This page contains my posts in the sci.geo.geology newsgroup and later responses to the comments. I have edited some of the posts to improve the clarity.
Initial post on 29 Mar 2001
What supports the concept of Expanding Earth?
Concept of Expanding Earth, widely known as EE, appears to be dependent on limited data and literally ignores enormous amount of data that contradicts the basis of this concept. Following is the analysis of this concept, which claims as a contender to the concept of Plate Tectonics.
EE: This concept states that the continental crust covered all the Earth before the Jurassic period and the subsequent breakup of the crust started the movement of the plates.
Fact: It is true that Atlantic opened in the Jurassic period, but the land was not united before this period. Pangaea broke up long ago around 250 Ma and opened the Mediterranean Sea. Northward movement of the Africa and India closed most of this vast ocean. Plate tectonics started on earth around 2800 Ma and completed six cycles and we are in the seventh cycle. EE model literally ignores all this Paleomagnetic evidence. Sedimentary boundaries are the result of breakup and collision of tectonic plates. Existence of sedimentary layers before the Jurassic period is a clear indication to the ongoing plate movements before this period.
EE: This concept appears to be dependent on the literal interpretation of the Genesis version of creation.
Fact: Even the Genesis and other ancient texts clearly mentioned that the post flood scenario as the seventh Earth. There were six more earths before this flood and a global ocean separated every earth. Earlier global oceans were same as the global deluge that separated the sixth and seventh Earths. The past six earths are coinciding with the past six Supercontinent cycles. Seventh Earth is the present seventh Supercontinent cycle.
And above all there is no substantial proof for the generation of mass.
There is no doubt that these ancient texts were changed their original form due to the repeated rewriting and copying of these texts. Left over text was erroneously interpreted and explained the same as science. Ancient texts might have described the facts in their original form. Science was advancing towards that realization. Supporters of these ancient texts criticized the science because in their opinion it opposes the views described in those texts. Science is also definitely wrong in criticizing these events with its present concepts.
Comment: There is a proof to the expansion of Earth.
Response: I don't have any objection to accept the expansion of Earth if it has a proof. Expansion has been described as the cause for the movement of the plates. It is a well known fact that the earth undergone multiple Supercontinent cycles. If the expansion is causing the plate movements, certainly the earth has to shrink to converge the continents back as another Supercontinent.
Science is always open for criticism. If the earth is expanding and it has the supporting data, everybody will accept that. I am absolutely not against the concept of expanding earth, I am just asking for the data. You don't even has to show the data, prove it using the existing basic principles of science. In that case, nobody will argue about the possibility of the expansion. One day we may find the supporting data for this concept.
But in the present case:
- there is no supporting data for expanssion
- no supporting principles for the mass generation or loss of mass
- they thought ancient texts were with tthem but the texts were revealing different story
- moreover there is lot of data against this concept.
My first question is without any possibility, why some people are supporting this concept? What the people wants to achieve with the concept of expanding Earth?
Facts are Earth is not young, plate movements didn't start around the Jurassic period, ancient texts are right to some extent but they were misinterpreted.
Comment: There are many other versions of the expanding Earth.
Response: It is interesting to know that there are lot of versions in support of the expanding Earth concept. I like to know the mechanism behind these concepts. It appears that these theories are largely dependent on the data from the opening of the Atlantic ocean. Can any of these concepts also explain the earth history from 4500 Ma to yesterday?
Any references to that kind of expanding theory?
Comment: There are multiple references to the expanding Earth in the journals.
Response: Thanks for the extensive list. I will look into the papers accessible to me and post my opinions. I hope you read all or most of those papers. I will try to write a brief history of the earth and I request you to write the history of the earth for the same period using the expansion concept. That gives me and others a glance of what is it all about.
4500 Ma: Proto type of planets formed and the solar system emerged from the gas dust. Around the same period, probably a bigger object collided with the Earth and ejected the mass that eventually formed as a Moon.
2800 Ma: Period between 4500-2800 witnessed an heavy bombardment of the comets and asteroids and probably increased the size of the Earth with the addition of the mass. By this time Earth got differentiated and started generating heat in its core. Crust broke apart and started the plate tectonics on the earth to dissipate the heat in the earth.
From this point of time, after every 400-450 my, Supercontinent formed and broke apart. In this process oceans closed and opened probably six times and we are in the seventh cycle where the oceans are currently open. All these seven Supercontinents has indications of global ice ages and continental flooding.
Can you post the history of the earth in terms of expansion concept? Include some facts about when the expansion started and at what rate it is expanding and if possible future predictions.
Comment: Continents started dispersing in the Jurassic period.
Response: Jurassic period is not at all a significant part of the earth history. There is no evidence, which makes it outstanding from all the previous history. Permian extinction is more extensive than the one happened in the beginning of the Jurassic period.
What supports the concept of Expanding Earth?
In this post I tried to make a legitimate enquiry into the concept of Expanding Earth. This should not be treated as an end of the alternative theories to the plate tectonics. I just only pointed out the inconsistencies in those concepts.
Plate tectonics not only explains the data we observed so far but also surprisingly in accordance with the observations of the ancient cultures. An established theory gets into trouble when it can’t explain a new set of data. An alternative theory gets momentum when it explains all the data observed so far and the new data, which was not explained by the established theory. At present, none of the alternative concepts are at the stage to eliminate the plate tectonics.
I like to thank everybody participated in this discussion.
