Friday, October 31, 2008

Oil's Worst Month In History

Oil heads for record monthly drop on US downturn

NEW YORK (AP) -- Oil prices kept falling Friday, heading for their biggest monthly drop since futures trading began 25 years ago on signs that a contracting U.S. economy will suppress energy demand well into 2009.

Oil's monumental collapse -- prices are down 36 percent for the month and 56 percent from their July record -- has stunned oil-producing countries while giving cash-strapped U.S. consumers a rare dose of relief. Pump prices have fallen by half since their summer peak above $4 a gallon -- a huge drop that's expected to result in over $100 billion in annual savings for American households.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Earth's Increasing Diameter

What is the diameter of the Earth and does it increase over time?


"Now the distance from S [Syrene] to A [Alexandria] was known by measurement to be 5,000 stades; it followed that the circumference of the earth was 250,000 stades. This is the figure given by Cleomedes, but Theon of Smyrna and Strabo both give it as 252,000 stades. The reason for the discrepancy is not known; it is possible that Eratosthenes corrected 250,000 to 252,000 for some reason, perhaps in order to get a figure divisible by 60 and, incidentally, a round number (700) of stades for one degree. If Pliny is right in saying that Eratosthenes made 40 stades equal to the Egyptian skoinos, then, taking the skoinos at 12,000 Royal cubits of 0.525 metres, we get 300 such cubits, or 157.5 metres, i.e. 516.73 feet, as the length of the stade. On this basis 252,000 stades works out to 24,662 miles, and the diameter of the earth to about 7,850 miles.
Source: A History of Greek Mathematics (Heath 1921).

Theon of Smyrna

"Thus the whole diameter of the Earth would be approximately 80,182 stades. For three times this number plus a seventh of it was the perimeter of 252,000 stades."

Quoted from On Mathematics Useful for Understanding of Plato.

Also 7,850 miles.

Claudius Ptolemy

Ptolemy in the Geographia improved on the work of Eratosthenes. He calculated 1 degree as 500 stades, which using Heath's math works out to an Earth diameter of 5,607 miles.

Plus, according to one author, "he tended to overestimate the breadth of the whole known world." (Evans 1998)

Modern Measurements

Modern measurements are all over the place (as usual there is no scientific consensus). See here.

However, The North American Datum of 1983 (NAD83) [Schwarz, Ed., NOAA, 1989] was determined by the NGS to be 12,756.274 km (7926.75 miles) on the major axis (equatorial), and 12,713.504 km (7900.17 miles) on the minor axis (polar), with an average diameter of 12,734.889 km (7913.46 miles).

At least 76.75 miles growth in 2223 years.

Friday, October 24, 2008

5 Most Dangerous Earthquake Hotspots Beyond California

Via Wired: 5 Most Dangerous U.S. Earthquake Hot Spots Beyond California and one anomaly.


Most of the major earthquakes in the world occur at tectonic plate boundaries where land masses are colliding or pushing past one another. But in the middle of the country lurks a geological enigma near New Madrid, Missouri, that has produced some of the largest quakes on record for the United States but has yet to be fully explained by scientists.

"It's a big mystery," said geologist Eugene Schweig of the U.S. Geological Survey, who has studied the area for 23 years. "New Madrid is about as far from a plate boundary as you can get."

In 1811 and 1812, a swarm of at least three massive earthquakes struck near New Madrid, the largest of which exceeded a magnitude 8 and caused violent, damaging shaking in an area 10 times larger than did the 1906 earthquake. The quake was felt over an area of two million square miles — nearly two-thirds of the country.

During the quakes, the ground rose and fell, trees were bent, deep cracks opened up in the ground, large landslides swept down hills, huge waves washed boats out of the Mississippi River and river banks, islands and sand bars gave way.

Damage was widespread, but only a few people died thanks to the sparse population in what was then the Louisiana Territory but today is near the junction of Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas. Were another magnitude 8 earthquake to strike the region today, the toll would be much, much higher.

By analyzing deposits of sand that squirted out of the ground during past major quakes, Schweig and others estimate an average time between earthquakes of 500 years. But earthquakes are impossible to predict, and because scientists aren't even sure why major quakes occur away from plate boundaries, it is even more difficult to estimate a probability for New Madrid.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

ESF Research Conference On Earthquakes

Today is the last day of the European Science Foundation Research Conference on Earthquakes: NEW CHALLENGES IN EARTHQUAKE DYNAMICS: OBSERVING AND MODELLING A MULTI-SCALE SYSTEM. I look forward to hearing how things went from our friend Mr. Front Row, Stavros Tassos.

Earthquakes are complex phenomena that result from many intervening processes acting at various spatial and time scales. Recent advances in the observation and modelling of earthquakes have shown that faults interact through elastic stress transfer, but also via the activation of thermal, chemical, hydrological and visco-elastic processes, all occurring in a structurally complex medium. Our perception of the diversity of mechanisms by which faults accommodate stress is changing rapidly with our growing ability to instrument the crust. There is an increasing evidence that these interactions are not restricted to the large scales, typical of strong, destructive earthquakes: (i) recent observations have pointed out that small earthquakes can have as strong an influence on stress redistribution as large earthquakes do. Because of their sizes, these small-scale events are difficult to model. However, their influence can be incorporated as a stochastic term, or the errors involved in ignoring them must be estimated. (ii) Frictional models predict that even large earthquake nucleation could take place in very small zones (e.g., ~ 10 m). This implies that earthquakes are sensitive to mechanical conditions and processes acting at these very small scales, which can be significantly different from those characteristic of the regional tectonics. (iii) During rupture propagation, small-scale variations in pre-stress and / or fault geometry, related to the complexity of fault roughness and fault-zone structure, can control both the rupture speed and its total extent. The aim of this conference is to discuss the recent advances in earthquake physics, in particular relating to earthquake interactions (observations, models). An emphasis will be given on the role of small scale processes and structures in controlling large scale earthquakes and regional seismicity. It will promote new, exploratory discussions on how to reconcile large scale regional models with small-scale controls on stress and seismicity.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

An Expanding Earth Outline

Brian R. of Clastic Detritus has demanded more expanding Earth content so I'm posting this by popular demand.

