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Sunday morning funnies – expanding Earth theory

May 27, 2007

Grab yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy some Sunday morning funnies.

I can’t decide if this is for real or a parody of someone trying to be serious, or something else. Either way, it is entertaining. Neal Adams, an American comic book artist, has a website and various videos out there talking about the expanding Earth theory. That’s right…the spreading of the Atlantic and eastern Pacific indicate that the Earth has to have grown in the last couple hundred million years. What about subduction? This is what Neal says about subduction:

There is no subduction. No plates subduct. Subduction is unscientific and untrue, the ramifications of which are world shaking. And… the Earth grows! (You may have heard this before, so I caution you. This is not your father’s Earth expanding theory.) Earth is growing, not expanding, and therein lies the past-error who’s answer lies in physics and not geology.

Very compelling argument against subduction. If you are in the mood for some fun reading, check out Neal’s full treatise on why subduction is a stupid theory.


That was the “scientific” part, but wait…there’s more. Here, Neal is getting a little nasty:

40 years ago your discipline was in a position to lead all of science into a new age of discovery but you wimped out. You, basically, had no balls.
You could have given a growing Earth theory an open chance for a complete examination, but you closed your doors.
WORSE, you accepted subduction, a theory that has not been seen or proved for all these 40 years, as gospel out of fear.
Why did you do it?
You were bullied into it. But worse again you allowed yourselves to be bullied shame!
Nothing, nothing in the “proofs” of subduction is there that can’t easily be explained by another concept within the plate tectonics.
You will be the laughed at generation of geologists who believed in the subduction theory. Just like those who believed the Sun went around the Earth or the Earth was flat and you could fall off the edge. You are the duped generation of geologists.

I never realized some people were so strongly anti-subduction. Anyway, now that subduction is neatly out of the way, Neal gets to his real message. If plates don’t subduct but they are created at spreading centers then — the Earth has to be growing!

Check out Neal’s video below explaining the expanding Earth theory. It’s several minutes long, but well worth it. If embedded video is broken, go here.

I do like Neal’s illustrations and animations…very well done. Perhaps his science page is simply a different outlet to produce his art, I don’t know. If anyone out there knows the skinny on this guy, drop a comment….this was one of those things I found on the internet and now I need to get back to work.

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21 Comments leave one →
  1. Thermochronic permalink
    May 27, 2007 2:39 pm

    Is this related at all to the famous AGU poster Pangea, She No Spin? The fact that this guy has links to the radio show coast to coast live just increases his credibility. This is both hilarious and sad, I hope he is not serious. I suppose we could post responses but it is like arguing with UFOlogists or young earth people.

  2. Thermochronic permalink
    May 27, 2007 2:46 pm

    Words or terms that don’t appear in his “why subduction is stupid” page

    1. 10Be or Beryllium 10
    2. Benioff Zones
    3. Blueschist
    4. Arc Magmatism
    5. Seismic Tomography
    6. Crustal Xenoliths

  3. Brian permalink
    May 28, 2007 12:01 am

    yeah…the Benioff zone was the first one that came to my mind

  4. Thermochronic permalink
    May 28, 2007 7:36 am

    Of course, as he insinuates, it is probably just because we are lazy and never get off our “arses”

  5. Chuck permalink
    June 2, 2007 4:35 am

    Historically, you have to remember that sea floor spreading was discovered before subduction. So if you wanna turn the clock back to 1959, the expanding Earth was a daring theory, not a silly one.

    Of course, promoting it today is like looking for granite on the moon, or jungles on Venus.

    Maybe we need to make supporters of long-debunked science simply dress up in the threads that were trendy in the decade in which their pet theory bit the dust.

  6. royalspin2003 permalink
    August 6, 2007 8:33 pm

    First of all Neal just happens to have been working on a comic strip of his characters who happen to be on an expanding earth.Second he will gladly sell you a 30 min video for $50 smackers.Fourth he “Invents a new form of matter that he calls “Prime Matter”that all scientist are just too stupid to come up with themselves.”Its so simple a child can see it” is what he loves to say. Come on Neal get real ..please ?
    Ive actually conversed with this man in the vain attempts to see his logic and possibly see where he was coming from.I received sarcasm and insults in return for simply stating a proven theory that the moon came from a collision with a young earth and that it has been moving away from us an inch a year since its collision.