Second post with a reply on 14 May 2001:
Reply to the discussion on the Expanding Earth.
Objection to PT: Upper Triassic Trans Pacific biotic links suggests that the Pacific was also opened in the Jurassic period along with the Atlantic ocean on a small Earth where the continental crust was covered completely.
Ref: Shields, O. (1998) "Upper Triassic pacific vicariance as a test of geological theories" Journal of Biogeography 25, 203-211
I agree that plate tectonics should explain the facts observed by the Shields. In the article, Shields did mention about the continental rifting and flood basalts as a cause for the higher content of green house gases and the higher sea level in the Triassic period. In each of the continental rifting episodes described by the plate tectonics, there is an evidence of flood basalts in that region. If the continental crust was covered the whole Earth in the Triassic period, and the Pacific is opened in the later period then where are the flood basalts associated with the Australia and S. America breakup, India and Americas breakup, Asia and the Americas breakup? Comparatively, with whole crust hypothesis, Pacific expanded more than the Atlantic. Where are the signs of rapid spreading within the Pacific Ocean?
Recent objection to PT: Double planet system collided around 250 ma and salinity of the oceans started from that point (Thread: Journey to the center of the earth).
Salinity of the ocean content is not at all an objection to the plate tectonics. Salinity of the oceans increases from one Supercontinent to another Supercontinent. Breakup of the Supercontinent and the subsequent harsh conditions clears the ocean water from all kinds of dissolved elements. Banded Iron formations, Cap carbonates and other deposits on the shallow oceans are the result of this process. Addition of the fresh water from melting ice sheets of the global ice age forms as a fresh ocean after the breakup of the Supercontinent. This same feature was probably explained as the salty ocean and then a fresh ocean separated each Earth in the ancient Hebrew texts. Plate tectonics resets the salinity of the ocean water to zero after every 400 to 450 my and it happened seven times in the history of the Earth. That’s why even though the earth was formed around 4500 ma, the oceans were not saturated with the Sodium Chloride or with any other element. Plate tectonics not only protects the oceans from being excessive saline but also repaves the continental landmass with massive erosion and sedimentation.
Triassic period started immediately after the Supercontinental breakup. It means Triassic ocean probably was less saline or in other words contained fresh water. Appearance of fresh water biota on the circumference of the fresh water ocean is very much possible. This sufficiently explains the Shields objection to plate tectonics, the trans-pacific upper Triassic fresh water biotic links.
Comment: Whole of the Pacific ocean floor is younger than 180 my.
Response: What about the Pacific region above the East Pacific rise and below the Gorda ridge? There is no ridge in the ocean to attribute for the sea floor formation, how did the pacific floor formed in this region?
According to EE, Gorda plate is all about 200 my of spreading happened at the East side of the Gorda ridge. At present the Pacific plate is bigger and Gorda plate is very small. Why there is a difference in the floor formation? Every other ridge is almost equidistance from the continental landmasses. The age of the plate adjoining the N. American plate should also be 200 my old. But I don't think the ocean floor is that much old.
According to your explanation, San Andreas fault created the pacific ocean floor. Can a fault create a new ocean floor? According to PT, mid-ocean ridge migrated towards the trench and merged with it forming the fault. All the crust on the Eastern side of this ridge got subducted and what is remaining is the western side of the ocean floor, i.e., the Pacific ocean.
There is no evidence for the formation of oceanic crust all along these 200 my to the east of the fault. How is this possible for a ridge to create the ocean floor on only one side? Fact is all the plate to the east of this fault got subducted and the slabs are sinking into the mantle under the N. America. From these slabs it is clearly evident that the Pacific was wider than the present size in the ancient times. Ridge passes through the land at Iceland but it never stopped spreading.
Comment: Continental rifting episodes on the circumference of the Pacific Ocean.
Response: My point is about initial stages of the continental rifting. Central Atlantic Magmatic Province, North Atlantic Magmatic Province, Karoo-Ferrar magmatism, Deccan traps all these continental rifting episodes appears to be not relevant to EE. Even Shields also did mention about flood basalt volcanism and continental rifting.
As we have LIPS on the continental regions, LIPS also forms on the ocean floor in association with the rifting in the ocean floor. Rifting in the ocean floor takes place when the subduction initiates at any of the adjoining trenches.
LIPS are oceanic and continental flood basalts. I believe all the LIPS on the Pacific floor are oceanic flood basalts and I am looking for continental flood basalts on the continents encircling the Pacific ocean. There are no continental flood basalts on the circumference of the Pacific ocean.
Regarding the heat that produced these flood basalts ...
In my view, flood basalts are the result of reduced rate of seafloor spreading. Increased pressure in the mantle forms as a superplume and lays these extensive basaltic provinces.
In the initial stages of the plate tectonics (continental drift), similar climatic environments and fossil record on different land masses was considered as the evidence to the continental drift. Later it has grown to a level of understanding this phenomena as a physical process with multiple evidences. All the Shields objections are valid. The answer to these objections could be a different one other than the expanding Earth.
In your earlier references for EE, you gave a paper in Nature by J. Tuzo Wilson. Later Wilson abandoned the EE and became one of the originator of the PT. How can you justify that Wilson supported the EE all along his career? Things are changing with the observed facts. If you don't think my views are serious, we can end this thread. You have every right to support the expanding Earth.
Thanks for your responses ...
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Last modified on 25 June, 2001.