"When studying the history of the creation and formulation of plate tectonics one can come to the conclusion that it is, and was at best only a hypothesis. A hypothesis, which uses an assumption at its basis. This is the assumption that the Earth has retained a constant size during its geological evolution. This assumption however is not supported by facts." -- Stefan Cwojdzinski, geologist, 2005

"The causal understanding of Earth expansion is not yet fully understood, but the empirical processes involved are confirmed by such numerous and different sets of data that this should be considered fact." -- Stefan Cwojdzinski, geologist, 2005

"The idea of an earth which is constant and unchanging has been restated so often throughout history that it has now become established as a firm fact. It needs no proof -- which is lucky since there is none." -- Stephen Hurrell, engineer, April 2006

I. Expansion History


Roberto Mantovani, violinist and scientist, born in Parma on March 25, 1854. He was part of an orchestral team reaching the volcanic Réunion Island in 1878. During his stay on the island, Mantovani had the occasion of observing the huge volcanic fractures on the Indian ocean shore near the town of Saint Denis. He argued that, on a global scale, all the continents might have undergone the same disjunction processes as the volcanic flanks. The global fractures are today the oceans. After several years from his observations, Mantovani published his idea in 1889 in the Bulletin of the Societé des Sciences et des Arts of Saint Denis, where the Italian established his family and became Consul of Italy. After an economic crisis and an epidemic plague in the Réunion Island, Roberto Mantovani left his post as Consul to go and live in San Servan, near the port of Saint Malo, in northern France, where he continued his activity as violinist, managing a school of music. As a scientist, he gave public conferences on the idea of planetary expansion. Mantovani was not a mere precursor of the continental drift idea: instead, Mantovani’s ideas on Earth expansion were more general compared to those of Wegener who was not taking into account the possibility of variation of the Earth’s radius. His more famous paper, quoted later by Wegener, was published in 1909, in a popular magazine 'Je m’instruis'. The paper contains the first suggestive mapping of the breakup of the Pangea continent based on geological arguments. The great novelty in the 1909 paper was the mapping of the Pacific view: dotted lines were drown between pairs of geographical points which once were in contact while today are separated by the huge extension of the Pacific basin. The idea was that the corresponding points were in contact before the expansion of the Earth. The enlarging of the huge fractures formed all oceans. We had to wait the sixties to find the same kind of lines in the Indian and Atlantic oceans in plate tectonics. According to plate tectonics this is not true for the Pacific Ocean, because in this case the plate movement is inverse and the ocean tends towards closing. The 1909 Pacific map was forgotten, and only Mantovani’s Pangea representation is reproduced today in some books dealing with the history of science.
Source: Roberto Mantovani an Italian defender of the continental drift and planetary expansion (Scalera & Jacob 2003)


Alfred W. Drayson publishes The Earth We Inhabit: It's Past, Present, and Probable Future.

"Upon examining the records of former measured distances, it appeared that the later operations showed this same distance to contain more feet and inches than formerly. My first idea was, that the measuring metals had contracted, but the great care which each operator had taken to guard against such a contingency, very shortly induced me to search for another cause. After many months, it was suggested to me, that possibly the earth was expanding, instead of the metals contracting; but no sooner did this idea present itself, than it was almost instantly rejected, for I hastily concluded that such a fact could not have escaped observation had it existed. I have always been disinclined to reject any suggestion, however novel, until I had closely examined its various phases. I therefore proceeded to reason upon the possibility of the growth of the Earth." -- Alfred W. Drayson, natural philosopher, 1859

"Every well ascertained fact tended to show that the Earth was increasing in size, and at the same time was also increasing it's orbit." -- Alfred W. Drayson, natural philosopher, 1859


Eduard Suess publishes The Face of the Earth.

"Early science was egocentric, and uniformitarian, in the sense that it assumed that things have always been pretty much as we now see them .... A century ago geologists believed that the mass, volume, and diameter of the Earth were fixed inheritances, that the axial obliquity to the ecliptic was immutable, that the earth was a dying body dissipating primal heat from a still molten core, that magnetic north was north and south was south, and always had been so, that physical constants had been and would remain constants, and that continents were fixed permanent features which heaved and sagged from time to time against an ebbing and flooding sea. ... During the nineties Suess knew this had to be changed, for he recognized that 200 to 300 million years ago Africa, South America, India, and Australia had been a super-continent sharing the Glossopteris flora and a common ice age." (Carey 1976).


Alfred Wegener publishes The Origin of Continents and Oceans. In Chapter 1, titled Historical Introduction, Wegener writes and I quote, "In a short article in 1909 Mantovani expressed some ideas on continental displacement and explained them by means of maps which differ in part from mine [duh!] but at some points agree astonishingly closely."

In other words continental drift was Mantovani's original idea NOT Wegener's.

And that was all Wegener ever said about expansion because he just assumed a priori that the earth is a constant size.

Sound familiar?

"During the thirties and forties and early fifties Wegener's ideas were generally rejected as a fantasy--fascinating but false. 'Ein Marchen, a pipe dream, a beautiful fairy story' chanted the American bandwaggon. During these decades of repudiation, arguments which denied continental dispersion passed without scrutiny or test. They were correct, a priori, because everyone knew continental dispersion was wrong." (Carey 1976)


The main points of the life and scientific production of Ott Christoph Hilgenberg (1896-1976) have been reconstructed. The events took place between America and Berlin: in America from 1925 to 1928 the young Hilgenberg, with a diploma in Mechanical Engineering, worked as a Geophysicist in an oil prospecting company. It was there that he probably developed his interdisciplinary ideas, which, influenced in various ways by the European cultural climate, brought him into the field of global tectonics. He conceived a theory about the expansion of the Earth based on the nature of the gravity field. In 1933, the theory was published in his classic work 'Vom wachsenden Erdball'. Upon his return in Germany he performed various types of research at the School of Engineering, then that of Geology and Paleontology at the Technical University of Berlin. He was also briefly involved as editor of the scientific publications at the Technical University of Berlin, where he made a contribution towards saving the book collection as the war ended. During the years spent in Berlin, he continued to refine his elegant version of the theory of Earth’s expansion publishing articles and books on this subject up to the last years in his life. The importance of Hilgenberg lies in the fact that he marks the beginning of the integration of various scientific disciplines from Physics to Paleontology and Paleomagnetism, in support of a universal tectonic theory, and that he made paleogeographic reconstructions on globes with smaller radii than the present one. All those who have worked or are working with one of the versions of expansion tectonics owe him enormous gratitude for his inspiration and for the scientific and moral lesson of fifty years spent in unflagging defence of his ideas. The material gathered and kindly made available by his daughter Helge has been indispensable for this recalling.
Source: Ott Christoph Hilgenberg in twentieth-century geophysics (Scalera & Jacob 2003)

