Expanding Earth

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Expanding Earth

http://www.expanding-earth.org/

We've seen some funny shit, but this is just wonderful. Really. I give it an A for effort. Every link is worth reading for the sake of humor. Holocaust denial is old hat, this is new hat: plate tectonic denial. 6000 year old Earth? Nonsense, 200 million! One of the references they use is "an open letter to Bill Clinton" and another is "a personal letter."


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I must admit i do find this

I must admit i do find this one amusing, I do have a more than basic understanding of plate tectonics being a university student studying the subject. I havent taken an indepth look at that website but i would be very interested to see what there explainations are for earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain rages, how the differant layers of the earth all fit into this etc. and most of all where all the extra "earth" comes from not to mention why the continants split where they did. there are so many  things they would have to explain before this could even be taken remotely seriously. i think il actually look at the site in more detail.

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By all means, look into it!

Some of the founders of plate tectonics did take the idea "remotely seriously" even if they did find reasons to disagree with the expanding Earth hypothesis.  For example, Tuzo Wilson wrote an article on the subject for Nature in 1960; Harry Hess discussed the hypothesis in his classic 1962 paper on the history of ocean basins, granting that it would solve two of his most difficult problems, but also adducing a couple of objections to it.  More recently, Bill Menard (in his last work, 1986) and Xavier Pichon (in Oreskes' 2003 anthology) have admitted that the issue is still scientifically unresolved, as did Bruce Heezen (Face of the Deep, 1971), an early advocate of expansion who later joined the PT fold.  Sir Harold Jeffreys, the leading advocate of the contraction hypothesis which PT eventually replaced, commented on Barnett's "suggested reconstruction of the land masses of the Earth as a complete crust" (Nature, 8/4/1962) that the fit "is better than I should have expected," noting that the degree of misfit in Wegener's alleged fit between South America and Africa, which he had pointed out in 1929, "has disappeared in Barnett's reconstruction."  Sir Arthur Holmes, the highly regarded forerunner of PT, whose opus, Principles of Physical Geology (1965), was still recommended by the Encylopedia Britannica main article on Geology in 1982 as "extremely thorough," actually endorses the expanding Earth concept in that book, devoting an entire chapter to the subject, and arguing that BOTH expansion and mantle convection are probably real.  Some of the most scientifically serious objections to Earth expansion were the paleomagnetic arguments of McElhinny et al. in Nature (1/26/77).  An accompanying editorial by Peter J. Smith describes it as offering "the most convincing proof yet" contra expansion.  But in line with the admissions of Menard, Pichon and Heezen, he notes that the leading proponent of EE, S. Warren Carey, had "already argued at great length" against the methodology employed by McElhinny et al., and concludes: "The fact is, however, that whether Carey is right or wrong his criticism exists and has apparently never yet been refuted explicitly.  Until someone chooses to do so, there must be lingering doubt in the minds of disinterested observers." 

In fact, Carey and his disciple James Maxlow (PhD, Dept. of Applied Geology , Curtin Institute of Technology, Australia) have advanced important paleomagnetic arguments for expansion, for example the fact that all the northern continents are between 15 and 40 degrees farther north than they were in the Permian, yet the Arctic is a disjunctive region in which no subduction is alleged. 

Books favorable to Earth expansion have been published by respected academic publishers: Pergamon (Jordan) Elsevier (Carey), Wiley (Lester King, a past president of the S. African Geological Society), Brill (Chudinov), Cambridge (H. Owen, then chair of the Dept of Paleontology, British Museum of Natural History), Oxford (D. McCarthy), Stanford (Carey) and Nauka (central scientific and mathematical press of Russia).  Cliff Ollier, a professor emeritus of geology at University of New England (Australia), and his coauthor Colin Pain evidently regard their book, The Origin of Mountains (Routledge, 2000) as presenting an account of the origin of mountains that is much more favorable to expansion than to PT.  (Incidentally, many workers have denied that India and Asia were ever separated by a large ocean, including leading specialists like Gansser and Stoecklin.) A broader group of geoscientists from around the world who are critical of various aspects of the PT consensus - some pro-EE, some not - is the New Concepts in Global Tectonics Group, which has organized sessions at meetings of the International Geological Congress and European Geosciences Union, and also puts out a quarterly newsletter: see www.ncgt.org.

It is greatly to be hoped that the current crop of geology students will begin to look into these matters for themselves, loosening themselves from the narrow grip of consensus that geologist P.D. Lowman (of the Goddard Space Flight Center) once decried: "The theory of plate tectonics has given earth sciences for the first time a master plan of compelling simplicity, beauty, and coherence, on which has had an enormously stimulating effect on both formal education and popular presentations of geology.  But as taught in most geology courses today, it can have the opposite effect: it can stifle research on the great problems of tectonics, by convincing students that these problems have already been solved." (Lowman, "Plate tectonics and continental drift in geologic education," Chatterjee and Hotton, eds., New Concepts in Global Tectonics, Texas Tech University Press, 1992.)


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SAA,  When something cools

SAA,

 

When something cools down, it shrinks.  When something heats up, it expands.  The earth, being surrounded by empty space (which is pretty cold), is giving off more heat than the sun is providing.  The earth is cooling, and therefore not expanding.  Pretty simple, really.


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I cannot help but notice all

I cannot help but notice all the dates are like 30 or 40 years ago. Basically its a theory that was looked at about half a century ago and since forgotten about? thats what it seems like from what u say. I did look im more depth at the site and it is not helpfull at all. Like most of these things it looks at things that appear to cause problems with the domenannt theory. It doesn't really state mechanics of its own, how this whole thing works. maybe it just the site but if that site represents the entire body of work on the subject i know why it was forgotten like 30 years ago if what i got from your post is right.

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To be clear, my response was

To be clear, my response was directed at the knee-jerk dismissal of criticism of plate tectonics or advocacy of Earth expansion per se, and not a defense of views expressed on that website, which is hardly representative of the full body of work in this area.  And I was especially keen to highlight the fact that key "founding fathers" of plate tectonics and other highly regarded twentieth century geologists regarded Earth expansion proposals seriously, admitting the issue to be scientifically unresolved as of the time they wrote (in the cases of Holmes, Heezen, Menard, and Pichon, near the ends of their careers).  I also found it notable that a further such admission accompanied what remains one of the more important rebuttals to expansionist proposals in the literature.  In supplying this historical perspective, which was entirely lacking in what had earlier been said, I did cite mostly older sources - though Pinchon's remarks on the topic, which implied that the issue is still unresolved, were from 2003.  I also alluded to other sources, including books from 1992, 2000 and 2009, and the New Concepts in Global Tectonics Newsletter, in which expansionist proposals remain a live issue.

I can see why you would find the case presented in that website unimpressive, but given my evidence that the theory was, at one time, taken seriously and admitted to be scientifically unresolved, the question becomes, just when, objectively, was the hypothesis finally laid to rest?  I don't see reasonable evidence that that has ever happened.

I do not wish to involve myself in a detailed discussion at this time, as I'm trying to focus on my own studies, but I will indicate, for the benefit of those who might look into them on their own, the general nature of some representative arguments for Earth expansion.  The basic motivation for expansionist views stems from certain facts which seem to require expansion, not a concept of a mechanism.  It is actually not unusual in science for empirical hypotheses to be entertained even in the absence of a viable theory of mechanism - Newtonian gravitation being a classic case - though in special cases, such as opposition to continental drift or Earth expansion, such a mechanism is demanded, perhaps as an unconscious means of evading factual evidence adduced by the other side.  Apropos this, Chatterjee and Hotton note that

"Although there is a consensus that some sort of thermal convection may drive the plates, the mechanism behind plate motion is still controversial and poorly understood.  It is ironic that Wegener's hypothesis of continental drift was rejected largely because it lacked a plausible driving mechanism, yet plate tectonics is widely accepted today despite a similar lack." (Op cit, p. ix)

As for the kinds of evidence that seem to require Earth expansion, among them are the Arctic Paradox, which I summarized earlier;

The fact that all the pairs of adjacent continents around the Pacific perimeter have receded from one another since the time of Pangea, according to the Pangea models themselves, indicating that the Pacific is enlarging, when it should be shrinking to compensate for the opening of the Atlantic.  (R. Meservey's "Topological inconsistency of continental drift on a present-sized Earth," Science, v. 166, 1969, pp. 609-11 has evidently never been answered.);

The lack of a source for the Eocene sediments of the million sq km Zodiac fan in the northern Pacific, under PT plate-movement assumptions, as opposed to its position adjacent to Alaska on EE assumptions (cited e.g. in Carey, "Creeds of Physics," in Barone and Selleri, eds., Frontiers of Fundamental Physics, Plenum, 1994);

The lengthwise stretching of the oceanic ridges - for example the circum-Antarctic one was once just adjacent to Antarctica, according to the crustal age data.  It has since moved outward in all directions (cited e.g. in Ollier and Pain's book);

