Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Biogeography of the Tuatara Dispells the Zealandia Myth

Another Plate Tectonics myth in the toilet where it belongs: Unusual fossil may rule out ancient flood.

It is said that in the mists of time, the islands of New Zealand were lost, Atlantis-like, beneath the ocean. But a newly discovered fossil reptile suggests this [so-called] theory does not hold water.

Marc Jones of University College London, UK, and colleagues found the portions of fossilised reptile jaw on New Zealand's South Island.

The wear patterns of the teeth suggest its owner had two parallel rows of upper teeth, and a single row of lower teeth that slotted in between. The only reptile known to have this type of jaw is the endangered tuatara and its ancestors.

With its spiny crest and unique jaw, the lizard-like tuatara is remarkable even among New Zealand's extraordinary wildlife. But what is most exciting about Jones's fossil is its age: it dates to just 3 million years after a time when some researchers have suggested the land mass that forms New Zealand sank beneath the waves.


Jeffery Keown said...

Actually, a closer read of the original article doesn't say the whole thing was submerged, only that it was at one time _thought_ to have been. I don't see plate tectonics "rocked" (sorry) by this finding.

But I do have a couple of questions today. What is the age of the Earth from the point of view of the Expanding Earth hypothesis?

Where does the theory of Evolution fit into it?

OilIsMastery said...

Hi Jeffery,

Zealandia, like gravity, is a myth.

If the Pacific Ocean is subducting as required by Plate Tectonics, how did the Tuatara teleport from Patagonia to New Zealand? Did it evolve wings and fly?

In response to your questions, the age of the Earth according to Expanding Earth Theory is the same as the age of the Earth according to the now falsified Plate Tectonics hypothesis.

"Biogeographic arguments for a closed Pacific (just like biogeographic arguments for a closed Atlantic and closed Indian) are based on evolutionary theory. Specifically, according to the theory of evolution, you can't have a host of closely-related, poor dispersing taxa suddenly appearing on opposite sides of an ocean -- when it is highly improbable for any of the ancestral taxa to cross oceans. So according to the referenced paper above, unless plate tectonic theorists want to rely on divine intervention, a slew of creation stories or a myriad of impossible trans-oceanic crossings of terrestrial taxa, their paleomaps are wrong. Panthalassa could not have existed between all of the hundred plus referenced taxa, which is to say, it didn't exist." -- Dennis D. McCarthy, geoscientist, October 2003

Jeffery Keown said...

I should think the tuatara's ancestors walked across Antarctica while it was attached to both Australia and South America.

As to the age of the Earth and its expansion, we read that the ocean floor crust is only 200 mya. Does Expanding Earth attempt to extrapolate backwards from that date to suggest a planetary diameter before that time? I assume accretion is thought to "curve" with lower rates of growth in deep time? You can see the absurdity of an Earth of 400 mya the size of the moon that supports complex life and deep oceans as suggested by ToE. Beyond 400 mya, size certainly gets called into question.

OilIsMastery said...


Interesting word choice. Science isn't about what people "should" think. Science is about observation and empirical evidence.

In response to your questions, Expanding Earth does indeed extrapolate back to and prior to ~180-200 ya. See the work of seismologist Stavros T. Tassos located at left and below on the blog sidebar.

Tassos, S.T., Earth Expansion Versus Plate Tectonics or Approaching Reality Versus Mental Artifacts, New Concepts In Global Tectonics, Volume 4, Pages 13-17, 1997

Tassos, S.T., Excess Mass Stress (E.M.S.): The Driving Force Behind Geodynamic Phenomena, Proceedings of the International Symposium On New Concepts In Global Tectonics, Pages 26-34, Nov 1998

Tassos, S.T., and Ford, D.J., An Integrated Alternative Conceptual Framework to Heat Engine Earth, Plate Tectonics, and Elastic Rebound, Journal of Scientific Exploration, Volume 19, Number 1, Pages 43-90, 2005

Quantum_Flux said...

One might still make the argument that the amount of energy needed to add mass to the Earth (E=mc^2), i.e. in the form of iron and uranium and all the heavier elements common to the deeper depths of the Earth, is many orders of magnitude greater than the amount of energy that would be required simply to heat the core in order to maintain constant temperature while still supplying energy for the melting/circulation and other plate tectonic activities that Continental Drift theorists adhere too.

I think that Expanding Earth Theory is a myth.

Louis Hissink said...

Quantum Flux

Mass is a force, not an amount of matter.

Adding mass to some thing is akin to adding velocity to some thing.

Adding mass is a nonsense.

Think on it.

Louis Hissink said...

I'm not getting into any PT vs EE debate here as I've gone beyond that but please do think about what happens when a dense rock is melted and, in a closed system, allowed to follow Bowen's reaction series.

Melting upper mantle rocks and allowing them to cool produces less dense derivatives. The same amount of matter when dispersed into a larger volume of space is expansion. Less dense matter occupies more space than more dense matter, everthing else being equal.

The observed increase in Earth volume is real but it is not from an increase in mass, but from the production of less dense fractionation products over time.

Pyrolite is the "name" we give to the rock which comprises the upper mantle. Under reduced pressure it expands to less dense rocks such as peridotite, which if allowed to become liquid, then produce even less dense products.

Louis Hissink said...

Age of Earth.

Think on this simplistic non graphical summary of a timeline:

no data-->preCambrian-->Mesozoic-->present-->tomorrow-->no data

Science deals with data.

Jeffery Keown said...

