Peter Lamb Eggshaped antediluvian world This is the refutation of Ted's earlier, nearident
Egg-shaped antediluvian world
Organization: CSIRO Division of Information Technology
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Peter Lamb)
This is the refutation of Ted's earlier, near-identical
posting from his "Categories of evidence series of postings".
hte>From: news@fedfil.UUCP (news)
hte>Subject: 5'th Category of evidence / perceived gravity and continental
hte>Date: 19 Jul 92 12:17:28 GMT
hte>A recent issue of the Aeon journal, which concerns itself with
hte>the nature of the antedeluvian world, carried my article concerning
hte>sauropod dinosaurs, as well as a somewhat longer and more interesting
hte>article by Lynn Rose involving continental drift theory.
The Aeon journal issue is in fact not all that recent. It's from about
the middle of 1991, and Ted regaled us with exactly the same stuff
about Rose's paper in September 91. As of March this year the
following issue of Aeon had not appeared, so we may be permitted to hope
that the magazine may have folded.
Rose uses old sources (all > 20 yrs old). He excuses this with: "A
number of other sources (including more recent ones) have been
consulted and could have been cited ... (In any event, continental
drift theory has not changed radically during the 1970's and
I guess this is largely to avoid the confirmation of many of the things
which Rose wishes to regard as mere speculations in his sources. Of
course one of the reasons that plate tectonics (which is not the same
as the original continental drift theories) has not changed in the past
20 years is that overwhelming bulk of the evidence that has been
collected in that time is consistent with the theory.
hte> The average
hte>viewer of these groups will be vaguely aware that continents are thought
hte>to have drifted over the last 200 million years or so, but is probably
hte>unaware of the rather startling configuration which they are thought to
hte>have been in 100 - 200 million years ago.
I think that many, if not most, readers of t.o have seen maps of the
probable shape of Pangaea.
hte>This picture has been painstakingly peiced together from data involving
hte>the fits of the various continental borders. The most striking feature
hte>of the entire picture is the Sea of Tethys, a monstrous intrusion into
hte>the very center of the all-continent mass which leads a viewer to see a
hte>missing wedge; the entire configuration resembles nothing so much as a
hte>pac-man with its mouth agape.
hte>Lynn Rose noted several glaring problems with this arrangement, and
hte>suggested a novel way of solving them. The problems included:
hte>1. That the continents were all clumped into a single mass in the first
hte>place. No force exists at present which might ever draw them all
hte>together, and the odds of them all merely drifting together for no
hte>reason are greater than 64 - 1, which would be the odds against them
hte>ever merely appearing in the same hemisphere for no real reason.
Odds of one in 64 (63-1) are not that bad. However, the odds as stated
are irrelevant. They assume independent motion of all the continents,
and represent only the probability that _at_any_single_instant_ all the
continents will be in the southern hemisphere.
None of the assumptions is true, not even the implicit one that the number
of present continents is equal to the number of tectonic plates.
hte>2. If, as seems overwhelmingly likely, some force drew the continents
hte>into one place, then that force should have drawn them into a circular
hte>mass. The sea of Tethys is an anomaly, which clearly does not belong in
hte>the picture. This is the big problem, and the main one which Rose solves.
The only change between Ted's July posting and
his September one is dropping this sentence. Does
this mean that Ted no longer thinks that Rose "solves"
No single force "drew" the continents. They were transported on the
underlying plate, and the plate was pushed, rather than pulled. Even
assuming a single force, there is no a priori reason for assuming it to
have been symmetrical.
What Ted is doing here is inserting one of his own assumptions unspoken;
that the single force was due to gravitational attraction of a nearby
large planet. Ted likes it to be Saturn, I believe, but Rose seems to think
it was Saturn more recently, and Uranus sometime before that.
hte>3. Given uniformitarian views, if we assume the system to be 7 B years
hte>old, our earth should have been in equalibrium even 200 M years ago.
This is of course nonsense; there is an energy source driving the
motion of the continents, the heat generated by the decay of radioactive
elements in the earth.
hte>some force existed then to draw the continents together into Pangeae,
hte>and if that force were terrestrial, then clearly Pangeae should still
There was no single force, the forces were terrestrial (or rather
subterranean), and it is not at all clear that Pangaea (only one of them
is proposed, Ted) should exist, since the forces posited for the breakup
of Pangaea can still be observed, and they are still moving the continents
about. Residents of California should be all too aware of this.
hte> The relatively minor catastrophes which establishment science
hte>presently allows for as per the case of the Alverez version of the
hte>dinosaur extinctions should by no means have broken up Pangeae.
