The Nonsensical "Growing Earth" "Theory"

Discussion in 'Pseudoscience Archive' started by Robert Schunk, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. Robert Schunk Registered Senior Member

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    Sorry for exposing you nice people to this particularly nonsensical piece of pseudoscience, but I just want you all to know that I'm much sorrier for myself that I actually have to spend time working to denounce this crap.

    ***


    On another forum, I famously got into trouble with a guy who famously argued in favo(u)r of some idiotic piece of pseudoscientific crap called the "Growing Earth Theory", which famously argues against the idea of plate tectonics by famously positing the idea that the Earth was once much smaller in volume than it once was, and that the consequently lessened force of gravity upon the surface allowed the gigantism famously observed amongst the major fauna of the period (i.e., the Dinosaurs) famously known as the "Pangea" period. When I famously pointed out to him that gravitational attraction famously applies as the inverse square of the distance from the attracting body's center/centre of mass, which means that the Earth's gravitational pull on the surface would have been much GREATER had the Earth a smaller volume back then, he challenged me by famously asking me why I was so "hung up on that inverse square of the distance thing". At that point I cut off all contact with him.

    Anyways, their basic idea is that, seeing as all continents fit together if one excises all oceans from the globe, that what's really going on is that the earth was, just 350 mega-years ago, much smaller than it is. That the continents all fit together thus is, I believe, the result of there having been more than one supercontinents in the past, such as Pangea (q.v.) and the one before that, Rhodinia (q.v.). (I mean, don't these fact require conversion of the "Growing Earth Theory" into the "Oscillating Earth Volume Theory"?) The way I see it, contineltal collisions due to tectonic forces are a little like the funny auto insurance ad popular in the US right now, in which some guy tries to parallel park, and winds up going back and forth, crashing into the car in front of him as well as into the car behind him. Obviously, after a few such crashes, the front end of the car behind him is going to resemble his own rear end, just as the rear end of the car in front of him is going to resemble his own front end, according to simple observation which need give rise to no "Lengthening Street Theory".
     
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  3. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

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    When evidence was growing in the 1950s for sea floor spreading, to the extent that it was increasingly hard to deny its reality, it raised the conundrum - where di the space for this creaiton of new crust come from. There were two logical explantions: the crust was destroyed somewhere and somehow; or, the Earth was expanding. Both were viable hypotheses with comparable evidence (or lack of) to support either.

    Evidence mounted in favour of destruction of crust via subduction zones, plate tectonics was born and the Expanding Earth theroy fell out of favour. Thoughtful proponents of the theory can point to weaknesses in plate tectonics that at best raise concerns and at worst should raise doubts. (Two examples: correlations of magnetic banding either side of postulated spreading centres is often questionable; definition of subduction zones by earthquake foci often leave suggestive gaps.)

    The Expanding Earth Theory was a plausible hypothesis that should not be condemned as foolish simply because it seems to be wrong. It was part of process that helped lead to plate tectonics. It was no less viable than Contracting Earth Theory or Undation Theory as explanations for orogenesis.

    No one mocks geosynclinal theory, even though you would be hard pressed to find references to the concept for other than historical purposes or for geographical convenience. I suggest a similar approach for Expanding Earth theory would be appropriate.
     
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  5. Robert Schunk Registered Senior Member

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    Ophiolite:

    I get your point, but what do you say to someone who holds on to this antiquated theory in the face of all the evidence that's been assembled since it first arose?

    How do you deal with someone who asks: "What's your hangup with that inverse square of the distance thing?" when discussing Earth's gravitational attraction upon objects on its surface?
     
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  7. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

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    Tackle each point in turn and either demonstrate why plate tectonics offers a superior explanation, or ask them to cite in what way expanding Earth theory offers a superior explanation.

    Ask them what causes them to reject a theory that has been validated by millions of observations, by tens of thousands of scientists over the course of several centuries. Ask them if they have access to a measuring device such as a ruler. Ask them to tell you how far up their ass their head is buried.
     
  8. florian Debunking machine Registered Senior Member

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    First there is a good chance that they actually don't know the theory they advocate. So you could start by getting more familiar with it than they are.
    Following is a selection of scientific readings dealing with this theory:

    "The Expanding Earth - an Essay Review" SW Carey (1975) Earth-Science Reviews 11 p 105-143 (pdf: http://tinyurl.com/6yzgaq4)

    "The Necessity for Earth Expansion" S. Warren Carey ()1983 pp375-393 in Carey, SW (ed): Expanding Earth Symposium, Sydney, 1981. (pdf: http://tinyurl.com/3hrh5x8)

    "Quantification of an Archaean to Recent Earth Expansion Process Using Global Geological and Geophysical Data Sets" J. Maxlow 2001 PhD thesis,curtain University (pdf: http://tinyurl.com/kklg6y)

    "Fossils, frogs, floating islands and expanding Earth in changing-radius cartography – A comment to a discussion on Journal of Biogeography" G Scalera (2007) Ann Geophys 50(6) p789 (pdf: http://tinyurl.com/ycs8en6)

    "Earthquakes, phase changes, fold belts: from Apennines to a global perspective" G Scalera (2010) GeoActa, Special Publication 3, pp. 25-43. (pdf: http://tinyurl.com/3bv2e8c)

    "Mantle plumes and dynamics of the Earth interior — towards a new model" S Cwojdziñski Geol Rev 52, p817 (pdf: http://tinyurl.com/3vpafys)

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011
  9. Robert Schunk Registered Senior Member

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    104
    florian:

    Good idea!

    Thanks!

    As for the good luck you wish me, in dealing with the pseudo-science crowd, I'll need it!
     
  10. florian Debunking machine Registered Senior Member

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    You'll need a lot of patience too. The most annoying task is to discriminate the scientists from the pseudoscientists.
     