    He got quite annoyed with that and started attacking me saying I’m a product of the establishment etc and said that I must be a scientist when in fact I’m communication technician with a interest in physics.

    So here is the skinny on Neal Adams that Ive managed to dig up.To start off with theres plenty about him on Wikipedia thats pretty revealing.The big clue I ran across is the fact that as a child he was very interested in science and art.His dad could not afford to send him to college to pursue a science degree so he sent him to art school instead.From there he became a very talented comic book writer and artist with many credits to his name.

    Personally I think that in his mind he thinks he is a brilliant scientist- a maverick who needs no degree or scientific discipline when in fact he desperately wanted to be on the inside and now years later is somehow angry with the scientific community.

    Its not a matter of he has an idea and really wants to share his idea and is willing to take polite criticism because trust me he wont I know from experience.He truly believes that all science is just plain wrong and constantly pushes his agenda.When someone corners him on his theory with some actual science e.g. equations about prime matter etc he backs off a little and says things like- “Hey guys I’m not a scientist. I’m a generalist. I would have to crack the books which is something I don’t have time for.”

    Well Neal if you don’t have time for it and your too busy defending something you have no proof for with non sense science.Wait awhile go to the library and then come back with a convincing case or better yet -Leave science to the people who went to school and worked their asses off to try and find out how and why we are what we are today.I totally respect scientist who will go out on a limb to prove what they believe is true.They have to show proof and it has to stand up to scrutiny which is something Neal Adams is not willing to do.

    After dealing with him via emails back and forth Ive come to the conclusion hes delusional and suffers from some illness or that he must be one of the most stubborn men Ive ever had the misfortune of talking to.

    Everyone else who’s curious by all means entertain yourselves with his yarn.If you believe what he is saying do yourself the favor and investigate the claim before taking it on faith.

  7. James permalink
    September 9, 2008 5:49 pm

    Neal gets a lot of things wrong. He makes a lot of assumptions and makes a lot of claims without scientifically backing them up. He even places Australia in the wrong place when earth was smaller 180 million years ago. It goes next to South America. You can see that the coastlines match for starters and there are fossils that only show up in Australia and South America. Kinda like South America and Africa.

    The expanding earth theory stands on its own. There is so much evidence backing it. It makes so much more sense than the current plate tectonics model. If all you have seen of this is Neal then go educate yourself. The idea that solid rock will bend at an angle around 45 degrees then straighten back out is just plain stupid.

    What I have noticed about most “evidence” for plate tectonics is that the evidence is made to fit the model. The data is collected and then explanations are made to fit the data and plate tectonics. While this is perfectly fine becuase it is just part of science the conclusions drawn cannot be viewed as evidence. Many of these conclusions would change if certain assumptions are changed. A fixed earth radius is one of them.

  8. September 9, 2008 6:59 pm

    Yaah, the rock isn’t *solid* when it bends!!!

  9. September 9, 2008 7:06 pm

    James … so do you agree with Neal that subduction does not occur?

  10. Jerry permalink
    November 13, 2008 1:59 pm

    Neal Adams is not the best person to research on the Expanding Earth Theory. This video

    explains it much better.

  11. Janet permalink
    December 2, 2008 11:58 am

    Thank you, James

    If it wasn’t for the brilliance of Neal Adams’s animation work, he would be a complete detriment to the theory he promotes. Mind you, the expanding earth theory is not yet a complete working model–most of the time and effort of the last century have been going to standard plate tectonic theory–but it has the roots of a very compelling and solidly scientific model of continental movement.

    The problem is Neal’s personality, and the way he presents his ideas. He reveals himself to be very closed-minded in his own way, to the detriment of his arguments. The fact remains that the expanding earth theory was a contemporary of plate tectonics and continental drift, originally presented and developed by very learned and respected geologists. The geometry of an expanding earth is remarkably tight, and the sea floor age evidence is highly compelling. The real clincher is that similar geometries can be found on other worlds with tectonic activity, such as Mars and Jupiter’s moon Ganymede.

    What the expanding earth theory lacks–what it has always lacked–is a complete and consistent explanation of the mechanism of expansion. This is not disproof, but rather a large gap that needs to be bridged through extensive study and deeper understanding. Neal Adams is clearly not the man for the job here, and I know there’s a Nobel Prize in there somewhere for the geophysicist who completes the model by presenting a plausible explanation.