And of course there are modelling studies such as Dr. Maxlow's.  The models going back in time being well-constrained by the crustal-age-mapping data by itself, paleomagnetic and other data can then serve as independent tests of consistency.  Maxlow reports that paleomagnetic data cluster to diametrically opposed poles on each model, without the apparent polar wander of PT.  Similarly, he reports that latitude-dependent data plots to the correct zones relative to the equators on each of his series of models.  (e.g. in Terra Non-Firma Earth, Terrela Press, 2005)

Inadvertently, a key early study of longitudinal VLBI/SLR data, seems to support EE: "A further constraint on our solution was that the stations were not allowed to have any up-down motion."  However, they note that when they did allow such motion, i.e., when they tested a solution "using baseline and transverse rates, and allowing the stations to have three independent velocities," this yielded a Root Mean Squared "value of up-down motions over 18 mm/yr."  They considered this value "extremely high" - being a world-wide average on the order of twice as large as the maximum rate found in the few locations undergoing isostatic rebound from deglaciation.  It is, Maxlow points out, quite consistent with his estimate of the recent rate at 22 mm/yr based on the area of the youngest crust on the crustal-age map of the world.  But based on their static-radius preconceptions, Robaudo and Harrison decided to reject this result: "We must expect that most VLBI stations will have up-down motions of only a few mm/yr.  It therefore seems reasonable to restrict the vertical motion to zero, because this is closer to the true situation than an average motion of 18 mm/yr." (Emphasis added. Robaudo S. and Harrison C. 1993 "Plate tectonics from SLR and VLBI global data," in Smith and Turcotte, eds., Contributions of Space Geodesy to Geodynamics, Crustal Dynamics, Geodynamics Series Vol 23. American Geophysical Union, pp. 51-71.)

Apart from the Robaudo and Harrison study, Maxlow also discusses some evidence of downward adjustments - on the scale of major earthquakes near the stations in question, even though none are recorded at the relevant times - in the published IERS solutions for individual stations.  He alleges no fraud here.  Rather the raw data are subject to complex statistical weighing "to constrain the measured values to an idealized plate motion model, as well as a static-radius Earth model."  It's a commonplace in philosophy of science that "observations" are theory-laden in some degree, and this would seem to be a supreme example of such.

So again, just where have such lines of evidence, among others, been properly laid to rest?

 

 

 

 

 


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To maintain EET, proponents

To maintain EET, proponents have to deny massive evidence for subduction. Once you allow subduction, most of the 'evidence' for the expanding Earth is cancelled out.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expanding_Earth wrote:

Modern measurements have established very stringent upper bound limits for the expansion rate, which very much reduces the possibility of an expanding Earth. For example, paleomagnetic data has been used to calculate that the radius of the Earth 400 million years ago was 102 ± 2.8% of today's radius.[8] Furthermore, examinations of earth's moment of inertia suggest that no significant change of earth's radius in the last 620 million years could have taken place and therefore earth expansion is untenable.[9]

The primary objections to an expanding Earth have centered around the lack of an accepted process by which the Earth's radius could increase and on the inability to find an actual increase of earth's radius by modern measurements. This issue, along with the evidence for the process of subduction, caused the scientific community to dismiss the theory of an expanding Earth.

 

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 I'm confused. Where does

 I'm confused. Where does all the extra matter come from? Where does all the extra water come from? This doesn't really make any sense.


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Though maybe such a high

Though maybe such a high standard is hard to live up to (for myself included), I would like to put in a good word for a careful and critical rationalist attitude such as that represented by G.A. Wells, rather than the shot-gun "rationalism" that consists in denouncing all perceived opposition to what one has "so painstakingly learned as well-established" (G.A. Wells, The Jesus Legend, Open Court, 1996, p. 9).  The fact is there exists a minority of geoscientists around the world who are challenging various tenets of plate tectonics, including subduction, with a great variety of data.  (See, for good overviews, David Pratt's articles for the Journal of Scientific Exploration, entitled "Organized Opposition to Plate Tectonics" and "Plate Tectonics: A Paradigm Under Threat." )  Their literature is certainly not narrowly pro-EE, but includes a variety of positions regarding global tectonics, including some that are opposed to both PT and EE, and others whose dissent from PT is limited to certain aspects of it (as well as others, such as Ollier, who have merely worked to remove obstacles to serious consideration of Earth expansion hypotheses).  For present purposes, their criticisms taken as a whole may or may not be well-founded, but simple declarations that the evidence for subduction is "massive," accompanied by the claim that specific long-standing objections to PT or arguments in favor of EE need not be dealt with because they are covered by this umbrella "fact," implicitly denies the existence of this critical literature or its status as being worthy of consideration. 

In the context of the information I have already presented, the quotation from wikipedia definitely falls into the shot-gun category of "rationalism."  True, "paleomagnetic data has been used to calculate that the radius of the Earth 400 million years ago was 102 ± 2.8% of today's radius" - namely, in the McElhinny et al. study I have already referred to.  But the further statement that "Modern measurements have established very stringent upper bound limits for the expansion rate, which very much reduces the possibility of an expanding Earth" is simply opinion, and one that ignores evidence I have previously presented, at that (emphasis mine).  Let me repeat what is affirmed in the editorial which accompanied that study in Nature: Prior to the study's publication, geologist S. Warren Carey had "already argued at great length" that the methodology used in the study, previously utilized by Ward, is invalid.  And the editorial concluded as follows: "The fact is, however, that whether Carey is right or wrong his criticism exists and has apparently never yet been refuted explicitly.  Until someone chooses to do so, there must be lingering doubt in the minds of disinterested observers" - in other words, disinterested observers are not yet in a position to say that the issue has been satisfactorily resolved.

As to the references to "modern measurements" (about what they have allegedly established or failed to find), these are interesting in the context of the information I presented at the close of my previous post.  "Measurements," here, is itself a loaded term, as we're not talking simply about what has been measured, but about the interpretive frameworks used to analyze the raw data, and the controversial (or difficult-to-assess, because of their complexity) assumptions which such frameworks contain.  For example, the failure to find what by design a study was "not allowed" to find is not scientifically reasonable evidence for a negative verdict - particularly when the decision to "not allow" such a result was explicitly motivated by a contrary finding when the data (15 years worth, from two independent sources) was analyzed in such a way that this possibility was allowed.  And despite indications that they considered a need to explain the latter finding - hence the comparison to the extremes at sites of glacial rebound - the failure to even consider Earth expansion as a possible explanation of the result, despite the existence of a scientific literature on the subject, suggests the degree to which contemporary investigations are limited by the static-radius assumption.  And, as I also pointed out, Maxlow also provides examples from worldwide geodetic data sets which suggest periodic downward adjustments in the vertical to local site solutions - how typical these actually are might reasonably be asked, and the precise extent to which static-radius assumptions infect the statistical weighting schemes that are used, is certainly not something that is yet clear.  Furthermore, Maxlow's models certainly make predictions regarding horizontal displacements that will be a consequence of expansion, and here he claims precise agreement with the published data.  All-in-all, the claim that space-geodetic measurements (or the paleomagnetic ones, again) have already disconfirmed Earth expansion seems wildly premature; we must first have reasonable assurance, now lacking, that the data is being analyzed in such a way that the question can be addressed in a valid way.

As for the questions posed by the second respondent, one would be well advised to consult the expanding Earth literature, in which the question as to whether such expansion requires an increase in mass is subject to differing interpretations.  Regarding sea water, the argument that the modern oceans have been gradually exhaled from the interior of the Earth over geological time, goes back at least to William Rubey's article "Geologic history of sea water: an attempt to state the problem," from 1951, originally based on a presidential address to the Geological Society of America.  Though independent of expansionist proposals per se, it is at least consistent with them.  It is included in anthologies such as The Origin and Evolution of Atmospheres and Oceans (Brancazio and Cameron, eds., 1964), and Geochemistry of Water (Kitano ed., 1975).


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Let's do a little math. 

Let's do a little math.  The radius of the earth is 6,378 kilometers, which makes the surface area (4*pi*r^2) approximately 510,926,783 square kilometers. About 70% of this surface area (357,648,748 square kilometers) is water, and about 30% ( 153,278,034 square kilometers) is composed of land.  If you reduce the surface area of a sphere, you also reduce the diameter and volume of the sphere.  Let's say the reduced earth had a surface with only 10% of the current surface area covered by water, but the land mass surface area stayed the same.  We wind up with a total surface area of 189,042,908 square kilometers, significantly less than half the surface area of the earth now.  That gives us a radius for the smaller earth of 2,359 kilometers, with a proportionally smaller volume and mass. Anyone want to take a stab at figuring out what the earth's mass is at 37% size?

