A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

The nature of cosmic dark matter, the exotic matter that makes up about 5/6 of all matter in the universe, ranks as one of the two biggest unsolved components1 of the biblically predicted big bang creation model.2 (The other big unsolved component is the nature of dark energy.3) The exotic property of cosmic dark matter is that, unlike ordinary matter (matter comprised of protons, neutrons, and electrons), it does not interact or very weakly interacts with light. Now, a recent paper published in Nature by two Harvard University astrophysicists4 brings us one step closer to comprehending the nature of cosmic dark matter and thereby giving us yet more reasons to believe in the biblical description of the origin, history, and nature of the universe.

All the evidence that astronomers possess for the existence of cosmic dark matter relies on its gravitational pull on ordinary (or baryonic) matter. I offer an extensive review of this evidence in chapter 5 of the recently released book, The Creator and the Cosmos, 4th edition,5 and in a blog posted on January 22, 2018.6 The breadth of this evidence leaves no doubt that cosmic dark matter exists and that much more of it exists than baryonic matter.

However, astronomers are not satisfied. They want to know the origin and nature of cosmic dark matter. They also want to know in much more detail how cosmic dark matter influences the cosmic creation model and the design of the universe that is needed to explain the existence of life and of human beings in particular.

Nongravitational Evidence for Cosmic Dark Matter
More than two decades ago, theoretical physicist David Kaplan noted that a small degree of nongravitational coupling between cosmic dark matter and baryonic matter could explain the much greater abundance of cosmic dark matter compared to baryonic matter.7 Two years ago, a team of five astrophysicists showed that even a tiny degree of nongravitational coupling between cosmic dark matter and baryonic matter could resolve the small-scale discrepancies (properties of the innermost regions of cosmic dark matter halos and the population of dwarf galaxy satellites accompanying the Andromeda and Milky Way galaxies) in the currently most successful cosmic creation model, the lambda cold dark matter cosmic creation model.8   

In a previous blog post,9 I explained how the EDGES (Experiment to Detect the Global EoR Signature) Collaboration used a sky-averaged radio spectrum to determine10 that 180 million years after the big bang creation event, the temperature of baryonic matter was less than half of its expected value. In that same blog I described how astrophysicist Rennan Barkana offered an explanation11 for how the universe’s baryonic matter cooled at that time. He showed that the cooling could be explained by scattering between baryonic particles (protons and neutrons) and cosmic dark matter particles.

Now, Harvard astrophysicists Julian Muñoz and Abraham Loeb provide an alternate explanation for the observed cooling of baryonic matter 180 million years after the cosmic creation event.12 Muñoz and Loeb show that (1) if a little less than one percent of cosmic dark matter particles possess a charge about a million times smaller than the charge of an electron; and (2) if the mass of most of the cosmic dark matter particles lies between 1–100 times the electron mass, “then the data from the EDGES experiment can be explained while remaining consistent with all the other observations.”13 They also demonstrated that serious inconsistencies arise if the entirety of cosmic dark matter particles possesses a mini-charge.

Muñoz and Loeb end their paper with suggestions on how observers and theoreticians can further probe (with existing technology) the nature of the nongravitational coupling between baryonic and cosmic dark matter. Their efforts and the ones they suggest are bound to yield more knowledge and understanding of the nature of 25.5 percent of the total composition of the universe. That progress promises to yield even more confirmation and understanding of the biblically predicted cosmic creation model.14

