The Myth of Pangaea


Pangaea.  The one, original continent.  The one all our current ones came from.  But it is a fantasy.

Take a look at this image.  You’ll recognize all our continents.  That should amaze you.

Pangaea image from Wikipedia“And why is that?” you may ask.

Because the continents have not always been as they are now.  The center of the US was all ocean at one point – maybe more than one – since the “time of Pangaea.”  There are fossils in the highest reaches of all the current mountain chains.  The Amazon basin is mostly river delta – especially that point that tucks so nicely into the western coast of Africa.  Heck, even that opart of Africa is the delta of the Congo River.  S that “match up” with the western coast of Africa?  Just a chimera in time, a coincidence.  Had we had maps of the Earth 65 million years ago, when the dinosaurs were disappearing, that coastline would have been far different, and that match up would be far less suggestive of Pangaea.  But the scientists build maps like the one here  and make careers based on nothing more substantial than what religions are based on – the belief that what they are taught is true.

Yes, scientists can get fooled.  They admit now that there is no aether, yet 130 years ago you’d have been considered a fool for suggesting differently.  Alfred Wegener himself, the brain behind continental drift, 100 years ago, was himself considered a fool.

Just because we can detect that continents are moving does not in any way dictate that they all had one common source.  In fact, according to the common thinking Pangaea was itself not the beginning.  I looked it up just now.  Pangaea, they say, was just a temporary collection of continents (from about 600-540 million years ago, its predecessor, Pannotia existed, only to be broken up into what they have named Laurentia, Baltica and Gondwanaland.  Not until about 440 million BCE did Pangaea begin to form.)  And before Pannotia, there were other “supercontinents,” according to the present thinking.

(Wikipedia) …Baltica, Laurentia, and Avalonia all came together by the end of the Ordovician to form a minor supercontinent called Euramerica or Laurussia, closing the Iapetus Ocean. The collision also resulted in the formation of the northern Appalachians. Siberia sat near Euramerica, with the Khanty Ocean between the two continents. While all this was happening, Gondwana drifted slowly towards the South Pole. This was the first step of the formation of Pangaea.

The Ordovician began 488 million years ago and lasted until 445 million years ago.  Let’s keep that age in mind.

(Wikipedia) …Western Kazakhstania collided with Baltica in the Late Carboniferous, closing the Ural Ocean between them, and the western Proto-Tethys in them (Uralian orogeny), causing the formation of the Ural Mountains, and the formation of the supercontinent of Laurasia. This was the last step of the formation of Pangaea.

The end of the Carboniferous was 326 million years ago.  Let’s also keep that age in mind.  We now have an age of Pangaea – from 445 million to 326 million years ago.

Understand that all these numbers are not ones read off a calendar or an eon-clock.  They are all simply best guesses, based on circumstantial evidence.  Do I have better evidence than the scientists?  No.  I have the same evidence (actually I have much less, since I have not studied it as thoroughly); I just interpret it differently and point out where they seem to have conflicts that tell me their thinking is flawed.

Axiom:

No theory is true which is internally inconsistent.

You cannot have ocean bottom or sea coast fossils at the highest elevations of the Alps or the Himalayas and then tell us that the current continental coasts (or even the continental shelves) can be pieced together at some time previous to when those fossils now deep inland were formed.  Which point in time are you observing from?  It will always distort what you perceive.

They point at the density of continental underlying rock and that it is lighter than that rock on the bottom of the oceans.  They then tell us that the lighter continental rock has been floating on top of the denser oceanic rock, like rafts or logs on a lake.  Oh, yeah?  Then how did the middle of the US become ocean bottom?

They point out the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and tell us that its volcanic activity is an upwelling of magma pushing up into a crack and forcing the two sides apart, like a wedge.  Along with that, they “map out” how these twos sides have valleys tracing in almost straight lines away from this crack.  Look at any map of the Atlantic Ocean bottom (such as on Google Earth).  You can’t miss them.  They are as unnatural looking as an I-Pod would be if found caught in between the teeth of a T-Rex.  Nature does not make straight lines on geographical scales.  Those lines are from computer models.

