Arcadian Functor

occasional meanderings in physics' brave new world

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Location: New Zealand

Marni D. Sheppeard

Friday, November 30, 2007


Panthalassa is a hypothesised vast ocean that accompanied the land of ancient Pangaea. But did it really exist? Matti Pitkanen brings our attention to a video by Neal Adams, which you simply must watch. Here also is an interview with Neal Adams. I'm really not sure what I think of it all, because I have not checked the data and there is no doubt that some of his polemic (see example below) is outrageous, but it is an absolutely fascinating picture of the quantum Earth.
...cause all elements are manufactured on the inside Earth, all elements. Yes. All. What else? All!! Some? No, all! ALL!


Blogger L. Riofrio said...

As we know, Alfred Wegener was ignored during his life for suggesting that continents moved. He was also an astronomer intruding on the realm of geologists. His hypotheses lacked a mechanism, an omission that we have fixed.

November 30, 2007 2:22 PM  
Blogger Kea said...

Hi Louise. I really enjoyed the radio interview with Adams, who is a comic book artist by profession.

November 30, 2007 2:27 PM  
Blogger CarlBrannen said...

What would be nice is an estimate of how much the crust shrinks per year. I know that the crust shrinks because I started college majoring in mining engineering and I spent a lot of cold days climing around the badlands of New Mexico measuring strikes and dips.

In short, "dip" is how much the land is tilted. That tilt means that the land does not cover as much surface area as it did when it was first created. If the dip is 45 degrees, that section of land only covers 70.7% as much area as it once did. That is shrinkage, and if you want to talk about how much the crust has "shrunk", you need to take into account how much of that shrinkage is accounted for in the observed dips.

Of course there are vast regions where the dip is close to zero. But there are also vast regions where the land is so badly folded that the dip has gone to - 180 degrees and the land is fully upsdie down.

November 30, 2007 6:08 PM  
Blogger Matti Pitkanen said...

To me the arguments of Adams against tectonic plate theory are not convincing (and perhaps disturbingly emotional;-) unlike those for the primordial continent covering entire Earth (to my opinion, I however dare trust to Adams's abilities as visualizer!).

Tectonic plate theory explaining Wegener's findings partially. What remained un-understood how plates were created and of course the intriguing fit at the other side.

The shrinking of crust is interesting phenomenon in itself. I guess that it means bending without appreciable stretching so that the area of geosphere covered by continent is reduced.

November 30, 2007 8:00 PM  
Blogger nige said...

I just watched the first video part 0, and was distracted completely by the fact that the Earth is shown rotating the wrong way. He shows the Earth's surface rotating towards the left. Any person on the planet that he shows rotating that way would see dawn breaking in the west and sunset in the east, so he should have the Earth rotating in the other direction.

December 01, 2007 12:32 AM  
Anonymous a quantum diaries survivor said...

Lol, nige, you get distracted by a really irrelevant detail. How about the fact that the animations showing the earth going back in time would have it spin the wrong way ?

Anyway, I think Adams' attempt is very interesting, and some of his videos are really striking - especially those of solar system bodies. He claims the big bang did not happen and that the expansion is due to pair production from energy, which places him in a highly crackpotty shelf, but he still has a point of two which need to be addressed...

Thanks kea (matti) for the videos.


December 01, 2007 9:55 AM  
Blogger Kea said...

Intersting, Carl. Matti, you are right that Adams should have left the tectonic theory alone. Nigel, why not download the video and play it in reverse? Adams does not claim to be a scientist. That does not mean his ideas are not interesting.

December 01, 2007 9:56 AM  
Blogger nige said...

Kea, ignoring the videos and just quoting from his main page,

"The Pangea theory says the Earth was assembled 4.5 billion years ago in a “universal instant” from debris … that was collected in our galaxy, to this size, (by a method that is never … I repeat never explained, why this assembly of material mysteriously ended at exactly this time, and didn’t continue to provide more material is a brutally illogical contradiction. Sometime in the previous 9 billion years, this stuff collected. Yet, for the last 4.5 billion years no new stuff collected, according to our 150 year old theory. How can that be? There is no possible explanation for this contradiction. It’s almost silly. It’s certainly naïve, but still it is one hundred and fifty years old.

