While multiple astronomical observations point to
So we can begin to scapegoat the Astronomers for leading the Astrophysicists in the wrong direction.
There's been an interesting symbiotic relationship going on between astrophysics and "non standard" particle physics for the past couple of decades, but the LHC results and the various NULL results of other experiments have not been kind to that relationship. In fact they've strained that relationship to the breaking point. For many years, SUSY proponents publicly cited astrophysical evidence of "dark matter", as their "evidence/justification" to support the search for an extension to the standard particle physics model.
Thanks to the incredible and difficult work that has been done at LHC, the standard particle physics model is now complete, and there hasn't been any evidence found to date to support even a single 'sparticle" from SUSY theory. LHC hasn't produced any evidence that directly supports any extension to the standard particle physics model in fact.
This leaves the whole WIMP concept in a very precarious position, particularly after the recent negative XENON-IT results and the last negative LUX and PandaX results. The various XENON experiments have basically eliminated huge regions of "weakly" interacting particle space, so much so that they're reaching down to the neutrino level of "weak" particle interaction. Once they eliminate everything down to the neutrino level of weak particle interaction, the WIMP snipe hunt is pretty much over. I suppose Axion theory will grow in popularity among the last "flat earthers' of dark matter theory.
Anyone that has been paying attention to dark matter theory over the past decade knows that exotic matter theory is in real trouble in 2017. LHC results were not kind to any theories about various extensions to the standard particle physics model, whereas those very same results were wonderfully successful at demonstrating the mathematical elegance and the incredible prediction accuracy of the standard particle physics model.
The problem for particle physicists is that they've been *so* successful at demonstrating the accuracy of the standard particle physics model, they've effectively worked themselves right out of a job. With the discovery of the Higgs, and their demonstration of the incredible accuracy of the standard particle physics model, what is left to do? Now of course we definitely should explore every bit of the energy spectrum that we can with LHC, but what happens after that point in time if there is not even so much as a hint of any need to extend the standard particle physics model? Everyone would still like to remain employed I presume?
I think the handwriting is definitely on the wall today in terms of exotic matter theory. It's not looking very good. Not only did it fail billions of dollars worth of our highest technology laboratory 'tests', astronomers have been "discovering' that their galaxy mass estimation techniques are horrifically flawed, and woefully in need of an update. In just the last five years, they've found/discovered both a neutral gas "halo", as well as discovering a hot plasma (million degree plasma) halo around our own galaxy, just as their "dark matter" models 'predict". Their dark matter galaxy rotation models were evidently correct, but their assumption about any need for exotic matter was absolutely incorrect.
There's really no need at all to resort to exotic forms of matter to explain what's been wrong with astronomical estimates of galaxies prior to 2012, and prior to this year. We've been *seriously* underestimating the amount of ordinary baryonic matter in every galaxy since long before Fritz Zwicky noticed that problem.
The moral dilemma for astrophysicists is that they're like a drug addict with respect to exotic matter. Their current belief system cannot live without it. The LCDM theory completely falls apart without it, particularly the nucleosynthesis predictions, and the BAO claims to fame. It's curtain time for LCMD theory if there is no such thing as CDM, it's really that simple.
Dark energy theory took a pretty good hit recently in more recent SN1A studies of larger SN!A data sets, and revelations about SN!A not being 'standard candles", but that was nothing compared to the brutal and savage beating that cold dark matter theory has suffered in the lab over the past few years.
With respect to the whole "job displacement" thing that we all know is coming, I suggest that that both particle physicists and dark matter researchers consider spending some time, money and effort recreating Birkeland's entire range of solar plasma physics experiments. If they really want to learn how the universe works, a re-commitment to empirical physics is definitely in order. The LHC results were really impressive IMO. I"d love to see a similar such Herculean effort made to comprehend what's really going on in solar atmospheric physics. With all that plasma talent focused on solar physics, things could change virtually overnight with just a simple and logical change in direction which is completely consistent with the standard particle physics model, and empirical physics.
I suggest that both proponents of extensions to the standard particle physics model, and LCDM proponents just rip off the supernatural band-aids in one fell swoop. Ya, it's going to hurt at first, and it's going to be depressing for awhile, but once the lab results of electrical solar model experiments start coming in, the lab successes of the next few decades could makes us completely forget all about the past, while also giving the LHC results the full respect that they deserve.