Cosmos and History : the Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy (Nov 2009)

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

  • Jorge E. Horvath

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 5, no. 2
pp. 287 – 303


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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 <em>paradigm shift</em>in 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.