Where materialism logically leads


Published: 31 May 2016 (GMT+10)
Photo: Museum of Modern Art, made available by Wikimedia Commons starry-night
Figure 1: (Caption excerpted from Ref. 1) Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Starry night’ painting blends reality with an other-worldly starry universe.

First there was dark matter, then came dark energy, then dark photons and now there is talk of dark stars, dark planets and even dark intelligent life, in a whole dark galaxy within our Milky Way galaxy.

In an article musing on such claims,1 where the van Gogh painting “Starry night” is highlighted, in the caption to the painting is written, “Perhaps he knew something about the nature of the universe that we are just beginning to understand.” As much as I like the paintings of Vincent van Gogh, I don’t think he knew or envisaged, in the swirls illustrated in his painting (Figure 1), anything about invisible dark matter or a dark galaxy within ours. To suggest otherwise surely must be a joke, because physicists today know nothing about so-called dark matter and dark energy. It is called dark not because of what they don’t know, but because of what they do know.

The suggestion is even made that a dark universe, comprising dark galaxies, with dark stars and planets and even a dark form of life evolved on those dark planets.

This ludicrous situation has developed in astrophysics because of the initial assumption of materialism (matter and energy is all there is) and the dogmatic insistence that it must be rigorously applied to the origin and structure of this universe. As a result when physicists observe the rotation speeds of stars—not only in our own galaxy but also in many thousands of other spiral galaxies—they find that the stars in the spiral disks are moving too fast. They are moving so fast that in the assumed lifetimes of the galaxies, of the order of 10 billion years, the galaxies should have been eviscerated because their stars should have flown away from the galaxies, which could not hold onto them.

To fix this, the standard approach is to posit the existence, around every galaxy, of a spherical halo of dark matter (see Figure 2), that has just the right density, distribution and gravitational properties to solve the conundrum but neither emits nor interacts with electromagnetic radiation. Because astrophysicists cannot explain these high rotational velocities with standard tried-and-tested Newtonian physics, they have concocted the notion that galaxies really comprise between 80% to 90% dark matter—stuff that is everywhere but we cannot see or detect it by any method.2 The article1 states that the majority of today’s physicists believe this. That may well be the case, but I don’t and I’m sure I qualify as a real physicist.3 In any event, truth is not determined by majority opinion.4

Beginning about 200 years ago, scientists started to abandon the Word of God as authoritative in such matters as the creation of the universe and hence it follows today that they believe in materialism—that there is no Creator and the universe just created itself from nothing.5,6 The alternative to accepting the materialists’ explanation is to hypothesize new physics—at least on the scale of galaxies—which some have done,7,8 or, consider the possibility that the universe is not as old as they imagine (13.8 billion years) and that it was created only 6,000 years ago.9 For those fast stars this would mean they have not had time to fly apart.

Materialism’s parallel universe


Figure 2: Alleged spherical halo of dark matter around a typical spiral galaxy.

It seems that in order to solve an increasing number of deficiencies in the materialistic big bang, there is now a suggestion that there may exist a parallel universe10 or, more precisely, an invisible mirror universe within our visible universe. The article states:1 

“Now physicists wonder if dark matter might be as complex as the visible matter in the universe, capable of forming dark atoms and molecules that can be influenced by unknown forces, much like visible matter is affected by nuclear forces and electromagnetism.” (emphasis added)

The suggestion is even made that a dark universe, comprising dark galaxies, with dark stars and planets and even a dark form of life evolved on those dark planets.

“If this is the case, ‘you can imagine a kind of mirror universe that is identical to ours, with stars and planets and even intelligent life,’ says Professor Are Raklev at the University of Oslo.”1 (emphasis added)
“Such a universe could have had forces similar to those we know, like nuclear forces and electromagnetism. The dark stars could emit a form of radiation—dark light, or light that we cannot see or measure in any way.”1 (emphasis added)

Dark light? That is an oxymoron. It defies the concepts of basic testable physics. We use the term ‘light’ in the sense of all electromagnetic radiation, meaning that we can detect it by some means, whether it be ultralow frequency radio waves or standard radio waves, or microwaves, or infrared, or optical, or ultraviolet, or X-rays, or gamma rays. Here it is suggested that there exists a whole new dark universe of (dark) matter and (dark) energy that cannot be detected using electromagnetic radiation that we are familiar with. The stuff emits dark light that we cannot detect in any region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Sounds more like science fiction than science fact!

However there is still some moderation there.

“But the professor says we shouldn’t get too carried away in imaging this dark parallel world.”1 (emphases added)

Maybe he meant ‘imagining’? By definition, it is impossible to image a dark galaxy or dark star, so one is only left with imagining.

