Wednesday, March 8, 2017


(.. a.k.a. "pissing into the wind")  (?)

Hubris, also hybris, from ancient Greek, describes a personality quality of extreme or foolish pride or dangerous over-confidence.[1] In its ancient Greek context, it typically describes behavior that defies the norms of behavior or challenges the gods, and which in turn brings about the downfall, or nemesis, of the perpetrator of hubris. (Wikipedia.)  (=> 'scaffold'?)

Well, .. that's according to ancient Greek.  That first line ('hubris'), ... reading it today you could be forgiven for thinking that word 'personality' should be followed by the word 'disorder', because it would seem to be one - you'd have to be nuts to think  you can piss against the wind.  However, adding the qualifier, "and not get wet", changes the power balance completely.  What does it matter if you do?  David did slay Goliath and the history of science is replete with nutters who believed in themselves, who were shown to be wrong, and who had to adjust their opinion to fit the facts - or obstinately refuse, and suffer nemesis and oblivion.  Eventually.

So who is the nutter?  Me?  Or 'them'?   [ => 'alt-truth' /'post-truth' and institutional failure / (populism)] 

Is the Earth getting bigger?  I think the facts (and logic) say it is, but really have no idea whether that is right.   But either way want the facts to be in the open, recognised  and discussed, and if it takes being perceived as a 'nutter', then to my way of thinking I'm in good company and the maracas are quite appropriate (*george/maracas)  [Plate Tectonics, .. taught in schools, universities and colleges, and advertised as warranting a Nobel Prize (*fraud/mar), I find (based on the facts) to be a travesty, and an unworthy opponent.

So, .. with that little preliminary, .. ..


These pages are an interpretation of global geology based on satellite topography, gravity and magnetics and such geological understanding as I have accummulated during an on-and-off (mostly off) working life as a field geologist.  They lead me to conclude that the Earth is getting bigger, and to further conclude that even within its own terms Plate Tectonics is not a credible proposition.

This interpretation parallels the work of others who have come to a similar conclusion, but it does not draw from them.  I wanted to see for myself what I would make of the evidence.  If I can communicate this conclusion of "Earth expansion" (as it is more popularly named) to you, and my reasons for it, then the purpose of this writing will be served regardless of how others judge it.

I also must make it clear that I have been somewhat sceptical of Plate Tectonics from the beginning.  Firstly I was never enculturated in it, .. never learned the litany.  Secondly, I think it just doesn't add up.

I graduated just when it was beginning to be a mainstream cult.  Also, as a graduate student I had already formulated 'views' that were quite at odds with Plate Tectonics the more I got to know about it,  and since these views were my own then obviously they were going to present something of a barrier to acceptance.  The more I became aware of PT's 'logic' and the more I saw it as nonsense (and expecially since it didn't even hint at incorporating my own views), then obviously (to my way of thinking) it was even more nonense - and therefore off to a bad start.  (Actually it didn't stand a chance.)

If that sounds seriously hubristic then so I suppose it is.  I have nailed my colours to the mast and stand by them.  Always willing to change views of course, but not without discovering where I'm going wrong.  This is something to do with learning from mistakes. If you don't understand where you're going wrong then you are only living the unexamined life, .. taking things on authority, .. which is a negation of the self, .. a 'de-validation' /devaluing of the self.

 However, I can't say I find the feeling of hubris particularly agreeable.  Quite the opposite in fact.. It has given me a highly jaundiced outlook on consensus not only in relation to Plate Tectonics but generally towards other things too, because if it is possible to come to a conclusion that runs so contrary to what a worldful of everyone else thinks is credible in peer-reviewed science - and particularly in Earth science which is so heavily dependent on factual observation - then what does that say for other areas of human affairs and the place of the individual in it?   You'd think I'd have at least a modicum of humility, but no, 'jaundice' is a liverish disease, and leads to the unhealthy conviction that on balance people are just nuts, evidenced by the election in America of a man who claims to be a paragon of deal-making, and can prove it with a track record and a book, but whose stock in trade is petulant dummy-spitting and alienation of (at least) fifty percent of people whichever way he turns.

However there are three ameliorating circumstances that justify the jaundice.  The first is that Plate Tectonics is not founded on fact at all, but on  assumptions that have been conveniently invented to specifically deny the facts, and particularly the first-order one that is apparent to even casual observation - that the mantle has broken through a retrofitable crust making the surface of the Earth bigger.  The Americas can be retrofitted to Europe and Africa, India retrofits to Africa, Australia retrofits to Antarctica, and Australia /Antarctica retrofits to India Africa, and as these pages show, the Pacific is retrofitable too.  And all this retrofitting is done within the same interval of geological time.  Ergo what we see is what we get -  like a jigsaw, the entire crust once fitted on a smaller Earth.