At any rate, that means a little less than 2/3 of the earth simply was not here at the smaller initial size.  Where the hell did all that matter come from?  If it all got here over the last couple hundred million years or so, why isn't the surface of the earth completely molten?  And if the surface of the earth congealed enough after this apocalyptic rain of objects the size of Texas, why would it conform to the old land mass distributions and shapes? Why isn't this pummeling reflected in the geological or fossil records? Why did it stop conveniently just before humans developed institutional memory?

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smartypants wrote:I'm

smartypants wrote:
I'm confused. Where does all the extra matter come from? Where does all the extra water come from? This doesn't really make any sense.

 

Well, according to the link in the OP, it is all coming in from space. There are two ways in which this happens.

 

Partly, the gravitational field of the earth is sucking in material that is floating around out in space. There is a large problem with this idea though. According to the link we have been handed, the rate of expansion is accelerating over time. However, as the earth sucks up stuff, it also means that there is less stuff to suck up. The concept should not be hard to grab here. When you vacuum your floor, there is less stuff to vacuum up (unless you have an infinite amount of dirt on your floor that is).

 

Secondly, he is claiming that plants somehow convert light into plant mass photosynthetically. OK, that turns all of biochemistry and physics on it's head. There is a huge issue here. Photons are bosons and as such have no mass. To then say that they somehow become massive violates a conservation law, that if it were true would be observed in routine experiments.

 

Really, we could try this experiment easily enough at home. Start some seedlings, pick out a bunch of identical ones and pot them in clear jars. Divide them into two groups, one being in open jars that can be watered and the other in closed jars that will never be opened for the length of the experiment.

 

Weigh each jar every day and you will see that the open jars increase in mass slightly more than the mass of the water that has to be added every day. The slight increase will be from the conversion of CO2 into plant matter that holds the water. As to the ones in sealed jars, if photons are being converted into plant matter, then they should grow at the identical rate to the ones in the open jar. Of course they will actually die fairly quickly as the CO2 is used up and they will certainly not gain any mass with no new water being added.

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Answers in Gene Simmons

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

smartypants wrote:
I'm confused. Where does all the extra matter come from? Where does all the extra water come from? This doesn't really make any sense.

 

Well, according to the link in the OP, it is all coming in from space. There are two ways in which this happens.

 

Partly, the gravitational field of the earth is sucking in material that is floating around out in space. There is a large problem with this idea though. According to the link we have been handed, the rate of expansion is accelerating over time. However, as the earth sucks up stuff, it also means that there is less stuff to suck up. The concept should not be hard to grab here. When you vacuum your floor, there is less stuff to vacuum up (unless you have an infinite amount of dirt on your floor that is).

 

Ah, I see. So the earth is like a giant Swiffer floating around cleaning up space? I had no idea space was so dusty!


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didn't know

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

Partly, the gravitational field of the earth is sucking in material that is floating around out in space. There is a large problem with this idea though. According to the link we have been handed, the rate of expansion is accelerating over time. However, as the earth sucks up stuff, it also means that there is less stuff to suck up. The concept should not be hard to grab here. When you vacuum your floor, there is less stuff to vacuum up (unless you have an infinite amount of dirt on your floor that is).

 

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Smartypants,If you want to

Smartypants,

If you want to confine yourself to criticism of what is claimed in that link, fine.  Basically, I agree with your criticisms.

My only quibble is with your statement that for photons to become massive would violate the conservation law (a.k.a. the First Law of Thermodynamics).  The Einstein equation says that matter (particles with mass) and energy (photons) are interconvertible.  Perhaps you meant to say that it would violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics, in which the conversion normally goes one way (mass giving off photons).  I will say that I agree that absorption of incoming photons by the body of the Earth is not a proper explanation for an increase in mass, if such an explanation is needed (recall that not all versions of the hypothesis call for an increase in mass).  The idea that I presently think is potentially on the right track is that massless particles of an intermediate nature, such as neutrinos, which are capable of deep penetration of the Earth, may be capable of interactions there which involve the formation of new mass (consistent with a generalization of the conservation law).  But this goes well beyond the points I am most keen to stress, such as the fact that competent scientists have presented evidence for the hypothesis that the volume and possibly mass of the Earth have increased with geological time, and the fact that a larger minority of geoscientists are challenging key tenets of plate tectonics with various kinds of data.  The "massive" evidence for plate tectonics understandably appears very strong to those whose mental compass does not include awareness of alternative interpretations of the data.


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Oops, sorry. My post was

Oops, sorry. My post was actually intended for Gene Simmons.


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There is plenty of evidence

There is plenty of evidence for subduction, and it has no serious difficulties.

Whereas EE does have a massive problem explaining where all the extra mass came from, or alternatively what is the mechanism driving such expansion without extra mass.

PT is not without some gaps in it, but they pale into insignificance beside that gaping hole in EE ideas.

It needs far more than a lame appeal to 'argument from (minority) authority' - 'some well-qualiied scientists support it' -  to paper over that hole. 

 

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SAA wrote:The idea that I

SAA wrote:
The idea that I presently think is potentially on the right track is that massless particles of an intermediate nature, such as neutrinos, which are capable of deep penetration of the Earth, may be capable of interactions there which involve the formation of new mass (consistent with a generalization of the conservation law).

How would this possibly work? You are no doubt aware that neutrinos at most have mass of order ~eV/c2 and a fantastically low interaction cross section.


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I regret posting this now.

I regret posting this now. I've inadvertently wasted the time of three of the best science freaks here having to prove this nutter wrong. It's kind of fun though. I wonder what would happen if I started something about the pyramids being built by aliens. With the help of Doctor Who.


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JonathanBC wrote:I wonder

JonathanBC wrote:

I wonder what would happen if I started something about the pyramids being built by aliens. With the help of Doctor Who.

 

hey fuck you man, that shit's true.

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 There is plenty of

 

There is plenty of evidence for subduction, and it has no serious difficulties.

-- From your point of view, not having examined much of the evidence on the other side.

It needs far more than a lame appeal to 'argument from (minority) authority' - 'some well-qualiied scientists support it' -  to paper over that hole.

-- Who have presented detailed lines of evidence in favor of the hypothesis, which are not canceled out by declarations or simple thought experiments.  Furthermore, it is evident that their case has not been carefully examined by the scientific community, and is recognized by the 'scientific community' (from persons best in a position to say, such as Menard, Pichon, and Nature, etc.), as not having been adequately dealt with.

As I've also pointed out, the mechanisms driving plate motion according to plate tectonics, beyond vague and contradictory proposals are also found wanting.  Principally it is evidence of the kind I have presented or hinted at that has driven belief that expansion has in fact happened, even if an physical explanation of how this can happen is presently lacking.  But that is not a particularly unusual state of affairs in science regarding empirical hypotheses.


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How would this possibly

How would this possibly work? You are no doubt aware that neutrinos at most have mass of order ~eV/c2 and a fantastically low interaction cross section.

The evidence, to my understanding, is presently unable to distinguish between two possibilities - either that neutrinos have zero mass, or have a negligible mass much below that of observed electrons.  Many scientists assume the latter.  But my suggestion (which should be taken none to seriously at this point) does not assume the latter alternative, in which the mass that would be contributed by neutrinos is simply by adding up their inherent masses.  In the former alternative, massless particles (including, but not limited to neutrinos) somehow merge with other particles while the energy they bear is converted to mass in accordance with the E = mc^2 formula.


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JonathanBC wrote:I regret

JonathanBC wrote:
I regret posting this now. I've inadvertently wasted the time of three of the best science freaks here having to prove this nutter wrong. It's kind of fun though.

 

Well, if you mean me, don't worry about it. Every chance to show the general public how science works is only wasted if it is missed.

 

Certainly, I don't expect too much from the “I have made my mind up and will not be confused with the facts” crowd (aka theists). Yet if I can manage a couple of paragraphs that are reasonably approachable for most people, there is always the chance of getting someone who is fence sitting.

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SAA wrote:How would this

SAA wrote:

How would this possibly work? You are no doubt aware that neutrinos at most have mass of order ~eV/c2 and a fantastically low interaction cross section.

The evidence, to my understanding, is presently unable to distinguish between two possibilities - either that neutrinos have zero mass, or have a negligible mass much below that of observed electrons.  Many scientists assume the latter.  But my suggestion (which should be taken none to seriously at this point) does not assume the latter alternative, in which the mass that would be contributed by neutrinos is simply by adding up their inherent masses.  In the former alternative, massless particles (including, but not limited to neutrinos) somehow merge with other particles while the energy they bear is converted to mass in accordance with the E = mc^2 formula.

Lots of words for not even addressing the issue.


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SAA wrote: There is plenty

SAA wrote:

 

There is plenty of evidence for subduction, and it has no serious difficulties.

-- From your point of view, not having examined much of the evidence on the other side.

