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enough matter in the universe to generate the gravitational forces needed to explain astronomical

observations. The leading theory to solve this proposes ‘dark matter’, matter which does not emit

light but still has mass. Frank introduces his protagonist, Dr. Mordehai Milgrom, as a heretic for

not accepting the existence of dark matter. Instead of using dark matter to explain puzzling

observations of galactic rotation curves, Dr. Milgrom introduced a modification to Newtonian

dynamics (MOND) that explains the data at the very low gravitational forces in effect on this

scale.8 Today, the vast majority of astrophysics is behind the dark matter theory while MOND

attracts only a handful of interested scientists. Let us frame this situation from a Kuhnian

perspective. Dark matter theory is the existing paradigm – it has proven adept at explaining

phenomena, and has directed the efforts of hundreds of physicists into discovering how dark

matter can explain other phenomena. The predictions it offered concerning the cosmic

microwave background radiation were confirmed9 with satellite probes, and scientists are

enthused about its continuing robustness. Dr. Milgrom’s novel idea, as the Frank describes, has

offered an initial explanation to a key anomaly that hold well. And, after years of refinement,

MOND (actually a variant called TeVeS) has taken the next important step in accounting for

gravitational lensing, a phenomenon that Einstein’s general theory of relativity was the first to

coherently explain. But has it become a viable alternative which would give credence to Frank’s

dubious claim that MOND could “tear up our whole picture of how the universe is put

together”10? No. First, it has not attracted the significant support needed to be a worthy

alternative. With just a handful of adherents, MOND has not attracted the resources or attention

to be explored in detailed, leaving the theory stunted. And more importantly, MOND has yet to

expose any significant fracture within the dark matter paradigm. The crisis, that interminable

8 9 10 Frank, pg. 35. Frank, pg. 36 Frank, pg. 33

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