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Either Way, Einstein Is Approximate

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Posted by Daniel Johnson on October 23, 2002 22:33:59 UTC

If it ends up that there is dark matter, and if some brilliant theorist can tie together quantum mechanics, dark matter, and relativity, then that would be elegant and simple. Your point about past predictions of previously unknown particles is good. Still, invoking dark matter involves the creation, not just of something new, but of something that outnumbers all known matter and that has its own entirely unknown laws. We're invoking an unknown (and currently unknowable) number of new laws to save just one. We already know that the one we're trying to save is approximate, and that it MUST need tweaking, because it doesn't mesh well with quantum mechanics. So it seems plausible that the tweaking will not involve many new laws governing unknown particles, but rather revision of one law as it governs known particles. But it could go either way. I just object to the assumption that dark matter has to exist.

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