The theory is something like this: Space is pervaded by luminiferous
ether, which is a material thing--as much a substance as air or water, though almost infinitely more attenuated.
The relative motion of the earth and the luminiferous
By the early 1900s, it was thought that there must be a luminiferous
ether that carries light.
At about the same time Gore was considering voids in the luminiferous
ether, Albert Michelson (1852-1931) and Edward Morley (1838-1923) were conducting their famous experiment, in 1887, which finally disproved the existence of the ether.
18) reminded me of the 19th century search for the luminiferous
Terrence Deacon has listed a number of examples of misplaced concreteness including: Phlogiston = fire substance, Caloric = heat substance (transferred between things), Luminiferous
Ether = medium for wave & field effects, and Elan vital = essence of life.
Although Compton spoke here of God as "Ruler of the Universe," he fleshed this out only in functional terms, literally comparing the hypothesis of a fatherly God in religion to the hypothesis of the luminiferous
ether in physics (I will not digress on the interesting fact that he invoked the ether as late as 1946).
I want you to imagine wholeness as life lived in luminiferous
It showed the Universe was billions of years old and put paid to the once popular idea of luminiferous
At that time, electromagnetic waves were regarded as an object in space requiring a medium through which to propagate, and this medium, the hypothesized luminiferous
ether (the subtle, elusive framework within which the motions of coarser substances including light could be measured) was postulated to be at rest, the absolute inertial system.
He also pointed out the existence of ether of general relativity as a necessary requirement for the possibility of that theory, just as the existence of luminiferous
ether was postulated to support the propagation of electromagnetic waves.
Accordingly, (i) the fate of the dark matter particle(s) theories as well as (ii) the fate of their competing theories of modified Newtonian dynamics (MOND ) are likely to follow the fate of the eighteenth century phlogiston theory and the nineteenth century luminiferous
ether theory, which were initiated as ad hoc postulates and which, subsequently, became obsolete.