of logical validity.
xris
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Apr, 2009 04:04 am
@hue-man,
With your attention to detail you have missed the point of the debate....Is there cause to believe that this invisible matter and energy is evidence of the possibility of parallel universes, vibrating in a different spectrum?
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Apr, 2009 04:51 am
@jeeprs,
I note, Hue-man, your statement:
Quote:
very slight gaps in the theory of relativity

It just so happens these 'very slight gaps' are now thought to account for 80% of the Universe. So please re-consider your use of the term 'slight'. I think it is fair to say that anything which is deemed to comprise 80% of the universe could not be realistically described as 'slight'.

Which just reinforces my point about the "God of the Gaps". When I made this point, I was far more interested in 'gaps' than 'God' - theorising about 'God' does not interest me much.

What I was driving at is the fact that so much of the Universe is now held to be composed of something which, without too much of a stretch, could be described as 'occult', where 'occult' means 'hidden'.

Incidentally, and I digress here, does anyone see the parallel between 'dark matter/energy' and the 'luminiferous aether' which one hundred years ago was thought to be the 'carrier' of light waves?
xris
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Apr, 2009 05:25 am
@jeeprs,
Im no expert but the string theory gives us clues.If matter is made up of sub atomic particles, vibrating strings that appear to be in more than one place at any one time,is there not a balance between these universes and the matter they contain.When they appear to be in two places is it because they are reflections of themselves in time.If we had several universes the time would not be the same because the activity is occurring in more than one space.The space time continuum would be fractured so time would or could be discounted..Sorry i cant really explain myself..
0 Replies
 
hue-man
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Apr, 2009 08:35 am
@xris,
xris wrote:
With your attention to detail you have missed the point of the debate....Is there cause to believe that this invisible matter and energy is evidence of the possibility of parallel universes, vibrating in a different spectrum?


Dark matter and dark energy have nothing to do with parallel universes. The existence of matter that doesn't reflect light is not cause enough to believe in the parallel universe "theory", as it is much more complex than dark matter. The parallel universe "theory" is a result of the misinterpretation of a phenomenon known as quantum leap.

---------- Post added at 10:52 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:35 AM ----------

jeeprs wrote:
I note, Hue-man, your statement:

It just so happens these 'very slight gaps' are now thought to account for 80% of the Universe. So please re-consider your use of the term 'slight'. I think it is fair to say that anything which is deemed to comprise 80% of the universe could not be realistically described as 'slight'.

Which just reinforces my point about the "God of the Gaps". When I made this point, I was far more interested in 'gaps' than 'God' - theorising about 'God' does not interest me much.

What I was driving at is the fact that so much of the Universe is now held to be composed of something which, without too much of a stretch, could be described as 'occult', where 'occult' means 'hidden'.

Incidentally, and I digress here, does anyone see the parallel between 'dark matter/energy' and the 'luminiferous aether' which one hundred years ago was thought to be the 'carrier' of light waves?


My use of the word gap was wrong. There are no gaps in the theory of relativity. What I meant was that the motion and speed of the galaxies needed something more than the theory of relativity alone to explain the phenomenon. Once you inject the dark matter hypothesis in, it fits perfectly with the theory of relativity and the data. Dark energy is also compatible with the data and helps to explain why the universe is expanding at an increasing rate. However, our knowledge of these two entities, dark matter and dark energy, are still limited because of their nature.

As for the God of the gaps - there are very few gaps to fit God into anymore. I really don't believe that there are anymore gaps for God to hide in. What's more likely and parsimonious - that a God is pulling the fabric of space-time or that a force of mass energy is responsible for the rapid expansion? Like all phenomena, this phenomenon can be explained in more parsimonious, natural terms. There is no need for supernatural explanations to explain natural phenomena.
xris
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Apr, 2009 09:26 am
@hue-man,
Our knowledge of dark matter is virtually nil so how can you be so certain that this mass is not a reflection of other universes.To be so certain! is there no multi verses? have they dark matter? When science can not answer certain questions its only right that we speculate.
hue-man
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Apr, 2009 10:05 am
@xris,
xris wrote:
Our knowledge of dark matter is virtually nil so how can you be so certain that this mass is not a reflection of other universes.To be so certain! is there no multi verses? have they dark matter? When science can not answer certain questions its only right that we speculate.


I wouldn't say that our knowledge of dark matter is nill, but it is certainly limited at this point. I am certain that this mass is not a reflection of other universes because it has nothing to do with the physics of parallel universes.

Also parallel universes are not always synonymous with multiple universes. The parallel universes "theory" is the belief that there is another universe for every "quantum indeterminacy". Therefore, there is a universe where I am typing the very opposite of what I am typing right now. There's a universe where Islam has dominated the entire world. There's a universe where Columbus discovered Australia, etc. etc. It's ridiculously silly, but what the hell.

Multiple universe simply mean that there are more universes than our universe, and that all of these universes are related to a single event in the remote past. It is believed that every universe pops out of another universe; maybe through the singularities created by black holes or some other force. The possible confirmation of M-theory may be enough to believe that these other universes exist, but I don't believe in it at this point.
xris
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Apr, 2009 10:50 am
@hue-man,
hue-man wrote:
I wouldn't say that our knowledge of dark matter is nill, but it is certainly limited at this point. I am certain that this mass is not a reflection of other universes because it has nothing to do with the physics of parallel universes.

Also parallel universes are not always synonymous with multiple universes. The parallel universes "theory" is the belief that there is another universe for every "quantum indeterminacy". Therefore, there is a universe where I am typing the very opposite of what I am typing right now. There's a universe where Islam has dominated the entire world. There's a universe where Columbus discovered Australia, etc. etc. It's ridiculously silly, but what the hell.

Multiple universe simply mean that there are more universes than our universe, and that all of these universes are related to a single event in the remote past. It is believed that every universe pops out of another universe; maybe through the singularities created by black holes or some other force. The possible confirmation of M-theory may be enough to believe that these other universes exist, but I don't believe in it at this point.
I believed the parallel universe examples you gave where well known examples of an infinite universe not parallel universes.Ive never heard of speculated universes occupied by earthly creatures alone.
Dark matter is an effect not a visible entity and for you to say it does not exist in another space time continuum for certain is a very brave statement.Most of modern cosmology starts with a novel thought and progresses with theoretical examination and hopefully with observable evidence.
hue-man
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Apr, 2009 12:58 pm
@xris,
xris wrote:
I believed the parallel universe examples you gave where well known examples of an infinite universe not parallel universes.Ive never heard of speculated universes occupied by earthly creatures alone.
Dark matter is an effect not a visible entity and for you to say it does not exist in another space time continuum for certain is a very brave statement.Most of modern cosmology starts with a novel thought and progresses with theoretical examination and hopefully with observable evidence.


Let's make this clear so that no one gets it misunderstood. Dark matter is an entity, it has mass, and it therefore has effects on the other forms of matter around it. It simply doesn't reflect light, which makes it an invisible entity.

I didn't say that dark matter didn't exist in another universe. I said that it has nothing to do with the "theory" of parallel universes.
Holiday20310401
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Apr, 2009 07:03 pm
@hue-man,
Just a few questions. Where is dark matter in the universe? Is it just observed 'inter-galactically' sorta thing or is it said to construe throughout all the nooks and crannies of the universe. When they say a galaxy has fives times as much mass as expected and they find there is this dark matter, in what regions of the galaxy is dark matter observed?
Theaetetus
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Apr, 2009 07:23 pm
@jeeprs,
Everywhere that matter is generally not observed, if I remember correctly. The only reason for the existence of the dark matter is due to the fact that observation cannot account for what is expected.
0 Replies
 
 

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