It needs far more than a lame appeal to 'argument from (minority) authority' - 'some well-qualiied scientists support it' -  to paper over that hole.

-- Who have presented detailed lines of evidence in favor of the hypothesis, which are not canceled out by declarations or simple thought experiments.  Furthermore, it is evident that their case has not been carefully examined by the scientific community, and is recognized by the 'scientific community' (from persons best in a position to say, such as Menard, Pichon, and Nature, etc.), as not having been adequately dealt with.

As I've also pointed out, the mechanisms driving plate motion according to plate tectonics, beyond vague and contradictory proposals are also found wanting.  Principally it is evidence of the kind I have presented or hinted at that has driven belief that expansion has in fact happened, even if an physical explanation of how this can happen is presently lacking.  But that is not a particularly unusual state of affairs in science regarding empirical hypotheses.

Having had a look at the web-site, I can only face-palm.

YOU HAVE TO BE JOKING!!!

It is as ignorant and stupid as a Creationist site.

The vague similarities in some simple curves, oh come on....

The very existence of the trenches themselves is significant evidence for subduction, along with the matching volcanic arcs, and the fact that that seems to be where we find the oldest sediments. EE does not explain this in any obvious way, let alone tie them together so neatly as PT.

The "cataclysm that caused the breakup of Pangaea"?

No cataclysm required. All part of the more-or-less continuous drifting of continental crust, rifting and colliding, occasionally gathering into a clump before drifiing apart again. There is evidence for at least two previous periods where most of the crust was gathered into one clump, then drifted apart again, which doesn't fit all that well into EE ideas. An oscillating Earth maybe???

Accretion from space is just straw-clutching.

Neutrino conversion is even worse. For someone who relies so much on gaps and difficulties, real and imagined, in current explanations, for so much of the 'evidence' for EE, this is pathetic.

There is no observed process or theory anywhere in physics or cosmology to even hint at anything like this process. All heavier elements form from lighter elements (ultimately hydrogen) at the extremely high temperatures in the cores of stars, releasing large amounts of energy in the process. This would have to have been occurring within the Earth!!! It would have been not just melted, but evaporated into a mini-star!!

At a stretch, one could almost imagine an occasional electron-positron pair forming from some sufficiently energetic collision, but for the whole chain of heavy element formation to occur in sufficient quantities to expand the Earth without requiting or generating the conditions inside a star is beyond mind-boggling,

That this is even seriously proposed, as part of 'explaining' some gaps in the evidence for subduction, displays such massive ignorance of physics , especially astro-physics. It clearly shows someone so psycholgically committed to a pet theory, so implacable hostile to the accepted story, as to border on the pathological.

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Dude, you really shouldn't

Dude, you really shouldn't take 2012 seriously.


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SAA wrote:As I've also

SAA wrote:

As I've also pointed out, the mechanisms driving plate motion according to plate tectonics, beyond vague and contradictory proposals are also found wanting.

 

Yeah don't think so.  Vague and contradictory like "massless particles (including, but not limited to neutrinos) somehow merge with other particles while the energy they bear is converted to mass in accordance with the E = mc^2 formula." 

 

Plate tectonics includes a bit more detail than "somehow" type processes do.  The mantle can undergo high enough temperatures and pressures that it can get squeezed up into the more solid rock above it.  Hotspots occur when one of these sections of mantle pushes far enough into the crust that it forms a volcano.  We have hotspots to thank for the existence of Hawaii.  Does Expanding Earth theory have an explanation for hotspots?


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Energy doesn't 'convert to

Energy doesn't 'convert to mass'. It already has mass, as defined by E= mc2. That is how light energy can interact with gravity.

What is required for the EE idea is that the energy of the particles coming in is converted to particles of normal matter, ie electrons and protons. This normally requires extreme concentrations of energy, as in highly energetic particle collisions, or conditions of general high temperature and density as in the center of active stars, or the Big Bang.

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BobSpence1, your

BobSpence1, your oversimplification bothers me. Photons are bosons and bosons do not have mass and thus do not have a gravitational interaction.

 

Yes, they have energy but (and this is a big but) what is relevant here is the concept of “rest mass” or what the specific property of a particle would be if it were standing still. Photons do not have a “standing still” mode.

 

Fermions have rest mass and can stand still. They cannot travel at the speed of light. They can travel at really, really close to the speed of light, as seen in particle colliders but they can never, under any circumstance get that last push. To do that would require infinite energy.

 

Photons follow curved paths through space-time because space-time is curved by gravitation.

 

Not that it means a hill of beans or anything but if we are going to debunk a stupid idea, let's not open ourselves up to someone who can google about it and post a stupid non-argument.

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Answers in Gene Simmons

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

BobSpence1, your oversimplification bothers me. Photons are bosons and bosons do not have mass and thus do not have a gravitational interaction.

 

Yes, they have energy but (and this is a big but) what is relevant here is the concept of “rest mass” or what the specific property of a particle would be if it were standing still. Photons do not have a “standing still” mode.

 

Fermions have rest mass and can stand still. They cannot travel at the speed of light. They can travel at really, really close to the speed of light, as seen in particle colliders but they can never, under any circumstance get that last push. To do that would require infinite energy.

 

Photons follow curved paths through space-time because space-time is curved by gravitation.

 

Not that it means a hill of beans or anything but if we are going to debunk a stupid idea, let's not open ourselves up to someone who can google about it and post a stupid non-argument.

 

Photons have zero rest mass, but cannot be at rest, they are carriers of energy, which has mass. The extra mass of a fast moving particle is that of its kinetic energy, which is still energy, not matter. The conflation of 'mass' and 'matter' was my main target. The contribution of energy to the total mass of a moving particle is not manifest as more particles or more 'matter' associated with the particle. When a photon is reflected from a surface, it imparts an impulse of force, strictly a change of momentum, to the mirror, just as with any other object. It has mass, due to its energy.

Their trajectory through a gravitational field is determined by their mass and velocity, as with any other particle or macro object.

It is only under special circumstances that the 'mass' of a quantity of energy will be manifested as actual matter, IOW a new particle other than a photon, one that does have non-zero rest mass.

It is a common misunderstanding that nuclear power, fussion or fission, is matter being converted to energy. It is just part of the energy content of the fields of force in a nucleus being released. They do lose mass, but that is the mass of the energy content, the total number of quarks and electrons does not change. In fission. fusion, or decay, the most that happens is there may be some conversion between neutrons and separate (protons + electrons).

It takes a machine like the LHC to actually convert matter to energy, or vice versa, not a nuclear reactor. Getting the energy equivalent of even an electron mass particle released in a small volume to allow for the possibility of a new particle being emitted requires a lot of energy input, typically from a very high energy collision.

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BobSpence1:

BobSpence1: Bose–Einstein statistics or it didn't happen.

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Answers in Gene Simmons

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:
BobSpence1, your oversimplification bothers me. Photons are bosons and bosons do not have mass and thus do not have a gravitational interaction.

Ehm. W+- and Z have mass. They are bosons.


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Me? Joking?

Okay, let's have a look at some of what Bob Spence says in his post # 25.  He says he's "had a look" at the website (presumably the one in the opening link).  And then says I've "got to be joking" in taking it seriously.  In this series of posts, I have said I was not defending that website, called it "unimpressive," and stated my agreement with criticisms of it made by the moderator.  Recall that in his first post in this series he invoked as definitive proof against me a source that I had already referred to as offering the one of the most scientifically serious objections to EE in the literature, but left out the fact, which I had pointed out, that the accompanying Nature editorial left open the question of the validity of the study's methodology.  These examples suggest a certain lack of care.

In defending EE per se as a hypothesis to be taken seriously (and not an irrationality in need of eradication), I have repeatedly referred to critical literature by professional geologists.  Bob's statement that he's "had a look" at the Meyers website therefore also suggests that he has not perused the New Concepts in Global Tectonics Newsletter (see ncgt.org) or the overviews by David Pratt I have recommended. 

No, the mere existence of the trenches is not evidence for subduction (rather than, say, merely 'subsidence').  Wadati-Benioff zones were described in the literature well before the subduction interpretation was invoked to explain them.  Island back-arcs, such as the Japan Sea, which feature further spreading instead of compression on the other side of where the slab is allegedly subducting, are more "neatly" explained by EE than by PT.  Some workers have argued that the trenches themselves are tensional rather than compressional.  Both EE and PT agree with the standard mapping of oceanic crustal ages, which have the oldest crust farthest from the spreading ridges, though others challenge the validity of this mapping.

