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The Inflation of Earth… 2 March, 2007

Posted by paralleldivergence in astronomy, Earth, education, Geology, Google Earth.

When I went to school, one subject I really enjoyed was Geology – the study of the Earth, the materials of which it is made, the structure of those materials, and the processes acting upon them. I also loved reading comic books and admiring the wonderful artists that produced the amazing pieces of artwork that filled each comic.  But never in my wildest dreams did I think that a comic book artist would destroy the foundation of my understanding of the geology of our planet. But that’s exactly what one comic book artist has done. 


The above diagrams represented my “knowledge” of how the Earth formed, from the single landmass of Pangaea which violently broke apart 225 million years ago forming Laurasia and Gondwanaland. These further broke apart into about twelve separate plates which, over all those millions of years, have drifted and come to form the continents as we know them today. Of course, my “knowledge” was provided to me by others – teachers and textbooks.

Now, Plate Tectonics is a theory that the Earth’s outer shell consists of a series of rigid plates known as the lithosphere. These plates move in response to convection currents within the mantle. The interactions of the plates at their boundaries yield earthquakes, volcanic activity, ocean trenches, island chains, mountain ranges and other features. I even remember making a model showing how volcanoes form in plate subduction zones. It was a great model and I received a gold star. However, like all theories, they are not proofs – but among geologists, plate tectonics is widely accepted as fact – except with Creationist geologists of course.

Around the same time as this theory came into vogue, an Australian geologist named Samuel Warren Carey was quietly rethinking the whole concept of Continental Drift and Plate Tectonics. Rather than a single landmass that was originally floating in an enormous ocean, suddenly breaking up and drifting off, Carey proposed that the Earth’s crust covered the entire Earth, not just a small part of it. Furthermore, the reason for the breakup of the crust is because the Earth was once much smaller than it is now, and it was a continuing inflation or growing of the Earth that caused the crust to break apart.

Very few took notice of Carey’s work and following his death in 2002 it was expected that the Expanding Earth theory would also die, but that’s where the comic book artist steps in. Neal Adams was one of my favorite comic artists. Batman, the X-Men and the Green Lantern were very much a part of my childhood. But Adams was also a visionary and progressive. Although he was born in 1941, he has easily transformed from traditional comic book art through to complex digital animations and it is through this medium that he has been able to explain Carey’s Expanding Earth theory to the masses. Adams has produced a fascinating 10-minute animated documentary that challenges traditional views of the Earth. The whole foundation of geology is rocked by the revelations it contains (pun intended).

Please carefully consider the contents of this video. The repercussions will cause aftershocks that will echo around the world. There is no subduction.  I did not deserve that gold star.

Read more about Neal Adams Science. What do you think?

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1. jusamus - 2 March, 2007

Strangely.. it makes sense in every way..

2. Ron Schott - 3 March, 2007

I think Neal Adams is a fine illustrator and animator and a bad scientist. Subduction certainly does happen. As any geologist will tell you, “Subduction leads to orogeny.” You did deserve that gold star… unless you actually buy any of this expanding Earth nonsense.

3. Svenyboy - 3 March, 2007

Without sounding like a total idiot – it certainly seems like a very plausible explanation – I have a question: where did all the water come from?

4. Ron Schott - 3 March, 2007

Parts of Adams explanation are indeed plausible because he employs elements of modern plate tectonic theory (specifically seafloor spreading). What should bother one much more than the magically appearing water is where the mysterious mass comes from to fill his expanding Earth. That’s a fairly serious violation of the basic laws of physics that Adams conveniently neglects to explain.

5. paralleldivergence - 3 March, 2007

Thanks for the comments. Ron, I was firmly on your side before I saw this video and started researching it a little. Right now, I just don’t know anymore. It is widely accepted that the universe is expanding and that stars expand. Why not planets? I can go to the hardware and buy a can of expansion filler. The amount that comes out of that can takes up a lot more space than it did when it was in the can. “Expanding Earth” is a theory. But so is Plate Tectonics. And both of them have really only been around for the past fifty or so years. We’re talking about plate movements over 250 million years. At best, “Pangaea” is a guess. Yes?

