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Fun Online Polls: Competing theories of gravity & groupthink

Monday, January 9, 2017 10:59
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The results to last week’s Fun Online Poll were as follows:

Which theory better explains the high rotational speed of stars in the outer arms of a galaxy?

Existing gravitional theory plus dark matter – 11 votes
Erik Verlinde’s Modified Newtonian Dynamics aka Entropic Gravity – 21 votes

Ed P threw a curve ball, with Derek seconding, pointing out that there is another explanation of gravity. I don’t have the faintest understanding of the two alternative theories, even gravity itself is a mystery to me – how objects light years a apart can attract each other, what keeps us glued to the earth’s surface and so on – but the whole ‘Dark matter’ concept seems like a bit of a fudge to me, and the two alternative theories seem to be able to predict what actually happens quite accurately without it. Whether ‘predicting’ is the the same as ‘understanding’ is a philosophical point. There again, they might be complete hokum…
This week’s Fun Online Poll was suggested by Ralph Musgrave:

Who is most in thrall to group think?

Multiple selections allowed, vote here or use the widget in the sidebar.


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