Summary: Ben Harris at the University of Texas measured Earth's mass as discerned by GPS satellites. He suggests data from these satellites indicate the strength of Earth's gravitational pull. He then postulates that the gravitational pull is then directly related to the planet's mass. He found that Earth is between 0.005 and 0.008 per cent heavier than first believed, which is equivalent to a disc of dark matter around the equator which is 191km (120 miles) thick and 70,000 km (43,000 miles) across.
Other scientists have theorized for years that dark matter exists in the universe, since dark matter is considered crucial to theories explaining how the universe is expanding and how galaxies interact. Scientists suggest that dark matter may comprise as much as 27 percent of the universe. They know it to be out there because of the gravitational effects it has on the matter we can see. For example, galaxies could not rotate the way they do and hold their shape without the presence of dark matter. The problem is that scientists can not yet nail down what it looks like or where to find it.
Mormon doctrinal interpretation holds that dark matter can serve three purposes:
(1). Shield mortal planets from the blinding glory of the celestial realms. Space dust interspersed throughout the Milky Way galaxy may shield the lower realms from the glory of the higher realms and prevent the destruction of the lower realms. When Jehovah visited Moses on Mount Sinai, He had to "turn down his glory" to prevent Moses from being consumed by it. The Kolob Theorem (98 pages, loads quickly) provides a plausible explanation of this phenomenom.
(2). Designate parts of the universe that have not been organized by the various deities who are in charge. The Kolob Theorem suggests that each galaxy is headed by a deity who has been ordained unto Godhood, but whether our God (Elohim) is merely the God of the Milky Way or the Supreme God of the entire universe is unaddressed.
(3). Designate parts of the universe inhabited by evil entities who have been denied glory and consigned to outer darkness, but who are being used by Elohim as opposition to try and tempt us, guaranteeing a more complete mortal experience for us. Existing scripture suggests that Satan and his hosts are responsible for the dark veil around the Earth. From Moses 7:26 in the Pearl of Great Price:
And he [Enoch] beheld Satan; and he had a great chain in his hand, and it veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness; and he looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced.
And from Isaiah 60:2:
For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
The Bottom Line: If science can catch up with scripture on the Word of Wisdom and other aspects of Mormon doctrine, it will eventually catch up with scripture in other areas. Science will eventually verify that the Nephites, Lamanites, and Jaredites were real peoples with real civilizations, and provide genetic evidence showing that the American Indians and the mestizo population of the American continents do carry the blood of these ancient peoples within them. When science conflicts with scripture, scripture ultimately and invariably wins. As Spencer W. Kimball once said, "Faith precedes the miracle".