Dark Energy and Dark Matter

Claiming that humanity actually has any idea of what the hell is going on in this universe, let alone beyond is like a bacterium floating in crap halfway up a mouse’s ass pontificating on the existence or non-existence of intelligent life beyond the rectum.

There is no better example of this fact than dark matter and energy.

Way back in the nineties, scientists were still debating a rather interesting question. “Would the mass of the universe eventually slow the expansion of the universe, then reverse it into a big squish, or was there too little mass to stop the expansion completely?” Anyone who understands basic physics can understand that following the big bang matter, energy and space expanded outward, and this initial burst of energy would send the all the stars, galaxies and everything else expanding outward. It doesn’t take any imagination to further conclude that this energy would gradually dissipate due to the force of gravity, gradually slowing, if not stopping this expansion.

Yeah, no. In 1998 observations from the Hubble telescope showed that not only was the universe not slowing down, it was accelerating. Science had a collective “wait, what?” moment. Turns out there is a thing called dark energy which somehow exerts a repulsive force on massive bodies at vast distances, but has little effect at lesser distances. Well, maybe. Thing is, we really don’t know what it is, how it works or where it comes from. What we do know is if our observations and math are correct, out of everything in the universe, all the energy and matter that there is, about 70% is dark energy. In other words, we have no real idea what 70% of the universe is even made of. We have ideas, conjectures-theories even but no experimental data to support any one idea over another.

So, yeah. That leaves 30%. Of this remaining 30%, most is something called dark matter. See, galaxies are extremely large and seemingly massive, often with super massive black holes at their centers. But when we look out into space, at all the stars, planets, black holes, dust clouds etc. that are visible directly or indirectly, we find that there just isn’t enough mass in galaxies and star clusters to explain their behaviors. Some spin too fast to be held together by the gravity of the matter we can observe.

Science theorizes that there is a form of matter that does not interact with normal matter in any way, except by its gravitational effects. It does not reflect, absorb or refract light. It has no electromagnetic charge. It does not come into contact with, bond to or chemically react with normal matter. It actually seems a bit foolish to refer to normal matter when the majority of matter in the universe is this invisible, insubstantial, unknown stuff called dark matter. In fact of all the matter and energy there in the universe, about 25% is dark matter. Again, we have ideas and theories about what dark matter is, but no solid data to make anything more than educated guesses.

If you’ve been doing your math, that means of everything there is in the universe, we have no firm idea what the hell 95% is. That is not to say that we understand everything about the tiny sliver of the universe that is visible to us, just that 95% is a total and complete mystery.

Atheism

Atheism is the doctrine that there is no God. Don’t let a dogmatic atheist convince you it means a lack of belief in a God or gods. These two definitions sound alike, but they mean very different things. Lack of belief in God and denial of the existence of God are not the same thing. There are theists, agnostics and atheists. The argument that agnostics are actually just a breed of atheist is amateurish, Orwellian word manipulation.

If I were to ask you if you believed I had a full gallon of milk in my refrigerator, what would you say? The only reasonable answer is you don’t know. You don’t know me, and have no way of knowing if I do or not. You would be agnostic on the subject. If you believed that I did have a gallon of milk in my fridge, even though you have no factual data on which to base this assumption you would be comparable to a theist. This is a state of belief; let’s call it lactism. If, without any hard data or information, you believed that I did not have milk, we might call you alactic. Logic, and a basic understanding of how language works would preclude saying that everyone who has no belief for or against the existence of my milk, would be described in the same way as those who actively deny the potential existence of milk in my fridge. To do so makes the word alactic into a word with essentially no meaning.

I know of no set of terms in which one term describes one extreme, another describes the neutral state and a third term encompasses both the neutral and the other extreme. Yet that is what the evangelical atheist community would have us believe. If their manipulation of language made any sense, we might have the word hot to describe a state of higher thermal energy, warm to describe a state of moderate thermal energy and cold would describe both moderate and low thermal energy states. Further, there would be no term that would describe only low thermal energy states. Bright would mean bright, dim would mean dim and dark would mean anything other than bright.