As for where did all the water come from? Again, we’re talking hundreds of millions of years. I suppose the cooling of the Earth, the generation of an atmosphere, Ice ages? Or if you’re a Creationist, Noah’s flood? :)

6. Ron Schott - 3 March, 2007

If you are skeptical of the value of the scientific method there is probably little point in trying to continue debating the point. My arguments against the “Expanding Earth” hypothesis are grounded in the scientific method. If you are interested in learning from that perspective why Adams’ conclusions are flawed I’d be happy to continue, and I’d welcome further inquiry from your readers. Otherwise it’d be a fool’s errand to argue from this perspective on your turf.

John - 14 October, 2014

Nothing wrong with the scientific method if it doesn’t ignore inconvenient facts which of course it does when wielded by humans who want science not to explain things but to back up their childish prejudices. The experiment of Michelson-Morley in the 1880’s is a classic where a few hours measurement that led to the “correct” null result, that wasn’t actually null in any case, is stacked up against thousands of hours of far more careful experimentation by Dayton Miller and Miller-Morley and the few hours of “correct” null results are chosen to be correct when in fact none of the experiments gave a null result including Michelson-Morley. That is the reality of science, human beings pushing their own pet theories at the expense of the truth.

7. paralleldivergence - 3 March, 2007

But Ron, we’re not talking about a theory made up by Adams, it’s a Theory made up by one of your own kind. Samuel Carey was the founding professor of geology at the University of Tasmania. Does his work not consitute science? Adams is just promoting the theory. They aren’t “Adams’ conclusions”. I’m not skeptical by any means of the scientific method.

8. Ron Schott - 3 March, 2007

I wonder, because you are conflating the terms theory and hypothesis, which have quite different meanings in a scientific context. The “expanding Earth” hypothesis, originally proposed by Carey, makes predictions that have been demonstrably disproven. Plate tectonic theory, on the other hand, has been successfully tested time and again and is widely accepted throughout the scientific community. The two ideas are certainly not of equal or indecipherable value scientifically.

I have not studied Carey’s original work and thus I can only comment on the conclusions Adams draws in the linked video. As far as I can tell, Adams conclusions are premised on his rejection of subduction as a geological process that is integral to the modern understanding of plate tectonic theory. Regardless of who is responsible for drawing this conclusion, it is not supported by the evidence. Subduction demonstrably does occur, and as a result Adams arguments in the video are based on a false premise.

9. paralleldivergence - 3 March, 2007

Granted. One is a theory, one is more likely a hypothesis. I don’t in any way consider myself to be a geologist, I’m more an inquirer. As I read sites like: http://rock.geosociety.org/sgt/SGTNewsMar01.pdf and http://www.science.org.au/academy/memoirs/carey.htm – I cannot consider Carey to be anything but brilliant. Whether he was misdirected and consumed by an expanding Earth concept, I don’t know, but there have been other scientists who were initially thought to be wrong and ultimately proven right. And this is all still very new in the scheme of things. We probably won’t know for sure in our lifetime. Can you definitively say there was a Pangaea 250 million years ago? And we’re still no good at predicting earthquakes.

10. a - 3 March, 2007

Ron Schott: What should bother one much more than the magically appearing water is where the mysterious mass comes from to fill his expanding Earth. That’s a fairly serious violation of the basic laws of physics that Adams conveniently neglects to explain.

you seem to have a very limited grasp of basic science. there’s no necessity for extra *mass* for an expansion, simply a change of density. it could be that when planetary objects form they are extremely dense, and then their density decreases (and thus their size *increases*) – this wouldn’t change their mass at all.

in fact, it is well known that this is exactly what happens to stars over time: they increase vastly in size (and then ultimately many of them shrink).

there is doubtlessly a lot that humans have to learn about planetary objects; your mindless assertions do nothing to further that endeavor.