Earth Expansion In German With English Subtitles:

Hilgenberg Globes:

"The Wegener bombshell of gross continental separation promptly triggered the concept of earth expansion as opposed to drift, but books in German by Lindemann (1927), Bogolepow (1930), Hilgenberg (1933), and Keindl (1940) got little attention in English literature. A second wave by Egyed (1956), Carey (1958), Heezen (1959), Neyman (1962), Broskke (1962), Barnett (1962), Creer (1965), Dearnley (1965), Jordan (1966), Steiner (1967), and Meservey (1969) ran against the orthodox tide, which in geology, is lethal." (Carey 1976)


Samuel Warren Carey publishes The Expanding Earth.


"I have been continually amazed that the simplicity with which Earth expansion answers so much of the Earth's evolution has been so delayed in universal adoption." -- Klaus A. Vogel, engineer, 1983


New Scientist:

"The geological and geophysical implications of such Earth expansion are so profound that most geologists and geophysicists shy away from them. In order to fit with the reconstruction that seems to be required, the volume of the Earth was only 51 per cent of its present value, and the surface area 64 per cent of that of the present day, 200 million years ago. Established theory says that the Earth's interior is stable, an inner core of nickel iron surrounded by an outer layer that behaves like a fluid. Perhaps we are completely wrong and the inner core is in some state nobody has yet imagined, a state that is undergoing a transition from a high-density state to a lower density state, and pushing out the crust, the skin of the Earth, as it expands." -- Hugh Owen, geophysicist, 1984


World renowned physicist William R. Corliss said it this way:

"The Expanding Earth Hypothesis goes back to at least 1933, a time when the Continental Drift Hypothesis was accorded the same sort of ridicule. Now, Continental Drift is enthroned; and ironically many of its strongest proponents are vehemently opposed to the Expanding Earth, ignoring the lessons of history." -- William R. Corliss, physicist, 1985.


"A recently reported study of brachiopods concludes that 'the balance of evidence seems to require an expanding earth' (Ager 1986).

Source: Expanding Earth?? (Mundy 1988).


"The many geophysical and geological paradoxes that have accumulated during the past two or three decades are apparently the consequences of forcing observational data into an inadequate tectonic model."-- Karsten M. Storetvedt, geophysicist, 1992.


"The greatest disturbance of traditional geological views came from the concept of oceanic seafloor spreading. By now, this has developed into a well-balanced theory which is in agreement with the results of geological and geophysical observations." -- Yury V. Chudinov, geologist, 1998

"Now that the subduction concept has been developed for almost 30 years, it can be said that it has not been fruitful geologically." -- Yury V. Chudinov, geologist, 1998

"There is no doubt that the subduction model constitutes the weakest link in the construction of plate tectonics, as has been repeatedly pointed out." -- Yury V. Chudinov, geologist, 1998


"In 1928 Rollin Chamberlin complained that if continental drift were true, geologists would have to 'forget everything that has been learned in the last 70 years and start all over again.' [Sound familiar?] And that is what they did. Between 1928 and 1968 many things changed in American earth science." (Oreskes 1999)


"To date however, there is no direct unambiguous evidence that mantle convection and/or mantle circulation actually takes place; in fact, there is some evidence to the contrary. Moreover, there is no evidence that oceanic basalt can be repeatedly recycled through the mantle without being substantially and irreversibly changed. Yet, mantle convection/circulation and basalt recycling are fundamental necessities for the validity of plate tectonics. Furthermore, plate tectonics theory does not provide an energy source for geodynamic activity." -- J. Marvin Herndon, geophysicist, 2005


"In the oral session, except for one presentation that was clearly pro plate tectonics, and another one that did not address the issue of global and large scale geology specifically, there was general consensus that subduction, and therefore plate tectonics, is mechanically impossible." -- Stavros T. Tassos (seismologist/geoscientist) and Karsten M. Storetvedt (geophysicist), November 2007

II. Introduction To My Argument

Scientists tell us that the universe (that means everything) is expanding.

See here, here, here, here, here, and here.

But those who have faith in the plate tectonics hypothesis don't believe scientists.

According to plate tectonics, there is one very special and magical place in the universe that is not expanding and that maintains a constant size.

That magical place, big surprise, is of course the Earth, or so they claim.

Earth they say is special because it's the only astronomical body in the universe alleged to have invisible magic subduction zones.

“Earth is the only planet with plate tectonics. That means it’s special in space, and it’s probably special in time, too. There must have been a time when the Earth didn’t have plate tectonics. The Earth had a very different tectonic, geologic style. There were no mid-ocean ridges with continents moving apart. There were no subduction zones where oceanic crust would have been going down,” Stern explained.

Earth is the only planet where subduction is known to occur. Without subduction, plate tectonics could not exist.

Why does plate tectonics occur only on Earth? This is one of the major questions in earth and planetary sciences research, and raises a wide range of related questions
In response to Why does plate tectonics occur only on Earth? There is a very simple answer: "Subduction exists only in the minds of its creators." -- Samuel W. Carey, geologist, 1976

Does Ganymede have subduction? No:

Does Europa have subduction? No:

Does Mars have subduction? No:

And now to the point

Does the Earth have subduction? No.

III. The Myth of Subduction

"People don't want to see it. They believe in subduction like a religion." -- Samuel W. Carey, geologist, 1981

"I had taught subduction for more years than any of the present generation of people had been with it. And when they have been in it as long as I have they'll abandon it too." -- Samuel W. Carey, geologist, 1981


"Subduction is not only illogical, it is not supported by geological or physical evidence, and violates fundamental laws of physics." -- Lawrence S. Myers, cryptologist/geoscientist, 1999

In order to maintain Earth’s current diameter, subduction MUST remove older Pacific Ocean seafloor at a rate equal to ALL new seafloor area added anywhere on the planet—not just the small ~25-40 mm/yr (~1 to 1-1/2 in/yr) of new seafloor added annually along the Atlantic Ocean midocean ridge. The total new seafloor growth, both E-W and N-S, along the ~65,000 kilometers of midocean ridges undoubtedly exceeds ~300 mm/yr (~12 in/yr), and ALL of it must be vectored into the Pacific Ocean basin, the only area on the planet where subduction is believed to occur.

