astronomy Cosmology Physics

Hairy dark matter is still dark matter, which is still a fudge

The solar system might be a lot hairier than we thought.” So says a recent report1 on a new theoretical study soon to be published in the Astrophysical Journal by Gary Prézeau2 from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. His theory proposes the existence of long filaments of dark matter, which have a form similar to “hairs.” See Fig. 1 reproduced from the published report. If you thought dark matter couldn’t get any stranger you would be wrong. But what is driving these type of theoretical investigations?

Figure 1: Artist illustration showing Earth surrounded by hypothesized theoretical filaments of dark matter called “hairs.” Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Pie Dark Matter Dark Energy
Figure 2: Pie chart showing the alleged dark matter and dark energy percentages in the Universe

Dark matter is the alleged invisible, mysterious matter that comprises 24% of the total mass/energy content of the Universe. The matter that we are all familiar with, they say, comprises only about 5% of the mass/energy content of the Universe. The remaining 71% is the alleged dark energy, a strange anti-gravity-type energy that is allegedly driving the accelerating expansion of the Universe. See Fig. 2.

Neither dark matter nor dark energy has ever been directly detected, although many experiments are trying to unlock the mysteries of dark matter, whether from deep underground or in space.1 (emphasis added)

In fact, for at least since the 1980s dark matter has been sought in laboratory experiments. Back then it was the infamous ‘axion,’ named after a brand of laundry detergent, because if it was found to exist, it was thought that it would ‘clean up’ some problems the theorists had in particle physics.

Dark matter in galaxies

Naturalistic atheistic materialism posits that stars and galaxies formed naturally from the hydrogen gas created in the putative big bang fireball. But theoretical physics simulations of their formation have been stymied by the very laws of physics to which the adherents of naturalism give obeisance. As a result, because of the impossibility of finding a naturalistic method of forming stars and galaxies, dark matter is proposed as the solution. It follows then that our Galaxy should comprise about 85% dark matter, which is not detectable by any form of electromagnetic radiation.

According to calculations done in the 1990s and simulations performed in the last decade, dark matter forms “fine-grained streams” of particles that move at the same velocity and orbit galaxies such as ours.1

Only by assuming the existence of some invisible matter, with properties such that it produces gravitational effects but otherwise could be considered not to exist at all, can some astronomical observations be understood.  One of those type of observations are the measured speeds of the stars in their orbits around the centres of spiral galaxies. See Fig. 3. Even outside of the observed disk comprising many of the stars in a galaxy (Fig. 4) the speeds of gases moving around the galactic centres are measured.  The gases move faster than the standard Newtonian physics allows, and thus it is proposed that dark matter exists and hence the phenomenon can be explained, without resorting to new physics.

rotation curves
Figure 3: The typical rotation curve of a spiral galaxy. The speed of the orbiting stars are plotted as a function of their distance (in light years) from the centre of the galaxy. The speeds are measured using a spectrograph, which can detect light from gases orbiting the galactic centre. Where no stars are seen, beyond the edge of the spiral disk, the speeds of the orbiting gases can still be measured.

By measuring the speed of the orbiting gases (ν) and the radial distance of the source (R) from the centre of the galaxy, one can use Newton’s physics to calculate the enclosed mass (M) inside the orbit of the star or gas under observation. From that calculation, it is found that the total mass of the galaxy must be 5 to 7 times more than expected from the amount of visible stars. Notice in Fig. 3, the speeds of the orbiting gases do not decrease towards zero at great distances from the centre of the galaxy. That is what would be expected from Newtonian physics. And that is what is observed in our solar system; planets orbit slower and slower the farther they are from the sun. But in spiral galaxies the orbits  or rotation curves of stars and gases is anomalous.

halo DM
Figure 4: Hypothetical halo dark matter illustrated (yellow) around a spiral galaxy viewed side on.

To account for the anomalous rotation curves in thousands of galaxies, dark matter is assumed to exist as a significant fraction of the matter in any galaxy, and it takes the form of a spherical halo around the central galactic bulge or nucleus. See Fig. 4.

Nowadays, dark matter is a given, and is even used in hypothetical simulations, where only dark matter (i.e. no ordinary normal matter) is used.  The existence of dark matter, it would seem, has now become sacrosanct in astrophysics, but don’t forget it has never been observed in space or in the laboratory.