(But that's not where we started.)

The second amelioration is that those making up Plate Tectonics proudly declared themselves to be "outsiders who didn't have a geological clue") ("and didn't need any").  [Paraphrased only slightly from Menard, 1986, The Ocean of Truth, p.232. -cit. here.]

(And that's not where we started either, .. but it figgers.) (Took me a while to discover that bit.)

The third amelioration relates to the Earth's roundness and its rotation.  Both are necessary parts of Earth expansion but in Plate Tectonics the Earth could be the shape of a flat-bottomed pan on some celestial stove for all the difference it makes to its driving convection model. 


This three-part combobulated conflation has brightened my day considerably, because it is just so quirkily true.  It is the holey hull of the Big Ship of Plate Tectonics that all the world's fingers of all its true believers have tried to plug and cannot.  With the removal of a strategic one the rest will wash out and the B.S. P.T. will sink to the bottom.  But this has to happen on the consensus side of the ledger, which is high career risk.  Consensus can be brutal when challenged from within.

 However that's just by the way.  none of these three is the reason for adopting expansion.  They just colour the canvas, so to speak, .. give it a body-coat so it will take the basic sketch, which is two fingers shaped like sausages that look mightily like torpedoes, the first in the tube being the recognition of regional to crustal-scale boudinage structure, and its use as an analogy for understanding crustal deformation generally.  But even this is just a scaffold.  It can be removed once the construction begins to take shape. Its purpose it to provide an alternative view to that of consensus, one that sees the compression generating folds in the crust as due to gravitational collapse rather than "colliding plates".  [=> purpose.]
[Check revision to here.]

By the late 1960's Plate Tectonics was becoming known by the wider geological community, but it wasn't until during the 1970's and later, that I began to pay attention.  It didn't seem to me to be saying much that wasn't already tacit geological knowledge anyway.  Sedimentary basins and mountain belts had been obvious corollaries of each other for decades.  Even at the time of this writing it is still valid to reflect, half a century on, what was really new about this "New Global Tectonics".   Other than (controversially) shifting the dynamical emphasis of crustal deformation from the crust-mantle interface to the lithosphere-asthenosphere one, there wasn't a lot that was very different from Wegener's continental drift about it at all.  The crust still moved, pulling apart here and colliding there, building mountain belts and sedimentary basins and relating the two in a 'Geological Cycle' (of erosion /deposition /subsidence and metamorphism /stress-system rotations /collision and uplift), ..  then erosion all over again etc.  It seemed little different from the continental drift that Alfred Wegener had proposed decades earlier, and that Arthur Holmes had already enlarged upon in his popular student textbook Principles of Physical Geology, published in 1944 and centering on the notion of mantle convection as the driving mechanism for the above-mentioned cycle.

Holmes had already run to sixteen printings by the early 1960's when the "New Global Tectonics" sailed on to the horizon.  So far as geological theory was concerned it seemed to be more a case of an appropriation of an old saw rejigged, than anything particularly new.  To be sure, nothing can take away from the monumental achievement of recognising the character and structure of the ocean floors, but in my opinion the accent should have been placed on confirming the predictive value of Wegener's continental drift and Holmes elaboration of it (two gentlemen of astute geological repute), rather than having the tail wagging the dog by outsiders trying to put the physics before the geo in such a way as to deny history.  For this reason it certainly slipped under my radar.  It was only later I realised the extent to which it was leading everybody up the garden path as well.

Another reason for looking askance at Plate Tectonics was its claim to theory.  Well, .. so what?  It's the field evidence that counts, and what those formulating Plate Tectonics were basically saying was that geology didn't count, it was the theory of Plate Tectonics that mattered.  That way everything could be arranged in such a 'desired' way that nothing more need be said on the matter except (as heard while writing) to wax in such lyrical ways as might be deemed useful to suitable multimedia soundscapes:-
 (To mood music) :- " Two continents are colliding in slow motion underneath this layer of snow and rock.  They are causing three of the worlds mightiest mountain ranges to knit together in a fabric of sheer cliffs and glaciers.  It's [desertous?] / desolate? bleak and devastatingly beautiful.  Here in the northernmost reaches of Pakistan lives an animal that is a metre long (if you include its tail), an animal that has a pelt of silky fur as long as your pinky finger, and whose dried urine is said to have aphrodisiac qualities, an animal that can fly."

Rabbiting on about woolly mammoth-sized squirrels flitting from tree-to-tree and rocking and rolling in the icy winter wastes of the Himalayas is one thing, but pulling a wowser by contextualising them in terms of Plate Tectonics in order to impress customers is quite another.  Given the present fixation on climate change I would have thought that a cautionary connection to that other wooly mammoth that went extinct at the end of the last ice-age when things began to warm up would have been a better leg-in to the threat of changing Himalayan habitat - as colliding plates uplift the surface of the earth closer to the sun. ..