I wouldn't have called the collision of a large meteorite with the earth
which caused the extinction of a large proportion of species a "minor
catastrophe". At least everything in Alverez' theory is consistent with
hte>4. As all who have downloaded my little file and viewed it have seen,
hte>India starts out on one shore of the Sea of Tethys and moves to the
hte>other. According to current theory, again as per "Continents Adrift",
hte>India can barely make it over that distance even in the greatest version
hte>of the allowed time involved; it should be on the ocean floor. Rose
hte>goes into some detail on this point.
Well, Ted, I don't know which "little file" you're referring to. I guess
from the context it's Rose's Figure 3, a copy of the diagram entitled
"After 20 million years of drift" from Deitz & Holden.
Ted says of this "India can barely make it over that distance...[in]
the allowed time"; well naturally, if it were going faster or slower it
would be in a different place!
As for Rose's "detail", yes, it is more detailed, but almost all wrong.
Lets have a look at it:
"Not only do Deitz and Holden [ here -prl] refer to India's journey
as `rapid' and `remarkable' but they are also obliged to attribute it
to `favorable' and even `ideal' conditions; they say that the Indian plate
was `nearly a perfect rectangle' that `glided freely along parallel
"megashears" ...' ... All this seems rather implausible, to
say the least" pp 9-10.
It should be noted that it is not unusual for neighbouring
"megashears" (or transform faults) to be near-parallel;
any map of present tectonic features will verify this at a glance.
Rose could have seen this if he looked at the map "Ocean Geology" in 
(which he refers to).
He also claims:
"Xavier LePinchon suggests that if India's speed were in excess
of 5 or 6 cm/yr, then the entire Indian plate would have been subducted
into the Earth's mantle."
This is what Ted means when he says "[India] should be on the ocean floor"
above. Ted is here either misquoting his own source, or doesn't understand
the difference between being on the ocean floor a' la Atlantis and being
subducted into the mantle. The attempts to explain this last September
by a number of t.o irregulars were obviously to no avail.
He then wishes to use this figure as some sort of continental
speed limit, even though Bullard tells him that "the speed of
spreading on each side of a mid-ocean ridge [can be] as much
as 8 cm/yr [Bullard is discussing _current_ rates -prl]".
In McKenzie & Sclater (not quoted by Rose), there is a more
detailed description of India's travels over the last 75 million years,
measured from seafloor magnetic anomalies. Far from 6cm/yr being enforced
by the Geophysical Police, India moved at up to 16cm/yr, sometimes, too
more slowly or not moving at all.
It is not at all certain why Rose thinks that there is some sort of limit
of 6cm/yr on the motion of the Indian plate.
Le Pichon says:
"As the differential movement of compression between two blocks
increases, the associated surface compressional features
apparently become larger and reach a maximum for a rate of
movement of about 5-6 cm/yr (Himalayas). At larger rates, the
lithosphere sinks along an active trench, and the associated
surface features are tensional instead of compressional. The
narrow range of rates of differential movement associated with
the trenches where active thrusting of the tectosphere occurs
(6-9 cm/yr) may be one of the significant results of this
What this says is that where two plates meet, movement of more than
5-6cm/yr can't be accomodated by folding or similar processes, and
one side of the join subducts and forms a trench. This is exactly what
is shown in Dietz & Holden for the time that India was moving faster
than 6cm/yr. The *plate* was being subducted, of course, but India was
a long way from the trench at the time, and so was not subducted.
hte>Rose mentions one other very major problem with continental drift theory
hte>which is more properly a part of another article.
Please spare us.
hte> Rose derives evidence
hte>that two prior ages have existed, one, the so-called "Age of Cronus" of
hte>the Greeks and Romans during which the felt effect of gravity was
hte>heavily attenuated by the different planetary allignment, and a prior
hte>age, that of Pangeae, during which the effect was even more
hte>pronounced. During both ages, the earth was egg shaped, considerably
hte>more so in the age of Pangeae.
hte>Rose's solution to the aforementioned problems: imagine a half of a
hte>grapefruit skin sitting atop a basketball (our egg-shaped world), and
hte>then inagine that a catastrophe occurred dduring which this felt effect
hte>of OTHER gravity, from the small-star or large panet(s) was reduced,
hte>which amounts to imagining that somebody pushed the half grapefruit skin
hte>down atop the surface of the basketball, thus forcing it to lie atop a
hte>surface of lesser curvature. The skin of the grapefruit half would
hte>split into something very like the Sea of Tethys.