There are other reasons to doubt the validity of subduction. One is the illogical question of why the East Pacific Rise (EPR) should generate ~80 to ~160 mm/yr (~3-1/4 to ~6-1/2 in/yr) of new ocean seafloor—right in the middle of the supposed subduction area, and simultaneously subduct a greater amount elsewhere around its perimeter, leaves one puzzled. This EPR growth is four times greater than seafloor growth anywhere else on the planet and this large amount of new oceanic seafloor does not appear to be accounted for in the VLBI measurements. Where are measurements showing the Pacific Ocean basin DECREASING IN WIDTH?

Also unaccounted for are the vast amounts of new N-S seafloor being added circum-Antarctica that are causing Antarctica to INCREASE IN TOTAL SURFACE AREA AND EXPAND RADIALLY OUTWARD FROM THE PLANET’S CENTER.

This raises the pivotal questions of HOW and WHERE subduction could be occurring because there is NO PHYSICAL EVIDENCE of seamounts or soft sedimentary debris filling the deep ocean trenches or piled up on North or South American shores, semi-liquid debris that would easily have been scraped off the top of any subducting ocean floor.

The Pacific Rim of Fire, the supposed subduction area, suffers frequent earthquakes, but Benioff zones and seismic tomography that scientists point to when trying to justify subduction, only APPEAR to support subduction because they merely provide epicenter depths of earthquakes without providing the direction or extent of movement.

The only way subductionists can PROVE SUBDUCTION is to demonstrate that the Pacific Ocean basin is actually being REDUCED IN SIZE, and that offshore islands or seamounts are rapidly moving closer to shore or are descending into the deep ocean trenches. The simplest solution would be direct trans-Pacific measurements of the changing distances between fixed points on each of the five Pacific continents and Alaska. (Use of satellite measurements (VLBI, LAGEO, GPS) should be avoided because the global grid system of latitude and longitude has itself changed by increased distances between parallels and meridions.)

However, there is no need to go to all this trouble. Since it has been shown earlier that the planet is obviously expanding there is no comparable problem, either physical or mathematical (except for the expanded global grid system). Midocean ridges are the enabling mechanism of global expansion, acting like cranial sutures that permit the human skull to grow to maturity. The midocean ridges simply add new basaltic seafloor from core magma that increases Earth’s total surface area, diameter and circumference, and, like Antarctica, EXPANDS ALL SURFACE AREAS RADIALLY OUTWARD FROM THE CENTER OF THE PLANET!
Source: Subduction's Fatal Flaw (Myers 1999)

Expansion poses no geophysical problems--the planet just keeps on growing and expanding, wherever and in whatever form it occurs, but the annual increase in diameter (~5-10 cm/yr or ~2-4 in/yr) is very small and difficult to measure.

Subduction, on the other hand, is purely hypothetical because it is based on a fundamental assumption that the planet has always been the same size since it was formed 4.5-4.6 billion years ago; something almost impossible to prove. This philosophical assumption requires that any addition of surface area to one part of the planet would require an equal compensatory loss in some other region of the planet. Maintaining a constant diameter, however, raises a number of troubling questions about the mechanics of subduction:

a. Not generally realized is that subduction, at a minimum, would require the Pacific basin to decrease in width by at least the ~2-4 cm/yr increase in width of the Atlantic basin in order to maintain Earth at a constant diameter and permit the entire Pacific Ocean basin to be swallowed! But, for subduction to be valid, another ~8-16 cm/yr of East Pacific Rise (EPR) growth (the greatest rate of new seafloor growth on the planet [Fig. 2]) also must be swallowed, for a total minimum subduction rate of ~10-20 cm/yr (~4-8 in/yr).

b. And to the above totals one must add an amount equal to additional seafloor growth along thousands of kilometers of midocean ridges in the Indian Ocean and around Antarctica. The Indian Ocean, which has opened even wider than the Atlantic, also has no evidence of subduction within its confines. How can worldwide seafloor growth in oceans outside the Pacific be vectored smoothly into the Pacific basin where the EPR is generating a prodigious volume of new seafloor in the middle of the Pacific subduction area?

c. A major flaw in subduction dogma is the very young age of the oldest Pacific Ocean sediments ever found in the Pacific basin. These sediments were cored on Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 129 at Site 801B (18° 38.52´N, 156° 21.582´E, Central Pigafetta Basin, just east of the Mariana Trench) and were found to be only ~169 Ma (Middle Jurassic) in age; roughly equal to the oldest sediments found in the Atlantic Ocean.

d. Using these ODP data and extrapolations from magnetic anomaly lineations (isochrons) in the same area, Nakanishi, et al, arrived at a slightly older age of ~195 Ma, postulating “the shape of the early Pacific plate was a rough triangle” covering an area of 0.04x10[6] km² at ~190 Ma, 0.6x10[6] km² at ~180 Ma, and 3x10[6] km² at ~170 Ma. The Pacific plate is now estimated to cover an area of 108x10[6] km²—which means that the entire Pacific plate has been generated within the last ~195 Ma, thereby constraining the age of the Pacific basin to be no more than ~200-205 Ma.

e. Proponents of subduction may argue that sediment ages less than ~200 Ma supports their contention that all the older Pacific seafloor has been subducted since the Atlantic basin first opened approximately ~160-175 Ma, and therefore none of the original Panthalassan seafloor can be found today. But this is only an inferred assumption and valid only if subduction has really existed. This is now a moot point because the evidence shown in Heezen and Tharp’s map shows that Panthalassa (Wegener's eo-Pacific Ocean) never existed.

f. If subduction were actually occurring to offset worldwide seafloor growth, there should be constant and sustained seismic activity reflecting disappearance of older seafloor at the same rate new seafloor is being generated. There is indeed a great deal of earthquake activity throughout the Ring of Fire, but it is not equally distributed around the Pacific Ocean perimeter commensurate with the constancy of new seafloor growth that must be vectored in from oceanic areas outside the Pacific basin.

