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Quack science...or is it?

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ke5frf

New Member
The thread topic on Global Warming got me thinking about an intriguing theory that I've done a lot of reading about that some will call crackpot.

But if you honestly look at the facts and evidence, you might not be so quick to dismiss it.

It is an alternate theory to Plate Tectonics in Geology, called "Expanding Earth Theory".

Basically, this theory has some history, and at one point was pretty much on equal footing with the (then) new Plate Tectonics model.

To put things in perspective, Plate Tectonics as an accepted Geologic model has only been schoolbook science since The mid Nineteen-SEVENTIES. Prior to that the old-school science of Geology was resistant to the concept of dynamics in the Earth's crust, believing it was static and had been so since the Earth formed.

The Plate Tectonics model, along with an Expanding Earth model, were both proposed in the early Nineteenth century by some brilliant geologists, but it took a good 40 years for the geologic community to face the facts that it had to accept the overwhelming evidence that the Earth has changed drastically over the eons. During this time of debate on which model fit the evidence, it was decided it was IMPOSSIBLE for the Earth to be expanding because "bodies do not gain mass" except through accretion, which is too slow a process to fit.

So Plate Tectonics won the day and is now considered fundamental in geology.

However, their are a lot of things about Plate Tectonics that don't fit either, for which explanations have to be "forced". One such concept is that of "subduction zones". Basically, for all the new ocean floor that we know has formed in the past 200 million years or so (thats somewhere near the age of the oldest known ocean floor), there has to be some place where ocean floor older than that age has gone. The theory is that it gets "subducted", basically sucked back into the mantle of the earth. A big conveyor belt in effect, dragging continents along with it like a rug, bumping and crashing and forming mountains and earthquakes. ONLY...We have no real demonstrable proof they even exist!!!!

OK, well there is just enough about Plate Tectonics that is explanatory to make it broadly accepted. Yet there are major questions left unanswered too...furthermore the expanding Earth theory explains much of the same evidence equally well.

Some questions that come up, just to name a few...
What conditions 200 million years ago allowed prehistoric animals to grow so enormous, the size one might expect in a lower gravity world?

The extinction of the dinosaurs roughly coincides with the age of the oldest ocean crust, at least in geologic terms of age, which dates the Earth several billion years old.

Many of the same crustal features that make the Atlantic coastlines match up so brilliantly can be demonstrated in the Pacific and Arctic as well. There are Plate Tectonic explanations for this, but the further back in Geologic time those theories go, the less confidence we can have in their validity.

Read up on it, even if its just for laughs! Just Google "Expanding Earth" theory. Among the sites, you'll find a lot of legitimate research and proposals from a community of scientists mostly in Australia.

You'll also find YouTube animations from an artist names Neil Adams.

And you'll find a lot of heckling and flaming from academics who have their careers invested in the Plate Tectonic theory.

Interesting reading and a good topic for banter.
 
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Sceadwian

Banned
I'm no geologist, but aren't there many known subduction plates around the world? And you can't assume a low gravity environment would produce larger creatures because there's simply no way to predict what would naturally occur if life developed in such an environment. We can guess but that's it. Animals will pretty much grow as big as their environment allows them to, no surprise there. It can be directly observed with some fish which will grow as large as the tank their in pretty much, not the same thing as the dinosaurs but the environment back then was far different than it is now.
 

ke5frf

New Member
No, there has been no demonstration of subduction anywhere, not one place on Earth. There are, indeed, locations that have been labeled subduction "zones", but this is a case of the assumptions directing the science, not the science directing the assumptions. These are areas where subduction is predicted to be because of seismic activity. Yet not one square inch of ocean floor as been measured to have subducted or disappeared, while at the mid-ocean ridges inches of new ocean floor can be measured annually.

In fact, subduction defies physics! The crustal material in these subduction zones is less dense than the mantle its supposed to subduct into, yet the idea is that it sinks into it. So the theorists come up with all sorts of proposals on how it happens, things imagined to occur without evidence, concluded to occur because Plate Tectonics has become a foregone conclusion.

Now, I don't have any dog in the fight so to speak. Really I don't care what the answer is, so don't assume because I defend the idea of Earth expansion that I believe it or deny Tectonics. But also realize that most of the mechanisms of Tectonics are also included in the expansion theory, only explaining different phenomenon.