Oh?  They’ve mapped it all out from satellite sensors?  The ones that sense the height of the water and project that as the contour of the ocean bottom?  That is all just someone’s wet dream.  That technology might as well be called the “Princess and the Pea” theory.  The contour of the bottom of a shallow body of water, say a stream, does push up the water’s surface.  To suggest that it does so for water that averages several thousands of feet deep is not tenable.  A point on the bottom pushes up in a somewhat spherical shape, like pushing up on the bottom of a mattress (like the pea in the story) makes a bulge much bigger than the area being pushed on the bottom.   And the sphere/bulge has a radius roughly the diameter of the depth at that point.  Take one rock alone on the bottom and one might, with very extremely  precise instruments, tell there is a bump of some sort on the bottom.  Take the billions and billions of fluctuations of the bottom and have their surface bulges interfere, and that makes for an impossible reading of the meaning of the surface irregularities.  Further, add in the currents, and the pattern gets indistinct even more so, by a magnitude or more (ten-fold or more).  Now add in the effects of the varying winds, and the patterns become even more unreadable.  And then they tell us that they can tell what the bottom is like, under thousands of feet of water.  Fat chance.  Yes, they get something – their models HAVE to come up with something; otherwise they wouldn’t have jobs.

I suggest that such technology is overstepping its capabilities, and that the scientists reading them are reading things into the data that simply does not exist.

This is in argument that the maps of the ocean bottom are not real, but are instead the output from a GIGO program – garbage in – garbage out.  It sounds like a nice theory and a nice programming exercise – but I posit that the output is worthless.  Especially when I see straight line canyons on ocean maps.  Shame on them.  As soon as they saw straight lines, they should have known that their results were crap.  That they didn’t is shameful.  That they then published such crap and put it onto maps?  Beyond belief.

So all that addresses only one little portion of their floating continents concept.

YES, continents move.  Does that mean they all started out in one place?  No.  Pedestrians walking down a sidewalk are moving.  Can we claim that since all are currently walking in the same direction that they all started out eating breakfast at the same diner?  Of course not.  Pangaea is that breakfast diner.  Some programmer could have taken video of all those pedestrians in camera view – in a certain time frame – and extrapolated back in time to put all those pedestrians in one place and leaving at perhaps slightly different times.  It would have been a nice exercise, but it wouldn’t mean a damned thing.  If he didn’t also know whether there was a bus-stop or a commuter train station nearby or a series of office buildings and it is lunch time, he would not know that the diner was only there to catch some of the commuter traffic.  Thus, what he concludes is a cause is only an effect.  All of his thinking is simply wrong because he assumes he can know what all happened in the past by extrapolating backward from what he currently sees.

As a general statement,

That is what is wrong with Uniformitarianism and Gradualism.

– the idea that nothing happened in the past except what we can currently observe happening in the present.

But if you put the two ideas in the same room – Gradualism and Moving Continents – any geologist in the world is going to sooner or later extrapolate backward – gradually, gradually – and then tell you X, Y or Z.  The Uniformitarianism will then be part of it, because each one of the geologists will tell you that if it is happening now, it pretty much was always happening, in the same way.

It is essentially the same the belief religion had, before science came along.  Religion said that man was the center of existence.  One step outward from that was the belief that the Earth was the center of the Solar System.  Scientists of that time tried to make the science fit the belief, coming up with gerrymandered math called “epicycles” to explain the observed retrograde motions of the planets.  Earth as the center meant the planets should have been traveling at constant speeds and never going backward.  But empirical observations indicated otherwise.  Planets out in space DID appear to go backward.  Thus the fudging of the science to try to match the belief.  Epicycles was their answer, and they worked for centuries trying to get the epicycles to match the evidence in front of their eyes.  It was in working on epicycles that someone finally realized that having the Earth at the center of everything just didn’t work.

So Pangaea sort of equals the Flat Earth Society.  It is the belief that there is a center of everything.  And throw in the Big Bang, too.  But we won’t get into the Big Bang today.  That is several posts, all of their own.

Uniformitarianism said that, beyond volcanoes and earthquakes, nothing catastrophic could have possibly happened – since those were the most severe phenomena in the time of Agassiz and Lyell and Darwin.  The geology and astronomy and astrophysics and oceanography that have built up since 1850 has all been in denial of catastrophes.  Catastrophes were Biblical imaginings – Lot’s wife, Noah and his Flood, the Tower of Babylon and the confusing of tongues.  Natural science – by its very definition and genesis – was the antithesis of religion and its catastrophes.  Catastrophes had to be denied at all costs, because to admit to them was to open the crack the door open to religion having a say.  That was not really the case, but that is what they have thought all these 16 decades.

