What is Dark Matter?

Down the ‘Slug and Philosopher’ last night, Old Ted was staring into his Guinness and frowning to himself.

“So what’s all this Dark Matter then?” he asked.
It’s a good question, there’s been a lot in the news about it lately.

“The scientists’ don’t know yet, Ted.” I said, “The world’s greatest physicists are working on it as we speak.  Wayne might know though”.
Wayne was practising his dart’s ready for the match against the ‘Slug and Film Producer’ later that evening.  Stupid name for a pub if you ask me.

“What do you reckon on ‘Dark Matter’, Wayne?”

“Well yer Dark Matter is basically a hypothetical form of matter that is believed to make up around ninety percent of the matter in the universe.  It don’t absorb light and it don’t emit light, which makes it invisible.  Furthermore it don’t collide with atomic particles which means you ain’t going to be able to touch it either.  However, we know it’s there because it exerts gravitational force.”

He threw two darts into the board.
“Scientists don’t know what it is yet.”

He threw the last dart and turned to face Ted and me.
“I however, do know.”
This didn’t surprise me, Wayne knows a lot of things.  I think he watches the Discovery Channel.

“What is it then?”  I asked.

 “Imagine that time is a straight line,” he said, “which it isn’t of course, it’s more like a ball of water, but that’s another subject.”
I nodded at him to continue.

“As we slide along the line we’re only conscious of the tiny speck of time that we’re currently in.  A speck of time that our brains hold for us so that we don’t go mad and see our whole lives happening in the one blinding instance.  But of course in yer wider universe all our history and all our future exists at the same time.  That’s what yer Dark Matter is.”

“So everything we’ve done and all we’re going to do is sort of ‘hanging around’ in space waiting for us to pass through it?”  I was trying to grasp onto it.

“Yeah, and if yer brain loses its ‘old on yer current time frame you become aware of all that ‘as been and all that will be.  That’s death that is.”

 “But are you saying that my future is all mapped out and that the universe already ‘knows’ what’s going to happen?”
“You mean is everything predetermined by fate or do we have free will?
No, don’t worry mate, you have free will all right and the decisions you make alter the substance of the Dark Matter hanging in front of you.  Funnily enough your decisions alter the Dark Matter behind you as well.”
“You mean I change history by what I do today?”
“Yeah, you do.  It’s all part of the great circle, but that’s another subject and I haven’t got time to discuss it now.  I must practise me arrows.”
Wayne went back to the board and retrieved his darts.

I looked at Ted.
“Does that answer your question, Ted?”

“Not really, I just wanted to know what all this mucky stuff floating in my beer is.”


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