As for sediments per se, specifically sediments of oceanic origin, let me quote Pratt, for example:

If up to 13,00 km of lithosphere had really been subducted in circum-Pacific deep-sea trenches, vast amounts of oceanic sediments should have been scraped off the ocean floor and piled up against the landward margin of the trenches. However, sediments in the trenches are generally not present in the volumes required, nor do they display the expected degree of deformation (Choi, 1999b,; Gnibidenko, Krasny and Popov, 1978; Storetveldt, 1997; Suzuki et al., 1997). Scholl and Marlow (1974), who support plate tectonics, admitted to being 'genuinely perplexed as to why evidence for subductiion or off-scraping of trench deposits is not glaringly apparent' (p. 268). Plate tectonicists have had to resort to the highly dubious notion that unconsolidated deep-ocean sediments can slide smoothly into a Benioff zone without leaving any significant trace. Moreover, fore-arc sediments, where they have been analyzed, have generally been found to be derived from the volcanic arc and the adjacent continental block, not from the oceanic region (Pratch, 1990, Wezel, 1986). The very low level of seismicity, the lack of a megathrust, and the existence of flat-lying sediments at the base of oceanic trenches contradict the alleged presence of a downgoing slab (Dickins and Choi, 1998). Attempts by Murdock (1997), who accepts many elements of plate tectonics, to publicize the lack of a megathrust in the Aleutian trench (i.e., a million or more meters of displacement of the Pacific plate as it supposedly uderthrusts the North American plate) have met with vigorous resistance and supression by the plate-tectonics establishment.  (David Pratt, "Plate Tectonics: A Paradigm Under Threat" http://davidpratt.info/tecto.htm )

As for the alleged evidence for aggregation and break-up of at least two previous supercontinents, before Pangea, perhaps we can take that up later.  But I have earlier alluded to doubts regarding current cases of alleged continental collision.  For example, there is a large body of field studies arguing that India and Asia were never separated by a wide ocean, as alleged by PT (instead, by intermittent shallow seas). 

Bob says that what I am taking as "'evidence' for EE" consists largely of real alleged gaps and difficulties in current explanations.  This is certainly a misimpression.  In my second post, I outlined the kinds of evidence that have been invoked in support of EE.  I would like readers to see that they are not obviously irrational.  But I am not trying to convert anyone to belief in EE, so I am not eager to present a lot of follow-ups of a similar nature.  I feel it much more important to make people aware of the existence of a critical literature in global tectonics.  Perhaps that is the source of Bob's mistaken impression about what I think counts as evidence for an expanding Earth.  Perhaps if he had been aware of that critical literature himself, he wouldn't have jumped to the conclusion that I am borderline pathological in my commitment to a pet theory and implacably hostile to accepted theory.  For whatever it's worth, I have read accounts by the founders of PT of the theory's origins with great sympathy.  What bothers me, what drives me to respond when I'd rather pursue my own quiet studies, is seeing educated people (often with some geologic training) dismiss EE as wildly irrational, while being unaware of the actual reasons invoked in support of it, and even of the very existence of competing interpretations for phenomena that PT is supposed to explain.

I regret sharing my speculations, clearly labeled as such, about a possible mass-forming mechanism.  Bob's comments on what current theory says about higher element formation and the mass - energy relations are well-taken clarifications.  I'm aware of some alternative interpretations there too, but will refrain from comment, as I'd like to get us back on track. 

 

 


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First of all, SAA, apologies

First of all, SAA, apologies for unfairly lumping you in with the lunatic fringe such controversies tend to attract.

I am quite prepared to concede that the processes involved in the relative movements of various components of the Earth's crust may well be significantly more complex than assumed in current PT theories.

But...

We know that some plates are moving toward each other, some moving apart, some just sliding past each other. This is known by direct measurement, both ground and space-based.

The idea that a significant expansion of the Earth's size is a credible explanation for this complex picture, from any point of view, is not to put too fine a point  on it, batshit insane.

There is no known mechanism which can produce such an effect. If it was real, it would be surprising if it was only manifest on Earth, and both mechanisms suggested would be expected to apply to other bodies in the Solar System, and produce significant observable effects. Internal generation of sufficient extra matter is extremely improbable. External accretion would be unlikely to produce the kind of effects seen.

There is no indication of significant change of diameter of the Earth since it originally cooled.

So we could discuss problems in current Plate Techtonic ideas, but EE is pretty much in the Flat-Earth category of beliefs, AFAICS.

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Don't thank mantle plumes

v4ultingbassist,

That speculative suggestion of mine was certainly vague.

But to take up your point of new evidence, we have to distinguish between hotspots, which are observed features of the landscape, and 'mantle plumes' with which they are identified theoretically in one of the modules of PT theory.  Basically, the idea goes back to Tuzo Wilson's (1963) proposal regarding the origin of the Hawaiian chain.  The idea is the following: a fixed rigid plate, oceanic or continental, is riding over a fixed melting anomaly or mantle plume.  The plume bubbles up creating one island in a chain of islands.  When it bubbles up again, after an interval of time, the plate above has moved to a new position, so a new island is formed.  Hence, in the Hawaiian prototype, we have a sequence of volcanic islands, with an age progression going from east to west.

What of this idea of mantle plumes, then?  Well, for one thing, it fits rather uncomfortably with the larger scale convection cycles which are supposedly driving plate motion - i.e. on the scale of the timing of the 'Wilson cycle,' named after the same Wilson.  In brief, the old explanation which mantle plumes replaced, was that of a propagating lithospheric fracture.  That seems to me consistent with EE, though no doubt with other global tectonic hypotheses as well.  In fact, there is good work going on advocating a return to that proposal.  See, e.g. Indian geologist Hetu Sheth's "Flood Basalts and large igneous provinces from deep mantle plumes: fact, fiction and fallacy," Tectonophysics, 311 (1999), 1-29 -  Tectonophysics being a mainstream journal that for many years was edited by none other than Wilson, again.  He argues that "No geological evidence of any kind - geological, petrological, thermal, topographpic - requires mantle plumes" (abstract).  He states in his conclusion that "The plume idea is ad hoc, artificial, unnecessary, inadequate, and in some cases even self-defeating, and should be abandoned.  Numerous alternatives, some of them of demonstrably of far greater explanatory power and a far stronger factual basis, exist."  He goes on, "The search for the theory of the Earth continues, and we would do well to have a multitude of working hypotheses and a critical as well as objective approach toward all of them."

I will post, in a follow-up, a sample of the reasoning that lies behind such conclusions, as given by a couple of prominent geoscientists.  However, I have to go now.


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Healthy science or zombie science?

This is just my promised follow-up from yesterday, and not a response to Bob.  It's an extract from Don Anderson and Warren Hamilton's essay "Zombie Science and Geoscience" and specifically refers to problems with the mantle plumes hypothesis and current attempts to justify it.  Anderson is a professor emeritus of geophysics at Cal Tech and author of the advanced texts Theory of the Earth (titled after Hutton) and New Theory of the Earth.  Hamilton is Distinguished Senior Scientist, Department of Geophysics, Colorado School of Mines.  They evidently support a version of plate tectonics without mantle plumes, though their criticisms no doubt have wider significance regarding the dangers of academic bandwagons in support of generally accepted theories.

"The fixed 'hot spot' postulate was based on the southeastward younging of Hawaiian volcanoes, previously attributed to fissures and propagating cracks that were also able to account for the age progression....

"Rationalizations of the observed characteristics of hypothetical plumes have generated continuously changing predictions regarding fixity, hot-spot motion, age progressions of island chains, heatflow, style of mantle convection, uplift prior to magmatism, temperatures of magmas, and geochemistry.  These predictions are rarely successful, so  the concepts have been modified to allow as many exceptions, and as many kinds of plumes, as there are 'hot spots'.  The guiding principles are non-physical.  The products of plumes are whatever is observed where plumes are postulated.  Amendments to the fixed 'hot spot' hypothesis now include mantle winds, polar wander, mantle roll, lithosphere drift, lateral flow, magma tunnels, group motions of 'hot spots', plume head decapitation and superplumes.  Mantle winds are used to explain non-fixity of 'hot spots'.  'Fixed hot spots' may be large regions or long 'hot lines' within which volcanoes can pop up anywhere and in any sequence.  Plumes are postulated to feed volcanoes thousands of kilometers distant, and they no longer need fit Euler geometry or global reference frames.  If age progressions are non-uniform, new co-linear plumes are added.  Most 'plume tracks' are missing a 'plume head', and most 'plume heads' are missing a track.  The lack of evidence for 'plume heads', 'plume tracks', high heatflow and precursory uplift is ignored or rationalized.  Evidence for the uplift predicted to precede the Siberian flood basalt is assumed to be hidden beneath the west Siberian lowlands, whereas that for Hawaii is assumed to have been subducted.  Findings that defy such ad hoc adjustments became official paradoxes: the Lead Paradox, the Helium Paradox, and the Heat Flow Paradox.  New observations are labeled surprising, unexpected, counter-intuitive or anomalous.  All of this signals a failed hypothesis - zombie science - but the conjecture is sustained outside the domain of science.  A simple, elegant, satisfyingly neat, concise, falsifiable hypothesis has become a complicated, awkward, messy, unfalsifiable monster that refuses to lie down and die.  According to the more cynical philosophers of science, failed hypotheses, heaped high with anomalies, paradoxes and auxiliary conjectures, are perpetuated by repetition and self-referencing because too many adherents have invested their careers in them.  Although many scientists have moved on, plumeology remains entrenched conventional wisdom, supported by the publishing industry, while alternative opinions discouraged and made to jump a higher bar.  Young scientists who should be encouraged to question dogma are kept in line via hiring, promotion, grant proposal and publication decisions.  Zombie research programs defy burial."

http://inside.mines.edu/~whamilto/

 

 


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SAA, I have absolutely no

SAA, I have absolutely no problem with that sort of criticism of current theory, and alternative proposals, that is Science.