g. There is no empirical proof that Pacific perimeter earthquakes are caused by subduction; this is inferred and purely hypothetical. There are more logical explanations such as crustal adjustments due to relaxed curvature and flattening of the Earth's crust as a consequence of expansion in diameter. Earthquakes, though powerful, are merely secondary effects of planetary expansion, not primary geophysical actions with independent motive power.

h. Subduction fails to explain a satisfactory causative mechanism able to force thin ocean floors only 10 km thick to dive beneath thick continental shields 25-40 km thick without leaving behind some physical evidence. There is no evidence of ocean floors and seamounts diving into the deep ocean trenches (the trenches show little or no sedimentation, and no toppled seamounts). As noted by Roger Revelle in 1955, material recovered from even the deepest trenches “resemble in many ways deposits laid down in shallow water.”

i. This exposes a related problem--the missing soft sediments that should have been scraped off the ocean floor when descending beneath a rigid continental shield over a period of two hundred million years. These soft sediments are an unconsolidated top layer of ocean floor ~10 meters thick. Massive amounts of sediments should be piled up against continental shores, or in the deep ocean trenches off the eastern coasts of Asia and Australia, the western coasts of North and South America, or in the Aleutian Trench. The sediments just aren't there; the ocean trenches are relatively free of sediments and there are no mountains of soft sediments piled up against any Pacific shore.
Source: SUBDUCTION'S PROBLEMS (Myers 1999)

Also see: Eclogites In the SCLM: The Subduction Myth (Griffin & O'Reilly)

No Subduction (Neal Adams):

IV. Delta G

There is no gravitational constant because the Earth is expanding. This explains the giant size of the dinosaurs, how Pterosaurs could fly, and how Tarascosaurus could run 50 miles per hour.

Improvements in our knowledge of the absolute value of the Newtonian gravitational constant, G, have come very slowly over the years. Most other constants of nature are known (and some even predictable) to parts per billion, or parts per million at worst. However, G stands mysteriously alone, its history being that of a quantity which is extremely difficult to measure and which remains virtually isolated from the theoretical structure of the rest of physics. Several attempts aimed at changing this situation are now underway, but the most recent experimental results have once again produced conflicting values of G and, in spite of some progress and much interest, there remains to date no universally accepted way of predicting its absolute value. The review will assess the role of G in physics, examine the status of attempts to derive its value and provide an overview of the experimental efforts that are directed at increasing the accuracy of its determination. Regarding the latter, emphasis will be placed on describing the instrumentational aspects of the experimental work. Related topics that are also discussed include the search for temporal variation of G and recent investigations of possible anomalous gravitational effects that lie outside of presently accepted theories.
The Newtonian gravitational constant: recent measurements and related studies (Gillies 1997)

Measurement of Newton's Constant Using a Torsion Balance with Angular Acceleration Feedback (Gundlach & Merkowitz 2000)

"It is important to note that all the periods [Earth's orbit and year] were likely of different duration in the geological past." -- Mazumder and Arima, 2005

"This implies that slow Earth expansion might have occured if G varies (Runcorn 1964, pg. 825)." -- Mazumder and Arima, 2005

Tidal Rhythmites and their Implications (Mazumder & Arima 2004)

Atom Interferometer Measurement of the Newtonian Constant of Gravity (Fixler et al 2007)

V. Abridged Works Cited

Carey, Samuel, The Expanding Earth, 1976

Carey, Samuel, Theories of the Earth and Universe: A History of Dogma In The Sciences, 1988

Chudinov, Yury, Global Eduction Tectonics of the Expanding Earth, 1998

Drayson, Alfred, The Earth We Inhabit: It's Past, Present, and Probable Future, 1859

Hurrell, Stephen, Dinosaurs and the Expanding Earth, 2003

Maxlow, James, Terra Non Firma Earth, 2005

Oreskes, Naomi, The Rejection of Continental Drift, 1999

Suess, Eduard, The Face of the Earth, 1906

Wegener, Alfred, The Origin Of Continents and Oceans, 1915

Monday, October 20, 2008

Halliburton Q3 Results

U.S. Stocks Gain, Led by Energy Shares on Halliburton Earnings.

Halliburton jumped $1.59 to $19.85. Excluding an acquisition charge and $693 million in costs related to redemption of convertible bonds, per-share profit was 76 cents, 2 cents higher than the average of 24 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

``Whenever somebody reports numbers that exceed expectations, that's a positive not only for the individual stock but the broader market,'' said Dean Gulis, who helps manage about $2.5 billion for Loomis Sayles & Co. in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. ``In a case like Halliburton, it carries over to its sector. You have a good number of attractively valued opportunities out there.''

Exxon gained $4.79 to $72.83. Crude oil for November delivery climbed as much as 5.8 percent to $76 a barrel in New York on speculation OPEC will cut production to halt a 50 percent slide in prices from July's record.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Oil Falls Below $70

OPEC calls emergency meeting as oil prices fall.

Oil prices dropped below $70 a barrel for the first time in 14 months Thursday, prompting the OPEC cartel to call for an emergency meeting next week to establish some stability in prices that have plummeted recently after rising for months.

Oil prices have tumbled by nearly $40 a barrel in just three weeks as indications grow that demand for energy will slow along with weakening economies around the world. As recently as July, oil was trading at a record of $145 a barrel.

The decline in oil prices could provide a form of stimulus to the global economy as consumers pay less to fill up their tanks. If oil prices stay at current levels, American consumers would have $250 billion more, over a year, to save or spend elsewhere, according to Lawrence Goldstein, an energy economist. Some analysts expect oil prices to keep declining, perhaps to as low as $50 a barrel in coming months.

Americans will probably see lower energy bills this winter, as gasoline and heating oil futures also dropped sharply on Thursday. Gasoline prices now average $3.08 a gallon, or 3.8 liters, down from a summer peak of $4.11 a gallon, according to AAA.
Must be peak oil.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Mysterious Receding Seas


NEW YORK, NEW YORK, Oct. 8 -/E-Wire/-- Richard Guy in his latest book shows how all ancient civilizations worldwide evolved in high mountains. The fact that they did originate in high mountains has never been subject to historical scrutiny or research. Guy does an in-depth expose of this anomaly in his new book "The Mysterious Receding Seas." He takes his readers on an interesting journey back into ancient history to show how sea levels have influenced the development and dispersion of civilizations from pre-history up to the present.

