Advance warning - this has NOTHING to do with Quake...
I'm writing about the whole Dark Matter thing because once again I see a lot of eminent and respected scientists blowing their own trumpets over having found more proofs of it. I am neither eminent, nor respected, nor a scientist, when it comes to this, but I do have the advantage that I'm on the outside looking in.
Nothing much qualifies me for this aside from the fact that I've read a few books and thought a little about stuff.
Before I start off for real though, I want to go back in time by about 1000 years. The world was much smaller then, most of it unknown, and when medieval cartographers would get to a part of the map they did not know about, some of them would write "here be dragons" on it.
Fast forward to the present. We have two main cornerstones of science: theory and observation. Let me quote some Stephen Hawking at you:
"You can disprove a theory by finding even a single observation that disagrees with the predictions of the theory."Still with me?
OK, now I'll throw the next part into the mix: we have a cosmological theory that predicts that the amount of matter in the universe should be some figure which I'll call X, and we have observations that say "hold on, it's actually quite a lot less, 5% or thereabouts of X".
Ba-da-bing, theory disproved (or at the very least it gets a "must try harder") one would think, but OH NO! Instead of that, theorists have invented what is - when you think about it - mystical pixie dust - so as to enable them to claim that the observations are somehow lacking.
"Here be dragons" indeed! In fact this is even a case of "here be epicycles" - another classic example of trying to shore up an inadequate theory - and in the process impeding genuine scientific advancement for a whole long time - by inventing more and more unlikely explanations.
"But the standard model of cosmology is one of our most successful theories ever" is the general cry, but then again so were Newtons laws of gravitation; so successful in fact that they can still be used today for virtually all practical purposes. But success doesn't change the fact that they were WRONG WRONG WRONG.
Dark Matter, or Mystical Pixie Dust, is a great victory for theoretical hubris, the refusal to accept that a theory could be wrong or lacking in the face of observational evidence.