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Journal of Creation (formerly TJ)  Volume 13Issue 1 Cover

Journal of Creation (formerly TJ) 13(1):3–4
April 1999

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TJ Volume 13 Issue 1 CoverFirst published:
TJ 13(1):3–4
April 1999
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No dark matter found in the Milky Way Galaxy

by & Jonathan Sarfati

Probably the major cosmological debate among ‘big bang’ cosmologists is whether the universe will expand forever (‘open’) or will eventually collapse (‘closed’). This depends on the mass density of the universe, represented by the symbol Ω. If Ω < 1, then the universe is open; if Ω > 1, the universe is closed. The fate of the universe is directly related to whether the universe’s geometry is hyperbolic (open) or elliptical (closed), i.e. the multi-dimensional equivalent of a hyperboloid (‘saddle’) or ellipsoid or sphere. The currently fashionable ‘inflationary’ models predict that the universe’s density is just below the threshold of collapse, i.e.Ω = 1 — a geometrically ‘flat’ universe. 1

Biblical creationists should oppose the ‘big bang’ theory, because this implies a universe 10 to 15 Ga old, which contradicts biblical chronology and implies death before the Fall. However, some atheists, especially Marxists, also oppose the ‘big bang’! This is because it teaches that the universe has a beginning, and they dislike the corollary that everything that has a beginning has a cause.2,3 Other atheists try to salvage both the ‘big bang’ and their atheistic faith by postulating an eternally oscillating universe. One problem is that ‘several measurements currently seem to suggest a density of only a fractionΩ ≌ 0.3 of the critical density,’1 and there are many insuperable difficulties even if we grant Ω > 1.2,3

Many astronomers, because of their presuppositions, believe that 90 % of the mass of the universe is invisible matter, called dark matter. The dark matter is believed to exist in several forms: hot dark matter, 20 % of the total, and cold dark matter, 70 % of total.4 The dark matter could include neutrinos,5 burnt-out stars, smaller chunks of ordinary matter, or clouds of mysterious, exotic particles.6 Some astronomers had high hopes that ‘brown dwarfs’ (‘failed stars’ — bodies with insufficient mass to start thermonuclear fusion) could provide the ‘missing mass’. But a recent paper in Nature says ‘brown dwarfs do not contribute significantly to our Galaxy’s dark matter.7

Dark matter is also required to hold the galaxies together during all the supposed time the universe has existed:

‘Astronomers have long surmised that dark matter provides some of the gravitational glue required to hold galaxies together: Most galaxies rotate so fast that they would fly apart if their visible stars provide the only sources of gravity’.8,9

So naturally evolutionary astronomers have been conducting experiments to observe the gravitational effects of dark matter.

One recent experimental report by Crézé et al. in Astronomy and Astrophysics has concluded that there is no dark matter in the disk of the Milky Way Galaxy.10 This report analyzed the proper motion of stars perpendicular to the galactic disk in a sphere of radius 125 parsecs around the sun. By analysing the distribution of motion for 100 stars, the team was able to analyse the gravitational pull dragging them back towards the galactic disk. In this way, the researchers could deduce the gravitational mass that is ‘practically hypothesis-free and model-free.’11 The experiment has been described as calculating the mass of the Earth from looking at samples of high jumpers and measuring the height they reach.8 They conclude, based essentially on observations, that the local dynamical density is ‘…well below all previous determinations leaving no room for any disk shaped component of dark matter.’11 This report also gives the strong impression that many previous ‘results’ are biased by a model or hypothesis, making one wonder what can really be believed.

The above report could be rightly criticized for being too small of a sample in too small of a volume. However, a Ph.D. thesis by Honc-Anh Pham of the Paris Observatory, analyzed the motion of 10,000 stars in the Milky Way disk, inferring the gravitational forces pulling the stars around. She comes up with a similar result to Crézé et al.:

‘These studies confirm that the dark matter [presumed to be] associated with the galactic disc in fact doesn’t exist.’8

One implication of this research is that the Milky Way Galaxy is much younger than astronomers believe, and if our galaxy is representative of other galaxies, it also implies a much younger universe. Did the researchers abandon the dark matter hypothesis for our Milky Way Galaxy and deduce a much younger universe? No, sticking to previous models and assumptions, the researchers argue that the dark matter must be lurking in the halo of the Milky Way! The galactic halo is a large, spherical area encircling the galaxy and containing dust, gas, and globular clusters of stars. However, other researchers contend that previous observations of dark chunks of matter in the halo, considered a major breakthrough in 1996 in the search for dark matter, are probably dim stars in the Magellanic Clouds.12 Thus:

‘One of astronomy’s great mysteries, it seems, is still unsolved ... That’s bad news for astronomers who thought they finally had an answer to the puzzle of what could be holding galaxies together.’6

If the dark matter is not in the Milky Way Galaxy, and by extension other galaxies, that only leaves interstellar space.

Perhaps the observations should be interpreted more straightforward, in which case the universe is not nearly as old as astronomers believe. The ‘big bang’ theory would also have to be either abandoned or greatly retooled.

References

  1. Kamionkowski, M., 1998. The case of the curved universe: open, closed or flat. Science 280:1397–98. Return to text.
  2. Craig, W.L., 1984. Apologetics: an Introduction, Moody Press, Chicago, Ch. 3. Craig wrote: ‘When I was at the 16th World Congress on Philosophy in Düsseldorf in 1978, I found that the only scientists who opposed the big-bang theory were Marxists from communist nations,’ p. 91. Return to text.
  3. Sarfati, J.D., 1998. If God created the universe, then who created God? CEN Tech. J. 12(1):20–22. Return to text.
  4. Primack, J.R., 1998. A little hot dark matter matters. Science 280:1398–1400. Return to text.
  5. Gawiser, E. and Silk, J., 1998. Extracting primordial density fluctuations. Science 280:1405–1411. Return to text.
  6. Glanz, J., 1998. A dark matter candidate loses its luster. Science 281:332–333. Return to text.
  7. Tinney, C.G., 1999. Brown dwarfs: the stars that failed. Nature 397(6714):37–40. Return to text.
  8. Hellemans, A., 1997. Galactic disk contains no dark matter. Science 278:1230. Return to text.
  9. Humphreys and others have pointed out that the Milky Way’s observed rotation rate, regardless of its cause, is so fast that: ‘if our galaxy were more than a few hundred million years old, it would be a featureless smear of stars instead of its present spiral shape.Humphreys, D.R., 1991. Evidence for a young world . Creation Ex Nihilo 13(3):28–31. Emphasis in original. Return to text.
  10. Crézé, M., Chereul, E., Bienaymé, O., and Pichon, C., 1998. The distribution of nearby stars in phase space mapped by Hipparcos. Astronomy and Astrophysics 329:920–936. Return to text.
  11. Crézé et al, Ref. 4, p. 920. Return to text.
  12. Glanz, Ref. 2, p. 332. Return to text.

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