Did you ever stop to seriously consider why the oldest civilizations known to mankind all resided at extremely high altitudes? Did you ever wonder whatever became of important port cities like Pithom and Ramses in Egypt or Ostia, the harbor city of ancient Rome? Did it ever strike you as odd that the legendary Sinbad the Sailor sailed from Baghdad harbor which was on the Persian Gulf? Today, Baghdad is some 350 miles from the sea and one hundred and twenty five feet above sea level. Author Richard Guy is a structural engineer. His work has taken him all over the world. And Richard Guy has a theory. Guy believes that the earth is constantly expanding as a result of seismic activity and volcanic eruptions. Furthermore, the consequences of our expanding earth are a slow but steady decline in sea levels worldwide.

"The Mysterious Receding Seas" presents Guy's incredible hypothesis for your consideration. As it says on the back cover of this book "This book will not only convince you but will forever change your perspective on the way our civilization developed."

As a structural engineer with forty years of experience in this field, He has built roads, harbors, docks, oil refineries and airports on lands that were once under the sea. Richard Guy developed a relationship and respect for the seas and oceans. His vast experience, direct observations, as well as acquired knowledge from a keen interest in the subject, is clear and evident throughout the book. His enthusiasm for the subject is contagious. His book is dedicated to showing how sea levels have changed over the millennia and how new land develops, that mankind is oblivious to this fact, and that the creation of new topography is a natural phenomenon.

Given that the volume of water in the oceans is relatively constant, the changes in land development are shown from ancient times into the present. It is a continuing process where estuaries and wetlands are by nature temporary. They will dry up as seas recede and new land claims their space and displaces the life forms dependent on this habitat. The author provides a fascinating look at the earth and environment, as it used to be in the past and how it is developing for the future. This book opens up new vistas of understanding nature and the vastness of earth changes. The reader comes to realizes how brief and temporary our existence is on planet earth and how large and infinite the possibilities for these change really are ... This book is about earth expansion theory and how this relates to receding sea levels. A fascinating read. "The Mysterious Receding Seas" is published by Xlibris

Tough Time For Everybody

Well at least I'm suffering (and learning) in good company: Hedge Funds Concede Errors, Profess Optimism After Worst Losses.

David Einhorn, who runs New York-based Greenlight Capital LLC, said external forces were partly to blame for the 17 percent drop in his three funds in September.

While he and his team made mistakes, ``we believe that our portfolio management has been reasonable,'' Einhorn wrote in an Oct. 1 letter to clients.

Einhorn, 39, pointed to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Sept. 18 ban on short sales of financial stocks for some of the losses in the month. The ban, which expired Oct. 9, eventually included about 15 percent of the companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index.

Caught Short

In a short sale, investors sell borrowed stock in hopes of repurchasing it later at a lower price and pocketing the difference. A long position is one that an investor holds in expectation it will rise.

After the ban went into place, the shorts recovered much more than the longs, he wrote, ``especially the financial shorts abundant in our portfolio.''

Einhorn, who earlier this year was vocal in this view that shares of now-bankrupt Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. would tumble, said he planned to hold onto the short positions in financial companies ``for a good deal of time (providing there aren't additional extraordinary legal changes) until they begin to trade in a normal market environment again.''

In the third quarter, Einhorn's three funds lost about 15 percent, one percentage point of which came from stocks he had shorted. Nine companies Einhorn held long, including French chemical-maker Arkema SA, French bank Natixis SA and Houston- based oil and gas producer Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc., each contributed more than one percentage point to the quarterly drop.

Playing Defense

Einhorn told investors his funds are more conservatively invested than ever. While almost three-quarters of assets, including leverage, are long, he has offset those holdings with short sales that bring the net to 9 percent. Einhorn declined to comment.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Black Swans Kill

Stress in Global Markets Is a `Black Swan Event'.

Oct. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Measures of stress in worldwide markets are so far from historical norms that they qualify as a ``black swan event.''

The CHART OF THE DAY shows Bloomberg's Financial Conditions Index, which includes yield spreads and measures of the money, stock and bond markets. The index's drop this month is the kind of rare, devastating event described in Nassim Taleb's book ``The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable,'' said Nigel Marriott, the founder of Bath, England-based Marriott Statistical Consulting Ltd.

``It's way off the scale, a one-in-billions chance,'' said Marriott, a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society. ``This is absolutely a black swan event.''

In statistical theory, about 68 percent of events are within one standard deviation above or below the average, 95 percent are within two deviations and 99.7 percent within three. Markets are currently 9.47 so-called standard deviations from usual levels, the Bloomberg index shows.

The measures indicate conditions so unusual that they're comparable only with winning the lottery twice in a week or the earth being destroyed by an asteroid, said David Watts, a strategist at CreditSights Inc. in London.

The data go back only to 1992 and so don't reflect market disruptions such as Black Monday in October 1987 or the Great Depression.

``The Depression was an event in human history,'' said Marriott. ``So is this.''

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

PT Says Earth Is Unique In The Universe

Get this: according to Plate Tectonics mythology, Earth is the only planet in the universe with subduction zones.

Why does plate tectonics occur only on Earth?

Abstract. Plate tectonics [allegedly] governs the topography and motions of the surface of Earth, and the loss of heat from Earth's interior, but appears to be found uniquely on Earth in the Solar System. Why does plate tectonics occur only on Earth? This is one of the major questions in earth and planetary sciences research, and raises a wide range of related questions
UT Dallas Geosciences Faculty Profile: Robert Stern

“Earth is the only planet with plate tectonics. That means it’s special in space, and it’s probably special in time, too. There must have been a time when the Earth didn’t have plate tectonics. The Earth had a very different tectonic, geologic style. There were no mid-ocean ridges with continents moving apart. There were no subduction zones where oceanic crust would have been going down,” Stern explained.
LOL. Wow they are really desperate now.

New Object Discovered

Is It A Planet? Exotic Object Orbiting Star Stirs Exoplanet Classification Rethink.

ScienceDaily (Oct. 7, 2008) — The European spacecraft COROT has discovered a massive planet-sized object orbiting its parent star closely, unlike anything ever spotted before. It is so exotic, that scientists are unsure as to whether this oddity is actually a planet or a failed star.

The object, named COROT-exo-3b, is about the size of Jupiter, but packs more than 20 times the mass. It takes only 4 days and 6 hours to orbit its parent star, which is slightly larger than the Sun.