Well, most of them, anyway.  It was really more like 14 and one-half decades.  Comet Shoemaker-Levy, in July 1994, threw Uniformitarianism out the window.  But the academics are not letting go of it easily.  And they will never give credit to the original muckraker who said such things happen.  If Immanuel Velikovsky said it in 1950, it was wrong.  But when other scientists say it in 2010, they are on the cutting edge of science – and taking credit for ideas that they are stealing.  But if even ONE of them gives any credit, why THAT one will be shown the door.

Pangaea is a far dumber idea than any idea Velikovsky came out with.  But, because it was proposed by one of their own, well that is okay.  IOIYAOOU.  (It’s okay if you are one of us.)  – wow – look at that!  All vowels!

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11 responses to “The Myth of Pangaea

  1. I wonder if I misinterpret..

    “Had we had maps of the Earth 65 million years ago, when the dinosaurs were disappearing, that coastline would have been far different, and that match up would be far less suggestive of Pangaea.”
    That seems the point where a theory about theories loses its own internal consistency.

    • ekerkai –

      Right now I can’t respond because I don’t understand your point.

      I understand if you yourself are unclear about what I have said. Perhaps you restating your point and elaborating on it would be a good idea.

      . . . . F2F

  2. It was meant as a quick point.. a shame I fail at expressing these things concisely!
    This being a blog, a personal thing, I’m not sure if I’m wasting everyone’s time by going into detail on this.. but my elaborating could use some practice.

    To restate: It seems the argument you’re making is that Pangaea is a myth, and in investigating that you’ve focused on how we’ve come to know about the movement of continents, and the positions of them about 200 million years ago. You’ve written about how models travel beyond evidence, and appealed to axioms such as internal consistency to demonstrate how your argument might work in other terrain. But I felt you’d glossed over the problem of evidence too early, disguising these leaps with something closer to persuasion, referring to idealised situations (ie IF we had maps), to go on to make further points about scientific myths, jobs etc. Though there might be some important points to be made about these issues, you don’t address them head on. It seems more to me like you’ve taken the example of a theory (Pangaea) and read these issues into it. Using an example from wikipedia as a representation of a scientifically-held myth and then talking about other things upon the back of that. Giving them a direct treatment might be more informative, and allow for a more methodical treatment of evidence.

    I made a brief comment about this, as I felt your theory paid a somewhat onesided attention to the problems of knowledge involved in pursuing such issues scientifically. I thought this might be highlighted by pointing to your assumption about “had we had maps” and the inferences about the likely shape of Pangaea, which you didn’t offer more than suppositional evidence (eg about the dynamics of peas) for.

    You mentioned internal consistency of theories. If we are to take the practice and teaching of science as guided by scientific thinking rather than religious or political (which I presume you are getting at), it’d do to subject our meta-theoretical debates to the same rigour. As I’m sure we both know, this wouldn’t absolve the debate of politics, but it goes some way to having a framework for agreement.

    In short, you didn’t offer any evidence refuting the Pangaea hypothesis over any other. This isn’t to say a position of skepticism, where we are slower to adopt evidence, isn’t valid. It’s necessary, but in my opinion it’s too often used to dismiss what we’ve tried to know, filling it with conjecture. To me, skepticism is a part of science, but it’s not a desired end, unless the aim is to confuse and prevent any sensible action being taken. Something flares in my mind when I read about ‘myths’ or when theory is talked about politically rather than honestly done. Talking about a thing is different from doing a thing, and seems to me based upon a different motive. I apologise if there’s been too much of this in my own reply.

    This is something of a crude elaboration, because I’m not sure if I’m writing to someone anyone who’s listening. I’ll provide a justification for my commentary.
    Saying perhaps it’s because I think that issues of scientific research being determined by agendas or ideological aspects are important and real, but need and deserve a more thorough treatment than the haphazard one they currently get. If such matters are just to be brought up to reinforce points or rob an opinion of credibility, as happens so often in our current climate, they probably shouldn’t be raised at all. If an issue is only seized upon when it’s politically convenient, little wonder that in its transmission, our understanding of it becomes politicised.

    I feel, given the state of things, we shouldn’t be doing this with science. Not only is it embarassingly hypocritical, it also forgets the technological and social legacy we inherit. If we are to continue to use that body, we shouldn’t let its mind decay.

    Back to Pangaea, I suppose I expected, if a person uses such laden terminology as ‘myth’, there would be a more solid proposition of an alternate theory.
    Perhaps you need to realise a problem in order to solve it, but it needs to be realised systematically if it is to be operationalised.

