(BBC, Horizon: Is Everything We Know About the Universe Wrong?)
Last night I watched a great comedy show about a bunch of the world’s topmost boffins squirming in their pants at the realisation that perhaps they know nothing about how the universe works or how it came into being. The punch line: Dark Matter.
The great realisation that is making all astronomers, astrophysicists, particle physicists and the like sweat is that in order for our universe to exist in the ordered way that it does suggests that there is something in the spaces in between all the light/wave emitting matter, that is making the universe behave in that way, but that they simply cannot detect with all their mathematical computations, and specialist instruments, and degrees of genius.
Yet, the fact that something exists outside of all known laws of physics is not in doubt. Something that is not physical, does not adhere to the rules of time and space, and apparently is within all of us, everything, everywhere, at all times. It can pass through physical objects according to the commentary, but of course this is a somewhat asinine assumption if this Dark Matter is omnipresent, right?
I found myself chuckling away throughout the hour long comedy sketch…what was that?
Oh…it wasn’t a comedy? It was a serious documentary you say?…sorry, my mistake.
What amused me the most was that the conclusion of Dark Matter existing was reached based upon existing scientific models. The assumption that the only way that planets, galaxies, light/wave emitting space objects could exist with so much space in between them, there needed to be something in that in-between that increased the gravitational pull required for all physical space objects to exist in the way that they do. The obvious contradiction being if this Dark Matter is outside of the remit of the laws of known physics, then how would it possibly exist based upon the existing model?
It’s a bit presumptuous really, and probably slightly erroneous to think that way. But what else do they have to go on I suppose?
The truth is, they haven’t a clue what they are dealing with. They don’t know. It’s all theory as the smart lady with the glasses quite rightly reminds herself and us. The boffins admit that they like their tried and tested safety net of a universe that started with a bang, because it’s comfortable and stable, but like all nets, theirs too has great big gaping holes. In fact the only reason the net saves you at all is because of the gaps, gives it bounce you know.
Throughout the show, my favourite statement kept stepping up to the fore: ellipsis is the key to all good story telling. Without the gaps and the holes nothing would exist in the cleverly defined way that it does. Nothing would have meaning. For there to be a theory at all, there has to be omission of other potentially key factors, otherwise you define nothing. Zilch.
Exactly what the eggheads said too. It says that quantifiable evidence is only relative to what it apparently quantifies, but like the vast amount of space that exists between stellar objects, there is left a lot of room for movement and conjecture. And if this dark matter is within us, then it surely shapes our very own thought processes too. After all, we are of the universe, and as the dude at the beginning of the show says, the universe is within us. I think he meant that quite literally.
There is stuff that we can’t physically detect, that is known to exist. It isn’t esoteric, or spiritually inclined, yet to all intents and purposes it falls within the same remit, the remit that is, of the unexplained. Gives food for thought I reckon, and as I said it amuses me no end.
In fact it could even be surmised, based upon all this theorising, that dark matter gives purpose to all things physical. The purpose that is to do and be what it is, in the way that it does it. Smacks of a very familiar concept if you ask me. Nope, don’t tell me, it’s on the tip of my tongue…
If you have a spare hour, it’s a good watch. Maybe you’ll get a laugh out of it too. It’s still making me smile.
Have a wonderful day all!