11. Ron Schott - 3 March, 2007

Having skimmed the two links you provide that memorialize Carey’s life and career, it is clear that he was an early and visionary champion of plate tectonics. This is indeed admirable and no doubt he was a great geologist in many respects. I certainly understand the impulse to venerate him and I would not suggest the man was unworthy of such respect. But he was also human, and in that regard, as prone to error as any scientist. I cannot divine from these references the basis for his rejection of subduction as a geologic process, but the modern consensus of the geologic community clearly supports both subduction and plate tectonics, not Carey’s expanding Earth model. All science is subject to further testing and possible disproof – that is the nature of the beast. Definitive certainties are few and far between for the honest scientist. Nevertheless, the abundance of evidence currently available does not support an expanding Earth, and a YouTube video, however beautifully executed and compellingly scored and narrated, does not constitute scientific proof to the contrary.

12. Ron Schott - 3 March, 2007

a: Sure, you can argue it from a density perspective rather than mass. Fair enough. That just presents a different set of problems and demonstrably false hypothesis predictions. Regardless, the whole model is predicated on a denial of subduction as a geologic process. I’ve yet to see the evidence to support such a premise.

13. Simon - 4 March, 2007

As a layperson, you can open your mind to concepts like this, whereas a geologist would have already pretty rock-solid beliefs and would find it much harder to accept. I’m guessing it’s a bit like science vs religion debates. The religious don’t want to investigate. But this appears to be a case of science vs science and even with that, there are always sides to be taken.

Mr Parallel Divergence, I’m very impressed with your blog. You’ve got an extremely diverse set of subjects here, all very easy to read and all aimed at making us think. Thanks!

14. Ron Schott - 4 March, 2007

Simon: I’ve probably come across as very strident in my responses. As a scientist I hope I’m always willing to entertain new ideas that may have merit, but in the case of the expanding Earth model this idea is neither new nor meritorious. It’s appealing to contemplate ideas that would overturn the status quo – as much so for me as laypeople – but celebrating failed ideas and championing discredited hypotheses without new evidence to support them does nothing to advance our continuing quest for understanding of the planet and the universe. I don’t mean to stifle curiosity, of which there is never enough. I do want to promote critical thinking, of which there is often too little.

I want to also thank Parallel Divergence for tolerating my domination of this comment thread. I hope he has found my commentary constructive with regard to the discussion of the science of geology and respectful of him and his readers.

15. paralleldivergence - 4 March, 2007

Hi Ron and Simon,

Thanks to both of you for your comments. As I said, I just don’t know. It IS all about critical thinking. That’s how progress occurs. If there are opposing views each side will aim to produce evidence to support their side and discredit the other. I believe it’s this to-and-fro investigation that bring about quicker discoveries. Some may think it’s a distraction, but if previous arguments have not been strong enough on either side, we strive harder to identify the proof that’s needed. Ron, I’ve welcomed your professional input. If the article and video stood on their own here, they would be a skewed reference for many readers. You’ve added balance and readers can investigate further and make up their own minds.

I’m pleased you like the site Simon. A fair bit of work goes into producing each piece, and I don’t claim any of them to be right. They are just a point of view that may have otherwise been neglected, given light.

16. knightofswords - 5 March, 2007

As one of the non-scientists who just happened to drift through this discussion, my only comment is that both the video and the back-and-forth comments have been very interesting.

17. tobeme - 6 March, 2007

Very interesting. I am open to the possibilities. Let me ask this, is the earth still expanding, if so, at what rate does this expansion happen? Do other planets expand as well?
Very good video, gets an A+ for being pursuassive.

18. paralleldivergence - 6 March, 2007

I have no idea if it’s still expanding (assuming it did at all). My guess would be no, but as I said, it’s a guess. But what happened in those early days when we were a rock cooling is anybody’s guess. It is a good video and unlike traditional conspiracy theories, this one doesn’t involve corruption. :)

19. hubaa - 20 April, 2007

If its expanding, shouldnt the gravity on surface be reducing? Theory of low gravity when there were Dinosaurus must be wrong – unless most of the water and some gravel came from the sky after that age.

Could it be that the moon is actually whats left of an object that collided with earth to a near stop? (and set us finally at the optimal orbit regarding life) Could that object have brought all the water?

