Letters to the Editor

Dark matter much more than scientific 'feeling'

The editorial page cartoon for April 10 suggests that science is in some instances based on belief or faith similarly to religion.

The subject chosen to make this suggestion was "dark matter," and the comment was that scientists have no knowledge of its existence other than they "feel it." The cartoonist only exposes his or her own ignorance on the subject. Although certainly dark matter by definition is not visible, there is abundant evidence that it certainly exists, in fact quite a lot of it. Just Google the subject and you will find the basis for dark matter described: "For each of the stellar, galactic and galaxy cluster/supercluster observations the basic principle is that if we measure velocities in some region, then there has to be enough mass there for gravity to stop all the objects flying apart. When such velocity measurements are done on large scales, it turns out that the amount of inferred mass is much more than can be explained by the luminous stuff. Hence we infer that there is dark matter in the universe."

By such measurements it has been estimated that dark matter and dark energy make up about 93 percent of the "stuff" in the universe.

You do a disservice to your readers when you reinforce the tendencies to discount scientific evidence. You should reflect on the quotation from Farrington Daniels: "Science is for those unwilling to speculate about that which is definitely known."

Jim Weiss