After a two-year study, a team of scientists reports their findings on the existence of ‘dark’ energy, declaring a 99.996% probability that the stuff is real. The fundamental reason behind the search for this energy source has to do with the expansion of the universe. According to classical theory, the total of all observable masses in the universe should generate enough gravitational effect to slow down this continual expansion that began with the Big Bang nearly 14 billion years ago. Instead, astronomers have observed that the universe is actually expanding at an increasing rate, causing some to conclude there must be an unseen energy source driving this acceleration. See this article with the usual sensational headline: http://news.yahoo.com/elusive-dark-energy-real-study-says-210930122.html. In spite of the sensational headlines indicating a new discovery, the fact remains that scientists supporting this concept still have no idea what this mysterious energy might be.
Of course, the underlying issue here is that everything is being discussed from the assumption that every physical effect observed in the universe has an equally physical cause contained in the same universe, or what is known as the paradigm of absolute materialism. Yet the phenomenon of quantum entanglement plus other anomalies like the failure to discover a graviton are strong indicators that there is an underlying non-local cause (i.e., a cause outside and beyond the local space in which the observation is made) for much of the universe including the effect of gravity. As this article points out, visible and measurable matter and energy in the universe accounts for only 4% of all universal observations, both material and effectual that we have measured (the remainder is theorized by the materialistic paradigm to comprise 73% dark energy and 23% dark matter. This goes along very well with the known limitations of the Standard Model of physics that describes all fundamental particles and their interactions, which is said to explain perhaps only 6% of all known observable material and effects. Apparently, there’s a whole lot of universe that’s missing.
I always emphasize, however, that these concepts emerge directly from the conventional paradigm of a self-determining universe, or that every observable physical effect in what is believed to be an exclusively material universe must have an equally physical cause contained within that same material universe. While this is a majority view in the modern scientific community, it is by no means the only paradigm. A significant number of physicists accept the possibility of an extra-physical or non-material aspect of reality residing outside normal space-time, and that this other, non-local source may very well be responsible for some of the anomalous effects we have observed.
Therefore, the argument for the existence of this mysteriously invisible dark energy is based almost entirely on the philosophical premise that the cause for this inexplicable cosmic expansion must be physical, even if we cannot see it and have no idea what it might be. According to this paradigm, if every cause must be physical and local, the cause must be an immeasurable, invisible physical component. But if we accept the possibility of an extra-material component of reality, then all we can say conclusively from this team’s findings is that there is a 99.996% probability that a real physical effect exists for which we cannot measurably detect any local physical cause to account for it. That’s a significantly different, and in my opinion, a more objective and even honest assessment of these findings, albeit far less sensational. In reality, the conclusion in favor of dark energy has no dependency on the actual detection of a physical cause, but on a philosophical belief that the cause must be physical.