'Expanding Earth" is not.

 

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Let's examine your arguments

Bob,

First of all, I appreciate the more respectful tone of your latest response. 

To take up your claims here,

(1) You appeal to what we "know" about relative motion of portions of the crust by "direct measurement."

Caution is necessary here, as some of those figures are based on the assumption of a static-radius Earth.

Notes Warren Carey (Theories of the Earth and Universe, Stanford University Press, 1988, p. 171):

"Still another trap confuses the interpretation of NASA measurements in relation to radius change.  Wherever new crust 100 km wide is inserted at a spreading ridge, the angle subtended at the center at the center of the earth by each degree around the great circle is reduced by 9 seconds to accommodate the added segment.  As all NASA chord measurements ultimately involve the angle subtended by that chord at the center, any continental block or stabilized oceanic crust will appear to shorten if constant radius is assumed."

And, to illustrate this sort of problem (Carey, "Creeds of Physics," in Barone and Selleri eds., Frontiers of Fundamental Physics, Plenum, 1994, p. 250):

"No new crust has been inserted between Hawaii and Japan since the Jurassic, so this arc would appear to be shrinking at 6 cm per year, which is about what NASA finds.  But they interpret it as subduction of crust, whereas I interpret it as caused by insertion of new crust between Hawaii and Peru and elsewhere within the Hawaii-Japan great circle.  This matter has caused trouble for NASA because arcs between Denver and Connecticut, and between Canberra and Western Australia appear to be shrinking, although no subduction or other shortening has been observed or hypothesized."

So I ask, do you know that the "direct measurements" you refer to do not assume a static-radius Earth?  (See also my earlier discussion of Robaudo and Harrison (1992) and possible biases in other global geodetic data.)

(2) You say, "The idea that a significant expansion of the Earth's size is a credible explanation for this complex picture, from any point of view, is not to put too fine a point  on it, batshit insane."  Hang on there.  The explanation given above for apparent shrinking of the distance between Hawaii and Japan is at least intelligible, no?  That's a simple example, but it also leads to a very natural question of whether some of the "complexity" may be due to theory rather than facts - e.g. the resort to "microplates" with independent motions, etc.  But you no doubt have in mind the relative motion data for the world as a whole.  Recall Maxlow's claim that his models do agree with the global geodetic data for horizontal motions.  Do you know that he is incorrect?  And to add a counterpoint, how is PT supposed to explain the Antarctic plate moving southward throughout its margins, as shown in many published PT maps?

(3) The lack of a known mechanism is somewhat of a red herring, in my opinion.  If someone comes along claiming to have evidence that the Earth's dimensions have increased, the rational response is "okay, show me your evidence," and not "first show me a mechanism that is already known, and then I will agree to look at your evidence."  No?

(4) "If it was real, it would be surprising if it was only manifest on Earth, and both mechanisms suggested would be expected to apply to other bodies in the Solar System, and produce significant observable effects."

Cliff Ollier has an article replying to this very argument in the New Concepts in Global Tectonics Newsletter, 45, Dec. 2007, pp 52-54 (available at www.ncgt.org ). In the epilogue, he says, "This note is not meant to be an argument for Earth expansion, as opposed to shrinking Earth, steady-state, oscillating, surging or any other global model.  It is merely an extension of one of the arguments used in debating such models.  In other papers (e.g. Ollier, 2003) I showed that mountain building is not a problem for Earth expansion, as some have argued.  Similarly in this paper I stress that scarcity of expansion amongst heavenly bodies is not an insurmountable argument against Earth expansion."

Be this as it may, there are some pertinent findings regarding 'other bodies':

"The formation of a grooved terrain on Ganymede may be dominated by global expansion."

- Collins, G.C., Head, J.W. and Pappalardo, R.T. (1998) "Formation of Ganymede grooved terrain by sequential extensional episodes: implications of Galileo observations for regional stratigraphy,"  Icarus, 135, 345-359. (The official publication of the planetary section of the American Astronomical Society)

"The bright terrain formed as Ganymede underwent some extreme resurfacing event, probably as a result of the moon's increase in size."

- Procter, L.M. (2001), "Icing Ganymede," Nature, 410, 25-27.

As cited in C. Ollier, above, and in

D. McCarthy (2005) "Biogeographical and geological evidence for a smaller, completely enclosed Pacific Basin in the Late Cretaceous," Journal of Biogeography, 32, 2161-2177.  Online source: http://www.4threvolt.com/

(5) "Internal generation of sufficient extra matter is extremely improbable."

Let's take the oceans:

From the Dennis McCarthy article, we have this: "As Briggs' comment implies, EE necessarily requires that the quantity of seawater, like the quantity of surface ocean crust, has been increasing since the Triassic and so predicts an influx of massive volumes of water, a process likely linked to the origins of oceans. This is another prominent prediction that distinguishes EE from PT, and sophisticated measurements have ruled decisively in its favor.  According to tidal gauge data observed throughout the twentieth century (Miller and Douglas, 2004), global sea level has been rising 1.5-2 mm/yr.  More recent satellite measurements depict a global sea level rise (GSLR) of 3.2 mm/yr (Cabanes et al., 2001).  While for many years researchers had attributed GSLR to temperature and salinity related changes in volume, Miller & Douglas (2004) showed that such volume changes can 'account for only a fraction of sea-level change, and that mass change plays a dominant role in twentieth-century GSLR'."

Skipping some details, McCarthy concludes "In brief, we have confirmed evidence for a water-laden source (mantle), a massive influx of seawater (hydrothermal vents), and a corresponding net increase in seawater mass that has been measured every year for more than a century (GLSR)."

McCarthy's source for the quotation is Miller, L. & Douglas, B.C. (2004) "Mass and volume contributions to twentieth century global sea level rise," Nature, 428, 406-409.

Thus we have evidence of internally generated mass, sufficient to fill the oceans, at least in the sense of new surface mass that is continually extruded from the interior.  Of course, this is also consistent with the decreasing density hypothesis.  It is not in itself evidence of internal formation of new atoms.

(6) "External accretion would be unlikely to produce the kind of effects seen."

If you are here referring to meteorites and the the like, I will agree.  But the following quotation from Martin Pickford (of the Laboratoire de Paleonotolgie, Paris) mentions a parallel problem for PT:

"There are many geochemical matters to be resolved that have not been adequately addressed by plate tectonicians (Keith, 1993), including the isotope geochemistry of neonate waters erupting along mid-ocean ridges which show cosmic ratios of Helium isotopes, rather than telluric ones.  Attempts to explain these ratios as a result of subducted and recycled micrometeorites falling into the worlds oceans (Allegre et al., 1993) have failed because the micrometeorite flux is far too small  and the envisaged rate of subduction and recycling to the mid-ocean ridges is far to slow to account for the observed ratios.  It is more likely that the Helium is derived from the core-mantle boundary or deeper within the Earth, and has been working itself upwards towards the crust on a continuous basis since the origin of the planet.  On its journey from the core-mantle boundary, the Helium is accompanied by vast quantities of Hydrogen, which, in rising towards the crust scavenges oxygen from the silicates and other oxygen-bearing minerals in the mantle to form water, which erupts at the mid-ocean ridges and volcanoes and other manifestations of deep seated geological phenomena.  This newborn water replenishes hydrogen lost to space following the photo-dissociation of water vapour in the high atmosphere.  Without a supply of continuously erupting new born water, the surface of the globe would long ago have gone dry, as have the surfaces of some other solar planets.  In the Plate Tectonics paradigm, the volume of water at the surface of the globe is usually assumed to have remained constant over geological time periods, despite knowledge about loss of hydrogen to space, and its eruption at mid-ocean ridges and elsewhere, two observations that indicate that the hydrogen budget of the Earth must be dynamic and not static."

M. Pickford, "The expanding Earth hypothesis: a challenge to plate tectonics," in G. Scalera & K-H Jacob, eds., Why Expanding Earth? National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology, Rome, and Tecnical University of Berlin, 2003

Major cited source: Keith, M.L., (1993) "Geodynamics and mantle flow: An alternative Earth model," Earth Science Reviews, 33, 157-333.