    Given that we don’t have very good information on the placement of continents so long ago, what alternative is there to working with models and weaker theoretical place-holders such as Pangaea?

    Perhaps you have a better idea of this. If so, I’d like to hear.
    I’m trying to learn about science, but it seems debates about science, as well as in it, are presided over by an increasingly vociferous bunch. Using media as a platform waters down the information we need to act upon as well as our conception of how to make decisions given evidential clashes of perspective.

  3. ekerkai –

    Many apologies for taking so long to respond to this. I had not gotten any email telling me I’d had a post on this blog post.

    Sorry.

    You bring up a lot, and it will likely be impossible to address what you say adequately. But you did question if you were talking to someone who would even respond, so I should respond to what I can…

    About having an alternative hypothesis for Pangaea: This happens to be an argument often used against skeptical points of view – the “Okay, Mr Smarty Pants, if you know so much, let’s hear what YOU think!” defense. But it is NOT required that one have a solid alternative in order to see the flaws in a proposed hypothesis. Their theory should stand or fall based on its own merits or deficiencies.

    At the same time, I DO have an alternative concept. It is not new with me; I didn’t invent it. But I do feel it answers many questions that the Pangaea one does not.

    But you ask also for specific points about Pangaea that argue against it. (I may have already argued them so if I do, sorry…) One is that we KNOW that many areas now dry land used to be under the ocean. Yet they discuss the present continents and continental shelves as if they have always been like they are now. And Pangaea is just an extension of that: They say, “See? The continents fit! Therefore, they were all together in the past.” NOOOOO – If they fit now, how do they explain the fit when the Himalayas were under the ocean? Or the Alps? Or the Andes? The land subsides from time to time. This argues against the premise that the continents are composed of lighter rocks and “float” on top of the heavier rocks. The first time I heard the floating continent idea, I laughed at it, literally, saying, “And what about the ocean being all over the center of North America?”

    It wouldn’t be so bad, if they pointed at these obvious counter-evidence and at least tried to make some explanation of any of it. But they are completely mum on the point. Are they afraid of pointing out evidence that argues against their premise? If so, that is godawful science in my mind. It isn’t science until it has taken on all challenges. Do they HAVE explanations for the ocean having been OVER most of the continents? If so, they have been surprisingly (or not) quiet about it for the entire time since I first heard of Wegener and his drifting continents.

    Also one of the funnier things about Wegener’s idea is the very first “clue” about it – the “fit” of S America and Africa. They point at how it is NOW and declare it to be magic. But much of the shape of S America is the Amazon basin. The Amazon has been flowing out of the Andes for how long? Like any river, it builds its delta over the centuries and millennia. So the question has to come up: How far has the Amazon delta grown in the last 250 million years?

    But there are two sides to this story. The Andes are VERY young – only tens of thousands of years old in their present state. The were uplifted VERY recently, geologically speaking. And, apparently, the uplift was very sudden. So, the Amazon – how long has it been flowing out of the Andes, if the Andes are very young? (BTW, I have been to one of the sources of the Amazon River. It isn’t very impressive.)

    Another claim of the Pangaea theory is that the continents drifted apart, and that the motive force for this is upwelling magma – notably at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge – that forces its way to the surface, opening up the Atlantic basin. But on the OTHER side of the continents there was a vast ocean. And it is assumed that NOTHING was happening there. Yet, right now the Pacific Plate is being pushed under California, under Washington state, under Japan, under Mexico. Magma is flowing UP under Hawaii. Yet all this doesn’t push back at the Mid-Atlantic magma.

    Also, according to present theory, there were several proto-continents before Pangaea. What pushed all the continents together into Pangaea in the first place?

    The continents split up, they join back together, they split up, they join back together – and no explanation for WHY they do this yo-yo-ing. The Mid-Atlantic stops upwelling? It turns into a down-welling instead? It sucks the continents back together? And then when it finally gets them back together, it reverses again?

    And all of this is supposed to happen with the present SHAPE of the continents intact – when we KNOW full well that they didn’t, that the ocean covered them all at one point or another.

    If I didn’t mention the Google Earth depictions of the ridges extending east and west from the Mi-Atlantic Ridge, I will now. Notice that all of those are nearly straight lines. Nowhere on the face of the Earth (and that includes the sea floors) are there straight lines. Count on it: Those straight lines came out of a computer model somewhere. They are not real. They are GIGO – garbage in, garbage out – IMHO.

