Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 5, No 2 (2009)

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Dark Matter, Dark Energy and Modern Cosmology: The Case For a Kuhnian Paradigm Shift

Jorge E. Horvath

Abstract


Several works in the last few years devoted to measure fundamental probes of contemporary cosmology have suggested the existence of a delocalized dominant component (the “dark energy”), in addition to the several-decade-old evidence for “dark matter” other than ordinary baryons, both assuming the description of gravity to be correct. Either we are faced to accept the ignorance of at least 95 % of the content of the universe or consider a deep change of the conceptual framework to understand the data. Thus, the situation seems to be completely favorable for a Kuhnian paradigm shiftin either particle physics or cosmology. We attempt to offer here a brief discussion of these issues from this particular perspective, arguing that the situation qualifies as a textbook Kuhnian anomaly, and offer a tentative identification of some of the actual elements typically associated with the paradigm shift process “in the works” in contemporary science.

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