googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: Exotic Cosmology Part 4: Dark Matter and Dark Energy

Monday, September 1, 2014

Exotic Cosmology Part 4: Dark Matter and Dark Energy

In my last post, I talked a little about the “Flatness problem” that exists in Big Bang cosmology. The term “flat” applies to the shape of a model that describes our universe as it exists. When the supposed Big Bang began, there had to be a precise balance between the rate of expansion and the rate the expansion slowed. A too fast expansion would have created an “open” universe where no stars could have formed. A too slow expansion would have created a “closed” universe” where all the matter would have fallen back together in a big crunch. Our universe is “flat,” that is, it has not expanded too fast or too slow but “just right.”

The precise, fine-tuned balance necessary between expansion and slowing is represented by the Greek letter omega (W) which has the mathematical value of 1. Matter produces gravity. At the beginning of the Big Bang, all the matter in the universe existed in a single point. As space began to expand, matter began to move apart so there had to be enough matter to slow the expansion enough to allow stars to form. The problem is, that even with all the visible matter in the universe, it would not create enough gravity to slow the initial expansion. It wasn't just a little bit less, it was only about 10-20% of the amount of matter needed to bring W to 1. Also, as scientists observed distant galaxies (which always form a spiral shape), they noticed the stars in those galaxies did not move in the ways predicted by the Big Bang.

With the amount of matter visible in the universe, the Big Bang is not a viable theory nor does it accurately describe the motions of distant galaxies. Rather than questioning their theory, though, scientists assume the matter is still there, we just can't see it! They actually believe that about 85% of all the matter in the universe is invisible.  They called this invisible matter, "dark matter."

When scientists add this hypothetical “dark matter” to their predictions of the movement of stars in distant galaxies, it does make their calculations match what is being observed. However, when we observe stars in our own galaxy, specifically those within 13,000 light-years from us, we can see that they are only affected by visible matter. The mass that we see around our own sun is attracted by visible matter and there is no room for any extra, “dark” matter.

So dark matter is one of those things that we cannot observe directly on earth. Even though it's supposed to represent the majority of all matter, it exerts no gravitational affect in the nearby universe. It simply another one of those exotic theories that cannot be tested nor observed and is invoked seemingly to just smooth out problems with a flawed theory.

But that's not the half of it. Scientists have recently discovered in the last couple of decades that the universe isn't just still expanding – it's accelerating! But what force out there could be causing the universe to expand more rapidly against the braking force of gravity? They theorized that space isn't really empty but is comprised of a force they termed “dark energy.” And if you thought that the idea of most of the matter that exists is invisible sounded “exotic,” then hold on to your socks. Scientists believe that about 75% of the universe is comprised of “dark energy.” So, according to Big Bang cosmology, the part of the universe that we can actually experience, observe, and test only represents about 4% of all there is. The rest of it is invisible!

Now, I'm not opposed to the idea that there may be particles we haven't yet discovered. The existence of dark matter or dark energy does not affect the creation model in the slightest. If such things exist, scientific inquiry might lead us to them. However, the Big Bang theory virtually demands that they exist. It sort of reminds me of Carl Sagan's “Invisible Dragon.” Secular cosmologists tell us it's there but they have a long list of reasons why we can't see it. I'll tell you another possible reason why we can't see it – maybe it's not there!

Maybe dark matter and energy are like phlogiston. Maybe they're like epicylces and deferents. They might seem to help explain what we observe but later we will find out they never really existed. They could just be symptoms of a flawed premise – a premise that is being kept afloat by continuously invoking fanciful explanations. Also like phlogiston and epicycles, maybe someday these too may be discarded when the underlying theory is abandoned.


Lu MontyZ said...

Well written, good sir. I think I left a comment recently about Special Cosmological Relativity and how it explains the rotation of galaxies and the velocity of space on the Oort Cloud post. It's pretty straight forward and non-fanciful, not relying on "hidden" factors. I can provide a few interesting reads if you'd like.

Regardless of my musings (edited b/c Google is being weird with character count), I find the BBT deficient due to ad hoc explanations of galaxy rotation and formation, star and planet formation, to name a few.

Addendum: As I was about to post this, I remembered to check replies to the Oort Cloud post. I see that Carvin said something about the old "in actual science, things are predicted." Carmellian physics allow for models that do that while allowing a young universe that looks old, while "curing" the problems of the BBT.

Even so, RK, I see what you're doing: you're simply saying the BBT has problems. You're not "proving" a creationist theory or "disproving" the BBT, just showing how the BBT's predictions require more and more post-explanation, something that really doesn't predict at all. Also, I'm having trouble getting the CAPTCHA to take, so if I submit a bazillion comments, please just publish the first one.

RKBentley said...

Lu MontyZ,

Thanks for visiting and for your comments. I apologize that I have not responded to your previous comment. I'm really trying to make my blog a priority but my other responsibilities keep intruding. I apologize too for my use of CAPTCHAs. I would prefer not to have them at all but my comment section was becoming deluged with spam so badly that I was forced to add that feature. Some people are also confused by my moderation feature and sometimes leave a second commenting thinking the first one was lost. When that happens, I usually only publish one.