    And those very same areas of the seafloor are supposed to have been underwater for tens and hundreds of millions of years. In that time untold tons of dead ocean creatures and silt would have settled on the sea floor. And that is what they expected to find when they took soundings to determine the configuration and composition of the bottom of the Atlantic. But the results came back just the opposite: The accumulations were as if the ocean bottom was very new . The silt build-up was only a few percentage of what they expected.

    If the silt does not fit, you must acquit.

    Those are only a few points. I hope I’ve communicated them well enough.

    And, again, I am sorry I did not notice your response.

  4. it amazes me no one considers this myth a myth because of the density of water, … you put all the land masses at one area, … wait, you move all the water into another area, creating a large single land mass because the water is elsewhere, … land is not land because it’s always been land, land is land because it’s higher than the surface of the water/sea/ocean, … you can do whatever you want, move the continents, and water being liquid will follow gravity and balance out,

    • Flar, I couldn’t agree with you more. Due to the fossil record we know that what is now land was once ocean bottom. Not far from me in eastern Mexico in the Eastern Sierra Madres, far up the slopes, there is much exposed deposits that are just FILLED with sea shells, much, much more than one will ever find on a beach. I don’t know it first hand, but I’ve read several times that as high up in the Himalayas as you go there are fossils of ancient ocean life. In school growing up in the ’50s and ’60s I was taught that the ocean covered the land several times and vice versa. But with the advent of plate tectonics all of that was thrown out and we were told that black is white and white is black. They never mention the sea fossils anymore in schools, because then they would have some ‘splainin’ to do.

      The idea of Uniformitarianism gives the geologists almost infinite time, and whenever there is an inconvenient piece of evidence, they invoke, “Well, with enough time anything can happen.” Time, then, is their magic mushroom, their magic wand, their cure-all, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, able to fly faster than a bullet, and to turn lead into gold. They don’t even have to think about tany such problems – they just invoke time and all things are solved. I don’t agree. I see it as a cop out for having to actually THINK about the problems. They just say, “Time did it” ad hoc and move on.

  5. I like to think of the continents as analogous to the froth you get in a boiling pan of soup. The froth separates out of the soup by the action of the convection currents and is held in place by the same convection currents. If you have a cooling liquid rock planet the convection currents will form first, then some rock will freeze, lighter rock will bob around over convergences of downward convection currents, cooling progresses and light rock accumulates forming continents. In other words, the shape of the continents is defined by the shape of the underlying convection currents. There isn’t necessity for any one continent to have been connected to any other continent.

    • Alastair, thanks for your input. I am basically in agreement with you. But perhaps you aren’t aware that the mantle plume idea is under serious challenge at the present time. I admit to not knowing the finer points of the debate, but a fairly large compliment of geologists argue that mantle plumes simply don’t match the evidence that they find. Without the mantle plumes, the convection>horizontal forces idea falls flat. Thus, just as you day, the continents did not HAVE TO have been connected. Without the mantle plumes, the moving continents thing is on less solid ground (no pun intended) – or in your terms, less “frothiness”. But just because they moved doesn’t mean that all the continents were connected at one time. Yes, the shapes AS CURRENTLY exist seem to fit together like a jig-saw puzzle. But when you factor in that the continents were under water more than once, and for great periods of time, then the floating continents thing has no basis. Nearly ALL of the sedimentary deposits that comprise most of the history of dry land were deposited at the bottom of seas – and there are a LOT of such layers.

      I recently had reason to look at the geological time charts and look up many of the layers. Most of the layers laid down during most of the last 300 million years are sedimentary. That means they were under water. Shale gets much play time on the news these days because of shale gas, but if you look at a map of shale deposits or shale gas deposits, about 1/3 of the continental USA has shale sediments, often very deep. Even looking at any one of the shale areas brings up a big problem. Shale is said to be laid down in very still or very calm or very slow-moving waters – as in swamps. Today’s swamps are the size of the Okefenokee or the Everglades. But the ones from long ago are asserted to have been the size of the entire state of Missouri. Such areas NEED to be very flat. Such flat areas capable of retaining water simply do not exist in the present. With Uniformitarianism’s edict that “The present is the clue to the past”, this is violated by such large areas of flat water retention areas. Water simply will find an outlet somewhere in an area the size of Missouri, and thus such a large swamp defies belief. Unless they can show such large areas in the present. Invoking such interpreted areas somewhere else in the geologic past is not allowed as a defense, either – they only compound the problem by doing so – claiming that it happened more than once. If they can’t show it in the present, then all they have are words, not evidence.

