Astronomy’s Dark Secret

April 1, 2010

Is NASA pouring taxpayer money down black holes? How pseudo-science has infected the the biggest projects in astrophysics.

by Liam Scheff

Smithsonian Magazine, the enjoyable and informative publication of the Smithsonian Institute, devoted some 6+ pages of glossy print to Richard Panek’s article on “dark matter” and “dark energy,” (a teaser for his impending book on the invisible subject).

Don’t know what dark energy is? It’s invisible. It can’t be measured. It can’t be seen. It exists because astronomers say it does, because they need it to. Why? Because it holds their version of the universe together. (Their version? Yes, their version – not the observable universe, but their current approved theory).

Am I being too hard on the dear lads at NASA? Let’s test my appraisal. The article features the following image, which will tell you all you need to know about “dark energy,” (which does not exist).

“- Michael Turner coined the term “dark energy” in 1998. No one knows what it is.”

No one, except…no one. But that doesn’t stop NASA, or the author Richard Panek, from describing it as a fact, and a reality:

“Scientists reach a consensus in the early 1970s that there was more to the universe than meets the eye…the Milky Way, theorists found, that the center should not hold – based on what we can see of it, our galaxy doesn’t have enough mass to keep everything in place. As it rotates, it should disintegrate, shedding stars and gas in every direction.”

“Either a spiral galaxy such as the Milky Way violates the laws of gravity, or the light emanating from it – from the vast glowing clouds of gas and myriad of stars – is an inaccurate indication of the galaxy’s mass.”

“But what if some of a galaxy’s mass didn’t radiate light? If spiral galaxies contained enough of such mystery mass, then they might well be obeying the laws of gravity.”

Or, maybe gravity is not in control… but never mind. Onward they go:

“Astronomers dubbed the invisible mass ‘dark matter.‘”

What “invisible mass?” The mass that a gravity-only theory needs to exist, in order to keep a gravity-only theory from failing.

So, bring in the ‘missing mass’ to hold it all together. Dark energy, dark matter, and black holes, all ‘exist’ in the minds of astronomers, who are wedded, irreconcilably and interminably, to “Big Bang theory,” which states that gravity rules the universe. Gravity is weak force. A terribly weak force. You need a lot of mass to create a little gravity. “Where’s the mass?” asked the gravity-only theorists.

Big Bang theory also tells this exciting tale: “Everything started as nothing – which exploded.” (Or, expanded, and then expanded again, and is now increasing its speed of up-blowing). Make sense?

Sure it does. Just ask Michael Turner, who, with a “consensus” of fellow Bangers, decided that, although Big Bang theory accurately predicted zilch to nada of the observable universe, they would still hold onto it, and keep adding and adding to it (even if what they had to add was invisible, and without weight, mass or substance).

So now we know: Dark matter is what’s missing to create the gravity that must be in place to keep the Milky Way from spinning into toffee. But what is dark energy? It is what’s needed to keep the universe as a whole expanding. Why? Because gravity doesn’t explain it, and the Big Bang doesn’t either. What’s a scientist to do? How about asserting that there is an invisible, unmeasurable energy source holding it all up? Well, why not, If it makes the contraption ‘work?’

From the scientists at the Wikipedia:

“In physical cosmology, astronomy and celestial mechanics, dark energy is a hypothetical form of energy that permeates all of space and tends to increase the rate of expansion of the universe. Dark energy is the most popular way to explain recent observations and experiments that the universe appears to be expanding at an accelerating rate. In the standard model of cosmology, dark energy currently accounts for 74% of the total mass-energy of the universe…Measuring the equation of state of dark energy is one of the biggest efforts in observational cosmology today.”

Wow! Seventy-four percent of the universe is “hypothetical!” Thanks, NASA.

Historical Note: A fellow named Ptolemy did this for his Earth-centered solar system, way back in the long-time-agos. Holding that the Earth was the central axis of the solar system (and galaxy, and universe), Ptolemy was correctly able to model the movement of the planets around a central Earth. He did so by adding ever more mini-orbits onto the major orbits of the planets. These were called Epicycles.

Ptolemaic Epicycle
– Look, ma, no hands!

Did I mention that he made the theory work on paper? Never let it be said that scientists can’t be creative. Now back to modern astronomy…

The good news is, you pay for this research. Them’s tax dollars at work. This is what NASA has become in recent decades. Far from the brave and brazen rocket-jockeys of the past, they are now a minion enslaved to furtive and angry equations – a science of fiction, or speculation. Pure math, and nothing seen, nothing learned.