And as far as animal size goes, I apologize for being critical but I think it is lazy-minded to dismiss that NOT ONLY animal size is far different now than 200 mya, but so is plant and insect life. In fact, insects make the best argument for lower gravity, because their exo-skeletons prevent them from obtaining enormous sizes. Largets insects today are certain beatles and only get to be a foot long give or take. Back then, there were dragonflies and other bugs that grew more than a meter long!

What you say about animals growing to the size their environment allows is somewhat true, given age. Some animals that live extraordinarily long lives can get quite large. Some crocodiles for example. But this is an exception rather than the rule and again is a result of age and abundant food, not typical.

Your marine life example actually bolsters the gravity argument. The buouncy of water environments is a near simulation of lower gravity and indeed supports enormous life. Our largest species, the whale, evolved in this environment. Yet prehistory (may have) even allowed forenormity in the oceans because water in a lower gravity world would have been even more suitable for large animals.

Is there anything to this? I don't know. What I do recognize, though, is that many aspects of science that we accept as true are built around assumptions. Often, those assumptions are mathematically true enough as to work. LIKE ELECTRONICS. Yet some assumptions we make, I think, are dangerous...because they put us on a single track of thinking and sometimes we are resistant to considering alternatives. That is bad science, to me.
 
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ke5frf

New Member
Good site.

And if you read all of the evidence listed for Plate Tectonics, then study the model of an expanding planet, you will learn that the same phenomenon that bolsters Plate Tectonics would exist in an expanding planet, with crustal movements occuring to accomodate the ever increasing circumferance of the sphere....minus subduction because subduction would not be neccessary.

Even on that link you provided, a poster at the bottom gave the expanding earth argument some commentary.

Again, I'm not claiming it is true, but it is certainly interesting and I am inclined to give it serious thought.
 
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ericgibbs

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Good site.

And if you read all of the evidence listed for Plate Tectonics, then study the model of an expanding planet, you will learn that the same phenomenon that bolsters Plate Tectonics would exist in an expanding planet, with crustal movements occuring to accomodate the ever increasing circumferance of the sphere....minus subduction because subduction would not be neccessary.

Even on that link you provided, a poster at the bottom gave the expanding earth argument some commentary.

Again, I'm not claiming it is true, but it is certainly interesting and I am inclined to give it serious thought.

I suggest you go to Alaska and have a look at the geology if you think there are no subduction zones.
 
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Mikebits

Well-Known Member
One problem, if the core was moving out to the surface, the core would get depleted and collapse. The planet would then cave in on itself. Plate shifts can be measured per year, also core density. Core density has not changed. This concept is silly, I can find data to support what I say, but this idea is so silly it is not worth the bother.

I happen to be an avid geology hobbyist see my page. GeoEpicenter - Field Guide to The Geologic Faces of Southern California
 
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ke5frf

New Member
OK fair enough, but I never said the core density was changing. I have no idea what mechanism would cause expansion, but core density wasn't high on my list.

I actually tend to think we may be all wrong about what lies inside the Earth's core (solid iron or whatever) and the process it undergoes. One place we have never been or have never sent instruments to is a planetary core, so we are basically making a best guess. That doesn't mean we are wrong, btw.

Point is, if we have just this one fundamental concept completely wrong, which history shows fundamental concepts are often wrong and require new paradigms, then a whole lot of what we think we know about other things are also wrong or at least off the mark a bit. You can't argue that science is somewhat a house of cards in that way, can you?

I'm not arguing that Plate Tectonics aren't true, or that other alternatives are. I'm quite aware that I'm totally not qualified to draw any conclusions. I'm just proposing it is an interesting topic to consider.

And I would argue that your repugnance about even discussing the topic isn't the true spirit of science...just saying.

Also, Plate shifts are not an argument against expanding Earth ideas.
 

ke5frf

New Member
Just so you know, just because I am intrigued by this idea, it doesn't mean I'm a crackpot myself. The topic is not important to me. We could be discussing any realm of science where multiple theories compete (or at least have the slightest plausibility)...It is more a philisophical question for me about science, what we think we know, what we really don't know, and how science has begun to shed some of the curiosity that once was so intergral to its core.

Even 25, 50 years ago, many of the concepts of science that today are "consensus" were hotly debated and questioned. All it takes is new information or variables to completely revolutionize our thinking. Would you argue there is nothing left to discover?..............

Or perhaps more importantly, there is no room to question things we currently accept as true?
 
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Boncuk

New Member
I'm really scared!