(7) "There is no indication of significant change of diameter of the Earth since it originally cooled."  Numerous scientists have concluded otherwise, including for example, Precambrian authority Andrew Y. Glikson (in (1980) "Precambrian sial-sima relations; Evidence for Earth expansion," Tectonophysics, 63, 193-234).  A sampling of their evidence is given in my second post, once again.  As far as I am aware, none of those lines of evidence has been directly impugned.  Note especially, the measured rate of radius increase from SLR and VLBI data of "over 18 mm/yr" of Robaudo and Harrison (1993) when the data was analyzed in such a way that such a result was not excluded a priori, and Maxlow's recent rate of about 22 cm/yr, calculated from the areal extent of the most recently laid down sea-floor crust.

Along similar lines, Carey (1988) also notes the following relationship between surface arc D, chord length C, Earth radius R, and the angle subtended at the Earth's center x, when differentiated against time:

dC/dt = 2 dR/dt sin x/2 + dD/dt cos x/2

He continues:

"If we have three NASA stations on a great circle, and the rates of change of chord for each pair are inserted, we have three simultaneous equations, which can be solved to give the rate of change of Earth's radius.  If the plate-tectonic theory is correct, this should come out at zero.  But it doesn't."

"Parkinson has solved these equations for the three stations in Arizona, Hawaii and Canberra.  These arcs intersect at Hawaii at an angle of 159 [deg].  The difference from 180 [deg] does not affect the result seriously.  Parkinson reports that the NASA data indicate that during the period of their measurements, the radius of the earth has been increasing by 2.8+-0.8 cm per year."

These results are all approximately in agreement.  Note: Maxlow's result assumes no subduction (and therefore assumes expansion), so in itself is not confirmatory of expansion, but it may be significant that the rate calculated on this basis - which happens to be the most conservative assumption with respect to the dataset utilized, because it need add no 'unacountable' crust in its reconstructions of the past - is right in line with the others.

(8 ) "EE is pretty much in the Flat-Earth category of beliefs, AFAICS."  I'd like to know if anything above strikes you as particularly unreasonable, let alone 'batshit insane."  Alternatively, you might provide me a list of articles supportive of the Flat-Earth hypothesis from modern peer-reviewed geoscience journals, or, say, books advocating same published by major academic publishers such as Wiley, Elsevier, Stanford and Cambridge.  I certainly haven't verified many of the conclusions I've cited.  But it seems to me that it would be to the benefit of science to set aside preconceptions and support open-minded investigations into the issues raised.


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SAA wrote:But it seems to me

SAA wrote:
But it seems to me that it would be to the benefit of science to set aside preconceptions and support open-minded investigations into the issues raised.

There is a reason people are not open minded about many things

Please don't take that as me saying they shouldn't be open minded about theories that don't fit the domenant one. But when something is wrong it is wrong no amount of open mindedness will make it look any better and then being open minded about it is just going to slow you down.  To me expanding earth makes little to no sense. From what i have read it seems a silly idea. I duno if it is on the same level as flat earth crap,  but i think its safe to say it is incorrect.

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Sorry, I really find none of

Sorry, I really find none of those responses remotely compelling.

You surely realize that the NASA measurements also include measuring the radius of the Earth with similar precision, as required to make sure of the overall accuracy of the whole system?

There have always been scientists arguing 'on the fringes' of currently accepted theories, often with quite serious knowledge, and this is essential for the progress of science, since that is where many truly new theories, new paradigms, come from. But it also means that 'arguments from authority' or at least pointing to the respectability, etc of the proponents of the minority view is irrelevant AFAICS. Most such fringe theories really are in fact wrong, so we must wait till they can produce enough compelling evidence.

There is even the odd (in both senses of the word) Young Earth Creationist in Earth Sciences and Geology, still trying to find an explanation for why radiometric dating 'seems' to show an old Earth. So, yes, otherwise apparently sane and serious scientists can hold to truly 'crackpot' theories, such as belief in God, even.

There are many sources  for variations in Helium isotope ratios, so anything from that direction is not going to be too compelling. in the absence of any evidence for the processes needed to go beyond helium.

For the amount of growth proposed, the Earth would have to be composed of far, far higher proportions of the very lightest elements than is observed, if some nuclear synthesis process were actually a significant source of the new material.

 

So I look at the bigger picture, look at what responses I can find to the more plausible arguments for the minority theory, and so on. My conclusion is (still) that these people are putting far too much weight on the anomalies they find as evidence for the EE theory, however genuinely valuable the observations and data are for helping us better understand the complex processes going on within the Earth.

It is from this perspective I make my assessment of the EE hypothesis, which emerged as one of the earliest proposals to explain the data which was ultimately much more neatly covered by PT. As is common in such cases, the earlier hypothesis tends to retain some acolytes who reject the later heresy, and devote themselves to discrediting it.

Both EE and PT have devils in the details of the mechanisms involved, but the utter lack of any plausible mechanism for major expansion, and of any indication of actual expansion from real global measurements, is just so glaring that I still see EE as nonsense.

 

 

 

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Bob is more of an expert

Bob is more of an expert than I am.  However, if the earth is expanding, wouldn't the horizon recede?  That is, our perception of the curvature of the earth would change, right?  It doesn't look like it to me.  If it is expanding at a rate that I can't see, then I'm not going to get excited about it.

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SAA is not a skeptic at

SAA is not a skeptic at all.  Nor is this person properly applying any modality of skepticism.  This is a person who is clearly, from my perspective on this dialogue, a contrarian.  Here we have someone vehemently arguing for an explanation nearly-almost-merely because of problems with the current explanation and who clearly does not favour the current explanation over the 'alternative'.  And I'm not sorry to say that expecting equal consideration for two theories, one of which explains the evidence quite a bit better than the other and one which appears insane, is fallacious, much in the same way that the 'teach the controversy' argument of creationist is fallacious.

What strikes me most about the idea of the Earth expanding, and thus requiring more mass, is that it would necessarily call into question all current physics (which is the underpinning of every scientific discipline if I'm not mistaken).  I will explain this accusation:

The Earth-moon system can only be shown to have formed in one particular way given the properties of all of the Earth, the moon and the entire solar system.  The moon is steadily receding from the Earth as it has since its initial formation.  The extrapolations of the predictive models based on the formation of the Earth-moon system show the system existing today exactly as it exists today.  If the Earth were getting larger and necessarily gaining more mass in doing so, then the Earth-moon system couldn't exist as it does today for what I hope are incredibly obvious reasons.  It seems to me that such an explanation for the Earth's geology as EE would be required to answer far more serious implications to all the sciences than the 'good' it does in filling 'gaps' with the current theory of plate tectonics.  In fact, EE would seem to be as insane an idea to entertain as creationism, homeopathy or any other 'fringe' science (if indeed those things could be called science at all) exactly due to the implausibility of it and due to it's implication on all current knowledge and understanding.

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Exactly,  Thomathy, all

Exactly,  Thomathy, all such wider implications of EE are a major problem, adding to the violations of known particle physics, theories of heavy element formation, etc, etc.

All to address real and perceived problems in current PT ideas, which aren't remotely problematic enough to justify over-turning whole swathes of well-established science.

It smacks of a 'God of the Gaps' attitude - if you can't explain this thing, then my explanation wins, regardless of how wild or improbable it is.

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Let us all bow our heads in prayer ...

THE GEOTECTONICS CREED

I believe in Plate Tectonics Almighty, Unifier of the Earth Sciences, and explanation of all things geological and geophysical; and in our Xavier le Pichon, revealer of relative motion, deduced from spreading rates about all ridges; Hypothesis of Hypothesis, Theory of Theory, Very Fact of Very Fact; deduced not assumed; Continents being of one unit with the Oceans, from which all plates spread; Which, when they encounter another plate and are subducted, go down in Benioff Zones, and are resorbed into the Asthenosphere, and are made Mantle; and cause earthquake foci also under Island Arcs; They soften and can flow; and at the Ridges Magma rises again according to Vine and Matthews; and ascends into the Crust, and maketh symmetrical magnetic anomalies; and the sea floor shall spread again, with continents, to make both mountains and faults, Whose evolution shall have no end.

And I believe in Continental Drift, the Controller of the evolution of Life, Which proceedeth from Plate Tectonics and Sea-Floor Spreading; Which with Plate Tectonics and Sea-Floor Spreading together is worshiped and glorified; Which was spake of by Wegener; And I believe in one Seismic and Volcanistic pattern; I acknowledge one Cause for the deformation of rocks; and I patiently look for the eruption of new Ridges and the subduction of the Plates to come. Amen.

