Peter Lamb Eggshaped antediluvian world This is the refutation of Ted's earlier, nearident

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Peter Lamb Egg-shaped antediluvian world Organization: CSIRO Division of Information Technology From: prl@csis.dit.csiro.au (Peter Lamb) Message-ID: 1992Sep24.001809.11850@csis.dit.csiro.au Newsgroups: talk.origins This is the refutation of Ted's earlier, near-identical posting from his "Categories of evidence series of postings". hte>Path: csis!cs.anu.edu.au!manuel!munnari.oz.au!uunet!fedfil!news hte>From: news@fedfil.UUCP (news) hte>Newsgroups: talk.origins hte>Subject: 5'th Category of evidence / perceived gravity and continental hte>drift hte>Message-ID: <2823@fedfil.UUCP> hte>Date: 19 Jul 92 12:17:28 GMT hte>Organization: HTE hte>Lines: 186 hte>A recent issue of the Aeon journal, which concerns itself with hte>the nature of the antedeluvian world, carried my article concerning hte>sauropod dinosaurs, as well as a somewhat longer and more interesting hte>article by Lynn Rose involving continental drift theory. The Aeon journal issue is in fact not all that recent. It's from about the middle of 1991, and Ted regaled us with exactly the same stuff about Rose's paper[1] in September 91. As of March this year the following issue of Aeon had not appeared, so we may be permitted to hope that the magazine may have folded. Rose uses old sources (all > 20 yrs old). He excuses this with: "A number of other sources (including more recent ones) have been consulted and could have been cited ... (In any event, continental drift theory has not changed radically during the 1970's and 1980's)"[1] p6. I guess this is largely to avoid the confirmation of many of the things which Rose wishes to regard as mere speculations in his sources. Of course one of the reasons that plate tectonics (which is not the same as the original continental drift theories) has not changed in the past 20 years is that overwhelming bulk of the evidence that has been collected in that time is consistent with the theory. hte> The average hte>viewer of these groups will be vaguely aware that continents are thought hte>to have drifted over the last 200 million years or so, but is probably hte>unaware of the rather startling configuration which they are thought to hte>have been in 100 - 200 million years ago. I think that many, if not most, readers of t.o have seen maps of the probable shape of Pangaea. hte>This picture has been painstakingly peiced together from data involving hte>the fits of the various continental borders. The most striking feature hte>of the entire picture is the Sea of Tethys, a monstrous intrusion into hte>the very center of the all-continent mass which leads a viewer to see a hte>missing wedge; the entire configuration resembles nothing so much as a hte>pac-man with its mouth agape. hte>Lynn Rose noted several glaring problems with this arrangement, and hte>suggested a novel way of solving them. The problems included: hte>1. That the continents were all clumped into a single mass in the first hte>place. No force exists at present which might ever draw them all hte>together, and the odds of them all merely drifting together for no hte>reason are greater than 64 - 1, which would be the odds against them hte>ever merely appearing in the same hemisphere for no real reason. Odds of one in 64 (63-1) are not that bad. However, the odds as stated are irrelevant. They assume independent motion of all the continents, and represent only the probability that _at_any_single_instant_ all the continents will be in the southern hemisphere. None of the assumptions is true, not even the implicit one that the number of present continents is equal to the number of tectonic plates. hte>2. If, as seems overwhelmingly likely, some force drew the continents hte>into one place, then that force should have drawn them into a circular hte>mass. The sea of Tethys is an anomaly, which clearly does not belong in hte>the picture. This is the big problem, and the main one which Rose solves. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ The only change between Ted's July posting and his September one is dropping this sentence. Does this mean that Ted no longer thinks that Rose "solves" this non-problem? No single force "drew" the continents. They were transported on the underlying plate, and the plate was pushed, rather than pulled. Even assuming a single force, there is no a priori reason for assuming it to have been symmetrical. What Ted is doing here is inserting one of his own assumptions unspoken; that the single force was due to gravitational attraction of a nearby large planet. Ted likes it to be Saturn, I believe, but Rose seems to think it was Saturn more recently, and Uranus sometime before that. hte>3. Given uniformitarian views, if we assume the system to be 7 B years hte>old, our earth should have been in equalibrium even 200 M years ago. This is of course nonsense; there is an energy source driving the motion of the continents, the heat generated by the decay of radioactive elements in the earth. hte> If hte>some force existed