The Scientific Case for EXPANSION TECTONICS

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There are very few positive things said about Earth Expansion theory in the literature today, in particular since the advent of modern mass communication with all its inherited plagiarism. To the untrained eye it is very easy to simply take for granted that the Earth Expansion theory has been adequately tested and adequately rejected in favour of plate tectonics. I can assure the reader that if you place a posting about Earth Expansion on Wikipedia, for instance, it is mysteriously removed within 24 hours. So who is doing this, who said the Earth is not expanding, and why?

There are a lot of seemingly well-intentioned people out there with enough vested interest in plate tectonics to make sure knowledge about Expansion Tectonics remains supressed, and this intentional suppression has been going on for a long time.

In 1973 Hallam stated that “…the evidence for plate tectonics is immense, and the quality of the science has improved immeasurably since earlier in the century when continental drift was generally dismissed out of hand, often on questionable grounds, if not through downright prejudice”. In the introduction to his book on Phanerozoic biogeography in 1994 Hallam made a further emotive appeal to his readers, enforcing his strong views on plate tectonics while dismissing potential alternatives. “Some biogeographers, he stated …may object to geologists 'laying down the law' about what is scientifically acceptable among competing historical interpretations… However, this would be to misconstrue the significance of the revolution in the Earth sciences that took place a quarter of a century ago. He then further appealed to biogeographers “…to respect this fundamental change, and the solidity of the general outlines of geological history that have since been worked out, just as palaeontologists must make sure that their own hypotheses are biologically plausible”.  

It is interesting to note from Hallam’s emotive statements that, when it comes to acceptable science, early failings are “…generally dismissed out of hand, often on questionable grounds, if not through downright prejudice”. Yet, when plate tectonic science is challenged he insists that we must simply stand by and “…respect this fundamental change and the solidity of the general outlines of geological history that have since been worked out”. Contrary to Hallam’s stance Holmes, in 1978, further reminded us that the way in which “…ideas about continental drift were kept alive by only a small minority of geologists, is an emphatic reminder not to discard hypotheses lightly”. And this, of course, is equally applicable to the theory of Expansion Tectonics.

This emotive disrespect for proper science was not limited to continental drift, with Earth expansion continuing to be “…dismissed out of hand. It should be said at once that consensus of opinion is against expansion of the Earth being an explanation of sea-floor spreading” (Holmes, 1978). “Large expansion rates, such as those advocated by Hilgenberg (1962) and Carey (1958) must probably be rejected”. “This means that reconstructions of ancient super-continents which require these large rates of expansion are almost certainly invalid” (Hospers & van Andel, 1967). “An expanding Earth is not popularly accepted” (Clark & Cook, 1983). “Evidence for an expanding Earth are either ambiguous or are based on tenuous and ad hoc assumptions” (Condie, 1989). “Major obstacles to an expanding Earth…, seem to outnumber evidences in favour of expansion” (McElhinny et al, 1978; Schmidt & Clark, 1980). With Cox (1990) even going so far as to remark that “…the expanding Earth belongs in the same category as the flat Earth”.

Emotive rejection of the theory of Expansion Tectonics continues to this day to be dismissed “…on questionable grounds. It appears that so long as the Earth has had its present mass, changes of external radius are limited to amounts of the order of 100 km” (Birch, 1968). “Studies of climate and biozoologic zones of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic show that expansion has not taken place” (Meyerhoff & Meyerhoff, 1974). “From both quantitative and qualitative arguments, significant Earth expansion since the Late Palaeozoic is unlikely” (Schmidt & Clark, 1980). “Rapid, post-Palaeozoic Earth expansion may answer some two-dimensional problems in palaeogeography, but concomitant formation of the main mass of the oceans unleashes far greater problems on the rest of geology” (Bailey & Stewart, 1983). “The principal problems are [now this is a good one] the following: (1) elucidation of evidence supporting expansion in order to convert others, and determining, for the converts, the facts concerning expansion, that is, (2) the amount, (3) the rate and variations in rate, (4) whether it is uniformly radial or varies from place to place, (5) its cause, and (6) its effects on surface geology” (Menard, 1986). “A primitive Earth of 4000 km radius and a continuous sialic crust of the same area as at present would be covered by a single 7 km deep ocean if the water volume 180 Ma ago was similar to the modern ocean” (Weijermars, 1986).

It was also said that “Results from the Moon seem to limit a decrease in the gravitational constant over the last 4 Ga to <2x10-10/annum, which eliminates one of the more popular causes suggested for expansion” (Condie, 1989). “An expansion of the Earth would imply the existence of extensive zones subjected to membrane stresses as plates attempt to adjust to the increasing radius of curvature of the Earth, and these do not exist, and, the theory does not provide a mechanism for the continental drift which is known to have occurred in pre-Mesozoic times” (Kearey & Vine, 1990). “The expanding Earth model denies the reality of large-scale subduction, for which there is abundant evidence. It also demands a drastic fall of sea level since the Triassic, because the expansion must have been expressed in the oceans rather than the continents” (Hallam 1984). “The drastic change in curvature demanded should have given rise to a distinct set of cracks across the planet, which are not observable… There are also geophysical problems which expansion would provide in requiring rapid reduction of the rate of rotation” (Hallam, 1994). “A major problem with the concept is that it provides no mechanism for lateral compression. Another unsatisfactory feature is that the Earth must expand in a highly controlled way to account for the distribution of continents and ocean basins. Moreover, no mechanism is known for the rapid expansion necessary during Phanerozoic time” (Meyerhoff et al, 1996).

While some of the arguments used to question the validity of Earth Expansion were considered valid at the time, it should be noted that the quality of modern scientific data has definitely …improved immeasurably since earlier in the [20th] century. Most modern evidence has been gathered in support of plate tectonics, however, this new evidence is increasingly demonstrating the limitations of plate tectonics. As is shown in this website, in Archaean to Recent Expansion Tectonic small Earth modelling studies, research shows that all continental plates, inclusive of cratonic, orogenic, and sedimentary basins, have retained spatial integrity throughout geologic history. Exactly what the biogeographers, and Shields (1998), have been telling us. As Shields in 1997 so astutely maintains, “…Ultimately world reconstructions must be congruent not only with the data from geology and geophysics, but also with palaeobiogeography, palaeoclimatology, and palaeogeography”.

Expansion Tectonic research nullifies much of the mythical and misconceived arguments that have perpetuated in the literature by misguided authors, and demonstrates a need to resolve the question scientifically, once and for all, whether Expansion Tectonics is, in fact, a viable alternative to plate tectonics.