I have read a little about Carmeli's Special Cosmological Relativity. If you have some particular links you think summarize the theory well then please include them in a comment. From what I've read, there are some similarities between Carmeli's cosmology and Humphrey's “white hole cosmology.” You're right, too, that any model that can describe observed phenomenon without continuously resorting to ad hoc sub-theories would be superior to the Big Bang.

I'd like to clarify my position also. Everyone who visits my blog knows that I'm a young earth creationist. Consequently, I believe the Big Bang theory is false. However, unlike many evolutionists, I will admit there are certain things about my theory that cannot be proven. In the case of the unbounded universe, for example, we cannot travel to the end of observable space to see what's beyond it. We can't fly in a straight line and see if we really will end up where we started. All I can say is that, from what we observe, it's more reasonable to believe that we are near the center of a bounded universe than to believe we are in no special place of an unbounded universe where anywhere is the center.

In that same vein, neither can I “prove” there is no Oort cloud because I can't fly 50,000 AU away to see if it's not there. Neither can I “prove” that invisible particles don't exist in galaxies 1 billion light years away. In these cases too, I can only appeal to what is reasonable based on what we can test.

Thanks again for your comments. Please keep visiting. God bless!!


Steven J. said...

I hesitated to respond to this post because I have nothing to say that I haven't said before: the Big Bang explains a multitude of data (the distribution of cosmic redshifts, the relative cosmic abundances of hydrogen and helium, the cosmic microwave background) that young-earth creationism has no explanation for (but then, strictly speaking, young-earth creationism invokes epicycles weirder than dark energy and harder to reconcile with the data than phlogiston just to explain why we can see distant galaxies. I'd never heard of "special cosmological relativity" or Carmellian physics before, but a quick search indicates that they, too, introduce various "epicycles" easily as bizarre as dark matter to "explain" matters more easily explained by the simple inference that the universe is very old and billions of years ago was much smaller, hotter, and denser.

I'm curious, though: RKBentley calls young-earth creationism a "theory." What cosmological observations does it predict? What sort of observations would count against it?

RKBentley said...

Steven J,

One of my purposes in writing this brief series was to show that the Big Bang model is not the neat, explains-all package that it is presented as. There are serious problems with the theory and it constantly needs to be propped up with exotic sub-theories in order to be kept viable.

Some of the things you call “predictions” are actually “observations” that you're retrofitting to make your model seem predictive. We have seen that space is expanding. If we extrapolate backward far enough, we could say that would mean all of the universe once existed in a single point. Is that a prediction? I would say that is your model. So the Big Bang doesn't predict cosmic redshift as much as it was born out of the cosmic redshift.

What's worse, though, is that your model doesn't predict the redshift we actually observe. We should see some stars moving away from us more rapidly than other stars – unless we happened to be at the very center of the universe! Well we do see all stars moving away from us at approximately the same rate so the cosmic redshift we observe is not what is predicted by your theory. In order to explain how we coincidentally occupy such a unique position – against mind-numbing odds – secular cosmologists invented a phlogiston-like model that says the universe really has no center and would look the same from whatever point it was observed. A fanciful solution, I grant you, but hardly one that can be tested since we can't actually reach some distant point in the universe to test it.

I've also read some creationist papers that talked about the CMB and how our understanding of how it was created has been tweaked as we've changed our understanding of the Big Bang so much that it's really hard to consider it a successful prediction. Yet even if I grant you that prediction, what about all the failed predictions of the Big Bang? What about the missing monopoles? Oh yeah, they've invoked a “cool” inflation to cover that. What about the missing matter necessary in the very beginning to slow expansion enough to allow stars to form? Oh yeah, they've invoked invisible matter to cover that. Successful predictions do not “prove” a theory but failed predictions normally would disprove a theory. I believe the Big Bang theory is on shaky ground regardless of how confidently cosmologists embrace it.

Your continuous retreat to “creationists do it too” is a red herring that doesn't resolve the serious problems in the Big Bang. I plan on discussing them in some upcoming posts but for now I'll just say that even if I were wrong, that doesn't make you right. You seem to think that the Big Bang could succeed as a theory if you just knock out all of its competition.

Thanks for your comments. God bless!!


Lu MontyZ said...


Thanks for the response. I'm sure it was just my browser acting up with the CAPTHCA. Also, I know the feeling of spam so don't sweat that, though I appreciate the explanation all the same. Don't worry too much about answering all my comments either; I can see that you read them which is what matters, and I appreciate it.

Here's a page with the basics of SCR:
Of course, knowledge of Calculus is helpful to see how the work is derived, but anyone can read the descriptions and limitations to come to their own conclusion. I can provide more once you've had time to analyze this link.

I do apologize if I muddled what you mean to do as a YEC. Though that paragraph reminds me, SCR addresses bounded v. unbounded as well.

As far as observation and proof, that's why I agree that the BBT is false. The factors needed just have to be discovered, yet other models explain those things without even predicting. They simply work.

Thanks as always for your responses. God bless!