And we can probably forget about the aphrodisiac effects of the urine too.  No doubt that is buried in the mists of time as well.


Fold belts are popular venues for studying complexities of geological structure - and always have been.  They are almost mythical in geological lore in establishing fundamental concepts in crustal deformation, particularly as these are revealed through their eroded roots.  However even a most cursory examination of the high stands of the planet shows that what are popularly termed "mountain belts" (and their virtually synonymous "fold belts") are mountainous only because valleys have been eroded.  As often as not these are not fold belts at all, but are actually comprised largely of flat-lying strata.  And that where folds do occur the strata are not being pushed up, but are in fact collapsing down..  [Link to xxx mountains].   "Mountain building" in fact is an oxymoron, with the emphasis (when it comes to a point) being on the 'moron'.  Oxes? (Yeah, .that too.)   Even children know that mountains only exist because of valleys, and that these are de-structive, not con-structive features.

Morover popular understanding of these belts derived not from their lofty edifices but from their inferred eroded roots that are now exposed in continental cratons and that once formed much deeper in the crust.  In the case of the Himalayas, who knows what might once have overlain them.  Even higher stands of land certainly, now eroded to roots that are capped with gently tilted strata of Ordovician age. [Link.] (But folded?)  (three peaks)


[So, .. conumdrum.]

Periscope down.
"Load the tube, number one."
"Aye-aye, Cap'n"


Boudinage structure (repeat link) was/is  particularly useful for studying the complexities of deformation in folded terrain because they reflect resistance to deformation and often preserve the remnants of older deformational episodes that are destroyed in the host rocks, and so help to establish the structural chronology of a region.  In particular since they often enclose folds they are potentially larger than the largest folds.  Extrapolation from outcrop to regional maps shows that they occur even on a crustal scale.  The distribution of continental landmasses testifies to lithospheric scale as well.

Boudinage structure enjoys pre-eminence in its empirical application to understanding the location and formation of ore deposits and the complications of ore distribution in mines.  It also provides the fatal blow to Plate Tectonics because it doesn't target the superstructure of The Ship (and allow it to limp along like some Marie Celeste, of broken spar and sere of sail).  It hits below the plimsoll line.  Had there been general awareness of crustal- (and lithospheric-) scale boudinage by the 1960's, Plate Tectonics could never have got up (/launched its boat).

Up until then and despite there being a number of descriptions of outcrop-scale boudinage in the literature the space accorded it in geological text books was hardly more than a page, often less - although one does mention in passing  (reference needed) (and with no clarification) that "boudinage occurs at all scales".   Well, .. obviously according to the fundamental geological principle (which says the small-scale structures in rocks are an indication of what was happens in the crust at the larger scale), it would.  There is hardly any need to remark on the point.

So how was it that up until that time library shelves on structural geology were full of publications on folding and faulting, but there was virtually nothing on boudinage structure?  The general view appeared to be that it was little more than a curio warranting hardly more casual interest, compared to the real 'meat' of structural geology - folds and faults, and the processes by which these came to be.

Almost certainly this collective oversight will be omitted in the future from the history of science, because were it to be included there would be just so many Admirables on the Big Ship with egg on their collectivw face.  And presidents too for giving them prizes for featuring.   (=>Credentials)

Sourced in this omission is the whole idea of plate movement, .. of plates going hither and thither about the face of the Earth colliding here and pulling apart there (and even going into reverse) driven by convection cells moving to on changing thermal systems. The question how can there be such universal blinkerdom towards recognising one of the fundamental building blocks of geology that is every bit as important as folds and faults will simply not be raised much less answered because in the interim lithospheric-scale boudinage has (after decades) begun to be recognised.  But this earlier omission is central to this whole story.  The way I see it at any rate.  It relates to the same cognitive deficit that prevents humanity from seeing the nose on its collective face in regard to many issues.

But to stick to the point and to repeat - had there been a general awareness of the importance of boudinage structure by the 1960's it is almost certain that Plate Tectonics could never have arisen.  Through its application to crustal scales the path followed would likely have been the same as that outlined in these pages.  Fold belts would have been identified as essentially gravitational collapse structures (Link to xx + others yellow).  So-called "cross-folding" - much remarked as 'proof' of rotating stress-systems would have been understood as related to 'main folding' (and therefore no rotation), and the concept of moving plates would have been realised to be invalid.  And the intuition of Fred Vine (of the "Vine and Mathews hypothesis") would have been right.
[ ..." The discussion was brief, but it offered Vine the occasion to refer to convection cells as "presumed" and "mythical." Certainly , the many problems related to convection that had been troubling the conference members would have been solved by eliminating convection entirely. "  (Menard, The Ocean of Truth, p.276.) ]

 ..   convection cells would indeed have been realised as "presumed and mythical".  And the 'problems' would have been recognised as invalid propositions.

