Is dark matter responsible for life to exist?

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by wegs, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. wegs She knew how to fly all along... Valued Senior Member

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    I've been curious about dark matter lately, and in exploring the topic a bit more, it's pretty crazy to think that without dark matter, life simply wouldn't exist. Dark matter is so mysterious and it's undetectable, yet without it, life on Earth would probably not exist.

    Does it come down to gravity, that dark matter provides? Sorry if this is a silly question, but is that its purpose?
     
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  3. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Things in the universe don't have a purpose.

    Why would life not exist without DM?
     
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  5. globali Registered Senior Member

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    You cannot go from South America to Canada without passing from Central America. Is that the purpose of Central America??.....
     
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  7. wegs She knew how to fly all along... Valued Senior Member

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    I'm telling you all what I've been reading.

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    What is the purpose of dark energy? Do you agree that without it, we wouldn't be here?
     
  8. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    As was mentioned things don't have a purpose. You could probably argue that life wouldn't exist if anything was different so there's nothing special about dark matter in that regard.

    Dark matter is no different that any other matter except that we can't (as of yet) detect it directly.

    There just needs to be more matter in the Universe than is apparent to explain (for example) why the outer arms of galaxies rotate at the same speed as the center.

    The mass must not be greater at the center so something else has to be providing it more evenly throughout the galaxy...dark matter.
     
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  9. wegs She knew how to fly all along... Valued Senior Member

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    I guess why it confuses me is that something that goes undetected and is so ''mysterious'' to scientists (and us)...could be so important to our existence. You know?
     
  10. wegs She knew how to fly all along... Valued Senior Member

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    But we can visualize Central America. We can't visualize dark matter.

    I'm trying to understand this, from that point of view.
     
  11. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I can't visualize an electron or love or any number of things.
     
  12. wegs She knew how to fly all along... Valued Senior Member

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    Good point. See, this is why I post here. lol But, you can explain the value of love or the value of an electron. What is the ''value'' of dark matter?

    I like your post above, it makes sense. I'd think though something that has been thought to speed up the expansion of the universe, would be considered vital.
     
  13. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I wouldn't focus on how important it is to our existence. There is nothing special, in that regard, about dark matter.

    It's just matter. Do you feel that it's mysterious that matter is important to our existence? Of course, we are matter but the mysteries of how life comes about don't really relate to dark matter in any important way.
     
  14. wegs She knew how to fly all along... Valued Senior Member

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    It's mysterious to scientists. It can't be detected, yet it is an important property of space. That's just interesting to me.
     
  15. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Dark matter doesn't speed up the expansion of the Universe. That's dark energy.
    Again, changing the word "purpose" to "value"

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    doesn't change anything.

    If you can understand how matter interacts then you can understand how dark matter interacts.
     
  16. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    It's interesting to everyone who knows that it exists because we don't know exactly what it is but we do know that it acts just like any other matter.
     
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  17. wegs She knew how to fly all along... Valued Senior Member

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    lol Okay.

    But dark matter doesn't interact as other matter. I think scientists can only determine that it exists because of its gravitational effect on other (visible) matter.

    I know enough, but not enough.

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  18. wegs She knew how to fly all along... Valued Senior Member

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    I thought it doesn't, though? It doesn't absorb or emit light, so that would seem very different than other matter.
     
  19. globali Registered Senior Member

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    yes dark matter causes measurable effects through interactions with matter. It is therefore real, and it is a part of the material world that science can study.
     
  20. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    It does interact as other matter. It just isn't visible, doesn't reflect light, is too small, we don't know.
     
  21. wegs She knew how to fly all along... Valued Senior Member

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    Gotcha, okay.

    I guess my point is that I find it really interesting that something scientists can't detect, is part of the overall equation of making life possible. Maybe I'm the only one fascinated by this.

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  22. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Do neutrons absorb or emit light?
     
  23. globali Registered Senior Member

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    They can detect dark matter, but not directly due to technical reasons. This distinguishes dm from other unobservable stuff like spirituality, etc
     
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