"We are told this material is ‘star stuff’, from novas or super novas. If this wasn’t presented seriously, it would be funny. Why?

"We are told meteorites, comets and asteroids are left over material from this time, only less is going around now. Less … that the shoe-maker levy planets killer that struck Jupiter. Twenty one of them? Billion years ago they were bigger. But meteorites aren’t loosely assembled. They’re solid. Some are solid unrustable iron! This from a super-nova? Gigantic meteorites … floating around, waiting for gravity to come along?

"Let’s clear some thing up. The only kind of meteorites that we’ve identified to be 4.5 billion years old are colondrite meteorites. Condrite meteorites are assembled from mineral dust and pencil tip tiny meteorites called chondrules. More importantly, chondrite meteorites cannot assemble, accrete on a gravitational body … like a planet or a sun! So where did they come from? Where did all the other meteorites come from?

"Contradiction upon contradiction, upon contradiction. It’s a wrong theory. It’s an old outworn theory, and it contradicts itself."

That's even less readable. The first paragraph I quote above keeps saying that nobody has ever explained why the Earth and solar system formed 4,540 million years ago. Then in the the next paragraphs he contradicts himself by saying that the mainstream answer is the supernova theory, which he doesn't bother to explain but tries to ridicule. The relatively few falling iron containing meteorites today is due to the fact that we're standing on a compactified lump of them, the Earth. Most of the supernova debris has been collected into planets and the asteroid belt.

The evidence in favour of a supernova explosion shortly before the Earth formed 4,540 million years ago is compelling from the natural radioactivity distribution in the Earth. Earth is basically a giant fallout particle, as people like Edward Teller first pointed out over fifty years ago:

‘Dr Edward Teller remarked recently that the origin of the earth was somewhat like the explosion of the atomic bomb...’

– Dr Harold C. Urey, The Planets: Their Origin and Development, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1952, p. ix.

‘It seems that similarities do exist between the processes of formation of single particles from nuclear explosions and formation of the solar system from the debris of a supernova explosion. We may be able to learn much more about the origin of the earth, by further investigating the process of radioactive fallout from the nuclear weapons tests.’

– Dr P.K. Kuroda, ‘Radioactive Fallout in Astronomical Settings: Plutonium-244 in the Early Environment of the Solar System,’ Radionuclides in the Environment (Dr Edward C. Freiling, Symposium Chairman), Advances in Chemistry Series No. 93, American Chemical Society, Washington, D.C., 1970.

I don't see any science in the "Panthalassa" claim:

"We … I … argue that, that this outer crust originally covered the whole of a smaller Earth and the Earth sphere grew. The outer crust, therefore, had to crack and spread to accommodate a growing Earth…which…it apparently did."

The rate of growth due to accretion of debris by the Earth, with respect to the rate of cooling of the Earth, determines when the first crust formed. When the impact rate was still extremely high, the Earth's surface would be hot and molten, with no crust formed. This guy is just speculating without having any evidence, calculations, etc., to support his ideas.

I'm not a scientist myself according to any accepted definition, but I think that anybody who wants to blow apart mainstream mythology should ensure that they are focussing on mainstream mythology to begin with (like string theory), and not just ridicule fact-based physics about the Earth sciences when they haven't checked the facts carefully. Where he writes:

"Granitic rock cannot subduct as geologists insist the oceanic plate does, because it’s too light! This is fact!

"This alone disproves the pangea theory! Granitic rock cannot subduct. Yet, three quarters, twenty one continents worth, is gone! Simply gone. No explanation!"

he needs to prove that granite can't be subducted! I don't agree because rocks tend to get mixed up in layers due to sedimentation at the sea bed, and granite will just be one layer of rock. There is no centrigugal mechanism that can separate out lighter rock types once they have all been compressed under enormous water pressure for immense periods of time under the oceans. But I'm writing too much already just about the nonsense I've seen in a few minutes of scrolling down the page, and it's better maybe that my reservations are ignored as crazy.

I'm glad that others enjoy this stuff more than I do.

December 02, 2007 8:28 AM  
Blogger nige said...

typo: "centrifugal mechanism"

December 02, 2007 8:31 AM  

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