We dont see much of the alterations under the surface of water. Is the great grave by the Marianas widening? Or getting deeper?

20. hubaa - 20 April, 2007

near stop a collision would have altered the earth spinning rate – and made the wobbling of axis.

Spinning reduces gravity – then, although smaller but with a higher spinning rate the gravity could have been smaller then. But could All the water have been around then. Some water must have been around.

Something icy must have punched earth heavily to bring the water about – but when.

Moons diameter is 3476 kilometers (2160 miles) The gulf of mexico stretches more than 1,100 mi (1,770 km) from west to east and c.800 mi (1,290 km). Could the near miss collision have taken place by the gulf?

21. habuu - 20 April, 2007

Suppose earth has collided a watery planet that once was on about this orbit. The water might have dropped off on the earth in the collision that stopped the earth on this orbit and pushed away the other.

22. paralleldivergence - 21 April, 2007

All very interesting questions hubaa and I’m sure one day we are going to work out the answers. We certainly don’t know them all now, but many theories from the past were based on knowledge in those times. We have all grown since then an I’m sure the knowledge will continue to grow – as long as religions don’t try to keep us in the Dark Ages. It’s our duty as an intelligent race to find the answers and progress, not just live as sheep.

23. habuu - 22 April, 2007


Spinning may be also one reason for expanding – which should happen mostly at the equator. (I wonder How fast the spinning rate should be in order to stay on this planet – and the dinosauruses on top the equator… on the other hand – too much spinning could gyroscope us from the orbit… and when the spinning slows down, we might be drawn closer to sun). If the spinning-rate was higher, Nights would be so short that the lizzards and like would not slow down much. No use for warm blooded animals then. And if we add up the fantasy side. Imagine if a species of higher intelligence played pool and sent the watery dna mashball towards earlyearth an experiment in mind… (twilight zone stuff). Sending life instead of dumb orbiters. Anyways … I write too much here.

If the surface was all water in the early days, and the expansion has brought up the land, that explains the gradual climbing up from the sea. As it expands and expands it might just burst into pieces one day, partly because of the density difference between earth and water and the unequal division of these two while spinning.

24. hubaa - 22 April, 2007

I´ve wondered, if the long tails and crockodile – like appearance of the dinosauruses are due to the fact that they crawled in the water most of the time. Floating reduces gravitation.

25. Confused - 27 May, 2007

Q 1 – Can anyone show a complete global model of tectonics?

All i can find is a water covered models, the ocean floor is never described fully.

Q 2. – Would a smaller planet absorb less energy from the sun?

Could water have been trapped as ice at the poles.

Q 3. – What possible effects would the a change in spin speed have on the Earth’s size?

Q.4. – Why is the majority of ocean floor only 70million years old.

26. paralleldivergence - 28 May, 2007

I’m as confused as you are! Good questions. Anyone got the answers?

27. kate sisco - 22 August, 2007


There have been other super continents in our distant past, Gondwanaland is only the last of many so……………. expansion and contraction says a lot there.

Point 2

Scientists have discovered immense (that’s an overworked word but in this case, it means another ocean like what we got) reservoirs of water under continental masses in two places on Earth, in addition, Japanese scientists have discovered when rocks are compressed to depths far inside the Earth, they change and incorporate H2O in large amounts. No need for alien water.

Point 3

Carey says planets expand till they explode; well…………..

Point 4

Milton/DeGrazie theorize that Sol novaed and produced Jupiter which stayed connected to Sol via a electomagnetic corridor for eons during which our solar system mebers appeared at different times, mostly of late, ala Velikovsky. This is an electric universe theory. This says all bodies seek ions continually, thereby gaining charge, and this results in forcing all planetary bodies to be at neutral distance so as not to give or take charge, which means that they continue to gain and can and do exceed the charge of their immediate environment and explode. Many like theories are on the web.

Point 6

Most amazing of all, Io, which w Carey predicted would explode, now has an electrical arc that appeared from Jupiter after the Shoemaker/Levy impact and remained as a permanent Io/Jupiter contact. This site (more serious than it sounds) indicates lots of increase in some for of absorbable energy throughout all the planetary system.

Keep reading; I want the electrical theory to win, but then again we have those darn cosmic ray things ( I refuse to call it dark energy) that continue to put in their two cents worth, so……………

28. kate sisco - 22 August, 2007
29. paralleldivergence - 23 August, 2007

Thanks Kate for adding to the discussion. I need to spend some time to digest what you’ve posted. This started off as a discussion on a concept I had no idea about and it’s starting to make me realise we all know very little about anything. “Billions” of years is so hard to comprehend. That’s why the Young Earth Creationists settled on 6,000 years for the universe… :)

30. luis - 3 October, 2007

Simple. There’s a thing called Occam’s Razor. If a new hypothesis requires all of our knowledge of gravity, electromagnetism, nuclear, geology and astronomy to go bollocks and be reinvented, just because the hypothesis is somehow “kewl, yo”, we’re in bad shape fellas.

Occam Razor says, chose the simplest. And tectonics is SIMPLER. And, BTW it explains tectonic movements, which do happen, are measured and charted, etc.

Of course the Earth can expand, the same way that you guys just shrank in my intelligence grade.

Are people nuts?

Next time, people will say what, that the Earth is only a few thousand years old? HA, that I won’t believe. People could not be THAT dumb, could they?


31. paralleldivergence - 4 October, 2007

Hey Luis, if you think people can’t be that dumb to believe the Earth is only 6,000 years old, have a read of this and the comments attached…


32. Spoonog - 24 October, 2007

Wow. Hi guys Im a lay person . I am amazed that none of you have seen fit to check out Mr Adams Site where every question any of you have raised has been answered. When Occams razor is applied there can be no other conclusion reached. Take the time to look up all of neals videos and then spend some time thinking instead of reacting. Too many of you are very resistive on this issue to call yourself scientists. Look at this guys this is true it explains why there is so little granite on the surface of earth Granite is lighter than bassalt it will not subduct. There are no signs of subduction any where on the planet . the fact that the continents fit together to form a smaller globe is a biggie yes its difficult to swallow at first . look at ganymeade its obvious as well as mars the moon there is evidence of this all over the solar system dont confine yourselves to earth.

33. paralleldivergence - 24 October, 2007

I certainly haven’t rejected it as a possible answer Spoonog – otherwise I wouldn’t have written the article! Thanks for your contribution.

34. paralleldivergence - 1 January, 2008

I’ve studied this a little further. Here is a good resource that investigates the three main competing tectonics theories:


35. Carlo DiCelico - 21 November, 2008

Shouldn’t there be a measurable increase in the earth’s circumference over time if this were true? If so, then that would seem to indicate that the early Greek estimates of the earth’s circumference were more accurate than previously supposed. If Eratosthenes’ estimate of 39,690km was accurate, and today’s circumference is 40,008km, then the earth has expanded 318km since 240BC. This would give us an approximate rate of expansion of 0.14145907473309608540925266903915 km per year. However, no increase of the earth’s circumference has been noticed or recorded, at least not to my knowledge, which points to a major fallacy in the expanding earth hypothesis.

36. Christianne - 29 July, 2009

Isn’t plate tectonics the way earth recycles itself? Without it our planet would be stagnant like Mars or Ganymede?

John - 14 October, 2014


37. John - 14 October, 2014

We know that the international standards of mass kept in various countries vary with respect to the original kept in Paris, some by up to 70 millionths of a gram over just 100 years and that is not to say that the reference hasn’t also drifted in mass, or what we call mass but is probably information. There is no need to postulate water appearing from nowhere if the mass itself is not constant. Today’s “Scientists” are more akin to witch doctors than Scientists unfortunately so they are not interested in true reality only their childish view of it. Just as the church in the middle ages was horrified to find the orbits of the planets were not perfect circles and that the sun had spots today’s new church of “Scientists” will not admit that their precious “mass” may not be as perfect and unchanging as they make it out to be. One would have thought they would have learned the lesson from their treatment of the church but it seems not, they are just as content to be witch doctors and charlatans as the priests were in denying the right of reality to be different from what their tiny minds can allow.

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