    There are a lot of tin-foil-hat theories bumping around about the expanding earth. It even gets some creationists excited. I have a feeling that in the end, expanding earth will win out, and the reality will be so simple as to appear mundane in retrospect. Meanwhile, Neal Adams does give us some gorgeous graphics, but he could keep his swollen ego to himself.

  12. December 2, 2008 2:13 pm

    Janet says: “What the expanding earth theory lacks–what it has always lacked–is a complete and consistent explanation of the mechanism of expansion.”

    I disagree … overarching mechanism is inherently speculative … what expanding earth hypothesis lacks is comprehensive explanation CONSISTENT WITH DATA that has been collected around the world. Yes, anyone can be selective and choose data that seems to support it, but ALL the data needs to be integrated. Everything I’ve read about expanding earth (at least the version of the hypothesis that denies subduction occurs) neatly brushes all the information/data that has led to interpreting subduction under the rug. Or some expansion advocates say some subduction occurs, some don’t … I don’t know what to think. It’s not systematic, it’s not comprehensive.

    It’s all about integrating every piece of available data … regional, local, geophysical, geological, geochemical, modern, ancient, and so on.

    Janet says: “I have a feeling that in the end, expanding earth will win out…”

    It’s fine to have a “feeling”, people are free to do so … but data needs to be addressed. It’s all about data.

  13. Janet permalink
    December 2, 2008 3:50 pm

    If you want to haggle about ignoring or distorting data, plate tectonics proponents are often as guilty as the young earth creationists. The sea floor dating project of recent decades produced data that are terribly inconsistent with traditional continental drift theory, and extremely supportive of the expanding earth hypothesis.

    Truth told, the idea of subduction is a lot like the theory of dark matter, in that both are theories born from gaps between observations and calculations, rather than direct observations of processes. In the case of dark matter, the observations are that our galaxy is spinning at a certain speed and the assumption is that gravity holds the galaxy together. Between those two, there is a huge discrepancy between the amount of matter observable in space and the amount of gravitational force necessary to hold the galaxy together. Thus, we theorize that there must be matter we cannot observe, and we calculate how much there must be, and we name it “dark matter”. The fact remains that we have yet to observe the stuff directly, and aren’t really sure what it is.

    In the case of subduction, we begin with the observation that the Atlantic ocean is expanding, and then we notice that the other oceans are also expanding, and we combine these with the assumption that the Earth is of fixed radius, and we proceed to theorize that there must be subduction zones somewhere to make up the difference. Then we go hunting for subduction zones, and come across a few places where observations are not completely inconsistent with the idea of subduction, although there may be other explanations as well, and we say that this must be where it is happening. At this point, we have found a whole lot of places where expansion is going on, but we still aren’t sure about where all the subduction must be happening to balance it. Combine that with the sea floor age maps, and one might begin to wonder if we’re working off of an erroneous assumption.

    Of course, many legitimate discoveries have been made in this manner. Neptune was discovered when calculations of Uranus’s orbit didn’t match up with observations. At the same time, the cubical model of the atom did a decent job of explaining valency in molecular bonding behavior before the current electron shell model came around. So you can see that this deductive reasoning process can be very useful sometimes, but it can also leave you barking up the wrong tree.

  14. December 3, 2008 4:41 am

    Janet … I don’t want to haggle with you about this … I simply don’t have the time or the energy … there are plenty of other blogs/forums out there where you can discuss the various competing contrarian hypotheses. No need to comment on this thread again. Good luck.

  15. Janet permalink
    December 3, 2008 12:48 pm

    My apologies. I did not come here to antagonize you, nor do I care to debate the merits of subduction. I spoke up because the question arose about whether Neal Adams was serious about his little “science project”. I only wished to say two things which you probably already suspected; that Neal wasn’t just joking around, and that he apparently is a self-righteous prick.

    What brought me here originally was the desperate hope that I would find something to convince me that the current tectonic theories are indeed consistent with the data that I’ve seen; the same data that also seems to support expanding earth. I see that you have already made an effort at doing so, perhaps as a response to bible-thumping creationists who think that tearing down theory A will automatically validate theory B.

