So I no longer believe the bible creation myth, but I have stubled across a rising theary about how the continents got to where they are now, that I hadn't heard of before and wanted to share with others here to get input and feedback on this. Please watch the youtube video below for an introduction to this theory.
This seems to make a lot of sense to me even though I can't put my finger on it. What does anyone else think?
Cool. I heard about this a couple of years ago when I listened to an interview with Neal Adams.
I'm studying to be an earth and space science teacher, science and astronomy are my passions, so forgive me for really getting into this. :) Skip to the end if you want the short version.
From his interview, I gathered that his primary reason for proposing this theory seems to be that it just "makes more sense." It was easier for him to visualize a growing planet than it was to visualize a super-continent that broke apart and drifted around the globe. A growing earth was just more appealing to him than an earth with continents floating on top of dense magma.
Beginning with this "more reasonable" model (keep in mind that Adams is a comic book artist by profession) he went hunting for evidence and theories that would support it. He admits he's only an artist, not a scientist, and he doesn't do the "math" or any of that other sciencey stuff... he just theorizes based on what "looks good" to him. He thinks that having an outsiders, laypersons perspective, he can see something obvious about the universe that scientists, too stuck in their specialized fields and rigid boxes, can never find. Which is an attractive idea, but also rather naive. I'm reminded of a debate I once had with a creationist who laughed at the idea that astronomers could measure the distance to stars. ("Has anyone flown out there with a measuring tape?!") It seemed ridiculous to him that we could figure out how far away they are, but it's only because he wasn't aware of parallax and basic trigonometry. The layman's approach just isn't sufficient when it comes to examining and discovering much of this stuff. Adams would have us believe that everything we think we know about physics, cosmology, and biology through 150 years of testing and study is fundamentally wrong because it "doesn't make sense" to him.
He's begun with his conclusion that a growing earth makes more sense, and then he goes backwards to find anything that would support it. This is one of the hallmarks of bad science. It's too easy to cherry-pick the information you want, while ignoring mountains of evidence that contradicts you.
But his idea isn't really even internally consistent. For example, he proposes that there is no such thing as gravity, but instead there is only electromagnetism keeping planets in orbit. But he also proposes there is no iron core within the Earth, which would make such electromagnetic attraction far more difficult, to say nothing of why all objects, regardless of how magnetic they are, all fall at the same rate. But he's forced to get rid of gravity because if all objects are growing in mass, the increasing gravity would have pulled the moon into the earth and the earth into the sun long ago.
His model does not answer any questions that the standard model doesn't address. We have no reason to adopt his model over the standard one.
He has no real evidence to support his model. He offers the fossil record, such as marsupials, but the existing model of continental drift already explains this just fine. He offers sea floor core samples, but again, the existing model of continental drift already explains this. When asked if he could propose some sort of test, experiment, or discovery that would demonstrate the earth was expanding rather than continents simply drifting, he couldn't think of one.
He keeps asserting that subduction doesn't happen, that it can't happen, and that it's unreasonable. He never really explains why. But more than that... it most certainly does. We know exactly where the subduction zones are, what they're doing, and how quickly they're moving.
He suggests that scientists must dogmatically deny that the earth is growing, but that's just silly. Scientists love discovering new things, and they love being proven wrong about existing ideas. Whoever could turn the entire scientific community on it's head with a new and revolutionary discovery becomes the next Galileo, Newton, or Einstein. There is no reason at all for scientists to adhere to the "status quo" if they could become the next revolutionary. Indeed, this is part of how science WORKS. Covering up evidence to maintain an existing theory is anti-science and self-defeating.
He suggests that scientists can't accept this new theory because it would throw almost all of existing science out the window. That would be quite a discovery, and anyone who could do it would be in the history books for the next 1,000 years. But of course, this is ALSO why we should be very critical of this theory. Debunking a century and a half of physics, cosmology, and biology would require an inordinate amount of evidence. Whatever new model could do that would have to explain EVERYTHING that current science explains, but do it better, as well as offer answers to existing problems. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
He looks at Mars and says that it doesn't have subduction zones, therefore Earth shouldn't have any, either. But Mars isn't geologically active, and it has no oceans to "grease" continental drift. Of course it doesn't have subduction zones. This is like saying an apple couldn't grow on trees because when we look at potatoes, they clearly grow in the ground, and "you can't have it both ways."
He never explains where the water comes from. His mechanism for the generation of new matter is based on a flawed misunderstanding, and even if true, still wouldn't make sense because according to his idea, new matter would be generated in equal amounts everywhere, all throughout space. It wouldn't only be welling up inside of existing planets.
Sorry for the really long response to this, but it's fun and really interesting to look at this stuff.
Short version: No. It breaks all of science that we know without proposing anything new or compelling to replace it with.
Well it has all the earmarks of a classic crackpot theory--complete with the claim that scientists know but are too afraid. The Rossini is a nice touch though. The question that immediately comes to mind is what could possibly account for the expansion? I'm sure they have a far-fetched explanation; they always do.
He doesn't have a mechanism. He tried to propose one that has something to do with the collision of matter and antimatter, but it doesn't make any sense. He thinks that when matter and antimatter collide, they produce more matter, but all we ever observe in that collision is a lot of energy and radiation.