Ah yes, the "squashed grapefruit" theory of geological history...
Since Ted repeats himself on this one later in his posting, I'll tackle
hte>What Rose is saying is that the Tethys Sea never existed, and that we
hte>are only forced to imagine it's having existed by our insistence on
hte>believing that the world was always round as it is now.
hte>Lynn Rose mentions one final problem involved with continental
hte>drift theory, and this involves the present fits of the Red Sea
hte>shores and the shores of the Gulf of Aden. Both fits are quite
hte>good; you can join the shores of the Red Sea, or of the gulf, BUT
hte>ONLY ONE AT A TIME; if you join the shores of the Red Sea, the
hte>shores of the Gulf will be open by about 20 degrees, and vice-
hte>versa. Basically what you have is like two letter "V"'s connected
hte>at their vertices, one something like 110 degrees and the other
hte>something like 90. This ammounts to a dilemma on the map of the
hte>world. Given our earth as it presently exists, such a split could
There is no problem here. Rose let himself get misled by a misprint
in the caption to the diagram "Fit of Shorelines" in Bullard's paper,
where it says:
"Fit of shorelines of Arabia and Africa works out most
successfully if the African [should read Arabian - prl] coast
is left intact and the Arabian [should read African - prl]
coast is superposed in two separate pieces."
That this is a misprint is clear from the text on page 73 of the article
(the page number in the original Sci Am issue, not in the reprint collection).
Ted is steadfastly refusing to take into account the fact that three
rift systems meet near the Afar triangle. That Bullard's
reconstruction is reasonable can easily be demonstrated by taking
Bullard's "Fit of shorelines" map above (or any otherdetailed map of
the Red Sea/Arabia/ Ethiopia, enlarging it to a convenient size, then:
cut along the northern shorline of the Gulf of Aden, then
cut along the eastern shoreline of the Red Sea and up the Gulf of Aquba
(the eastern branch of the Red Sea), and on towards the Dead Sea and
Sea of Galilee (up the Levantine Rift).
Then cut down through the inland apex of the Afar Triangle towards the
lakes in the East African Rift towards the south-west.
The cuts along the shorelines make it easier to see the coastline
matches. The actual rifts are in the middle of the Red Sea and
Gulf of Aden.
Now the rifting can be reconstructed:
Slide Arabia west of southwards down the Levantine rift until
the northern end of the red sea is closed, then rotate it slightly
to match the Arabian coastline. The point of Arabia fits over the
Afar Triangle. Now slide and rotate the horn of Africa down along
the East African rift, and close the rift. The Arabian coastline
now matches the coast of the Horn of Africa, and we have achieved
All the motions in doing this are consistent with known geological
activity and magnetic evidence. Bullard predicted that the Afar
Triangle (which is covered by Arabia in all the above) "is in some
sense oceanic. The results of gravity surveys, seismic measurements
and drilling will be awaited with interest". This is confirmed by
Tazieff. See also Bonatti, , Courtillot and Vink and
hte>Lynn Rose presents evidence for the existence of two prior ages;
hte>the evidence involving Pangea involves a long distant and remote
hte>age, posssibly the age of the seizemosaur and other really gigantic
hte>beasts. The evidence involving the Africa/Arabia split involves a
hte>much more recent and historical age, the time of the Greek Golden
hte>Age and of the biblical antediluvians.
hte>Lynn Rose sees in this evidence an indication as to the actual
hte>location of the mythical garden of Eden, the home of Adam and Eve,
hte>and the way in which all of this fits together is interesting.
There is no evidence. Only Rose's and your misinterpretations.
hte>I do not claim to know what is meant by claims of
hte>Adam and Eve having been the first two people. It is possible that
hte>God actually created them as written, it is also possible that
hte>prior people more closely resembled bears or gorillas or
hte>neanderthals, and that "first people" once meant something more
hte>like "first such as us". Possible also is "first caucasians"...
hte>who knows. But too much is written of Adam and Eve and in too many
hte>places to lightly regard them as mythical figures. In many of
hte>these sources, we find mentioned a "holy mountain"; it is written
hte>that Adam and Eve and Seth and Seth's descendants lived upon the
hte>holy mountain, and that Cain and his descendants descended and
hte>began to live below.
This is so vague I don't know what to make of it. Thinking of
Adam and Eve as "caucasians" is odd, and possibly, as another poster
has pointed out, racist.
hte>Lynn Rose, of course, has given us an indication as to what the
hte>"holy mountain" might have been, basically, the high part of the
hte>egg-shaped world which existed prior to the great flood.