then to draw the continents together into Pangeae, hte>and if that force were terrestrial, then clearly Pangeae should still hte>exist. There was no single force, the forces were terrestrial (or rather subterranean), and it is not at all clear that Pangaea (only one of them is proposed, Ted) should exist, since the forces posited for the breakup of Pangaea can still be observed, and they are still moving the continents about. Residents of California should be all too aware of this. hte> The relatively minor catastrophes which establishment science hte>presently allows for as per the case of the Alverez version of the hte>dinosaur extinctions should by no means have broken up Pangeae. I wouldn't have called the collision of a large meteorite with the earth which caused the extinction of a large proportion of species a "minor catastrophe". At least everything in Alverez' theory is consistent with physics. hte>4. As all who have downloaded my little file and viewed it have seen, hte>India starts out on one shore of the Sea of Tethys and moves to the hte>other. According to current theory, again as per "Continents Adrift", hte>India can barely make it over that distance even in the greatest version hte>of the allowed time involved; it should be on the ocean floor. Rose hte>goes into some detail on this point. Well, Ted, I don't know which "little file" you're referring to. I guess from the context it's Rose's Figure 3, a copy of the diagram entitled "After 20 million years of drift" from Deitz & Holden[3]. Ted says of this "India can barely make it over that distance...[in] the allowed time"; well naturally, if it were going faster or slower it would be in a different place! As for Rose's "detail", yes, it is more detailed, but almost all wrong. Lets have a look at it: "Not only do Deitz and Holden [[3] here -prl] refer to India's journey as `rapid' and `remarkable' but they are also obliged to attribute it to `favorable' and even `ideal' conditions; they say that the Indian plate was `nearly a perfect rectangle' that `glided freely along parallel "megashears" ...' ... All this seems rather implausible, to say the least"[1] pp 9-10. It should be noted that it is not unusual for neighbouring "megashears" (or transform faults) to be near-parallel; any map of present tectonic features will verify this at a glance. Rose could have seen this if he looked at the map "Ocean Geology" in [2] (which he refers to). He also claims: "Xavier LePinchon suggests that if India's speed were in excess of 5 or 6 cm/yr, then the entire Indian plate would have been subducted into the Earth's mantle." This is what Ted means when he says "[India] should be on the ocean floor" above. Ted is here either misquoting his own source, or doesn't understand the difference between being on the ocean floor a' la Atlantis and being subducted into the mantle. The attempts to explain this last September by a number of t.o irregulars were obviously to no avail. He then wishes to use this figure as some sort of continental speed limit, even though Bullard[1] tells him that "the speed of spreading on each side of a mid-ocean ridge [can be] as much as 8 cm/yr [Bullard is discussing _current_ rates -prl]". In McKenzie & Sclater[4] (not quoted by Rose), there is a more detailed description of India's travels over the last 75 million years, measured from seafloor magnetic anomalies. Far from 6cm/yr being enforced by the Geophysical Police, India moved at up to 16cm/yr, sometimes, too more slowly or not moving at all. It is not at all certain why Rose thinks that there is some sort of limit of 6cm/yr on the motion of the Indian plate. Le Pichon[9] says: "As the differential movement of compression between two blocks increases, the associated surface compressional features apparently become larger and reach a maximum for a rate of movement of about 5-6 cm/yr (Himalayas). At larger rates, the lithosphere sinks along an active trench, and the associated surface features are tensional instead of compressional. The narrow range of rates of differential movement associated with the trenches where active thrusting of the tectosphere occurs (6-9 cm/yr) may be one of the significant results of this study." What this says is that where two plates meet, movement of more than 5-6cm/yr can't be accomodated by folding or similar processes, and one side of the join subducts and forms a trench. This is exactly what is shown in Dietz & Holden[3] for the time that India was moving faster than 6cm/yr. The *plate* was being subducted, of course, but India was a long way from the trench at the time, and so was not subducted. hte>Rose mentions one other very major problem with continental drift theory hte>which is more properly a part of another article. Please spare us. hte> Rose derives evidence hte>that two prior ages have existed, one, the so-called "Age of Cronus" of hte>the Greeks and Romans during which the felt effect of gravity was hte>heavily attenuated by the different planetary allignment, and a prior hte>age, that of Pangeae, during which the effect was even more hte>pronounced. During both