Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Contra Expanding Earth Theory

Understanding and sensibility, with us, can determine objects only in conjunction. If we separate them, we have intuitions without conceptions, or conceptions without intuitions; in both cases, representations, which we cannot apply to any determinate object. [1]
Immanuel Kant

I am not a scientist; I have said this before. I am a doctoral student in Technical Communication and Rhetoric (TCR) and my Master's is in Religious Studies - not Theology. I feel that this should be understood before I examine EE Theory. TCR is concerned with Rhetoric, or the art of persuasion, in writing. As such, logic and common fallacies are of primary concern in my field. In short, I study how people construct arguments and how people convey these arguments to specific audiences. In addition, one of my concentrations is research methods and methodology. I also study the Rhetoric of Science.

My particular approach to any theory is whether or not it is reasonable; is a theory based on (1) an understanding of the field in which the theory inquires and (2) is there any empirical data to support the theory? As Kant noted, without either one has only intuition without conception [2].

Neal Adams is perhaps the leading proponet of EET [3] and even a cursory glance demonstrates (to me) that he does not seem to grasp the fields of geology, astronomy, or physics in which he centers his theory. For instance he posits, "The fact is most, if not all, the mountains on Earth were created since 200 million years ago, and most of them are 60 million years old and younger" [4]. If not all? What about the St. Francois Mountain Range in the Ozark Plateau [5], as an example, which is dated to the Precambrian Era (540 Million - 3.8 Billion Years ago) [6]?

Scientists are better equipped to debate the claims of EET than I am but this theory seems to be intuitive rather than reasonable. "It is now known, and has been discovered by seismic scanning, that only 4% of the asthenosphere (under the crust) is molten and most of that, if not all, is located under the rifts. Some is under volcanic areas, to be sure, but they are the exception that proves the rule" [7]. Current studies in the asthenosphere seem to contradict this claim [8] but my point is that Adams simply dismisses any current studies; in short his conclusions seem to be based in little understanding and even less empirical data. In other words, EET seems to me to be unreasonable.

-Safari Bob

[1] Kant, I. (1990). Critique of Pure Reason. J. M. D. Meiklejohn, trans. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, pp. 166-167.
[2] Ibid.
[4] Ibid.

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