COROT-exo-3b was found as the satellite observed the drop in the brightness of the star each time the object (COROT-exo-3b) passed in front. "We were taken by surprise when we found this massive object orbiting so close to its parent star", said Dr Magali Deleuil from the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille (LAM), leader of the team that made the discovery. She added, "COROT-exo-3b is really unique - we’re still debating its nature."

The search for planets with orbital periods less than 10 days orbiting close to the parent star has lasted almost 15 years. During this time, scientists have encountered planets with masses 12 times that of Jupiter, and stars 70 times as massive as Jupiter, but none in between. This is why the 20-Jupiter-mass COROT-exo-3b was such a surprise.
"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands." (Psalm 19:1)

"He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by [their] names." (Psalm 147:4)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Worst Financial Crisis In History

OK, so I admit we're in a crisis: S&P 500 Drop Makes Decade Worst; Granville Sees Crash.

Oct. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Even the 1930s are looking better for U.S. stock investors after the credit crisis wiped out more than $7 trillion from equities in the past year.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost 22 percent since the start of 2000 after sinking 15 percent this month, total return data compiled by Bloomberg show. The decline would be the first for a decade in 70 years and exceeds the 8.9 percent plunge in the 1930s, following the stock market crash of 1929, data compiled by New York University's Stern School of Business show.

``This is the worst financial experience in world history,'' said Joseph Granville, 85, a technical analyst who has been publishing the Granville Market Letter from Kansas City, Missouri for 45 years. ``We're in October, and the market is crashing. What we're seeing right now is complete demoralization.''

Monday, October 6, 2008

BP On The Peak Oil Hoax

Christof Rühl is chief economist at British Petroleum: BP: 'We should see volatility increase'.

Physical peak oil, which I have no reason to accept as a valid statement either on theoretical, scientific or ideological grounds, would be insensitive to prices. In fact the whole hypothesis of peak oil – which is that there is a certain amount of oil in the ground, consumed at a certain rate, and then it's finished – does not react to anything.

Whereas we believe that whatever can be turned into oil strongly depends on technology and technology depends on prices as well.

Therefore there will never be a moment when the world runs out of oil because there will always be a price at which the last drop of oil can clear the market. And you can turn anything into oil into if you are willing to pay the financial and environmental price.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Scientists Rediscover Fischer-Tropsch Process

Using Plants Instead of Petroleum to Make Jet Fuel.

Chemical engineers in North Dakota have successfully turned oil from plants—canola (rapeseed), coconuts and soybeans—into jet fuel indistinguishable from the conventional kind, according to U.S. government tests. Working with the U.S. Department of Defense's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), scientists at the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota turned these plant oils into fuel that had a similar density, energy content and even freezing point.

"It's got a freeze point of –47 degrees Celsius (–52.6 degrees Fahrenheit). Anyone familiar with biodiesel can tell you that's no small feat," says chemical engineer Chad Wocken, EERC environmental technologies research manager. "It's processed so that it contains only the same hydrocarbon molecules present in petroleum fuel."

Although he declined to explain the exact details of the process, Wocken says it is thermocatalytic—in other words, the engineers heat the plant oils in the presence of an undisclosed [aka Fischer-Tropsch] catalyst to create a slew of petroleum products. In fact, the process is not unlike conventional oil refining in that it produces everything from the kerosene used as aviation fuel to regular gasoline.

"The processing costs would be similar and comparable to petroleum oil refining," and perhaps even less expensive, Wocken notes, "because you're not dealing with contaminants like sulfur."

Of course, the biofuel's ultimate price tag is yet to be determined as only "gallons" of it have been brewed compared with the more than 60 million gallons (225 million liters) of jet fuel consumed daily in the U.S. But it will in large part depend on the price to grow the crops themselves—all have been fluctuating in recent months due to newly volatile global commodity markets.

Virgin Atlantic has flown a jumbo jet on a combination of conventional jet fuel and biofuel made from palm oil, and a jet powered solely by biodiesel has stayed aloft for more than 30 minutes—albeit with a special device to keep its fuel from freezing at high altitude. And the EERC fuel is not the only bio-based jet fuel available: UOP, LLC, a division of Honeywell Specialty Materials, has a similar fuel made from vegetable and animal oils, whereas algae-grower Solazyme, Inc., has derived a jet fuel from pond scum that meets ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials International) standards.

"We did this outside the DARPA program," says Solazyme CEO Jonathan Wolfson. "As green as people want to be, they don't want to pay more for fuel."

The EERC is currently in the process of producing 25 gallons (95 liters) of the bio–jet fuel for ground testing in a jet engine as early as next month. "The thing that needs to happen is a purchase order to come through from the Air Force so we can get [the] investment to build that first plant," Wocken says. "We could get a plant operational in two to five years if there were a commitment to buy the fuel."
For the record, the United States Air Force is well aware of the Fischer-Tropsch process: Wild Green Yonder: Flying the Environmentally Friendly Skies on Alternative Fuels. Kerosine is alternative fuel?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Cold Nuclear Fusion

Admitedly this is all new to me but fortunately our friend Stavros T. Tassos at the National Observatory of Athens has a working theory.

Cold nuclear fusion is the mechanism which causes the growing earth and Excess Mass Stress (EMS).

For many years, due to ignorance and a lack of education, hominids laughed at the concepts of physics such as cold nuclear fusion.

But iron production in the core explains why, as Stavros taught me, the iron-rich rocks, like basalt and gabbro, are on the bottom and the iron-poor rocks, like granites, are on the top, when it is well known that the iron-rich rocks were the last to form.

See here: Rocks reveal the signature of fusion at the centre of the Earth.

Here: Evidence for tritium production in the Earth’s interior.

And the Space and Naval Warfare (SPAWAR) Systems Center in San Diego: Further evidence of nuclear reactions in the Pd/D lattice: emission of charged particles.

Were Pterosaurs Too Big To Fly?

Not on a smaller Earth: Pterodactyls were too heavy to fly, scientist claims.

The new research claims that the ancient reptiles, which could grow to the size of small aeroplanes, were too heavy to fly - even with their massive wings.

The problem, according to a leading scientist, is that they could not flap fast enough to create the thrust to keep their enormous bulk airborne.

The 'dinosaur' popularly known as a pterodactyl is actually called a reptile called a pterosaur, which is Greek for flying lizard.

