Thursday, August 31, 2017

Earth, Billiard Balls and Mountains

 A question of scale ..
( .. Getting the message?) (Nope, .. not yet .. )

Fig.1.  Wikipedia entry.  After many years of Plate Tectonics getting sledged (don's blog + sci.geo.geology) this article finally folded.

Considering further the Zen OMountains and the possible enlightenment to be had from drinking the Waters from the Well at the World's End, and realising that we will probably have to go at least twice around the w.w.w. dot of Google's earth and a whole lot of stuff from outfits of institutional note like Nasa, Noaa, USGS, Unesco, National Geographic etc. who have still to scale the glass mountain, rescue the maiden (and therefore to our very considerable dismay also make it clear that they have not updated their definitions according to the semantics of the wikipedia), we discover to our very considerable surprise that not only is there no such thing as mountain building, but also that there is logically no such thing as mountains either.

I mean, .. stands to reason, .. dunnit?

If at the global scale the Earth's surface is as smooth as a billiard ball, then (since there is nothing on it that qualifies as a pimple far less a mountain), we can see that as arbiters of consensus the editors of the Wikipedia are just coming the raw prawn and taking us for a ride thinking they can get away with splitting the hair that distinguishes 'building' from 'forming'.

"Let's help Mum build some scones, shall we?  We'll need a cup of flour, some eggs, sugar, milk and some raising agent to form them."

But at least they are ahead of the pack, .. thanks to yours truly
(?) taking the mickey out of the whole notion of Plates, and the need for the thinking to be a bit more critical when it comes to the necessary verb describing the doing of what's being done when it comes to the making of the landforms known as 'mountains' - or more exactly (globally) 'plateaus' - another word that seems to have slipped a disc in the lexicon of geology and consequently has fallen by the wayside, being replaced by the term 'planation surface'.  When it comes to *global* tectonics, 'mountains' (as the word is commonly meant by Plate Tectonics) have no bearing on the situation whatsoever.  On the other hand valleys do, because they continually work towards making the billiard ball of the Earth smoother than it used to be.

Or perhaps I should say flatter.  Mmm.m(?)

So what's all this about 'mountains' and 'tectonics' and "colliding plates pushing up mountains" - and so on? 

Well to begin with it is just so obviously a classic example of getting the scale wrong.  Secondly, just because folds are exposed in the sides of mountains (/valleys) does not mean that folding caused the mountains any more than it caused the valleys, or indeed that folds have anything directly to do with mountains at all.  Or rather (to put it more exactly), it doesn't mean that the compression that caused the folding also caused the uplift that caused the erosion that caused the mountains /valleys (that Plate Tectonics "built").  At least not in the way that experts mean when they talk of "uplift" and "mountain building".  Indeed the opposite is true.  Mountains are caused by the erosion of planation surfaces that develop from the collapse of tilted segments of the crust according to what is happening at depth in the crust. =>

The arbiter of what is uplift where erosion is concerned is sea-level, and Mount Everest tells us that relative to land sea-level in that part of the world has dropped at *least* some eight thousand metres in relatively recent geological time. And supporting this is the fact that the Great Regression (which left the whole of geological sequence high and dry upon the face of God's Earth *globally*) equates in time and geomorphology with the emplacement of the ocean floors.  That is, Earth expansion has two thirds of the planet's surface supporting it as well as the entirety of geological sequence [which is the whole of geo-logic].

On the other hand, Plate Tectonics only has a concocted denial of this equation to support it.  There are no real *facts* - or at  least least such 'facts' as are cited are bent and distorted out of all reason - only assumptions, inventions and suppositions (and more goal-post shifts than you can poke a stick at in order to support them.

That's er.r.r., religion for you (Plate Tectonic style).  There are many parallels between science and religion and there is some irony in the fact that the only people right now getting The Great Regression right are the intelligent design folk, on which score they have every right to be pressing for their alternative position, when 'experts' can't even get the connection between stratigraphic sequence and the ocean floors right [in my vegemite-smeared, gold-plated opinion]. 

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