Intelligent matter in Switzerland

The article ends with a comment by the same professor stating that he believes that experiments at the CERN LHC particle accelerator in Switzerland11 will be able answer “a lot more” questions about the nature of dark matter particles “within the next ten years”. But it is pure faith—blind faith in materialism that it has all the answers to not only the nature of the universe but life itself. The article ends with the ludicrous statement:1

“This is an exciting time to be studying dark matter.”

Quite obviously if you can’t detect it—and it hasn’t been for want of trying for 40 years—then how can you say it is exciting studying it?

To start with, science cannot prove anything to be true, but only prove a hypothesis false.

Several years ago I was funded to do a three-year search for what might be called dark matter particles, not WIMPs (weakly interacting massive particles) but WISPs (weakly interacting ‘slim’ particles). They were hypothesized particles in the dark sector and called ‘slim’ because they were theorized as not being heavy enough to be dark matter. That is, even if detected their existence would not solve the dark matter crisis. Nevertheless hundreds of thousands of dollars of funding was made available, though we never detected anything. We essentially were ‘shining light through a wall’12,13 and looking for the products of putative WISPs, which were theorised to decay back to normal microwave photons which were ‘shined on’ the other side of the wall in this experiment.

But the funding to the LHC at CERN is colossal by comparison to that and it is partly driven by the desire to construct conditions similar to the alleged big bang. Again the worldview here is pure materialism. It drives this science, at least, in searching for dark sector particles.14,15 Of course, constructing conditions similar to those alleged to have existed at the time of the big bang does not prove that the big bang actually happened. To start with, science cannot prove anything to be true, but only prove a hypothesis false,16 but, furthermore, asserting that constructing these conditions confirms the big bang is simply affirming the consequent, a logical fallacy.


It is because of a prior commitment to materialism that this situation has arisen. Dark matter, dark energy, dark light, dark planets, dark stars, dark galaxies, a dark universe all seem like one of those ‘absurd constructs’, ‘unsubstantiated just-so stories’, or ‘counter-intuitive’ and ‘mystifying’ ‘explanations’ that Richard Lewontin linked to the imposition of the constraint of materialism on the interpretation of data in science.17 Dark matter is the unknown god, the ‘god of the gaps’ for the big bang evolutionary theorist.18 They say it is not science to include the Intelligent Creator when they define Him out of the equation. Instead they place their faith in a dark god, who might have created a dark universe, with dark stars and planets and even dark intelligent beings. To me such ideas are starting to strongly resemble demons and the dark sector, which accurately yet figuratively describes the realm of the dark lord and the other rulers of darkness (Ephesians 6:12). This is the ultimate outcome of materialism.

References and notes

  1. Bazilchuk, N., Dark matter: how can we know if it exists?, ScienceNordic.com, April 2016. Return to text.
  2. Hartnett, J.G., Why is dark matter everywhere in the cosmos?, creation.com, March 2015. Return to text.
  3. Hartnett, J.G., Who says biblical creationists aren’t real scientists?, biblescienceforum.com, May 2015. Return to text.
  4. Howard, G., Can all those scientists be wrong?, Creation 36(1):20–22, January 2014. Return to text.
  5. Hartnett, J.G., Development of an “old” universe in science, biblescienceforum.com, July 2015. Return to text.
  6. Hartnett, J.G., On the origin of universes by means of natural selection—or, blinded by big bang blackness, creation.com, October 2014. Return to text.
  7. Hartnett, J.G., My cosmology from my book “Starlight, Time and the New Physics”, biblescienceforum.com, July 2014. Return to text.
  8. Hartnett, J.G., Starlight Time and the New Physics, Creation Book Publishers, 2nd Ed., pp.21–27, 2010. Return to text.
  9. Hartnett, J.G., A biblical creationist cosmogony, Answers Research Journal 8:13–20, 2015. PDF available here. Return to text.
  10. Hartnett, J.G., Have scientists found evidence of a parallel universe?, creation.com, December 2015. Return to text.
  11. Hartnett, J.G., Is the LHC opening a door to Hell? I am not conCERNed!, biblescienceforum.com, October 2015. Return to text.
  12. Povey, R.G., Hartnett, J.G., and Tobar, M.E., Microwave cavity light shining through a wall optimization and experiment, Phys. Rev. D 82(5):052003, September 2010 | http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevD.82.052003. Return to text.
  13. Parker, S.R., Hartnett, J.G., Povey, R.G., and Tobar, M.E., Cryogenic resonant microwave cavity searches for hidden sector photons, Phys. Rev. D 88(11):112004, December 2013 | doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.88.112004. Return to text.
  14. Hartnett, J.G., Dark radiation in big bang cosmology, creation.com, November 2014. Return to text.
  15. Hartnett, J.G., Dark Matter and the Standard Model of particle physics—a search in the ‘Dark’, creation.com, September 2014. Return to text.
  16. C.L. Bennett, Science Title Misstep, (PDF available at www.psych.nyu.edu), “THE TITLE OF THE 6 MAY NEWS OF THE WEEK story ‘At long last, Gravity Probe B satellite proves Einstein right’ (p. 649) made me cringe. I find myself frequently repeating to students and the public that science doesn’t ‘prove’ theories. Scientific measurements can only disprove theories or be consistent with them. Any theory that is consistent with measurements could be disproved by a future measurement. I wouldn’t have expected Science magazine, of all places, to say a theory was ‘proved.’” CHARLES L. BENNETT, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA. E-mail: cbennett@jhu.edu. This is followed by Colin Norman, Science News Editor’s response: ‘Bennett is completely correct. It’s an important conceptual point, and we blew it.’ Return to text.
  17. Lewontin, R., Billions and billions of demons (review of The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan, 1997), The New York Review, p. 31, 9 January 1997. Return to text.
  18. Hartnett, J.G., Stars just don’t form naturally—‘dark matter’ the god of the gaps is needed, creation.com, September 2015. Return to text.