So why would anyone want to try to redefine atheism to include agnosticism? Primarily to pump up the numbers of their little club.

By lumping agnostics in with atheists, the evangelical atheists can claim that their numbers are much larger than they really are. Atheists make up a tiny percentage of the population, while agnostics are a much larger group. Many times, when atheists make claims regarding the percentage of atheists in the general population or in specific groups, they intentionally overstate the numbers by lumping agnostics in with themselves. They even go so far as to insultingly call agnostics “weak atheists”, while they refer to themselves as “strong atheists”. So they are strong, and we are weak for not accepting their beliefs? How about if agnostics are atheists we use the more accurate terms “open minded atheists” and “dogmatic atheists”? Sorry, I’m not an atheist. I don’t subscribe to your insistence in belief without proof. Pleas stake me off your mailing list.

Where it sometimes gets amusing is when an atheist, in an attempt to support his assertion that atheism is a word without meaning, starts giving a lesson in Greek word conjugation. The word atheism, he will say is Greek in origin, and in Greek the prefix “a” denotes “without”. Therefor atheism means only without theism, not denying theism. This would make sense. Let’s go back to the ancient Greek meaning of the word. But wait. When the Greeks used the word, it meant something more in line with the English word “ungodly”. That is to say immoral or sinful, acting against the will of the gods. It had nothing to do with belief or disbelief. Of course few atheists would support this definition. Any support from the Romans, who also threw the word around? Well, they called Christians and Jews atheists for denying the Roman gods, and the Christians and Jews called them atheists for denying their god. That doesn’t really fit, unless we make the word atheism to mean anyone who denies any of the thousands of gods man has worshiped over the millennia.

Perhaps you still buy the notion that English would have a word to describe believers, another word to describe doubters and a third word that encompasses doubters and deniers together, but no word that describes deniers of the existence of god. Perhaps you look it up in a dictionary and find both definitions as valid (which you would). That’s okay. The way language works is by consensus, and the general consensus is that atheism is the denial that there is no god. That is why this definition is always first in nearly every dictionary you care to look in.

Regardless of what you the reader may believe, when I refer to atheists here, I am referring to people who believe and assert that there is no god or gods.

Creationism

Creationism is the notion that God created the Earth, the Moon and the whole universe in one week, even knocking off Sunday to relax with a frosty beverage after he was done. Don’t tell anyone, but I actually know that the Bible is inaccurate on at least one point. On the seventh day, God did not rest, but in fact spent the day burying dinosaur bones and trilobites just to screw with us.

The notion that the Biblical description of creation is 100% accurate is just ridiculous. In order to accept the seven day timeline we need to ignore or refute basic scientific data from astronomy, physics, geology, biology, paleontology and well pretty much every science we know. This doesn’t stop creationists from making the attempt. In fact there is a whole branch of pseudoscience called creation science which seeks to counter every finding that challenges their belief system. I don’t have the time nor the desire to go into great detail about these illogical and dishonest efforts, but I will outline a few basic facts and let you decide for yourself.

The Earth is roughly four billion years old. Geology, atomic physics and cosmology all give mountains of evidence that this is an accurate estimate. There is not one shred of scientific evidence to support the belief that it is substantially younger. Many creationists actually believe that it is something like 5,000 years old. There is no evidence to support this idea. Hell, there are cities that are older than creationists claim the Earth is.

But let’s just say for a second that the Earth is four billion years old. God could have created everything then, right? Well no. Four billion years ago,, the atmosphere was very different than it is today, with almost no free oxygen to support animal life. You see oxygen is a very reactive element, and it is very rare in its elemental state. Plants free up oxygen as part of photosynthesis, and it took a couple billion years of life existing on this planet to generate enough for the air to be breathable for human or any other com