ages, the earth was egg shaped, considerably hte>more so in the age of Pangeae. hte>Rose's solution to the aforementioned problems: imagine a half of a hte>grapefruit skin sitting atop a basketball (our egg-shaped world), and hte>then inagine that a catastrophe occurred dduring which this felt effect hte>of OTHER gravity, from the small-star or large panet(s) was reduced, hte>which amounts to imagining that somebody pushed the half grapefruit skin hte>down atop the surface of the basketball, thus forcing it to lie atop a hte>surface of lesser curvature. The skin of the grapefruit half would hte>split into something very like the Sea of Tethys. Ah yes, the "squashed grapefruit" theory of geological history... Since Ted repeats himself on this one later in his posting, I'll tackle it there. hte>What Rose is saying is that the Tethys Sea never existed, and that we hte>are only forced to imagine it's having existed by our insistence on hte>believing that the world was always round as it is now. hte>................................................................... hte>................................................................... hte>Lynn Rose mentions one final problem involved with continental hte>drift theory, and this involves the present fits of the Red Sea hte>shores and the shores of the Gulf of Aden. Both fits are quite hte>good; you can join the shores of the Red Sea, or of the gulf, BUT hte>ONLY ONE AT A TIME; if you join the shores of the Red Sea, the hte>shores of the Gulf will be open by about 20 degrees, and vice- hte>versa. Basically what you have is like two letter "V"'s connected hte>at their vertices, one something like 110 degrees and the other hte>something like 90. This ammounts to a dilemma on the map of the hte>world. Given our earth as it presently exists, such a split could hte>not happen. There is no problem here. Rose let himself get misled by a misprint in the caption to the diagram "Fit of Shorelines" in Bullard's paper[2], where it says: "Fit of shorelines of Arabia and Africa works out most successfully if the African [should read Arabian - prl] coast is left intact and the Arabian [should read African - prl] coast is superposed in two separate pieces." That this is a misprint is clear from the text on page 73 of the article (the page number in the original Sci Am issue, not in the reprint collection). Ted is steadfastly refusing to take into account the fact that three rift systems meet near the Afar triangle. That Bullard's reconstruction is reasonable can easily be demonstrated by taking Bullard's "Fit of shorelines" map above (or any otherdetailed map of the Red Sea/Arabia/ Ethiopia, enlarging it to a convenient size, then: cut along the northern shorline of the Gulf of Aden, then cut along the eastern shoreline of the Red Sea and up the Gulf of Aquba (the eastern branch of the Red Sea), and on towards the Dead Sea and Sea of Galilee (up the Levantine Rift). Then cut down through the inland apex of the Afar Triangle towards the lakes in the East African Rift towards the south-west. The cuts along the shorelines make it easier to see the coastline matches. The actual rifts are in the middle of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. Now the rifting can be reconstructed: Slide Arabia west of southwards down the Levantine rift until the northern end of the red sea is closed, then rotate it slightly to match the Arabian coastline. The point of Arabia fits over the Afar Triangle. Now slide and rotate the horn of Africa down along the East African rift, and close the rift. The Arabian coastline now matches the coast of the Horn of Africa, and we have achieved Ted's impossibility. All the motions in doing this are consistent with known geological activity and magnetic evidence. Bullard[1] predicted that the Afar Triangle (which is covered by Arabia in all the above) "is in some sense oceanic. The results of gravity surveys, seismic measurements and drilling will be awaited with interest"[1]. This is confirmed by Tazieff[3]. See also Bonatti[5], [10], Courtillot and Vink[11] and Sullivan[7]. hte>Lynn Rose presents evidence for the existence of two prior ages; hte>the evidence involving Pangea involves a long distant and remote hte>age, posssibly the age of the seizemosaur and other really gigantic hte>beasts. The evidence involving the Africa/Arabia split involves a hte>much more recent and historical age, the time of the Greek Golden hte>Age and of the biblical antediluvians. hte>Lynn Rose sees in this evidence an indication as to the actual hte>location of the mythical garden of Eden, the home of Adam and Eve, hte>and the way in which all of this fits together is interesting. There is no evidence. Only Rose's and your misinterpretations. hte>I do not claim to know what is meant by claims of hte>Adam and Eve having been the first two people. It is possible that hte>God actually created them as written, it is also possible that hte>prior people more closely resembled bears or gorillas or hte>neanderthals, and that "first people" once meant something more hte>like "first such as us". Possible also