--Scharnberger and Kern (Geotimes, 1972), as cited in Lester C. King, Wandering Continents and Spreading Sea Floors on an Expanding Earth, Wiley-Interscience, 1983, p. ix.  King recounts how, at the end of a week-long conference on the  "Implications of continental drift to the Earth sciences" in Newcastle, Dr. R.S. Dietz presented a spoof on plate tectonics, ending with the above creed.  King comments: "the paper was a glorious spoof, and like all good spoofs it left the hearers uncertain as to how much was good clean fun and how much was underlying doubt upon those matters which the Conference had debated."

Sorry to take an easy way out today.


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So, SAA doesn't support

So, SAA doesn't support plate tectonics?

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SAA wrote:THE GEOTECTONICS

SAA wrote:

THE GEOTECTONICS CREED

I believe in Plate Tectonics Almighty, Unifier of the Earth Sciences, and explanation of all things geological and geophysical; and in our Xavier le Pichon, revealer of relative motion, deduced from spreading rates about all ridges; Hypothesis of Hypothesis, Theory of Theory, Very Fact of Very Fact; deduced not assumed; Continents being of one unit with the Oceans, from which all plates spread; Which, when they encounter another plate and are subducted, go down in Benioff Zones, and are resorbed into the Asthenosphere, and are made Mantle; and cause earthquake foci also under Island Arcs; They soften and can flow; and at the Ridges Magma rises again according to Vine and Matthews; and ascends into the Crust, and maketh symmetrical magnetic anomalies; and the sea floor shall spread again, with continents, to make both mountains and faults, Whose evolution shall have no end.

And I believe in Continental Drift, the Controller of the evolution of Life, Which proceedeth from Plate Tectonics and Sea-Floor Spreading; Which with Plate Tectonics and Sea-Floor Spreading together is worshiped and glorified; Which was spake of by Wegener; And I believe in one Seismic and Volcanistic pattern; I acknowledge one Cause for the deformation of rocks; and I patiently look for the eruption of new Ridges and the subduction of the Plates to come. Amen.

--Scharnberger and Kern (Geotimes, 1972), as cited in Lester C. King, Wandering Continents and Spreading Sea Floors on an Expanding Earth, Wiley-Interscience, 1983, p. ix.  King recounts how, at the end of a week-long conference on the  "Implications of continental drift to the Earth sciences" in Newcastle, Dr. R.S. Dietz presented a spoof on plate tectonics, ending with the above creed.  King comments: "the paper was a glorious spoof, and like all good spoofs it left the hearers uncertain as to how much was good clean fun and how much was underlying doubt upon those matters which the Conference had debated."

Sorry to take an easy way out today.

How many times do I have to tell you, I am not defending the proposed mechanisms of Plate Techtonics, just pointing out that is the EE guys who display the religious zeal, ready to plug their Theory-of-the-Gaps into every problem of Plate Techtonics, despite it having as many holes as the God hypothesis.

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I have tried to be careful

I have tried to be careful about which lines of reasoning apply to which conclusions, and I don't accept the judgment that the 'case in favor' of EE rests entirely or almost entirely on appeal real or alleged shortcomings of PT.  But for clarity it may be useful to say something about the logical relations among various kinds of evidence, and also to show, in a bit more detail than I did in my second posting, that EE does have some substantial evidence in its favor.  This I intend to do in a subsequent posting.

It's important to bear in mind that the central claim here is that the EE hypothesis is too irrational to (continue to) be seriously entertained.  In strongly opposing that claim, my burden is often to show that specific claims on the other side fail as disproofs.  The grounds adduced for the 'EE is irrational' case notably have virtually no contact with the actual reasons adduced in favor of EE - rather they appeal to such things as the absence of a plausible mechanism, paleomagnetic studies which allegedly conclusively disprove any great change in radius (though, as admitted by Nature, this is not the case), the belief that nature would not allow published space geodetic 'measurements' to be biased by the fixed-radius assumption (ignoring contrary evidence I have presented or alluded to), or the perceived conflicts between EE and other generally accepted theories in science.  (The claim that EE would disrupt "all current knowledge and understanding" is pure hyperbole.  Even in the field of geology, EE workers tend to utilize the same data and much of the understanding common to all geologists.  And as for physics, when it comes to deciding between the decreasing density and increasing mass interpretations of EE, advocates of each position argue from accepted physical premises or observations.)

The actual lines of evidence adduced in support of EE include: the northern motion of the northern continents since the Permian, coupled with the finding of divergence rather than convergence in the Arctic; the enlargement of the Pacific perimeter since Pangea (given the Pangea models themselves on a present-sized globe - see Meservey's 1969 article in Science); the lengthening of the mid-ocean ridges; the southward motion of Antarctica relative to all other continents; the Zodiac fan (inconsistent with PT, consistent with EE); the progressive fit of the isochron mapping data on EE models (contrasted with PT) back to the Triassic; and the resulting models' consistency with paleomagnetic data (finding diametrically opposed poles on each model), and then with other latitude dependent data-sets.

In the absence of a general disproof, such positive findings in claimed to support EE need to be examined before it can justly be said that EE is irrational.

 

 

 


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SAA wrote:It's important to

SAA wrote:
It's important to bear in mind that the central claim here is that the EE hypothesis is too irrational to (continue to) be seriously entertained.
Yes, and that's been shown.

Quote:
In strongly opposing that claim, my burden is often to show that specific claims on the other side fail as disproofs.
Yet you have not addressed any counterargument, let alone those claims from the other side or how any of it fails as a disproof.

Quote:
The grounds adduced for the 'EE is irrational' case notably have virtually no contact with the actual reasons adduced in favor of EE - rather they appeal to such things as the absence of a plausible mechanism, paleomagnetic studies which allegedly conclusively disprove any great change in radius (though, as admitted by Nature, this is not the case), the belief that nature would not allow published space geodetic 'measurements' to be biased by the fixed-radius assumption (ignoring contrary evidence I have presented or alluded to), or the perceived conflicts between EE and other generally accepted theories in science.  (The claim that EE would disrupt "all current knowledge and understanding" is pure hyperbole.  Even in the field of geology, EE workers tend to utilize the same data and much of the understanding common to all geologists.  And as for physics, when it comes to deciding between the decreasing density and increasing mass interpretations of EE, advocates of each position argue from accepted physical premises or observations.)
It's not hyperbole to properly note that the consequences of the things claimed by EE proponents happen to overturn the foundations of entire scientific disciplines *(all current knowledge and understanding), nor is it incorrect or fallacious (as you seem to be implying) to counter EE from perspectives that seem to be independent of the 'actual reasons adduced in favor of EE'.  In fact, they're entirely relevant to the validity of EE.  Further, the conflicts outlined between EE and accepted scientific theories are not merely perceived to be conflicts, they are very real and very problematic to EE.  It is necessary that if EE is true, so many other things must be reconsidered to be understated.  You must accept that the claims of EE are incredibly extraordinary and that there is a certain threshold to the evidence in its favour that must be met for it to be entertained as anything other than a very silly idea and that the idea of EE itself does not reconcile, but rather has serious implications, on fields as seemingly remote from it as astrophysics.  These are very real and very valid arguments against EE.  It's merit is not in its evidence alone.

Quote:
In the absence of a general disproof, such positive findings in claimed to support EE need to be examined before it can justly be said that EE is irrational.
But these are not 'positive findings'.  This is evidence that has been interpreted to support a theory and its conclusion in the face of not only a currently accepted theory, but in the face of vast evidence directly in contradiction to it.  Anyone can take lines of evidence and construct a theory that differs from an accepted one.  It is the totality of the evidence and the fact that a theory conforms to fundamental scientific principles, however, that give a theory weight.  The simple fact is that EE spectacularly fails as an explanation for the movement of continental plates, especially extrapolated over the 4.5 billion year life of the Earth and due to its complete failure to reconcile with physics in general.  There are vast lines of evidence, ranging from the fields of geology, biology, cosmology and astrophysics, to name some, that directly contradict the proposed explanation for the movement of continental plates by EE.

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SAA, I would appreciate a

SAA, I would appreciate a link or some reference to the Nature comment before I can conclude anything from that comment.

What direct evidence do you have for the actual size of the earth in some past epoch that is provable accurate enough to support the EE hypothesis?

The areas of expanding oceanic crust, aka sea-floor spreading, is not adequate evidence for EE per se.

If that movement is part of a circulation,  the major regions where such it is being resorbed will have drawn the floating continental plates over them, so will not be as readily detectable as the rising/growing areas along the mid-oceanic ridges.

EDIT: The problem of a mechanism for EE stands. The energy->matter process is not really worth dwelling on. Infalling material would need a clean way to get inside the earth to fit with observation - of course that would not be such a problem if oceanic crust really does sink back into the mantle, but then there would not be a need for the EE hypothesis....

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smartypants wrote: I'm

smartypants wrote:

 I'm confused. Where does all the extra matter come from? Where does all the extra water come from? This doesn't really make any sense.

Dark matter? You know, that thing isn't easily detected?

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