Present = Cenozoic if I'm not mistaken.

As to my use of the word "should" please read that to mean "have seen evidence to suggest"

Anaconda said...

Louis Hissink makes an easy to understand case, which is backed up by observation and measurement.

Science, more specifically geology, recognizes the processes he outlines, if not the end result.

It differs from my take (addition of matter by way of ions from the Sun by a Plasma Cosmology causation), but follows processes readily understood and recognized and conforms with Occam's Razor rule of thumb.

In that sense, I think it's a better mechanism than mine because it doesn't require great additions of matter to the Earth.

(Although, as a side note, gravity would seemingly remain the same because matter doesn't increase. So, science is still left with the "dinosaur anomaly.")

The two mechanisms are not mutally exclusive, but could compliment one another.

As far as Zealandia is concerned, looking at underwater formations around New Zealand, one can see an upraised portion of seabed surrouding New Zealand.

The islands sit upon the fault line and the raised seabed radiates out from the volcanic islands that trend slightly North East over the fault line.

Whether this submerged, yet raised seabed is part of "Zealandia" could be partially determined by finding out what this raised seabed is composed of. Does it consist of continetal crust of granitite or oceanic crust consisting of basalt? This would seem to be a vital question in determining the ultimate origin of this raised mass.

Clearly, though, there is a submerged, yet raised portion of seabed.

The answers to these question are important, not just in terms of theory, but in terms of petroleum exploration.

New Zealand already has producing offshore oil wells (Maui, Kupe, Pohokura, Kupe satellite fields) which are relatively close to shore and are consistent with abiotic oil and have produced more than was expected at first discovery & production (this has been true for most oil wells, onshore and offshore the world over, by the way). So, the question is clear, how extensive and far offshore do these oil deposits extend?

The present oil wells are close to the main faults and also are close to a volcano, but fractures exist all through the submerged, yet raised portion of seabed.

New Zealand has a small population, so if oil deposits are extensive this would promise not only self-sufficiency for New Zealand, but potentially extensive reserves for export in the world market.

So, the questions posed on this website and this comment are not just academic, but of great econmic import.

Abiotic oil is an end product of larger geophysical processes, but its economic value is what will spur investigation of those larger questions.

OilIsMastery said...


What evidence have you seen that suggests tuataras colonized Antarctica?

Anaconda said...


What is the difference between the two?

Snap judgments about a theory is a sign of being closed-minded. Reserving judgment is a sign of having reasonable scepticism, yet being willing to see the evidence play out.

Why do people make "snap judgments"?

Admittedly, sometimes it's simply because the theory is "too far-out" and lacks supporting evidence of a significant quantity and quality.

But many times, it's simply that the alternative theory goes against some already tightly held belief.

It's not always about a specific theory.

Sometimes it because the individual has a tendency to believe "mainstream" scientists are always right.

Oh, they won't admit this prejudice, but upon close examination that's what it boils down to.

But most of the time, it is because the individual holds tight to a particular theory.

The evidence for Expanding Earth theory is substantial, acutally much more substantial than for Continental Drift, Subduction theory.

A reader could then ask: "If the evidence is greater, why do the majority of the geologists believe in Continental Drift, Subduction theory?

Because when that paradigm was established the alternative was seen as more radical, therefore, the alternative required a greater divergence from the accepted prior paradigm.

Such was the case with Continental Drift, Subduction theory as opposed to Expanding Earth theory.

Uniformitarianism is the basic controlling paradigm of geology, "the present is a window onto the past."

A constant sized Earth fit that paradigm, an expanding Earth did not.

Continetal Drift, Subduction theory also has generated innumerable scientific papers, since the paradigm shift, each one establishing or prolonging a niche for the author in the geology community. This layering of scientific papers where each paper cites prior papers of a similar vein creates the appearance of great scientific authority, while in reality, the evidence for the presupposition remains tenuous.

And when one looks at the papers, almost all of them go into the study with the presupposition that the general paradigm is correct.

In other words, "you find what you are looking for," known as confirmational bias.

OilIsMastery provided some links to support Expanding Earth theory.

They are good.

but I think the best introductory paper and explanation in easy to understand language and reasoning for the lay reader is David Ford's A general introduction to: The Expanding Earth.

(Also available on the left-hand side-bar under 21st Century Scientists at David Ford.)

This paper outlines the paradoxes and contradictions you simply will NEVER read in papers by authors of the current paradigm of Continental Drift, Subduction theory.

The paradoxes and contradictions are not diminimus or insubstantial, as Subduction proponents would have you believe. (If you can pry any out of their lips at all!)

Rather, they are fatal to the theory (in my opinion).

And the evidence for an expanding Earth is substantial and robust. (Again, if you can pry any out of subduction proponent's lips at all.)

My experience with Continental Drift, Subduction proponents (primarily on the internet) is that they refuse to articulate any point that contradicts their position or supports the alternative theory. I suppose this refusal is based on the idea that articulation somehow gives undue credence to the alternative theory. But my own intuition suggests it only reveals their closed-minded approach to scientific evidence and exposes their actual hostility to the scientific method (their lip service to the contrary, not withstanding).

So, I encourage reading David Ford's introduction.

And reserve judgment and keep an open-mind.

Quantum_Flux said...

Luis, mass is not a force, but it certainly is a constituent of a force which is defined as the time rate of change of linear momentum acted on an object, whereby linear momentum is defined as mass times velocity as a function of time in a specified basis-vector direction.