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"New map of Universe's dark matter" Topic

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Tango0107 Aug 2017 3:47 p.m. PST

"Researchers have released the most accurate map ever produced of the dark matter in our Universe.

The team surveyed more than 26 million galaxies in the largest study of its kind.

The map will help scientists understand what dark matter is made from and learn more about another mysterious phenomenon called dark energy…"
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Personal logo Great War Ace Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2017 6:13 a.m. PST

This is the sort of "we don't know" article that tickles my skepticism.

Yet most people revere these self-admitted ignoramuses as "gods" of knowledge. We literally KNOW nothing beyond what incoming light tells us. And at its furthest extent, that is eight billion years old. Useless for telling us anything about what is going on; possibly useful for telling us what has already happened. If that tells us anything about what is going to happen, we don't know that yet.

If you see a light source through a distorting "membrane" you won't see that source accurately. If you don't know what the "membrane" is, you won't know why you are seeing the light source inaccurately. If you base your projected travels to said-light source on mathematical measurements of what you don't know, how exactly is that confidence building? Yet it works in close: we have managed to get to the moon and back because it is the equivalent of being within arm's reach. The rest of our solar system is also "within arm's reach". The further away we look the more distorted reality is.

I don't believe anything about any of it as reported. What we are told keeps changing too fast to allow for belief.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2017 10:51 a.m. PST

Yet most people revere these self-admitted ignoramuses as "gods" of knowledge.

Sorry but that is BS.

We literally KNOW nothing beyond what incoming light tells us.

Well the incoming light tells us that it has been bent by material that we cannot see. Therefore, the material has mass to distort the movement of the photons, and it doesn't radiate anything, therefore it is invisible to our sensors.

On another thread is the first interactions discovered with colliding neutrinos. They also give off no radiation and are "invisible" in most cases. However, through other means, we know they exist. In fact, 65 billion (!) of them fly through a single square cm on Earth every second. Neutrinos are not a candidate for dark matter since they do not react with photons. They don't weigh enough.

As for tossing around the term "ignoramus", maybe read up on gravitational lensing first.


By the way, Dark matter was coined in 1906 by physicist Henri Poincaire. A few decades later Oort (famous for the Oort cloud) was the first to discover that the movement of galaxies didn't correspond to their "observable" mass. This isn't some new "flavour of the month" physics topic. The observations are just beginning to corroborate the early ideas.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2017 2:03 p.m. PST

Oh ya, rereading my post shows me I need to add uncharged to the neutrino's characteristics. That means they won't react with other charged particles, such as electrons.

XRaysVision10 Aug 2017 7:40 a.m. PST

The word "dark" in both terms simply means "unknown" as we have be told time and time again. Dark matter is just a way of referring to an unknown source of gravity. In the observable universe gravity is the result of mass (matter) hence the term.

The same is true of dark energy. It's a simple way to refer to an unknown force. We can observe the result of the dark energy, but we simply don't know what it is.

Science, by it's very nature, is not static. It is a self-correcting method for developing information. As a result, what we think we know is constantly evolving as corrections take place. To people who don't understand the scientific method, it may appear the there isn't a direction in science.

But to say that we know nothing is as a ludicrous statement as would be to say that knowledge is absolute. You would be hard pressed to find a reputable scientist who would make either statement.

Perhaps the title of the OP should have been "New Map of the Universe's Unknown Gravitational Lensing" would make someone feel better.

Personal logo Great War Ace Supporting Member of TMP10 Aug 2017 8:51 a.m. PST

Science does not have a "direction". It is only pure when it is directionless. Questing for answers is by nature not in pursuit of a "direction".

But the very nature of pure science upsets many people who need/want direction in everything in life. Without an agreed upon "direction" they cannot trust in tomorrow. And they are suspicious of every new thing that does not dovetail into their direction imperative.

XRaysVision10 Aug 2017 9:17 a.m. PST

the "direction" to which I refer is from ignorance towards knowledge.

Personal logo Great War Ace Supporting Member of TMP10 Aug 2017 9:30 a.m. PST

That is the direction of our species, sans science. For thousands of years we had advanced without the scientific method, while believing in all manner of nonsense. Many/most of us insist on still believing in most of that nonsense, even glorying in a "neo paganism" or some deliberately adopted retro religion/superstition. It makes us special.

So those people who believe nonsense are not also getting knowledge to overcome their ignorance? That is almost a rhetorical question: since anyone who isn't dead yet is learning every day. Rational people (fortunately the vast majority of humans) do not deliberately flout experience, but learn from it. The aggregate of experience, passed on from the previous two generations, is what powers learning. Wisdom tends toward what works. The science behind it is largely unknown to the masses. Only a puny percentage of humans approach learning with science. Like leavening, science (once it arrived at the stage of being respected, revered and trusted) thrusts change into a forward leap of magnitudes. Not merely wisdom but facts power people's decisions.

And still, we have to stay open to being redirected by gobsmacking, totally unpredicted revelations. If there is a designing "God", s/he will use science to back up all otherwise perceived truth, and reveal new things.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP10 Aug 2017 10:58 a.m. PST

Only a puny percentage of humans approach learning with science.

As is amply demonstrated on the Science board.

Tango0110 Aug 2017 11:26 a.m. PST



mandt2 Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2017 7:05 a.m. PST

For thousands of years we had advanced without the scientific method, while believing in all manner of nonsense.

Say what?

Tumac's observation: I see fire.
Tumac's hypothesis: I think fire hot.
Tumac's experiment: Sticks hand in fire.
Tumac's conclusion: Fire is hot.

The "scientific method" is a term used to describe an analytical method that has been applied not only by humans but just about every other species with the ability to think in order to survive for millions of years.

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