After trying to write this letter about three times, I gave up. I realised, contrary to what I believed, neither can I manage to convey the elegance of modern theory of gravity in form of a piece of text in an email inbox, nor can I convey the brilliance of the scientific method that eventually led scientists to consider the existence of something such as dark matter. It’s not only a testament to the scientists’ ability to infer constructs purely from information reaching us from farthest reaches of space, it also shows the resilience of philosophical underpinnings of scientific method. It has brought us so far that we, just by looking at light, can infer so much about places that mankind might never set foot on.
During my senior years in high school, I had developed a mild distaste to popular science communication for it’s inability to convey elegance of the scienfitic body of knowledge and tell the stories of the back breaking hard work that scientific rigour demands. I had realised that without the mathematical scaffolding of the scientific body of knowledge, I was as blind to the beauty of nature as a bee is blind to the colour of flowers. I ended up confining myself to the structured, tangible, measurable and analytical world of the engineering disciplines. Although, over time I have grown comfortable about conveying scientific beauty in human languages, I still have a little bit of fright in me.
Frightened from the counter analytical arguments made by an anti-vaxxer to absolutely unverifiable claims of perpetual motion machines. From free energy theorists to magical gravity that doesn’t have any measurable quantity; The misconstrued franken-monster of gibberish calling itself “science” scares me. But then sometimes I find hope. I find hope when I look up at the sky and realise how beautiful the scientific evolution must have been that it had led us to this point, where we can see things we can’t.
What is Dark Matter and Dark Energy? - YouTube
Some theorists think a new theory of gravity can explain away dark matter. - Cosmos on Nautilus
Does Dark Matter Harbor Life? - Issue 48: Chaos - Nautilus
Why These Researchers Are Drawn to the World’s Edge - Cosmos on Nautilus