Okay, I am just a computer scientist who thinks about physics because I write science fiction and computer games that use physics. But I had always assumed that real astrophysicists had their act together when it came to theories. That when they said they needed “Dark Matter” to explain some reactions in space, they knew what they were talking about. Then some of them published a paper that made me say, “what the hell are you jokers thinking.” This group of physicists took the radical idea of taking into account all of the objects’ gravitational forces that could affect a system.
Wait, what? I have always assumed that was a given. When I write my physics engines for space simulations, I take extra effort to make sure that everything with simulated mass affects everything else. So, they just forgot that little detail? Gravity stops at the edge of the galaxy? Or the solar system? Or what every system they are viewing?
I have said for as long as I have studied physics that we were far too sure that we knew exactly how the universe worked based on the tiny part that we have been able to examine. This just proves that it isn’t just the lack of perspective and testing hypotheses in different environments. It is our lack of thought and narrowness of vision. The physics community seems to be in the same now as at the beginning of the nineteenth century. They have decided that they know everything there is to know. There is just data to gather, no more significant theories or hypotheses to test because we have a model that works perfectly.
We know how physics works in the gravity well of a small planet, in the gravity well of a little star, in the gravity well of an average galaxy. We don’t know how it works elsewhere in the universe to think we do is arrogant beyond belief. We have looked into the past using fuzzy images of fractions of the available information and declared that we know what is in some remote location. We don’t. We know what we can puzzle out from the fraction of a fraction of a single percent of the light that happened to hit our sensor. Then we make proclamations like we can see perfectly what is happening in that location now. We don’t even know what really happened hundreds, thousands, or millions of years ago. We know our best guess based on a tiny fraction of the light emitted at that location. We are worse than the people who were sure there were canals on Mars because we should know better. We went through the entire thinking that planets were one way and discovering they were completely different when we got to visit them with sensors. We are going to learn even more when people visit them.
We have hypotheses and nothing better until we get our ass in gear and visit someplace beyond earth orbit.