Readers’ comments

Chris S.
I am reminded of a story I heard sixty years ago. There was a King who in his desire to be greater than he was became gullible enough to be sold a Royal Robe made of Gold so fine in could not be seen. He was told that his subjects would see only his magnificence.....
John Hartnett
That, the Emperor's New Clothes, is a classic story and one I often use as an illustration of this very thing. Read "Why is Dark Matter everywhere in the cosmos?".
Chris B.
Thank you for the thought provoking and inspiring article. For the past couple of years, my eyes have been opening to the detail and accuracy of the Bible. I feel like many of the mysteries of science could be solved, if we started with the 'answer in the back of the book' - - the Bible... My mind latched onto the things-unseen part of this article: dark matter, parallel universes, etc. I can't help but think of Ephesians 6:12, but in a different way than was cited in the conclusion. "We aren't wrestling against flesh and blood, but against ... spiritual hosts of wickedness in *heavenly places*". I wonder and am amazed about the heavenly places and about what goes on that man can't see. A great example is Daniel 10:13. "But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia." I found that text astonishing on many levels... Also, the references to heaven being opened (Rev 19:11, Matt 3:16, Act 7:56), Sheol, and Hades (Luke 16:19). Are these a parallel/shadow universe? I don't know. But I do know there is reference from the Word of another realm that cannot be seen...

Thank you again, and keep up the great ministry!
Joe B.
I particularly like the KJV rendition of John’s rebuke of the materialist with regard to darkness. In John 1:1-5 we read “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” (KJV)

So the darkness, which is physically the firmament of Creation without light, is akin to the spiritual aspect of man without God. Both in total darkness, they don’t get it, they cannot comprehend it. How many times does scripture say ‘they have eyes but cannot see, they have ears but cannot hear’ because they do not acknowledge the Lord?

As a side note (and I know this is out of context here), I believe that there is only the firmament (material of space) and light which is the electromagnetic interaction of the material of space – call it aether, vacuum, void, or whatever, the term is not important – from which we can derive all physical interactions. This implies the concept of the electric-universe where it’s the EM interaction that is at the root of what we call gravity (using a point charge model to justify neutral EM fields in space seems naïve). This is one area of physics where it seems very few Creationists dare to go, perhaps because it would really cross the mainstream scientific machine, but even from there I’m seeing snippets of confirmation of this idea. What are the chances that scientists from CMI might explore this and if they have, present an argument one way or another.

Thanks for all you do and keep up the great work!
John Hartnett
The electric universe idea has been suggested to me many times. But the electrical forces in the galaxies must be nearly zero as all plasmas are neutral. There is no fear of stepping outside the "mainstream scientific machine", because biblical creationist did that a long time ago. If you like the electric universe, write a paper and submit it to the Journal of Creation. Maybe all it has been lacking is someone to defend it in the creationist community. But we are few in number and we need many more to contribute.
Glen J.
I understand the observation that the stars in spiral galaxies are moving too fast to be billions of years old so "Dark Stuff" is made up to explain it. I was watching "Space Deepest Secrets" and they were also describing a gravitational lensing effect that demonstrates the need for more matter as well. The effect is a distortion of galaxies in the background of nearer massive galaxies. Is this effect real and if so what other explanations are there for the gravitational lensing.
John Hartnett
Gravitational lensing is a prediction of Einstein's general theory of relativity. I would not say that all instances of it are to be disputed. The problem with such claims is that 1. there may be another explanation to some instances of it (i.e. ejection of plasma/quasars from the core of active galactic nuclei) and 2. there is contradictory claims with the assumptions of dark matter. One instance is where the claim is that there should not be more mass (i.e. dark matter added) but that there should be less mass (i.e. dark matter subtracted). Read Missing matter mostly missing in lensing galaxy
Dan M.
Dark matter, dark energy, dark stars, soon they'll be discussing Darth Vader.

