We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
When the Dylanologist took his Geology 101 back in college he was taught, just as everyone else has been since the mid-1960s, that the process of plate tectonics (or "continental drift") explains the arrangement of the continents and the obvious matching coasts of Africa and South America. The continents were at one point all stuck together as Pangaea, and then, for some reason, they split right down the middle and were pulled/pushed apart from each other, riding right over ocean crust.
Yet, what we were never shown was this map, which shows that nowhere on earth are there seafloors older than 180 million years (blue is oldest, red youngest; by contrast continental rocks date back nearly 4.3 billion years). Not only that, but the fastest rate of spreading is in the Pacific, which is presumed to be shrinking from both sides.
Geologists explain this conundrum by saying that all of the older seafloor has been "subducted" under to continents, and has vanished without a trace. Yet what is driving this activity? Are the ridges pushing the continents apart, or are the subducting seafloors pulling the ridges apart? If the push force is the driver, why is there so much spreading in the Pacific? If the pull force is stronger, how did spreading start in the first place between two connected continents? Geologists themselves don't have a good answer, admitting that they have no clear explanation, and physics suggests that neither force is anywhere near strong enough to cause entire continents to slide across the planet, or to build up huge mountain chains.
What if the answer is much simpler? What if there is no seafloor older than 180 million years because, 180 million years ago, there was no seafloor? We know that sea levels were far higher than today 100 million years ago, covering much of North America (hundreds of feet higher than they would be even if all today's ice caps were to melt). There are fossils of extinct sea creatures which lived 200 million years ago high up in the Himalayas. In the Cambrian, it is widely accepted that virtually all of North America was submerged. Before 450 million years ago, we have no evidence for anylife on land, despite the fact that life had existed for over 3 billion years at that time. Did life take 3 billion years to move to land?
All of this implies that the earth may have grown in size, and that the linked lines of seafloor expansion on the map above, rather than being pressure points pushing out, are simply the places where a growing earth has cracked the outer crust and is filling it in with new material.
Ed note: In science, the truth is always a moving target. Science is all about theory du jour, not Truth. Religion is about Truth, but science is about theory-making, theory-testing, and theory-changing. Every theory is supplanted, eventually. Scientists know that. Theory-imagining is what makes science creative and fun - an art, in many ways. There never will be any such thing as "settled science."
And do a quick wrap around Gaia's waist and tie off the ends. If Gaia is getting a bit plumper over time the string will soon snap.
Of course, I wouldn't want to be the one who suggests to the Leading Lady that maybe she's been "growing" as she, ummm..., matures. Word on the street is she's already a might peeved and cranky about all the CO2 giving her hot flashes.
Oh good God. There are so many problems with the expanding Earth hypothesis creationists don't take it seriously. Holocaust deniers tend to, but we all know about Holocaust deniers.
BTW, we've found seafloor older than 180 million years old. We have found seafloor older than the oldest continental rock. As a matter of fact, you're likely living on some of that seafloor right now. Because the continents began as seafloor smushed together and forced into great clumps of land. The granitic rocks we talk about when we talk about continental material only become possible when remelted seafloor formed plutons inside the nascent continents and cooled there to become the granites etc.
Now yes, the Pacific has active spreading centers. The Pacific also has active subduction zones. Such as the Mid-Ocean trench, which is where a lot of Pacific seafloor gets subducted.
Look into the objections to the expanding Earth stuff.
I should clarify: when I said "seafloor," I meant the heavy basaltic rock that is underneath most oceans. Yes, I am walking on ancient seafloor here in Tennessee, but that is because the sea level was much higher 100 million years ago. It's still granitic rock (overlaid by sedimentary).
As for the plutons and batholiths, it could be argued they're just the result of frictional forces along transform faults, not magma intrusions -- why else would intrusions be basaltic in basalt plates, and granitic on the continental plates?
I've read the objections to the expanding earth. They are no more compelling to me than the objections to continental drift. There is certainly room for a debate.