It existed alongside the dinosaurs between 251 and 65 million years ago, and were thought to be the biggest creatures to ever take to the air.

The fossilised remains of one example had a wing span of more than 15 metres.

But Katsufumi Sato, a Japanese scientist, who collected data from five large birds including the world's biggest, the wandering albatross, has calculated that it was physically impossible for them to stay aloft.

The University of Tokyo professor claims that the largest animal capable of soaring across the sky unaided could have weighed no more than 40kg (88lbs) or the size of a labrador dog.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Observation Supports Herndon Model of Planetary Formation

A young extrasolar planet in its cosmic nursery.

Astronomers from Heidelberg discover planet in a dusty disk around a newborn star

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg have discovered the youngest known extrasolar planet. Its host star is still surrounded by the disk of gas and dust from which it was only recently born. This discovery allows scientists to draw important conclusions about the timing of planet formation.

How do planetary systems form? How common are they? What is their architecture? How many habitable earth-like planets exist in the Milky Way? In the past decade, astronomers have clearly come closer to finding answers to these exciting questions. With the discovery of the first planet orbiting another Sun-like star in 1995, the field of extrasolar planet research was born.

Today, almost 12 years later, more than 250 exoplanets have been discovered. A group of scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg is also looking for these objects. A planet next to a bright star appears like a glow-worm next to a lighthouse. It is (not yet) possible to directly make images of most extrasolar planets. Therefore, astronomers often use an indirect detection method.

As a planet orbits its host star, it pulls the star in periodically alternating directions with its gravity. The star then sometimes moves a little towards us, and at other times away from us. When it moves towards us, the light waves are “compressed” which is equivalent to the light becoming bluer. When the star moves away, the waves are “stretched” and the light is “red-shifted”. The periodic change of color, or shift of spectral lines, known as the “Doppler effect”, can thus reveal an unseen planet and allows astronomers to derive a lower limit to its mass. So far this so called “radial velocity” method remains the most successful technique in detecting exoplanets. However, no planet has ever been found around a new-born Sun-like star. The detection of young planets would provide the most important key to understanding questions like: how and where do planets form, and what timescales are involved in this process?

With this in mind, a team of astronomers from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg (Germany) has monitored radial velocity variations of about 200 young stars to search for extrasolar planets. One of these was the nearby star TW Hydrae, which is only 8-10 million years old (about 1/500th the age of our Sun). Like other stars at this young age, it is still surrounded by a circumstellar disk of gas and dust, believed to be the birthplace of planets.

The team has now discovered a planetary companion that orbits the young star TW Hydrae within an inner hole in its disk (Figure 1). “When we monitored the radial velocity of TW Hydrae, we detected a periodic variation that could not arise from stellar activity and pointed towards the presence of a planet” (Figure 2) said Johny Setiawan (MPIA), the leader of the observational program. The detection was made with the FEROS spectrograph at the 2.2m telescope belonging to the Max Planck Society and the European Southern Observatory (ESO) at La Silla in Chile.

The newly-discovered planet, called TW Hydrae b, is a heavyweight; it is about ten times as massive as Jupiter, the biggest planet in our Solar System. The planet orbits its host star in only 3.56 days at a distance of about 6 million kilometres (Figure 3). This corresponds to 4 percent of the distance from the Sun to the Earth.

Stellar activity represents a critical problem for the detection of extrasolar planets – in particular when the star is young and its surface is still very unstable. For example, when starspots (like those on our Sun) are large, they can mimic radial velocity variations caused by an orbiting planet. “To exclude any misinterpretation of our data, we have investigated all activity indicators of TW Hydrae in detail. But their characteristics are significantly different from those of the main radial velocity variation. They are less regular and have shorter periods,” said Ralf Launhardt (MPIA), who coordinates several search programs for extrasolar planets around young stars.

Planets form from dust and gas in a circumstellar disk shortly after the birth of a star. Not all aspects of this process are yet understood. However, the discovery of TW Hydrae b provides new constraints on planet formation theories. Based on statistical studies, astronomers have estimated the average lifetime of a circumstellar disk to be 10 – 30 million years. This would then be the maximum time available to form planets in a disk. The detection of TW Hydrae b now provides the first direct measurement of a true upper limit of the formation time of a giant planet: it cannot be older than its host star, i.e., 8 – 10 million years. “This is one of the most exciting discoveries in the study of extrasolar planets,” said Thomas Henning, the director of the Planet and Star Formation Department at MPIA. “For the first time, we have directly proven that planets indeed form in circumstellar disks. The discovery of TW Hydrae b opens the way to linking the evolution of circumstellar disks with the processes of planet formation and migration.” It is the ideal system to test numerical models of planet formation.

Biomarkers Observed Contaminating Oil

Science Daily: Tiny Organisms Feast On Oil Thousands Of Feet Below Bottom Of Sea.

ScienceDaily (Oct. 1, 2008) — Thousands of feet below the bottom of the sea, off the shores of Santa Barbara, single-celled organisms are busy feasting on oil.

Until now, nobody knew how many oily compounds were being devoured by the microscopic creatures, but new research led by David Valentine of UC Santa Barbara and Chris Reddy of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts has shed new light on just how extensive their diet can be.

In a report to be published in the Oct. 1 edition of the journal Environmental Science & Technology, Valentine, Reddy, lead author George Wardlaw of UCSB, and three other co-authors detail how the microbes are dining on thousands of compounds that make up the oil seeping from the sea floor.

"It takes a special organism to live half a mile deep in the Earth and eat oil for a living," said Valentine, an associate professor of earth science at UCSB. "There's this incredibly complex diet for organisms down there eating the oil. It's like a buffet."

And, the researchers found, there may be one other byproduct being produced by all of this munching on oil - natural gas. "They're eating the oil, and probably making natural gas out of it," Valentine said. "It's actually a whole consortium of organisms - some that are eating the oil and producing intermediate products, and then those intermediate products are converted by another group to natural gas."

Reddy, a marine chemist at Woods Hole, said the research provides important new clues in the study of petroleum. "The biggest surprise was that microbes living without oxygen could eat so many compounds that compose crude oil," Reddy said. "Prior to this study, only a handful of compounds were shown, mostly in laboratory studies, to be degraded anaerobically. This is a major leap forward in understanding petroleum geochemistry and microbiology."
It's a major leap forward for everyone except 20th century fundamentalists.