On the interpretive role of theories of gravity and 'ugly' solutions to the total evidence for dark matter
Vanderburgh, William L.
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Vanderburgh, William L. 2014. On the interpretive role of theories of gravity and 'ugly' solutions to the total evidence for dark matter. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, vol. 47, August 2014:pp 62–67
Peter Kosso (2013) discusses the weak gravitational lensing observations of the Bullet Cluster and argues that dark matter can be detected in this system solely through the equivalence principle without the need to specify a full theory of gravity. This paper argues that Kosso gets some of the details wrong in his analysis of the implications of the Bullet Cluster observations for the Dark Matter Double Bind and the possibility of constructing robust tests of theories of gravity at galactic and greater scales. Even the Bullet Cluster evidence is not sufficiently detailed to allow precision tests of General Relativity that would distinguish it from its rivals at galactic and greater scales. Taking into account the total evidence available, we cannot rule out "ugly" solutions to the dynamical discrepancy in astrophysics that involve both a large quantity of dark matter and a theory of gravity whose predictions differ significantly from those of General Relativity for interactions taking place at galactic and greater scales. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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