is "first caucasians"... hte>who knows. But too much is written of Adam and Eve and in too many hte>places to lightly regard them as mythical figures. In many of hte>these sources, we find mentioned a "holy mountain"; it is written hte>that Adam and Eve and Seth and Seth's descendants lived upon the hte>holy mountain, and that Cain and his descendants descended and hte>began to live below. This is so vague I don't know what to make of it. Thinking of Adam and Eve as "caucasians" is odd, and possibly, as another poster has pointed out, racist. hte>Lynn Rose, of course, has given us an indication as to what the hte>"holy mountain" might have been, basically, the high part of the hte>egg-shaped world which existed prior to the great flood. Ah yes, the egg-shaped world. Rose's argument here for the Afar region is based entirely on his misreading of the caption that I mentioned earlier. He seems to think that any movement of the Horn of Africa would be "ruinous for drift theory", when in fact motion of the Horn and the East African rift are explicitly mentioned in Bullard: "there must have been an opening of the East African rift valley by 65km or so". hte>Rose proposes the world mountain (of the age of Kronos) to have hte>been based within the Afar Triangle. He proposes something akin to hte>a half a grapefruit sitting atop a basketball (for the purpose of hte>conceptualization and not necessarily to scale) as having been the hte>former situation, and then (when the whole thing fell at the end of hte>the golden age), surface splitting would occur with the skin of the hte>half grapefruit being suddenly forced to lie flat upon the surface hte>of lesser curvature. If two such splits thus occurred, as easily hte>might happen, then you would see just such an impossible split as hte>we see between Africa and Arabia now. The splits between Africa and Arabia are completely consistent with plate tectonics, and are often quoted as excellent examples of the process happening now. Rose[1, fig 7] in fact reconstructs the region successfully in exactly the way I described above (and is described in Bullard[2] and several of the other papers in the references), though he thinks that this is somehow new. hte>Rose states that rough figures show an earth eccentricity between hte>.3 and .4 and a world mountain of several hundred kilometers height hte>being needed for the African, East African, and Arabian plates to hte>fit, closing the rift valley and other problems along with the hte>afore-mentioned Red-Sea/Gulf-of-Aden anomaly. There is, of course, no such anomaly to explain, but even given that, I have a problem with Rose's eccentricity (the double entendre is deliberate). "I found that the height of the World Mountain would have to be on the order of several hundred kilometers above the present surface in order for the ... plates to have fit, and that the Earth's eccentricity would have to have been between 0.3 and 0.4."[1] Now, why do we get numbers for the eccentricity, but not for the height of the mountain? The height of the mountain is never given anywhere in the paper. During the "Age of Kronos", it's "several hundred kilometers", during the "Age of Uranus", "well over one thousand kilometers". If we take eccentricity e = (Rbig - Rsmall)/Rbig and use the current earth radius as Rsmall (6300km), then Rbig for e=0.3 is 9000km, and the mountain is 2700km tall. If instead we use e = (Rbig - Rsmall)/Rsmall, the mountain is 1200km tall. Both are more than a mere "few hundred kilometers". Perhaps Rose means something else by eccentricity, but he doesn't say what. hte>Climbing our present mountains is tough enough; climbing up or hte>down a mountain such as Rose describes would be a major-league big hte>deal. The equilibrium surface of such a mountain (if it could somehow be made to exist without destroying the planet) would lie on a gravitational equipotential. The "slope" of the mountain in gravitational terms is non-existent. hte> Does literature record any such notion? In "The Forgotten hte>Books of Eden" Bell, (ed. R.H. Platt Jr.), pp 76 - 78 we find: hte> "But then Genun [of the children of Cain living below] hte> gathered together companies upon companies, that played on hte> horns and on all the other instruments that we have already hte> mentioned, at the foot of the holy mountain, and they did so hte> in order that the children of Seth who were on the holy hte> mountain should hear it. hte> But when the children of Seth heard the noise they wondered hte> and came by companies, and stood on the top of the mountain to hte> look at those below, and they did thus for a whole year... hte> ...Then the children of Cain looked up from below, and saw hte> thge children of Seth standing in troops on the top of the hte> mountain, and they called to them to come down to them. hte> But the children of Seth said to them from above, " We don't hte> know the way"... Ummmm. It says "we don't know the way", not "it's too hard to climb". Where's the problem? hte>I should also mention that the capital of Yemen, opposite the Afar hte>Triangle which Rose cites as the