In my previous post, I lightly questioned the invocation of dark matter and dark energy to augment measured observations that otherwise cannot account for the motion of galaxies or the expansion of the universe.
We might be better served by a science that simply says that there are observations that have no scientific explanation.
This opens up the possibility of hypothesis discovery. Dark matter and Dark Energy are possible hypothesis that can explain the result, but the reason we use the word “dark” is because we don’t know what it is and thus really don’t know if it really exists. There are likely other theories of equally mysterious and possible unknowable causes.
Earlier I wrote a post about how I am mystified by the concept of the emptiness that fills the space between planets and stars.
Most of the dimensional space of the universe is empty. Abundant empty space separates quarks in an atom nucleus, between a nucleus and the electrons, between stars and their planets, between stars, and between galaxies.
In each of these cases we use the word emptiness to describe the volume that is not occupied by matter. We are considering the possibility that empty space may not be empty, but it may instead be full of vacuum energy or a Higgs field or something.
But I wonder why do we assume that the each of these spaces are occupied by the same kind of nothingness. Using the same word (nothingness) in different contexts may mislead us to think that nothingness is the same no matter what the context.
The empty space within an atom may not be anything like the empty space separating planets and that may not be anything like the empty space that separates galaxies.
Instead of being surrounded by unknowable dark matter, perhaps galaxies themselves are floating droplets of emptiness that we observe locally between our planets. These droplets of space float in a different kind of space that separates galaxies. Perhaps the physical laws of that different intergalactic nothingness are fundamentally different from the kind of physics that are isolated from the galactic space droplets. Galaxies could be like transparent oil droplets suspended in universal water.
The problematic observations can have other explanations that can be as mysterious as dark matter or dark energy.
Relax. I’m not really proposing any scientific theory.
I’m trying to illustrate what I mean by hypothesis discovery as a legitimate activity when confronting with data that doesn’t otherwise make sense.
I do think we would be better served by a science that admits there are things we simply don’t know instead of presenting plausible but mysterious explanations.
Admit there are limits to what science can explain. Encourage everyone to wonder about possible explanations. This can prepare them for confronting practical cases of data that does not make sense.