Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bogus argument for dark matter

Astrophysicist Rob Knop rants about the existence of dark matter, making bogus analogies to the luminiferous aether and Galileo Galilei. In particular, he says that relativity proved that the aether does not exist, and that Galileo "was in fact convicted for heresy and spent the last decades of his life in house arrest." No, he was not convicted of heresy, and he only spent 8.5 years in house arrest. You can read the details on the Galileo affair.

Thony C. criticizes him:
You stated and have now restated that the Church’s rejection of heliocentricity was purely unscientific, as I have already said this is fundamentally false. If Galileo, or anybody else for that matter had been able to produce scientific evidence to support heliocentricity then the Church would have been forced to give way and would certainly have done so, as Bellarmino clearly stated in writing. However in the second decade of the 17th century heliocentricity was a highly dubious hypothesis that was contradicted by most of the then available empirical scientific evidence. ... Your version of the Galileo story is largely a myth based on prejudice and ignorance and I find it sad that people like yourself insist on propagating that myth.
I agree with that. There are good scientific reasons for believing in dark matter, but it is distressing to see an educated physicist give these completely bogus arguments based on long-discredited myths about the aether and Galileo.

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