      Those large areas DO exist, under the ground. But large swamp lands for many, many layers of sediments (years) could not have existed. Land just isn’t that flat to have swamps that large.

      But that land WAS under water. It just didn’t do it as swamps, as they claim. But if under water, then why is THAT land now continents, whihc were supposed to ride high and dry on top of the heavier basaltic ocean basins?

      Wikipedia is not so reliable on controversial subjects, but on most topics it gives a good basic explanation of things. On this subject Wiki says:

      Both the continental and oceanic crust “float” on the mantle. Because the continental crust is thicker, it extends both above and below the oceanic crust. The slightly lighter density of felsic continental rock compared to basaltic ocean rock contributes to the higher relative elevation of the top of the continental crust. Because the top of the continental crust is above that of the oceanic, water runs off the continents and collects above the oceanic crust.

      Note that it says the water runs off the continents. Duh.

      But it also says this:

      The oceanic crust is 5 km (3 mi) to 10 km (6 mi) thick[2] and is composed primarily of basalt, diabase, and gabbro.
      The continental crust is typically from 30 km (20 mi) to 50 km (30 mi) thick and is mostly composed of slightly less dense rocks than those of the oceanic crust. Some of these less dense rocks, such as granite, are common in the continental crust but rare to absent in the oceanic crust.

      There is a patently weird idea here. The oceanic crust s only 5 km thick, and yet continental crust “is mostly composed of SLIGHTLY less dense rocks”. 30 to 50 km of “slightly less dense rocks” STILL WEIGHS MORE than 5 km of slightly MORE dense rocks. Even though less dense, then, the greater total weight of the continental rocks should push down through the oceanic crust. A steel ship floats on the water NOT because steel is less dense than water, but because the VOLUME of the ship averages out to be less dense than the water it floats on top of. The moment the total AVERAGE density of the ship is greater than that of water, the ship sinks. An iceberg sticks up above the water because its total weight is not greater than the displaced volume of water. BUT MOST OF THE ICEBERG IS UNDER WATER, nevertheless. It sticks DOWN into the water. 50 km of “slightly less dense rocks” would EASILY penetrate through 5 km of slightly less dense rocks – if it is true that continents float on top of oceanic crust. Thus, the continental rocks should penetrate all the way to the mantle. But according to tectonic plate theory this does not happen. And if that happened, then the bottom of the continental crust would MELT and become part of the mantle, due to the temperature of the mantle materials it would come into contact with. This would remove materials from the underside of the continental crust at such points/areas, and in time the continental crusts would thin out until they could no longer sink through the oceanic crust (THEN they would float as advertised). THIS would stop when the “slightly less dense” continental crust was about 6 or 7 km thick – not 50 km thick.

      Slightly is slightly. Remember that icebergs are only SLIGHTLY less dense than water – and 8/9ths of icebegs are under water.

      A real good example of this: In Lake Erie decades ago it was noticed that the bottom had scrape marks east-to-west. It is a very shallow lake, though quite wide, and is sometimes referred to as a wide river”, with a measurable flow velocity moving eastward. Eventually it was found out that ice floes on the lake would “shingle” – one would climb partially on top of another, pushing the lower one downward. If there was enough total weight between the two, the bottom of the lower one would reach the bottom and gouge out dirt on the lake bottom. And because of the current this produced long roughs in the bottom.

      Just so, the total weight of continental crusts 50 km thick should reach the bottom of the oceanic crust and make contact with the underlying mantle. At that point it would not be the mantle which was affected, but the underside of the continental crust. It would be melted.

      But perhaps I am wrong, and the continental rocks would not melt. Perhaps they just reached down to the mantle and sat there in contact with it. What would happen then? Well; the first thing that would NOT happen is that the continental crust would not flow sideways through (relative to) the solid basaltic oceanic crust. The THREE materials would sit, locked up. The continental crust bottom would be pressed into the mantle, while the oceanic crust would be surrounding the continental crust, wrapped around it. NO relative motion would occur between the continental crust and the oceanic crust. Whatever sideways thrust the mantle plume spreading out would impart, the lock-up between the oceanic crust and continental crust would mean that there would be no sea-floor spreading. The two crust would move together – or not at all.

