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Jump Ship, Shift Gears, or Just Keep on Chugging: Assessing the Responses to Tensions between Theory and Evidence in Contemporary Cosmology

De Baerdemaeker, Siska and Boyd, Nora Mills (2020) Jump Ship, Shift Gears, or Just Keep on Chugging: Assessing the Responses to Tensions between Theory and Evidence in Contemporary Cosmology. [Preprint]

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Abstract

When is it reasonable to abandon a scientific research program? When would it be premature? We take up these questions in the context of a contemporary debate at the border between astrophysics and cosmology, the so-called “small-scale challenges” to the concordance model of cosmology (ΛCDM) and its cold dark matter paradigm. These challenges consist in discrepancies between the outputs of leading cosmological simulations and observational surveys, and have garnered titles such as the Missing Satellites, Too Big To Fail, and Cusp/Core problems. We argue that these challenges do not currently support a wholesale abandonment or even modification of cold darkmatter. Indeed, the nature of the challenges suggests prioritizing the incorporation of known physics into cosmological simulations.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
De Baerdemaeker, Siskasiska.debaerdemaeker@gmail.com
Boyd, Nora Millsnoramillsboyd@gmail.com0000-0002-3641-8682
Additional Information: Accepted for publication in Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, please cite published version
Keywords: theory change; anomalies; dark matter; small-scale challenges; simulation; cosmology
Subjects: General Issues > Data
Specific Sciences > Physics > Astrophysics
General Issues > Computer Simulation
Specific Sciences > Physics > Cosmology
General Issues > Evidence
General Issues > Theory Change
Depositing User: Nora Boyd
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2020 03:17
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2020 17:17
Item ID: 18013
Subjects: General Issues > Data
Specific Sciences > Physics > Astrophysics
General Issues > Computer Simulation
Specific Sciences > Physics > Cosmology
General Issues > Evidence
General Issues > Theory Change
Date: 2020
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/18013

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