If all goes right today, I expect to connect the current modern scientific discussion of dark matter with the ancient sin of pride.
In high school science classes in the 1950s, a “Periodic Chart of Elements” hung on the walls showing atoms as building blocks of everything. The text books illustrated atoms as a center of two pieces: neutrons and protons. Negative pieces, electrons, circulated in a variety of rings around this center, like planets orbiting the sun.
Modern physics now teaches that the center is a jumble of sub-atomic particles that come in colors and spins. Electrons are now fields of force and not flying things. Physicists believe they have identified all the particles in existence, with the Higgs boson being the last one. As soon as they prove the existence of gravitational waves, they will have a “Theory of Everything”, they will know everything about how the world works.
However, as they got closer and closer to knowing everything, the math didn’t come out right. What they called “everything” only accounted for 10% of all the matter and energy in existence. They checked and re-checked their observations and calculations and could find no errors. They finally had to admit, “We know almost everything about light energy, but that is only 10% of everything. We are surrounded by 90% of something else.” They decided to call it “dark matter” even if they could not know anything about it or touch it.
What is wrong with that name for the unknown? In simpler form, we humans are creatures of light. We only know what comes through our eyes. We see a leaf on a tree and call it “green”, because some of it fits our eyes light spectrum. Who knows if it is green? It may not even be a part of a tree. We only experience (see) 10% of it.
But in our human pride, we cast shadows. It’s as if light is automatically good, as if there is a Prince of Darkness in charge of powers and principalities out there shadowing our world. Science doesn’t know if their version of the stuff is really “dark”. It could be brighter and with more energy than the light we know.
To ask it another way, who can say we live in a modern, scientific, enLIGHTened world? We have a drug abuse epidemic, shootings, cancer, fire and floods, wars, starvation, rape and violence against women, child abuse, threat of nuclear war… Our radio telescopes send signals and messages into space to try to connect with intelligent life of advanced civilizations. What pride! Who would want us? If the lights of our civilization go out, not to worry, 90% of creation will continue.
Let’s suppose that there are dark matter beings. They might well be truer, better, more loving, polite and generous than we are. Science has figured out that there is a lot of something besides us, besides, light. Why not it be God? Maybe God is dark matter and in our pride we have used the wrong name. One definition of God is that God is unknowable and God is not us. That’s a definition of dark matter also. Does dark matter matter? Of course, it’s God.