If a planet grows it will change gravity and the earth will attract the moon more and more until it falls on the earth.

I don't have an insurance covering that case.

Boncuk
 

ke5frf

New Member
I'm really scared!

If a planet grows it will change gravity and the earth will attract the moon more and more until it falls on the earth.

I don't have an insurance covering that case.

Boncuk

Something tells me you'll be long gone before you have to worry about that :)

My understanding of this theory is that the process is very, very slow.

Actually, I have a wild theory that I roll around in my mind that the expansion process is not linear, if it indeed does exist...that it is a sudden, violent event that only occurs every so many million years and might have been the cause of the dinosaur extinction...and the Moon may contribute to how and why it occurs, if at all.

And that concept allows that Plate Tectonics may indeed be a byproduct of said historical events, the inbetween shifting and correcting occuring inbetween each "growth spurt".
 

Sceadwian

Banned
And as far as animal size goes, I apologize for being critical but I think it is lazy-minded to dismiss that NOT ONLY animal size is far different now than 200 mya, but so is plant and insect life. In fact, insects make the best argument for lower gravity, because their exo-skeletons prevent them from obtaining enormous sizes. Largets insects today are certain beatles and only get to be a foot long give or take. Back then, there were dragonflies and other bugs that grew more than a meter long!
Lower gravity doesn't make sense of any kind because you would see a dramatic shift in bone structure. It's already been measured with fixed materials that given what we've been able to determine of dinosaur bone density tissue mass etc.. that their bodies were designed to hold them up in a normal gravity field. They even calculated the maximum possible land mammal size for earth norm gravity and have never found anything that breaks that calculation.. The difference in animal an insect size was primarily due to the nutrients available in the food sources and the atmosphere itself. It's not lazy minded, it makes sense, a WHOLE lot more sense than the mass of the planet having been substantially less in the earths past.


What you say about animals growing to the size their environment allows is somewhat true, given age. Some animals that live extraordinarily long lives can get quite large. Some crocodiles for example. But this is an exception rather than the rule and again is a result of age and abundant food, not typical.

I'm sorry that statement is completely incorrect, and can be demonstrated in your own home. Take baby common goldfish and put them in a small fish bowl, feed them normally keep it clean and you'll see that the fish maintain a set size after a pretty short period of time, maybe a few months. Put them in a much larger fish tank and you'll see their size double quadruple or even more within a few months. I know I've observed this directly. We have a 20 gallon fish tank in our living room, and my stepson at the time had a 10 gallon fish tank. When the 20 gallon tank fish had babies we moved some of them to the 10 gallon tank, there were a lot more fish in the 10 gallon tank but after about 2 months their population stabilized and they remained the same size, happy in their fishy bliss. My wife decided to grab a few of the smaller ones and put them in the large fish tank that had fewer fish in it just to see how they got along. They doubled in size in a few months and now maintain that size.
 
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PatM

Member
Planetary Metamorphosis

If you have an open mind, this website postulates some very interesting ideas.

Sounds kind of screwy to me.
If the planet was 1/2 the size and all of the land pieces were interlocked, how do you explain the mysterious creation of all of the oceans.
All of that water didn't just develop out of nothing.
 

Sceadwian

Banned
It's sorry it's all bunk, complete wackjob quack 'science' to the nth degree.
 
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ke5frf

New Member
Aha, but you are still using the fish argument!

Bowls are not a goldfish's natural environment, now are they? Use logic here. It isn't that the goldfish somehow get bigger because you've put them in a larger environment. It is the opposite! They remained much smaller in the small bowl because they were in a restricted environment. The larger tank more replicates their natural environment where they in fact do have a natural limit for growth.

See how incorrect conclusions can be drawn without giving honest thought to all the variables?
 

ke5frf

New Member
Sounds kind of screwy to me.
If the planet was 1/2 the size and all of the land pieces were interlocked, how do you explain the mysterious creation of all of the oceans.
All of that water didn't just develop out of nothing.

Ah! But it didn't.

Ok, please expand. Do explain the mysterious creation of all the oceans. Regardless of how big the Earth is, or was. Just like you said, the water didn't develop out of nothing....Regardless of the size, they came from somewhere and need 'splainin.

Just think about it, k? Your question is irrelevant to the size of the Earth.

But I will mention that the Oceans continue to be supplied with water every day through thermal venting of the mantle. Nothing mysterious or unexplainable there.
 
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