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An Amusing Acronym Applies Here

April 30, 2014

There is an acronym I heard from people in the military: keep it simple, stupid (translated: KISS).  It applies to yet another example of science being a bit ahead of itself.  The source for this observation is here: <http://www.foxnews.com/science/2014/04/29/dark-matter-slingshot-could-send-lethal-asteroids-crashing-into-earth/&gt;

I doubt anyone has interest in me using basic logic to disprove the need for dark matter in the cosmological scheme of things, therefore the unwieldy hypotheses that follow, so I’ll abstain.  Suffice it to say, there is no real need for it to exist to account for the universe.  KISS, or Occam’s Razor, is ignored because science wants to seem in control of what it is still, even should dark matter exist, only taking notes about.  There is no human control here.  This article argues, while undulating in its orbit of the Milky Way galaxy’s center, our solar system (and presumably many others) crosses through the middle plane of the galaxy’s gravity.  Here, scientists have presumed, there is a thicker layer of dark matter capable of destabilizing comets and asteroids in our solar system; thus, they have an unverifiable reason for somewhat regular astronomical impact on Earth found to cause mass extinctions, as per the existence of this “dark disk.”

Firstly, this would not be a “slingshot” as the article suggest.  It would be a simple pull of gravity, not any circling of it as a slingshot is meant in astronomical terms.  This dark disk hypothesis could be true, I admit.  I really doubt it, though.  Here’s why.

1.  No one can confirm dark matter exists at all.  Pursuing the line of thought should be strictly academic and subordinate to more tangible scientific gains.  As such, it should not be the principle cause cited for repetitive astronomical impacts on earth when any number of other possibilities have yet to be disproved.  It’s very optimistic to say this unverifiable brainfart is a cause of anything.

2.  How can astronomers be sure there is a significant undulation in our solar system’s orbit “per the plane,” as one author I have read would say?  We haven’t been looking through telescopes long enough to make such observations, at least reliably.  Further, if all our stellar neighbors do the same or are inconsistent in this regard, we cannot tell the difference without observing stars and galaxies much further away over more time than we have been watching them this closely.  If there is dark matter or irregular gravity between us and our better reference points, we may not be able to trust these, either.  We simply may not be able to tell how our solar system moves through space without instantaneous travel to distant points so we can confirm coordinates.  If this undulation does happen, can science prove this is not itself cause enough for destabilizing meteors or comets?

3.  Any number of things could cause destabilizing effects and the subsequent asteroid or meteor impacts these Harvard scientists are talking about: errant planets like Nemesis, sure, but the cause could also be interloping asteroids of considerable size we simply haven’t detected yet because they are still millions of years off.  We only just now found a brown dwarf seven light-years away, who knows what else is out there on an intercept course with our orbital plane?  Given the lack of evidence for dark matter, suggesting it is a cause for this pattern is slightly irrational.  Perhaps the cumulative affect of our solar system has, at that interval, a disruptive quality sufficient for randomizing the movements of small, loose objects in the gravitational pull of our sun (like an anti-syzygy, I suppose). There are billions of comets, asteroids, meteoroids, and such near and beyond Pluto, beside those in the asteroid belt.

 

I don’t question the probability of collisions having a pattern, or the odds our solar system is not orbiting on a perfect plane.  Everything in the universe seems to follow a law or pattern when it’s analyzed broadly enough… which kind of negates the odds of the Big Bang causing universal, cohesive set of physics laws…  But matter always has variation from theory.  It’s why ancient Greek astronomy couldn’t keep its perfect circles when we noticed orbits were elliptical.

I do argue the perceived need to throw dark matter into the equation to explain these repetitions of astronomical impact, though.  Matter’s resistance to building enough pressures to form a fusion generator (the core of a star) would be greater than the gravity of the aggregate mass if dark matter was necessary, but why would dark matter gather around a proto-star before a star formed at all, when it didn’t yet have a star’s gravity?  Let’s say mass alone enough can account for the quantity of dark matter around something.  If it is, though, would the dark disk even be possible when the dark matter should be pulled to disbursed sources of matter rather than an imaginary plane central to them?  The whole thing requires doublethink to operate.  Evidently, gravity itself is strong enough for star formation but not for containing comparatively tiny objects in their orbits.  We know nothing can break a stronger gravity without some sort of thrust, or effective thrust in the case of things like pulsars (if we ever see proof such rotation propels something away).

I fail to see how dark matter would come into play with our bad history of being pummeled from space when gravity itself seems enough.  KISS leads me to a different thought than some ether magically tugging on us this way or that (conveniently, whichever way suits the hypothesis best).  The Milky Way galaxy’s central plane, the flat division between its narrow top and bottom, could have an effective increase of gravity because of the aggregate gravities around it: the same as the center of a stellar cluster, or galactic cluster, may have a silhouette of a gravitational center without any object actually being there to pull everything inward.  Asymmetry of the objects involved would hardly matter if their relative proximity was close enough.  It would be like syzygy, or conjugated planets in astronomical terms, except in three dimensions.  If conjugation of gravity wells in a solar system can affect a central pull that doesn’t exist, in a linear sense, why is this insufficient on a larger, three dimensional scale?

It seems obvious to me.  I wonder how long I would need to go to school to lose by basic analysis skills.

 

** This link is still here!  It’s amazing. **

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