Am I being snarky? Nope. That’s just how it is:

“Astronomers like to say that for more pristine observing conditions, they would have to go into outer space—an exponentially more expensive proposition, and one that NASA generally doesn’t like to pursue unless the science can’t easily be done on Earth. (A dark energy satellite has been on and off the drawing board since 1999, and last year went “back to square one,” according to one NASA adviser.) At least on Earth, if something goes wrong with an instrument, you don’t need to commandeer a space shuttle to fix it.”

You see? Here on Earth, we can use our imaginations to see “dark matter” and “dark energy” and unicorns and black holes. And they’re right in any case, because if it doesn’t exist, going to space to see it is just a waste of time…

Strange for an article which states: “More than most sciences, astronomy depends on the sense of sight…” Well, golly! Good start! And then, “…before astronomers can reimagine the universe as a whole, they first have to figure out how to perceive the dark parts.”

Why do they have to “reimagine” it? Can’t they just look at the universe, and see what’s there? Nope. Because what’s there isn’t what they want to see. The known universe is Electro-Magnetic in form and structure. But that contradicts Big Bang theory (and Einstein’s wishful thinking) which state that space is a “void.” Even though it isn’t. The article continues, “Knowing what dark energy does would help scientists think about how that structure has evolved over time – and how it will continue to evolve.”

Oy vay. Now it evolves? From “seeing” to “believing,” to “needing more funding” in 4 seconds flat.

“For all its advances, astronomy turns out to have been laboring under an incorrect, if reasonable, assumption: what you see is what you get. Now astronomers have to adapt to the idea that the universe is not the stuff of us—in the grand scheme of things, our species and our planet and our galaxy and everything we have ever seen are, as theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss of Arizona State University has said, “a bit of pollution.”

Yet cosmologists tend not to be discouraged. “The really hard problems are great,” says Michael Turner, “because we know they’ll require a crazy new idea.” As Andreas Albrecht, a cosmologist at the University of California at Davis, said at a recent conference on dark energy: ‘If you put the timeline of the history of science before me and I could choose any time and field, this is where I’d want to be.’”

That’s scientism, kids: “You are pollution. You need new crazy ideas. And you should not trust what you see.”

You don’t have to be a genius to do it, just a good story-teller.

So, when will NASA stop ‘borrowing’ taxpayer dollars to do experiments with invisible monsters in space? When will they focus on the electromagnetic currents winding through the galaxy and universe?

Cygnus Loop
Electromagnetic plasma in space. My Goodness – talk about a future energy source.

When will it change? When you tell them that you’ve had enough. That takes writing and blogging and talking about it. So talk, write, blog. You can write Smithsonian HERE. Ask them if they’d mind covering the Big Bang controversy, or Plasma Cosmology. Can’t hurt. Might help.

I submitted the following as a letter to the editor. I hope it doesn’t disappear down a “black hole.” (which also does not exist).

Dear Editor,

Regarding “Dark Energy: The Biggest Mystery in the Universe

Has it occurred to anyone at Smithsonian Magazine, that what cannot be seen, measured, or verified, might not, in fact, exist?

How do you devote five or six pages of your usually fine journal to a bit of scientism so speculative and un-falsifiable…without even raising the question:

Do these guys really know what they are talking about?

Isn’t it worth noting that the Big Bang theory has been falsified in its every iteration – from Father Georges Lemaitre’s reconciliation of the Biblical Genesis, with modern astro-physics, to current CMV estimates:

* First there was nothing, then BANG, there was everything!

* “There was silence on the face of the deep, and the Lord said, let there be light, and there was light.”

How different are these two creation stories? (Not at all). How similar? (entirely). Is that just coincidence?

Father Georges LeMaitre attempted to correlate Edwin Hubble’s observation of a shift into the red of distant objects – even as Hubble himself warned that interpreting redshift as a Doppler effect might be unwise and unwarranted.

Halton Arp then falsified redshift through the observation of contradictory galaxies and celestial bodies: Redshift was more likely a determinant of age, and not distance.

Sir Fred Hoyle had his own problems with the ludicrous and quite Biblical Big Bang ‘theory,’ so much so that he devised a ’steady state’ model to try to better match what is observed.

Kristian Birkeland noted, in the early 20th C. that Earth is bathed and coated with electromagnetic energy. Hans Alfven took the observation further, and revealed that all of outer space courses with electromagnetic energy – a force 10 to the power of 39 times more powerful than gravity.

10 with 39 zeros.

So, who needs “dark energy?”

I take the citation from your otherwise good and serious journal as a last word:

“Michael Turner coined the term “dark energy” in 1998. No one knows what it is.” That’s because it isn’t.

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