  11. matthew809 Registered Senior Member

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    How is it possible that you could be aware of millions of other people's observations and validations?

    Or is it more likely that you are just repeating, or even exaggerating, information from no more than just a relative few sources?
     
  12. origin In a democracy you deserve the leaders you elect. Valued Senior Member

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    It is quite easy to find this information. It is contained in science books.
     
  13. florian Debunking machine Registered Senior Member

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    The issue is that he can't consider that all of these informations validate the growing earth theory.
    Plate tectonics and the Expanding Earth theory share the same root, and it is expected that all of the observations supporting plate tectonics, I mean not the one refuting it, are a subset of the observations supporting the Expanding Earth theory.
     
  14. origin In a democracy you deserve the leaders you elect. Valued Senior Member

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    But the expanding earth model is based on the stupid assumption that the earth is expanding. This knuckle-headed theory states that matter is magically forming in the earth causing it to grow at a phenomal rate. Is the moon expanding are the other planets?

    This is not a theory, this is turd that is DOA.
     
  15. florian Debunking machine Registered Senior Member

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    It is NOT an assumption. It is inferred from observations that give no other alternatives! When will you finally make progress on this point?

    No, the layman says it is MAGIC because that is what the layman does when he sees something unknown.
    The scientist says that there MUST be a rational explanation.
    Do you understand the difference?


    If a planet/moon display a surface dichotomy, especially a polarized one like Earth, then it certainly has expanded.
    Now you can check every moon/planet of the solar system and make the list.
     
  16. origin In a democracy you deserve the leaders you elect. Valued Senior Member

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    Infered by you and a couple other confused individuals maybe! Obviously the current theory on Plate Tectonics does and excellent job of adressing the observations (without the need for magic) and is accepted by all but the most egregiously fringe geologists.

    Magical matter formation is not an unknown phenomena, it is made up garbage to try and support unsupportable garbage.

    No, scientist say, "magical matter formation is way to silly for me to be bothered with - I have real work to do".

    So some planets and moons expand and other don't? It just gets goofier and goofier.
     
  17. florian Debunking machine Registered Senior Member

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    No and no. If you don't understand the fatal flaws of plate tectonics, you will never understand the necessity for the expanding earth.
    You must learn plate tectonics first. For example what is the detailed driving mechanism of plate tectonics?

    There is nothing magic. Put that in your head once and for all!


    This is also inferred from observations.
     
  18. origin In a democracy you deserve the leaders you elect. Valued Senior Member

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    If there was a fatal flaw that completely destroyed Plate Tectonics then replacing it with the expanding earth would make as much sense as replacing it with Genesis.

    I do understand Plate Tectonics and no magic involved.

    Really? Then how in the name of hollering hopping Jesus does matter form out of nothing in the earth? For crying out loud is there even an inkling of a possibility of this occurring by a natural process instead of a supernatural process??


    Infered by you and a couple other confused people.

    See, the one of the biggest problems with your 'theory' is that the formation of matter in the earth from nothing doesn't even pass the giggle test.

    To put it another way if there was a horse race between plate tectonics and the expanding earth, when the bells rang and the gate opened your horse would be on the floor dead.
     
  19. florian Debunking machine Registered Senior Member

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    There is no magic in science, not in plate tectonics, not in the expanding earth theory. You're persistence in misleading people by evoking magic is irrational.

    It can't form from nothing! You're like Don Quixote fighting windmills! This creation ex-nihilo is a story you invented because you don't know how it really works. But unknown≠magic

    And you dodged my question. If you know plate tectonics, you should be able to easily explain in details its driving mechanism. I can't wait for your explanation, go on.
     
  20. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

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    It is associated with something called a Tertiary Education. I can thoroughly reccomend the concept. You may even benefit from one yourself.

    No, it is not more likely. Quality undergraduate and graduate level textbooks summarise such work. They contain references to original research that is of such an extent that it is impractical for a single person to read all of it. Yet a mix of random and selective dipping into research papers reveals a consistent pattern of confirmation of plate tectonic theory, implicitly and explicitly, from diverse fields such as geophysics, structural geology, palaeontology, geochemistry, petrology, petrogenesis, historical geology, etc.
     
  21. florian Debunking machine Registered Senior Member

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    Since you apparently are the most educated guy in geosciences in this forum, you can probably very easily explain in details what drives plate tectonics?

    BTW, I'm still waiting for your "comprehensive apology" for that.
    And did you take that basic maths & physics class you initially suggested to me, you know the one that was finally more appropriate to you?
     
  22. origin In a democracy you deserve the leaders you elect. Valued Senior Member

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    You are right I do not know how matter forms from nothing and your explanation is a bit short on details.

    I see the mechanism is not magic it is 'whatever' - very scientific, I expect to see this in the journal Nature any day.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    There is no need to debate Plate Tectonics it is the accepted theory, YOU need to present a counter theory that is more compelling. So far we have a big swing and a miss!

    You logic is something like this:
    I think the earth is expanding.
    For it to expand there must be mass being added.
    The conservation of mass and energy says this can't happen
    There must be some 'whatever' mechanism to form the mass.

    A more logical approach is the earth must not be expanding.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  23. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

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    Once again you demonstrate the uncanny ability to derive the wrong conclusion from a misreading of available facts.


    Correct. You are still waiting. The apology will be fotrhcoming when I have the time to satisfy myself that your posted calculations are indeed correct. At that time, if appropriate, I shall apologise in the thread, by pm and shall initiate a specific thread to publicly apologise. I feel that this would all be merited as it would represent only the third or fourth time I have been wrong in over five years of posting in sci.forums. I admit this is two or three more times than you have been wrong, but then your error is monumental in comparison.
     

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