former location of this holy hte>mountain, is called Aden. It thus appears that Adam and Eve and others hte>of the antedeluvians such as remained with them and their descendants hte>through Seth, lived in the vicinity of the Afar Triangle and of the city hte>of Aden. Rose never justifies his association of Aden with Eden, other than to say that Velikovsky said so in some notes which "have long remained unpublished"[1]. He simply leaves us to assume that there is a connection simply because of the similarity of the names. He doesn't even mention the meaning of the Arabic name 'Adan (the transliteration of Aden's Arabic name given in the Macquarie Atlas). hte>The Age of Kronos and the age of Pangaea do not appear to have been hte>the same. The Red Sea/Gulf of Aden splits were recent, Pangaea a hte>bit less recent. Rose mentions that the same construction he uses hte>to explain the Africa-Arabia fit will also work for Pangaea, thus hte>solving problems 2 and 4 by eliminating any need for a Sea of hte>Tethys in continental drift theory, but that the world mountain hte>you'd need would be larger, over 1000 km, with Earth's eccentricity hte>between .5 and .7. More of Rose's eccentricities. An eccentricity of 0.3 already gives a mountain much larger than 1000km. How big are the mountains and how does Rose define eccentricity? Ted also neglects to mention that Rose himself demonstrates that the "squashed grapefruit" world cannot exist. "What I have done is to pick values for the mass and distance at the time of Pangaea that would just satisfy the Roche limit (of about 80-85000km) and then to assume that those values would produce an eccentricity of 0.6. (Danby's formula, as it stands, would call for a Pangaea eccentricity of only about 0.195 and a golden age eccentricity of 0.131 [_where_ did 3 sig. figures suddenly spring from, since the mass of Saturn is a _conjecture_ of one-and-one half times present mass?]. Conversely, Danby's formula gives about 61000km for the distance needed for an eccentricity of 0.6 and about 73000km for an eccentricity of 0.36. Both of these distances are considerably _less_ than the Roche limit."[1] p21. The Roche limit is the smallest orbit that a body can have without tidal stresses destroying it. Ted has often been told on t.o that his schemes which gryate the Earth around Saturn producing huge lumps would tear the earth apart; here he has it affirmed by his own sources. hte>Before I lose track of it, I should also mention that Rose's novel hte>method of accounting for the splitting of continental plates, i.e. the hte>notion of a curved surface being forced to lie upon a world which is hte>suddenly less curved, will also account for a couple of other anomalies. hte>Mountains are generally thought to arise when continental plates collide hte>or shift over and under eachother, and yet we have cases of mountains, hte>such as the Urals, where nothing of the sort shows any evidence of ever hte>having occurred. Ted here is simply demonstrating that he and Rose never looked for any such evidence. Present continent != continental plate. I recommend Kropotkin[6] to them both: "Eurasia includes four Precambrian platforms: East European (or Russian), Siberian, Chinese and Indian" Kropotkin follows this up by a summary of the geological and geomagnetic data supporting his assertion. hte> Rose states that a highly curved surface suddenly hte>forced to lie upon a surface of lesser curvature, aside from splitting hte>as we have seen, could also wrinkle, thus forming mountains. Rose is correct at least in this. What he lacks is anything remotely resembling evidence that it actually happened. Peter Lamb (prl@csis.dit.csiro.au) [1] Rose, "The Afar Triangle As the Nether Reaches of Eden and Babel", Aeon, VII, n4, pp5-28. [2] E. Bullard, "The Origin of the Oceans", Scientific American, Sept 1969, pp66-75, Reprinted in "Continents Adrift", W.H. Freeman, 1972, pp 88-97. [3] Dietz & Holden, "The Breakup of Pangaea", Scientific American, Oct. 1970. pp30-41, Reprinted in "Continents Adrift", op cit, pp 102-113. [4] D. McKenzie & J. G. Sclater, "The Evolution of the Indian Ocean", Scientific American, May 1973, pp63-72. [5] E. Bonatti, "The Rifting of Continents", Scientific American, July 1987, pp74-81. [6] Kropotkin, P, "Eurasia as a Composite Continent", Tectonophysics, v12 1971, pp261-266. [7] Sullivan, W, "Continents in Motion", ed 2, American Institute of Physics, 1991. [8] Nance, R. D., T. R. Worsley & J. B. Moody, "The Supercontinent Cycle", Scientific American, Jul. 1988, pp72-9. [9] LePichon, "Sea-Floor Spreading and Continental Drift", Journal of Geophysical Research, V 72 # 12, 6/15/68 pp 3661-3697. [10] E. Bonatti et al, "Final Dessication of the Afar Rift", Science, 30 Apr 1971, vol 172, pp 468-9 [11] V. Courtillot & G. Vink, "How Continents Break Up", Scientific American, July 1983, pp41-47 (*) [12] Scientific American, July 1983, special issue on earth sciences (*). (*) The month may be wrong here, if unsuccessful, try September 1983. -- Peter Lamb (prl@csis.dit.csiro.au)

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