There is so much mystery to be understood in the material world, that inventing other realities is not necessary. We, as a species have perceived the atom, peered inside it and realised its ethereal nature.
Ludwig Boltzmann, being fully aware that atoms had to be ‘statistically’ proven to exist, exercised his particular genius, and developed a mathematical formula which proved the existence and behaviour of atoms.
If Buddhism is viewed as a ‘religion’ – and the Buddha as a ‘theistic’ being – then Buddhism has nothing to do with modern science,
In a very real sense, materially based science has seen beyond its own limited methodology, and proven its original models of the physical universe to be redundant. Simply put, (and a point of argument correctly made by the idealists and religionists), matter is not what humanity thinks it is.
Another way in which these ‘unseen’ substances are known to be present is through the effect they appear to have on objects moving through what was once thought to be ’empty’ space. There appears to be a ‘gravitational’ effect on objects moving through apparently ’empty’ space that should not be happening if space was in fact ’empty’.
The Buddha defined the tiniest specks of matter (paramanu) [synonymous with ‘atoms’] to be occupying (and moving about within) time and space, whilst flickering in and out of existence. This is how the Buddha redefines matter (rupa) as being both ‘existant’, and ‘insubstantial’ (or non-existant).