I just can't take any of this dark stuff seriously because it is the antithesis of real science, (observation and testing). What we can really know about our universe has to come from real observation and testing not fictitious envisioning, (this undermines real science). Another unobservable assumption is the Oort cloud. We Oort to be able to see it but we can't. It's got to be there right, because there are to many short lived comets out there for an OLD solar system, (assumption) and we evolutionists have no good explanation so let's invent something that fits? It seems modern astrophysics has more to do with astrology than science although there are still some well grounded individuals out there.

Our God, when he created the universe, separated the darkness from the light and now evolutionists are trying to bring it all back together, (it's a fairy tale). If you observe the universe and it looks created, don't try to fudge or dream up evidence to fit your anti-creation views. Just go where the evidence takes you, (like it or not). That is real science! A very good practice is to apply Occam's razor and lose the assumptions, then we can begin to learn the truth.

Evolutionists would like the public to think they know more than they really do but we humans cannot know everything, (that's God's business) and on the stuff we don't know, we just have to have faith until we figure it out or God reveals it to us.

God bless our scientists who want to know the truth, like it or not!
robert R.
I love every article by John Hartnett. Creationism has so much logic. I was first exposed to creation.com years ago by the Australian Christian Channel show. But for 2 years I was on the fence. It was the Russell Humphreys explanation about Creation that actually made me a common sense believer. Great Work.
Jordan C.
Awesome article Dr. Hartnett! You have certainly demonstrated the absurdity in the materialist's position in regards to their unquestioning blind faith in "dark" matter, energy, etc.. It seems quite odd that they boastingly refer to themselves as skeptics, yet not only turn a blind eye to things mentioned, but believe in something they THEMSELVES invented, a complete fabrication from nothing but their imagination and materialists can call that science!
Deon B.
Thank you for this very interesting article and perhaps your last remarks sum it up very precisely. The world of science today so desperately want GOD out of the equation, that their minds have been "darkened" by dark forces. You know, one of the "darkest" verses in Scripture (to me), is John 13:30(b) when Judas went out after receiving the portion from our LORD, "And it was night". Perhaps much the same can be said of many of the "scientists" of our day - for them it is "NIGHT".
Chris W.
Dear Sirs,

Another very interesting an informative article, but the article says:

....because their stars should have flown away from the galaxies, which could not hold onto them......

I thought that the issue with alleged long ages means that the arms of spiral galaxies would, over billions of years, have wrapped themselves too tightly, not flung themselves apart. Which is it?


Chris Westbrook

John Hartnett
Chris, There are two issues here. One is as you write, that is galaxies rotate once every 200 million years and they are 10 billion years old they should have wrapped up tightly. But a separate issue is that the speeds of the stars and gases in the outer disk regions are moving too fast for the gravity of the central mass to hold onto them, hence dark matter was proposed as a solution.
Leslie C.
In a nutshell. It seems to me that mankind slowly moved from away from magic potions and the like towards the recognition of God's design and true science. But by stubbornly denying their Creator, man is rapidly moving back towards the mumbo jumbo of magic once again. And in the name of science! So sad. So unnecessary. So unwise.
Errol B.
I don’t understand how ‘dark matter’ cannot be detected with scientific instruments, especially if it can affect the baryonic matter which forms stars. Either it affects baryonic matter or it doesn’t. If it cannot, then surely it cannot account for the galactic rotation curves made up [baryonic] stars, as the stars should ignore dark matter.
But if dark matter does affect this baryonic matter then surely, scales & other more sophisticated instruments comprising of baryonic matter, should be able to detect it. Is this dark matter so fussy in a mysterious way so as to only affect certain baryonic matter under certain conditions? How inconvenient! That would almost be like the laws of physics being unpredictable. Is the answer to do with the distribution & density of this alleged ‘dark matter’ on a universal scale?
John Hartnett
The answer is that it allegedly only provides an extra gravitational force, and that may be understood as creating a curvature of spacetime that the normal baryonic matter can fall into. So there is no direct interaction with baryonic matter, but it conveniently adds extra gravity to solve the very vexing problem. This problem is on all scales in the universe, from galaxies, galaxy cluster to the universe as a whole.

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