The Problem with Dark Matter

and observational astronomers alike have a problem: they can’t find Dark
Matter! Einstein and others before and since have postulated that there is
something out there that we can’t see. Theoretically, Dark Matter is just that, matter in the universe which is dark because it does not interact with
electro-magnetic waves. Also, by definition, it interacts with gravity and
constitutes more than 80% of the mass of the universe.
One might
readily ask, how do we know that Dark Matter is out there? When mathematicians,
theorists, and astronomers do the math, and here I am referring to massive
calculations that start with principles and assumptions and end with a
reasonable proof of how the universe might function, they find that there is not
enough mass in the universe to account for the ways in which gravity is
affected. Therefore, they introduce a material, an “X,” that must exist but
cannot be seen to account for this. We call this “X,” Dark Matter.
True, it is
not a very satisfying way to arrive at the existence of something. Many
experiments have been done, or are in progress, to see if Dark Matter can be physically
proven to exist. So far, every one of these experiments has been negative or
One answer,
that is slowly being accepted by more and more of the research community, is
that perhaps Dark Matter does not exist and we should simply stop looking for
the material. The problem with this is that one must find some other way to
account for “X.” If Dark Matter does not exist, how do we explain the
gravitational effects on the regular matter of the universe?
It is
tempting to invoke a “hand of God” explanation for this. The NIV translation of
the Bible says in Psalm 8:3,

“When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,”

It sounds like God is simply holding the moon and stars and
other heavenly bodies in their rightful place; but, this is not how we see God
at work in the rest of his creation. He does not create black-boxes into
which we cannot look or see the mechanism. Yes, God made the DNA molecule that
accounts for the information transmission of living things, but he has allowed
us to uncover the workings of DNA and even how to manipulate it for our own satisfaction
and health. God created the “X” of the universe, but he likely has not put it
out of bounds for us to research the “X.”

We await more experiments, more calculations, and more
definitive studies to elucidate the nature of “X.” Is it indeed Dark Matter? Is
it something else? Many will continue to work on the question, for certainly
there is a Nobel prize waiting at the end of the search.

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