In our Galaxy it is believed that dark matter streams through the plane of the disk of stars from above and below the disk.

“A stream can be much larger than the solar system itself, and there are many different streams crisscrossing our galactic neighborhood,” Prézeau said.1

He writes as though it has been detected. It is real only in the fairy-tale make-believe story that has been concocted to support a failed paradigm—naturalistic materialistic big bang cosmology.


The lesson to be learnt here is what? Worldview does matter. By consistently following the naturalistic materialist line of thinking one is led to believe in the existence of all types of hypothetical stuff, simply because the big bang model has to be maintained against all observations. The equivalent of ‘epicycles’3 are added. That is, dark matter is added in galaxies, in clusters of galaxies and in super clusters; as well as dark matter and dark energy are added to the Universe as a whole. These are totally fictitious entities. No such stuff has ever been detected in any lab experiment. Dark energy does not even have the properties of normal energy; and dark matter is invisible to all forms of electromagnetic radiation.

emperorDark matter is more like the ‘Emperor’s new clothes.’ And like in the Emperor’s kingdom, very few people had the courage to expose the truth that the Emperor was naked, in the current big-bang kingdom there are so very few voices calling for rational ‘eyes wide open’ debate. Cosmology really is in crisis, even if they don’t know it.4

Dark matter is almost beyond dispute, yet it could be simply that a) the physics applied to the cosmos is wrong or b) the physics is correct but the assumption that galaxies are 10 billion years old and formed from hydrogen gas allegedly created in the big bang, thus meaning that galaxies are stable and have been around a long time, is wrong.  It could be that the galaxies and clusters of galaxies are flying apart. They are not in stable equilibrium, and they are not so old.  The Universe is young, a creation of the Creator, who made it from nothing about 6000 years ago.


  1. E. Landau, Earth might have hairy dark matter, November 23, 2015.
  2. G. Prézeau,”Dense Dark Matter Hairs Spreading Out from Earth, Jupiter and Other Compact Bodies,” in press, Astrophysical Journal, 2015; preprint available at
  3. Epicycles were additional circular motions of planets added to the failed Ptolemaic geocentric model of the solar system to account for the strange behaviour of some of the other planets, Mars, for example, which occasionally would reverse direction.  Epicycles were fudges imposed to maintain the geocentric model. By shifting to a heliocentric model, the motions of the planets all made sense, and all have non-reversing elliptical orbits centred on the sun.
  4. J.G. Hartnett, Is there a crisis in cosmology? It would seem so, January 26, 2016.

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By John Gideon Hartnett

Dr John G. Hartnett is an Australian physicist and cosmologist, and a Christian with a biblical creationist worldview. He received a B.Sc. (Hons) and Ph.D. (with distinction) in Physics from The University of Western Australia, W.A., Australia. He was an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA) fellow at the University of Adelaide, with rank of Associate Professor. Now he is retired. He has published more than 200 papers in scientific journals, book chapters and conference proceedings.

2 replies on “Hairy dark matter is still dark matter, which is still a fudge”

Hello again, Dr Hartnett!

My lecturer has told me that there is evidence for dark matter: it deflects light from distant galaxies and the image of the galaxies gets distorted into arcs. What are your thoughts on this?

Kind regards!


Michal, What your lecturers say is a theory not an established fact. Galaxies exist, that is a fact. But the theory says that dark matter exists, which causes it to act like a lens according to Einstein’s theory of general relativity; that is called a gravitational lens. Thus a background image gets distorted by the gravitational lens as the light is bent, similar to a convention light lens. But Einstein’s theory applies to normal matter. It does not detect dark matter per se; it acts as a lens (according to the theory) regardless of what form of matter it is. Then it is assumed that dark matter is some form of matter that ‘gravitates’ but cannot be seen with electromagnetic radiation. That is where the fudging comes in. Your lecturers have a problem: How to prove the theory when the only laboratory they have is the cosmos? One could potentially develop multiple theories that explain the same lensing effect or arcs etc without the need for dark matter. That is the problem. But if dark matter was established as a fact in the lab—that is, if you discovered a hitherto unknown particle, which very poorly interacts with electromagnetic radiation, which could make up 85% of all matter in galaxies and 99.9% of all matter is galaxy clusters—then you would have a more powerful argument.


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