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Being an effect produced by elemental ether units, this effect would not be detectable by any of our technologies. So physics should not continue automatically assuming an ether does not exist.
The aether has no detected properties. On the other hand dark matter was postulated to explain an observed effect. Namely the accelerated expansion of the universe so there is no dual standard.
MichaelMD, it is unnecessary to have an ether. It adds nothing to the knowledge base of physics. If it were to solve outstanding physics issues then that may be a different story. Not one of the 'theories' of the ether posted here have anything new to add and answer no outstanding questions. Why do you think it matters so much?..
This rather begs the meaning of "existence". We assign existence to those concepts that actually affect us in some way, or have some unique and essential explanatory value. The property of existence can be assigned to anything from a lump of rock to a poltergeist, as long as it does something that can't be ascribed to anything else (most poltergeists turn out to be temporary assignments, but nobody assumes their existence in the absence of flying crockery etc). Thus a substance that has no effect on any sense or instrument and explains nothing that cannot be explained without it, cannot be said to exist.
If McQueen wants to specify those key areas, where my model for the aether is deficient, I'd be willing to debate these with him. The criticisms of the model so far in this Thread have not dealt in any specifics.
"Think of waves on the surface of water. Here we can describe two entirely different things. Either we may observe how the undulatory surface forming the boundary between water and air alters in the course of time; or else-with the help of small floats, for instance - we can observe how the position of the separate particles of water alters in the course of time. If the existence of such floats for tracking the motion of the particles of a fluid were a fundamental impossibility in physics - if, in fact nothing else whatever were observable than the shape of the space occupied by the water as it varies in time, we should have no ground for the assumption that water consists of movable particles. But all the same we could characterise it as a medium."
Why on earth someone should believe that people will come up with a picture of the ether that no-one can detect and that has no possible value is incredible.
-A null result was obtained, and physicists generally accepted this as proving there is no ether medium in space.