So the whole idea of stress systems being hostage to the variable orientations of folds, and thereby multiple random movements of plates, was nonsense.  Therefore so was Plate Tectonics with its "independent plates colliding here and pulling apart there (and going into reverse as often as not)" nonsense too.  In the more familiar vernacular of field reality, it was bullshit (!) and needing saying so.  There has been, is, and will be, only one operative stress system - that related to the rotation of the Earth and the Relentless Imperative of  Flatness, namely gravity (link to holding page) as it continues to get bigger.

Had those epigons writing the textbooks done their homework in relation to that aforementioned fundamental geological principle (re small-scale/large-scale structures) and paid attention to the authors they referenced regarding boudinage (particularly Quirky Terence referenced below) , then they would at the very least have raised an alert that here was a field of study to pursue.  The outcome surely would have been "Terra Expansionem" and who knows, perhaps even a guiding light (half a century ago) for physicists looking for the secret of the creation of material 'stuff' and the mass that describes it, .. namely (almost) the entirety of the Earth's mantle (!!)

[addendum 20170316 -  "Time to rethink how gravity works"
[addendum 20170409 -  "Time to rethink this whole physics thing." (at 9:10mins) [Music has gotten louder.]
[Pinned to this site ...  -  "Time to rethink Plate Tectonics."  [These pages.]

(Not quite sure what to call these.  Building blocks of a sort I guess.  Or maybe just off-cuts.) (but it seems an appropriate place to put them) :-

Principle of Scale Invariance - a term coined by Big Bangers to convey the belief that the same mathematics can be applied to scales that vary from a billionth the size of the atom to the scale of the universe, and which has its more mundane equivalent in the tenets of self-similarity of geological structures across scales that vary from the microscopic to the scale of the mantle.

Lohest (1908). [Boudinage (Fr.) sausage.  De l'origine des veines et geodes des terrains primaries de Belgique.  Troiseme note.  Annls Soc. Geol. Belg., 36 (Bull. for 1908-1909), 275-82.  [The term is coined to describe a certain structure in folded strata of the Palaeozoic in the Bastogne region of Belgium.  Lohest considered the boudinage he was describing to be a microcosm of the whole Bastogne region - an interpretation that mostly got lost in translation to English.]

Quirke, T., (1923) :-  The eponymous Terence, referring to the original coining of the term by Lohest :-   "(Boudinage is)..a rare geological phenomenon.  There is no mention of this type of deformation in any works in English, so far as the writer is aware, nor does it seem to have had consideration from any but the geologists of Belgium... There seems to be nothing in the arts or in nature which can be compared in mechanical origin to boudinages, which makes them the more interesting and the more worthy of study." (Boudinage, an unusual structural phenomenon. Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, 1923, v.34, pp 659-650.)  [Clearly an Irishman going by the lyrics. In fact it had been described in Scotland by McIntyre nearly a century earlier (ref. needed), but he was lost for a word. (It's very important to have a well-rounded word if spin is the intention,)]

Karl Popper (1919) :-  " ..  The problem which troubled me at the time was neither, "When is a theory true?" nor "When is a theory acceptable?" my problem was different. I wished to distinguish between science and pseudo-science; knowing very well that science often errs, and that pseudoscience may happen to stumble on the truth.  (Link.)  [And a nicely succinct way of putting it too.  Thank you, Mr. Popper.]

Planck's Principle  " .. A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."
< .. >
" .. An important scientific innovation rarely makes its way by gradually winning over and converting its opponents: it rarely happens that Saul becomes Paul. What does happen is that its opponents gradually die out, and that the growing generation is familiarized with the ideas from the beginning: another instance of the fact that the future lies with the youth."
   [Max Planck, Scientific autobiography, 1950, pps 33 and 97.]

"Profiteers of Doom" :-  A Peer of the Realm speaks out on a subject pertinent to woolly mammoths and possibly woolly mammoth-sized flying squirrels as well.

Also in the News (as I write) :- "For the first time" - the Anthropocene equation.

Plate Tectonics 2017  [ = Johnnies come lately, .. still going with their belated demise.]

Moral of the story :-   Veracity is not the point.  Things only have societal value to the extent that others find them useful.  Not true, but useful.   'Truth' has questionable currency and being wrong often serves more practical purpose than being right.  In fact if well-rounded words don't cut it, try an out-and-out lie.  And don't mess around.  That way there's always the potential for 'The Donald' phenomenon  - "The Sorcerer's Apprentice")  and entertainment of the twenty-four hour news cycle and RealityTV variety - refreshing the fun of anarchy and war. ..

On which note :-  

(Needs links.)

(Goes to 'Science, the religious connection => Rationalising religion)

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