    I am a rational and relatively well educated person, and a diehard advocate for the sciences. I am almost ashamed to admit my excitement about the revival of a theory that seems to match up so neatly with observations and, if it did pan out, could well open up the largest boom in science and learning since Darwin and the discovery of DNA. But as a student of mathematics, I feel that the geometry of expanding earth models is simply too tight to ignore, and with my limited knowledge of geology I can find no gaping holes in Maxlow’s work.

    I would never claim that subduction is a bad theory. On the contrary, it has to be quite good to have held center stage for so long. And yet, there have been many good theories in the history of science that were ultimately abandoned for new theories which may have seemed strange at first, but were accepted end because they fit more closely with observations. I want to know if this is one of those moments.

    Be well, and keep fighting the good fight.

  16. December 3, 2008 1:58 pm

    Janet … since you are saying you have limited knowledge in geology (which is fine, I’m ignorant of many disciplines), I encourage you to learn more (take a class, get some textbooks, etc.). I apologize if I sound frustrated … I just get a bit peeved when ideas that hang together very well (with the extensive data that now exists) are implicitly or explicitly referred to as erroneous or invalid by people who admit they aren’t trained and have limited knowledge.

    This is why the discussions about philosophy of science, dogma, and so on and so forth seem to take over these internet discussions instead of addressing specific data at specific places on the Earth. These can be interesting and thought-provoking discussions but are inherently subjective and, at least in my experience, tend to devolve into he-said-she-said meta-discussions. After being involved in several of these over the last few months, I’m simply growing tired and bored of them.

  17. Shannon permalink
    December 6, 2008 9:03 pm

    This situation brings to mind how thoes in charge (legit scientist) follow one path, cause they believe it to be true until a certain percentage of evidence contradicts it and then they fall back and at the same time amature people with intrest in science see the obvious far in advance and have a workable answer (while still a buggy answer) that is closer to reality. Just as politicians run the government (and see where that has gotten us) while average citizens could probably do better at an organized society. But in both cases we will never know until thoes current paths reach a dead end.

    Besides, in olden days, thoes we hold in regard as scientist as history shows, would NEVER stack up to what we deem as prereqosites to being a scientist today or even back then.

  18. CamArchGrad permalink
    December 8, 2008 12:57 pm

    “I feel that the geometry of expanding earth models is simply too tight to ignore, and with my limited knowledge of geology I can find no gaping holes in Maxlow’s work.”

    Having a knowledge of geology I have found many holes in Maxlow’s work. I’ve posted many of them on this blog. You can search them out if you wish.

    A couple notes though. Geophysicists were the line of resistance to accepting subduction and by far and away they are the greatest proponents of the expanding earth. It’s as if they are trying to get back at subduction for humiliating them.

    Also there is the persecution perception. The science is like religion and stifles non-conformists like the Catholic church and Galileo.Nothing could be further than the truth. It is a mutt and mongrel which hoovers up data and ideas from any and all comers. The key is that it discards those that don’t match the data. The Expanding Earth is like using lead injections to cure cancer, or piltdown man. It was brought up, examined, and rejected. Plate tectonics was brought up and to date has still provided the best fit for the geological data found here on earth.

    As a geologist I’m compelled by the explanitory power of the theory, to accept subduction because it’s the one theory which can explain the paleontological, paleomagentic, sedimentological, mineralogcal record. The expanding earth theory fails to explain many phenomena from the petrology of Slab window volcanics, thin skinned decollment, ophiolite obduction, suspect terrain migration, and many other geological phenomena. It also violates basic physics in that it posits that heavier oceanic crust will remain indefinitely on top of lighter mantle, even though as it cools oceanic crust measurably sinks into the mantle.

    It’s a free country and you can believe what you choose to believe but I urge everyone to go out there and familiarize themselves with the huge mass of experimental and observational data pertaining to plate tectonics and geology in general. Just going and hypothesizing without taking the time to learn the background and the nature of the evidence is fatuous and rude.

  19. eden106 permalink
    December 15, 2008 6:28 pm

    stop the nonsense, earth is flat.

  20. Gibson permalink
    February 18, 2012 9:55 am

    “Subduction is a myth”
    “The most likely site for error is the most fundamental of our beliefs”
    “Subduction exists only in the minds of its creators”

    That’s the questions.

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