Ah yes, the egg-shaped world. Rose's argument here for the Afar region
is based entirely on his misreading of the caption that I mentioned earlier.
He seems to think that any movement of the Horn of Africa would be
"ruinous for drift theory", when in fact motion of the Horn and the
East African rift are explicitly mentioned in Bullard: "there must have
been an opening of the East African rift valley by 65km or so".
hte>Rose proposes the world mountain (of the age of Kronos) to have
hte>been based within the Afar Triangle. He proposes something akin to
hte>a half a grapefruit sitting atop a basketball (for the purpose of
hte>conceptualization and not necessarily to scale) as having been the
hte>former situation, and then (when the whole thing fell at the end of
hte>the golden age), surface splitting would occur with the skin of the
hte>half grapefruit being suddenly forced to lie flat upon the surface
hte>of lesser curvature. If two such splits thus occurred, as easily
hte>might happen, then you would see just such an impossible split as
hte>we see between Africa and Arabia now.
The splits between Africa and Arabia are completely consistent with
plate tectonics, and are often quoted as excellent examples of the process
happening now. Rose[1, fig 7] in fact reconstructs the region successfully
in exactly the way I described above (and is described in Bullard
and several of the other papers in the references), though he thinks
that this is somehow new.
hte>Rose states that rough figures show an earth eccentricity between
hte>.3 and .4 and a world mountain of several hundred kilometers height
hte>being needed for the African, East African, and Arabian plates to
hte>fit, closing the rift valley and other problems along with the
hte>afore-mentioned Red-Sea/Gulf-of-Aden anomaly.
There is, of course, no such anomaly to explain, but even given that,
I have a problem with Rose's eccentricity (the double entendre
"I found that the height of the World Mountain would have to be
on the order of several hundred kilometers above the present surface
in order for the ... plates to have fit, and that the Earth's eccentricity
would have to have been between 0.3 and 0.4."
Now, why do we get numbers for the eccentricity, but not for the height
of the mountain? The height of the mountain is never given anywhere
in the paper. During the "Age of Kronos", it's "several hundred kilometers",
during the "Age of Uranus", "well over one thousand kilometers".
If we take eccentricity e = (Rbig - Rsmall)/Rbig and use the current
earth radius as Rsmall (6300km), then Rbig for e=0.3 is 9000km, and
the mountain is 2700km tall. If instead we use e = (Rbig - Rsmall)/Rsmall,
the mountain is 1200km tall. Both are more than a mere "few hundred
kilometers". Perhaps Rose means something else by eccentricity, but
he doesn't say what.
hte>Climbing our present mountains is tough enough; climbing up or
hte>down a mountain such as Rose describes would be a major-league big
The equilibrium surface of such a mountain (if it could somehow be made
to exist without destroying the planet) would lie on a gravitational
equipotential. The "slope" of the mountain in gravitational terms is
hte> Does literature record any such notion? In "The Forgotten
hte>Books of Eden" Bell, (ed. R.H. Platt Jr.), pp 76 - 78 we find:
hte> "But then Genun [of the children of Cain living below]
hte> gathered together companies upon companies, that played on
hte> horns and on all the other instruments that we have already
hte> mentioned, at the foot of the holy mountain, and they did so
hte> in order that the children of Seth who were on the holy
hte> mountain should hear it.
hte> But when the children of Seth heard the noise they wondered
hte> and came by companies, and stood on the top of the mountain to
hte> look at those below, and they did thus for a whole year...
hte> ...Then the children of Cain looked up from below, and saw
hte> thge children of Seth standing in troops on the top of the
hte> mountain, and they called to them to come down to them.
hte> But the children of Seth said to them from above, " We don't
hte> know the way"...
Ummmm. It says "we don't know the way", not "it's too hard to climb".
Where's the problem?
hte>I should also mention that the capital of Yemen, opposite the Afar
hte>Triangle which Rose cites as the former location of this holy
hte>mountain, is called Aden. It thus appears that Adam and Eve and others
hte>of the antedeluvians such as remained with them and their descendants
hte>through Seth, lived in the vicinity of the Afar Triangle and of the city
Rose never justifies his association of Aden with Eden, other than to
say that Velikovsky said so in some notes which "have long remained
unpublished". He simply leaves us to assume that there is a connection
simply because of the similarity of the names. He doesn't even mention
the meaning of the Arabic name 'Adan (the transliteration of Aden's Arabic
name given in the Macquarie Atlas).
hte>The Age of Kronos and the age of Pangaea do not appear to have been
hte>the same. The Red Sea/Gulf of Aden splits were recent, Pangaea a
hte>bit less recent. Rose mentions that the same construction he uses
hte>to explain the Africa-Arabia fit will also work for Pangaea, thus
hte>solving problems 2 and 4 by eliminating any need for a Sea of
hte>Tethys in continental drift theory, but that the world mountain
hte>you'd need would be larger, over 1000 km, with Earth's eccentricity
hte>between .5 and .7.
