But Einstein’s restricted relativity theory of 1905 showed that this idea was really superfluous and indeed if you think about the supposedly properties of this substance you will realize in hindsight that its properties were really fantastic, but that was an idea fully accepted by the scientific community.
Now here we are in the 21th century and a new fantastic substance have been inserted in mainstream science: dark matter, this is just a fantastic substance, and its introduction have all the hallmarks that lead to the introduction of the aether idea: it is being introduced to “save” the current accepted theoretical framework from the inconvenient situation of the existence of observational facts that can not be explained without its ad-hoc introduction.
We have found some “anomalies” in the space geometry and then we are “inferring” the existence of an all pervasive mysterious substance to explain it. What about thinking that our ideas about space-time are accurate up to a certain space-time scale, but when we are dealing with very large distances and time our approximations need to be re-calibrated?
It is the same “irrational fear” to rethink our most cherished basic “principles”, it is not different from a “religion”, the assumed properties of space are “sacred”.
It is the same “mental rigidity” that makes the “scientific community” to recoil from the acceptance of the reality of alive “anomalies” or UFOs, something that was already observed by Trevor J Constable in his outstanding book “The Cosmic Pulse of Life”.
By ignoring the reality of anomalies that may come back to the “scientific community” and actually be a Cosmological factor to take in count, their number is just Astronomical on earth and its vicinity, consider then their numbers in a Cosmos scale, they very likely have mass, very small for sure but still positive, but that mass component never have been taken into consideration in any cosmological model of the Universe.