      So, which is it? Melting bottoms on the “iceberg” continental crusts? Or locked-up continental and oceanic crusts? Or some third possibility?

      I have no idea. I can tell you that none of the above arguments are frivolous. They are basic physics. Icebergs/ice flows on one hand and continental crusts on the other hand are only different in densities and hardnesses. Other than that the principles are the same.

      Or maybe I am just dumb.

  6. Steve; I would like to expand on your explanation. With the idea of frozen continental positions the question of inland seas could be explained by saying that during the eras of glaciation ( millions of yrs at a time) vast amounts of water are tied up in the ice caps causing the seas to drop by hundreds of ft. During the times of warmer climes the sea levels rise by hundreds of feet more than the present and flood the lower lying areas of the continents for millions of yrs. I know at the present we are an interglacial period and probably haven’t hit our warm max (global warming) therefore the seas will get higher and start flooding coastal and river valleys and hopefully mankind will be around to see and record the event for the advancement of “science”. We know that the mountains are caused by the uplifting of continental mass. The fracturing that allows this to happen is more than likely to occur from the upper layers of the earth cooling and contracting allowing the internal psi’s of the earth to raise either side of the fracture.

    • Jim – You will find out that I am not an accepter of the dangers of rising sea levels that are bandied about so blithely. My sources show that the sea level has been rising since the end of the Little Ice Age at about 1/8″ (3mm) per year. The average goes up a bit and down a bit, but stays around that mark.

      We haven’t lost any cities to sea level rise yet, and at least some data show that even the supposedly threatened Seychelles Islands are actually higher above sea level than in the previous decades.

      It is a KNOW fact that coral reefs RISE with the rise in sea levels and fall with the lowering of sea levels. Corals prefer to stay at a certain shallow depth, and they are completely capable of keeping up with 1″ a year.

      As to Greenland or Antarctica melting rapidly and swamping the coastal cities of the world before anything can be done about mitigating the so-called problem, it’s a bunch of hogwash. Over 90% of Greenland’s ice sheet is trapped in a circle of mountains, with only a very few narrow outlets for ice to travel to the sea. That central ice ain’t going nowhere. When you hear about glaciers melting, what you are hearing about are coastal mountain slopes with valley glaciers, such as at Renland and Camp Century, both coastal. Glaciers flow downhill, and in arctic coastal regions they flow down to the sea, where they calve as they always have. Do not be swayed by videos of glaciers calving. They do it all the time, just like rivers flow to the sea and give up their water to the sea. There were films of calving long before the supposed late-120th-century warming occurred, so that alone is nothing new. And if they can’t do any more than show calving, they got nuttin’.

      90% of the Antarctic is not on the Western Antarctica Pensinsula. A funny thing but all of the warming in Antarctica is measured right where the USA has territorial rights to research. This means that that is the only part of Antarctica that those American researchers ever see, besides the South Pole station. The rest of Antarctica – 90% of the continent – is NOT warming. I would suggest that the research facilities with their heaters and vehicles and such are not doing a whole lot to cool the peninsula down. Is this a case of the observer affecting the experiment by being there to observe it?

      As to the formation of mountains, Jim, your guess above about the planet cooling and shrinking is fairly close to what they used to teach when I was in grade school. You even bring in the alternating sea bottoms on the continents. And it is not correct, not any of it. But it was the best they could do at the time – and it was in MY lifetime that they got it that wrong. Plate tectonics, while not the entire story is a step in the right direction – but it is only part of the story. ANYTHING solely uniformitarian has to be only part of the story, because catastrophes DID happen in the past, no matter what level of strident denial the uniformitarians spew out. Handicapped by uniformitarianism and its dictates, the geogists have to crowbar tectonics into a gradualist paradigm. And they have to project their ultra-slow movement in an unending conveyor belt with pretty pictures of Pangaea with all the continents all sitting pretty. But normally they don’t tell you that they ALSO think that the continents were together in an earlier time, too.

      But because of the Uniformitarianism Barrier, they will continue to put forth reasonable-sounding but wrong explanations – just like the Clovis Barrier hampered anthropology for about 70 years.

      The gelogists have done a fabulous job of recording the many layers of the Earth’s crust as far down as they can go. And they have done a decent job of trying to understand what is going in farther below. But in terms of understanding the big picture, they’ve missed the boat.

      What exactly the real story is I don’t yet know – but I am working on it.

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