More of Rose's eccentricities. An eccentricity of 0.3 already gives
a mountain much larger than 1000km. How big are the mountains and how does
Rose define eccentricity?
Ted also neglects to mention that Rose himself demonstrates that
the "squashed grapefruit" world cannot exist.
"What I have done is to pick values for the mass and distance at the time
of Pangaea that would just satisfy the Roche limit (of about 80-85000km)
and then to assume that those values would produce an eccentricity of 0.6.
(Danby's formula, as it stands, would call for a Pangaea eccentricity
of only about 0.195 and a golden age eccentricity of 0.131 [_where_ did
3 sig. figures suddenly spring from, since the mass of Saturn is
a _conjecture_ of one-and-one half times present mass?]. Conversely,
Danby's formula gives about 61000km for the distance needed for
an eccentricity of 0.6 and about 73000km for an eccentricity of 0.36.
Both of these distances are considerably _less_ than the Roche
The Roche limit is the smallest orbit that a body can have without
tidal stresses destroying it. Ted has often been told on t.o that his
schemes which gryate the Earth around Saturn producing huge lumps
would tear the earth apart; here he has it affirmed by his own sources.
hte>Before I lose track of it, I should also mention that Rose's novel
hte>method of accounting for the splitting of continental plates, i.e. the
hte>notion of a curved surface being forced to lie upon a world which is
hte>suddenly less curved, will also account for a couple of other anomalies.
hte>Mountains are generally thought to arise when continental plates collide
hte>or shift over and under eachother, and yet we have cases of mountains,
hte>such as the Urals, where nothing of the sort shows any evidence of ever
Ted here is simply demonstrating that he and Rose never looked for any
such evidence. Present continent != continental plate.
I recommend Kropotkin to them both:
"Eurasia includes four Precambrian platforms: East European
(or Russian), Siberian, Chinese and Indian"
Kropotkin follows this up by a summary of the geological and
geomagnetic data supporting his assertion.
hte> Rose states that a highly curved surface suddenly
hte>forced to lie upon a surface of lesser curvature, aside from splitting
hte>as we have seen, could also wrinkle, thus forming mountains.
Rose is correct at least in this. What he lacks is anything remotely
resembling evidence that it actually happened.
Peter Lamb (email@example.com)
 Rose, "The Afar Triangle As the Nether Reaches of Eden and Babel",
Aeon, VII, n4, pp5-28.
 E. Bullard, "The Origin of the Oceans", Scientific American,
Sept 1969, pp66-75, Reprinted in "Continents Adrift",
W.H. Freeman, 1972, pp 88-97.
 Dietz & Holden, "The Breakup of Pangaea", Scientific American,
Oct. 1970. pp30-41, Reprinted in "Continents Adrift", op cit,
 D. McKenzie & J. G. Sclater, "The Evolution of the Indian Ocean",
Scientific American, May 1973, pp63-72.
 E. Bonatti, "The Rifting of Continents", Scientific American,
July 1987, pp74-81.
 Kropotkin, P, "Eurasia as a Composite Continent", Tectonophysics,
v12 1971, pp261-266.
 Sullivan, W, "Continents in Motion", ed 2, American Institute of
 Nance, R. D., T. R. Worsley & J. B. Moody, "The Supercontinent Cycle",
Scientific American, Jul. 1988, pp72-9.
 LePichon, "Sea-Floor Spreading and Continental Drift",
Journal of Geophysical Research, V 72 # 12, 6/15/68 pp
 E. Bonatti et al, "Final Dessication of the Afar Rift", Science,
30 Apr 1971, vol 172, pp 468-9
 V. Courtillot & G. Vink, "How Continents Break Up", Scientific American,
July 1983, pp41-47 (*)
 Scientific American, July 1983, special issue on earth sciences (*).
(*) The month may be wrong here, if unsuccessful, try September 1983.
Peter Lamb (firstname.lastname@example.org)
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank