Dragonfly 44: What Dark Matter is Telling Us
The data shows that modern science is badly in need of a theory to replace what is known as “dark matter.” This blog proposes a radical alternative to the theories making the rounds in physics. But the approach presented here may only seem radical to some readers because the existing theory is radically wrong.
So I invite comments comparing the theory presented here with the governing theory supported by orthodox science.
According to modern science, an invisible form of matter, known as dark matter, makes up 23% of the total matter in the universe. Only 4% of the total mass, according to this view of the world, is composed of familiar stuff — rocks, sand, soil, planets, and stars. (The other 73% is made up another invisible force with the name of “dark energy”).
We typically associate the gravitational force with mass; therefore, the larger the force of gravity the greater the mass.
And here is where the problem develops. Beginning with the work of Vera Rubin physicists discovered that the arrangement of stars in many galaxies could not be explained unless there was additional mass embedded in the galaxies. Additional mass, that is, that could not be seen or detected by any scientific instrument. This conclusion, however, is only necessary if gravity is not only a universal force but also universally constant; the same everywhere.
Vera Rubin and others recognized that in order for spiral galaxies to maintain their shape, more mass was needed to hold the pinwheel together.
But we cannot see this additional mass. Therefore, it must be invisible.
Scientific American recently reported on a drastic version of this problem in the Dragonfly 44 galaxy. This galaxy, as big as the Milky Way, consists of 99.99% dark matter. The galaxy is known as an ultradiffuse or “fluffy” galaxy, spread out into space, but with few stars to hold it all together. As the article reports, “a galaxy that big couldn’t possibly hold itself together with so few stars. There wouldn’t be enough gravity, and the stars would drift apart.”
Dragonfly 44 is telling us something here, and we should listen. The amount of dark matter imagined to be present in this galaxy is not 23%, the amount in the universe, but 99.99%, just the amount to hold this picturesque phenomenon together. Put differently, a “fluffy” galaxy would not be possible unless gravity was not a constant force.
So let’s suppose gravity is not a constant force and dark matter does not exist. What would that mean?
One answer is that the constant law of gravity does not draw the picture of the heavens. Rather, gravity follows from a more fundamental law of the universe. This law is beauty.
Creation is the ultimate thing of beauty; the most perfect symmetry. Contrary to the sterile, mathematical perspective of modern science, galaxies hold themselves together, and the universe presents itself as the most profound vision because, in the beginning, the mind of God wanted a beautiful world, one that would not be possible without spiral or “ultradiffuse” galaxies.
Listen: today’s scientists can have their dark matter; they can have their dark energy; and formulas; they can trumpet the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in ruling the cosmos. But at some point, we will realize that we don’t see dark matter because the original artist did not need it to draw the picture of the heavens. Beauty rules the cosmos, not gravity.