03
Sep
15

dark matter

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Current ideas of cosmology posit that roughly 68% of the Universe is dark energy. Dark matter makes up about 27%. The rest—everything on Earth, all normal matter, everything ever observed with all of our instruments—adds up to less than 5% of the Universe. In other words, most of the universe is not directly observable; it must be inferred from its gravitational effects on visible matter, on radiation, and on the large-scale structure of the universe.

I don’t profess to understand it, but belief in dark matter and energy sounds a lot like the idea from ancient and medieval science of “aether” or “ether,” which was thought to be the material that fills the region of the universe above the terrestrial sphere. The concept of aether was used in several theories to explain natural phenomena such as the traveling of light and gravity. In the late 19th century, physicists postulated that aether permeated all space, providing a medium through which light could travel in a vacuum.

For reasons that (again) I don’t understand, dark energy and aether are not the same thing; in fact, the website from NPR’s Science Friday says that most popular discussions confuse dark matter and dark energy with the discredited idea of the aether, which are not the same. In fact, says the website, they are precisely the opposite.

Yet this is not a scientific blog and I know when I am out of my depth. However, what fascinates me about dark matter is that current science accepts its existence despite the fact that it cannot be directly observed. If you accept the fact that the human eye is capable of observing only certain wave-lengths, it is a small leap to accept that scientific instruments, as human imperfect inventions, may likewise be capable of observing only a limited number of wave lengths. If you were to picture the known spectrum of wave lengths as a line extending from New York to Los Angeles, the portion that can be observed by the human eye is only the size of a dime. Yet we cannot claim that this imaginary line of electromagnetic waves, infinite though it may be, is all there is. From thence it is yet another small leap to posit that the souls of departed personalities may exist in a dimension which, like dark energy, we are unable to observe or measure.

Yesterday I watched a video in which a British engineer and mathematician, Ronald Pearson, says that invisible consciousness preceded the creation of visible matter and that it interpenetrates the visible universe. He maintains that the mind (or consciousness) and the brain are not the same, that the brain is only the visible “tip of the iceberg”—the raiment of clothing that reincarnationists say is shed upon death and and replaced at rebirth. He reminds us that the atoms of this physical, observable world are not solid, and is thus also occupied by the invisible universe of consciousness. He says when someone dies, he does not pass into another dimension, but remains in this one, only becoming invisible to others’ senses.

Says Pearson: “It’s like, if you’re tuned into BBC One, you can’t see BBC Two. The radio waves which are coming in from the station are still there in the same space, but you’re not tuned in to them.”

“Heaven” isn’t ‘up there,’ just as “hell” isn’t ‘down there.’ They’re right here, just as is the consciousness of those we love who have passed from our view.

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۞

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6 Responses to “dark matter”


  1. 1 matt
    September 3, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Wow, Dan, didn’t I remember seeing something similar in Animal House?

  2. 5 Frank Manning
    September 3, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    Arrgh, how could you have lived in the same space-time continuum as us and never have seen Animal House???!!! I was at the heights (or in the depths) of my punk rocker life then, and we all related to and identified with Blutarsky and the rest of that crazy group of misifts! Where and with whom were you living in 1978 — Nowheresville?

    On your subject, though, I’ve got a strong interest in cosmology and have devoted considerable effort to understanding the theory and observations behind it. General relativity, black holes, quantum gravity–all that fun stuff. I still have difficulty wrapping my head around dark matter. I do make a point of making a strict separation between the objective and subjective, so I won’t speculate on the “spiritual” implications oif dark theory. Suffice it to say that I am deeply dissatisifed with the notion that the Universe wil just keep expanding until it all falls apart and disappears with a whimper.

    • September 3, 2015 at 9:01 pm

      In 1978 I was married and we were dealing with an existential crisis: multiple sclerosis. Holly was in a wheelchair at the time, and we weren’t patrons of the movie theatres. When VCRs became popular, toga parties just didn’t seem relevant to us. We were starting a family. Our time-space continuum had its unique challenges. I was frying other fish.


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