Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Expanding Earth Theory

The other day I asked a colleague what he was listening to and it turned out to be video by some guy named Neal Adams talking about his theory of an expanding earth. Naturally I thought, hmmm theres a kook for ya. But hey, I am willing to listen to such things, even if only for entertainment value. So I opened up the youtube video and watched it for myself.

Well, any new idea that I come across that is interesting to me becomes a sort of compulsion to learn more. This can really suck sometimes like when a coworker makes some crazy statement like "I love lamp" (Thats from a movie, and no lamp is not an acronym. I know this now...) So I look more into this theory and find that it really does explain some of the things that we see quite well. In fact, it explains some of what we see FAR better than the current accepted theory of plate subduction, a theory which I have always had issues with so maybe in a way I was already primed for a different theory.

The things that the EE theory explains well are Subduction (which it states simply doesn't happen except in minor areas) Continental Drift, the creation of mountains, and rather discredits the Pangaea theory.

Subduction: Mr Adams explains that the crust on the ocean floor is 2-5 miles thick on average and in order for subduction to truly occur the entire several miles would have to go essentially straight down into rock that is heavier than it is. Straight down because the continental plates are much deeper then the ocean plates. Adams also points to the map of the ocean floor (rather extensively) which uses core samples and dates NO part of the ocean floor as greater than 180 million years old. That is an odd thing if the earth is truly billions of years old.

Continental Drift: EE posits that the continents have drifted, not because of floating plates, but rather they are caused by rifts in what is now the ocean floor. These rifts are where magma is forced up and out of the core and literally pushes the older plate aside. EE states that this caused the breakup of the continents and has moved them to their current locations. This seems, to me, a better explanation of why we find fossils of tropical flora and fauna in Antarctica than current accepted theory.

Mountaining: Current theory teaches that mountains are created when plates collide and the crust buckles upwards, while at the same time one crust rides over the other. EE gives an alternate explanation. The growth of the earth has led to a "flatter" earth. By this I mean the the curve is no so great as it once was. This can be demonstrated by simply looking at two balls of differing size. A piece of tape placed on the smaller one will have to curve more than it would on the larger. So EE explains that this re-curving causes the continental plates to wrinkle or buckle, which results in the creation of mountains.

Pangaea: This of course is the theory that all the continents were one in the past. It is so easy to see that anyone can match them up and see that they link up almost like a puzzle. However, a rather large problem with this theory is that the entire worlds landmass being on the one side would give one side of the earth a much higher mass, meaning the center of gravity would shift. Water, always seeking the lowest place, would then shift to essentially cover Pangaea, actually leaving a part of the far side of the world high and dry. That certainly puts a bit of a damper in the whole evolution thing. After all, land animals don't evolve very well underwater. But what is really interesting is that the continents don't just line up on one side. They line up across the Pacific too! How does the Pangaea theory explain that? It doesn't. It doesnt even attempt to.

The problems with th Expanding Earth theory? Really only one. Where does this extra landmass come from? I haven't gotten to a satisfactory answer yet. And maybe there isn't a real satisfactory answer altho I intend to look for it. Now, some expansion is perhaps a very logical explanation. After all it doesn't take much imagination to see the core as being more dense and under great pressure and pushing some of that material upwards, thereby expanding the planet. But at some point it should come to a sort of equilibrium. My guess off the top of my head would be to say no more than 10% expansion by such a mechanism before it isn't possible. But that isn't what this theory posits. EE teaches that the expansion can be 100% or more from the original planetary size. A standard nickel-iron core simply wouldn't be able to create such vast expansion.

At the moment I am in my research on this, it seems they may believe in a plasma core (I am not certain on this) as well as energy thrown off from the sun. The idea of a plasma core is interesting and I haven't thought enough upon the idea or its implications to state on way or another. Just how energy dense is plasma? How dense is the plasma at the Earth's core? Since plasma is simply another state of matter, how much matter can that plasma create? What other ways might a planet have of gaining size?

Many questions at the moment, and I am not ready to believe it, but I must say that some of the evidence for it is compelling. Check out some of the animations that Neil Adams has produced. This animation of a moon is quite neat and it shows the rifts being closed and the land matching perfectly. The previous clip can be seen here along with other videos (requires Quicktime) The vids on Mars and the moon are worth watching also.

Let me know what you guys think.