Pournelle said something I’d like to expand upon.
I think you have stated your case very well indeed. Any time there is no possibility of dissent from a theory, you will get epicycles: in cosmology we have dark energy, dark matter, and none of it in our local area.
This is the difference between Newton, Einstein, Bohr and the boys, and the Physics of the last four decades. Newton can be demonstrated in a drawing room. The original demonstration of the double slit experiment was shown as a party trick. It is a scandal that it is not done in every High School. Anyone can build a cyclotron in their garage, although I don’t recommend it. The original Princeton cyclotron was something like six inches in the cavity.
The Bragg’s started their Nobel work by playing in tubs of soapy water. It is the reason rather than the fancy toys which makes science. This is a lost secret.
The processes that make up the universe were everywhere and observable everywhere.
Now dark matter and dark energy are only in existence at incomprehensible distances. They are not accessible or testable around here. String Theory is not, as yet, testable anywhere.
This is a philosophical shift from science to theology. This is why science is ill. We need to be able to do human scale experiments again. If a force or principle runs the universe it must be everywhere. Even here.