Endnotes
  1. Hugh Ross, “Signature of the Universe’s First Stars and Dark Matter,” Today’s New Reason to Believe (blog), Reasons to Believe, March 19, 2018, http://www.reasons.org/explore/blogs/todays-new-reason-to-believe/read/todays-new-reason-to-believe/2018/03/19/signature-of-the-universe-s-first-stars-and-dark-matter.
  2. Hugh Ross, “Big Bang—The Bible Taught It First!” Today’s New Reason to Believe (blog), Reasons to Believe, June 30, 2000, http://reasons.org/explore/publications/rtb-101/read/rtb-101/2000/06/30/big-bang-the-bible-taught-it-first.
  3. Hugh Ross, “Quest to Discover the Nature of 70 Percent of the Universe,” Today’s New Reason to Believe (blog), Reasons to Believe, May 28, 2018, http://www.reasons.org/explore/blogs/todays-new-reason-to-believe/read/todays-new-reason-to-believe/2018/05/28/quest-to-discover-the-nature-of-70-percent-of-the-universe
  4. Julian B. Muñoz and Abraham Loeb, “A Small Amount of Mini-Charged Dark Matter Could Cool the Baryons in the Early Universe,” Nature 557 (May 31, 2018): 684–86, https://doi:10.1038/s41586-018-0151-x.
  5. Hugh Ross, The Creator and the Cosmos, 4th ed. (Covina, CA: RTB Press, 2018), 45–57.
  6. Hugh Ross, “More Evidence for God as Dark Matter Confirmation Nears,” Today’s New Reason to Believe (blog), Reasons to Believe, January 22, 2018, http://www.reasons.org/explore/blogs/todays-new-reason-to-believe/read/todays-new-reason-to-believe/2018/01/22/more-evidence-for-god-as-dark-matter-confirmation-nears.
  7. David B. Kaplan, “Single Explanation for Both Baryon and Dark Matter Densities,” Physical Review Letters 68 (February 10, 1992): 741–43, https://doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.68.741.
  8. David H. Weinberg et al., “Cold Dark Matter: Controversies on Small Scales,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 112 (October 6, 2015): 12249–55, https://doi:10.1073/pnas.1308716112.
  9. Ross, “Signature of the Universe’s First Stars …
  10. Judd D. Bowman et al., “An Absorption Profile Centred at 78 Megahertz in the Sky-Averaged Spectrum,” Nature 555 (March 1, 2018): 67–70, https://doi:10.1038/nature25792.
  11. Rennan Barkana, “Possible Interaction Between Baryons and Dark Matter Particles Revealed by the First Stars,” Nature 555 (March 1, 2018): 71–74, https://doi:10.1038/nature25791.
  12. Muñoz and Loeb, “A Small Amount of Mini-Charged Dark Matter.”
  13. Muñoz and Loeb, “A Small Amount of Mini-Charged Dark Matter,” p. 684.
  14. Ross, “Big Bang—The Bible Taught It First!”
  15. 501–19, https://doi:10.1016/0198-0149(92)90085-8.

Check out more from Dr. Hugh Ross @Reasons.org

 

About The Author

Dr. Hugh Ross

Reasons to Believe emerged from my passion to research, develop, and proclaim the most powerful new reasons to believe in Christ as Creator, Lord, and Savior and to use those new reasons to reach people for Christ. I also am eager to equip Christians to engage, rather than withdraw from or attack, educated non-Christians. One of the approaches I’ve developed, with the help of my RTB colleagues, is a biblical creation model that is testable, falsifiable, and predictive. I enjoy constructively integrating all 66 books of the Bible with all the science disciplines as a way to discover and apply deeper truths. 1 Peter 3:15–16 sets my ministry goal, "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience." Hugh Ross launched his career at age seven when he went to the library to find out why stars are hot. Physics and astronomy captured his curiosity and never let go. At age seventeen he became the youngest person ever to serve as director of observations for Vancouver's Royal Astronomical Society. With the help of a provincial scholarship and a National Research Council (NRC) of Canada fellowship, he completed his undergraduate degree in physics (University of British Columbia) and graduate degrees in astronomy (University of Toronto). The NRC also sent him to the United States for postdoctoral studies. At Caltech he researched quasi-stellar objects, or "quasars," some of the most distant and ancient objects in the universe. Not all of Hugh's discoveries involved astrophysics. Prompted by curiosity, he studied the world’s religions and "holy books" and found only one book that proved scientifically and historically accurate: the Bible. Hugh started at religious "ground zero" and through scientific and historical reality-testing became convinced that the Bible is truly the Word of God! When he went on to describe for others his journey to faith in Jesus Christ, he was surprised to discover how many people believed or disbelieved without checking the evidence. Hugh's unshakable confidence that God's revelations in Scripture and nature do not, will not, and cannot contradict became his unique message. Wholeheartedly encouraged by family and friends, communicating that message as broadly and clearly as possible became his mission. Thus, in 1986, he founded science-faith think tank Reasons to Believe (RTB). He and his colleagues at RTB keep tabs on the frontiers of research to share with scientists and nonscientists alike the thrilling news of what's being discovered and how it connects with biblical theology. In this realm, he has written many books, including: The Fingerprint of God, The Creator and the Cosmos, Beyond the Cosmos, A Matter of Days, Creation as Science, Why the Universe Is the Way It Is, and More Than a Theory. Between writing books and articles, recording podcasts, and taking interviews, Hugh travels the world challenging students and faculty, churches and professional groups, to consider what they believe and why. He presents a persuasive case for Christianity without applying pressure. Because he treats people's questions and comments with respect, he is in great demand as a speaker and as a talk-radio and television guest. Having grown up amid the splendor of Canada's mountains, wildlife, and waterways, Hugh loves the outdoors. Hiking, trail running, and photography are among his favorite recreational pursuits - in addition to stargazing. Hugh lives in Southern California with his wife, Kathy, and two sons.

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