The Quantum Pontiff

Crackpot animation of the day:

Comments

  1. #1 Chris Granade
    February 22, 2008

    Holy crap! That’s crackpottery the like of which I haven’t seen in quite some time. You found a choice video there.

  2. #2 Chris Granade
    February 22, 2008

    Sorry for the double comments, but I think I found out this guy’s shtick. He charges money to view all of his “most convincing” videos. Just $20 for “proof” that the earth is growing without any input mass. Conservation of energy? Who cares? We’ve got animations! http://www.continuitystudios.net/growingearth/index2.html

  3. #3 Dave Bacon
    February 22, 2008

    Proof by animation. That’s a new one.

  4. #4 Pieter Kok
    February 22, 2008

    As crackpottery this is a work of art! What a find!

  5. #5 JohnQPublic
    February 22, 2008

    Obviously, Dave, you’re just part of the vast scientific conspiracy to silence this great truth. I bet your name is not even really Dave. ;-)

  6. #6 Bob Sloggin
    February 22, 2008

    Time to poop!

  7. #7 oldcola
    February 22, 2008

    Work of Art indeed! I wouldn’t pay the $20 to get more proof, I’m already convinced :-)

    Chris, no need of input mass, you forget that ‘now’ the Earth is hollow! We got animations of that ‘also’. And it’s cheaper, just $15, eBook, fast delivery. World’s Top Secret… (no link, google it please)

    And I would like to ask a question, Dave, what’s your real (secret) name? :-D

  8. #8 Hank
    February 22, 2008

    I don’t recall Neal Adams bringing out the conspiracy theories when the skeptics’ guide interviewed him, might very well be wrong though.

    In case you want to hear more from him:
    http://www.theskepticsguide.org/skepticsguide/podcastinfo.asp?pid=51

  9. #9 johnshade
    February 22, 2008

    Well, Neal’s nuts but he was one of the greatest comic artists ever, so I’ll cut him some slack.

  10. #10 Dave Bacon
    February 22, 2008

    As all attendies to SqUinT know, my name is actually nocaB evaD. And of course I am part of tha world wide conspiracy. Who isn’t?

  11. #11 Ken Shabby
    February 22, 2008

    So where was all the water back them? Was there a single small lake a thousand miles deep?

    If the Earth is growing, does its mass increase? If not, its density must necessarily decrease. Maybe the inside is getting spongy, with the holes filled with dinosaur farts?

    He’s not making this up? It’s all over the Internet? Okay, name one place. Just one. Can’t do that? Aha — liar, liar, pants on fire!

    By the way, does anybody want to buy my $25 animation proving the Sun used to be a golf ball?

  12. #12 peter
    February 22, 2008

    forgive my ignorance, but isn’t the platypus a monotreme, not a marsupial?

    and on a side note, aren’t the rockies and himalayas the sort of the waste product of the subduction zones?

    I may be oversimplifying a bit…

  13. #13 JohnQPublic
    February 22, 2008

    He has it backwards! I will produce animation that proves the earth is not growing but that humans are actually shrinking and that is why we think the universe is expanding.

  14. #14 Jonathan
    February 22, 2008

    @Dave: I’ve been talking about ‘proof by animation’ for years as one of my pet peeves, but I’ve always called it the “Juassic Park Proof”. How many theories of dinosaur behavior are there? Which ones do most people believe? The ones animated in the movie :)

  15. #15 johnshade
    February 22, 2008

    The reason there is no need for input mass is, of course, the Banach-Tarski theorem.

  16. #16 SteveF
    February 22, 2008

    There has been a minor revival of expanding earth theory recently. A couple of papers by a chap called Dennis McCarthy:

    McCarthy, D. (2005) Biogeographical and geological evidence for a smaller, completely-enclosed Pacific Basin in the Late Cretaceous. Journal of Biogeography, 32, 2161-2177.

    McCarthy, D. (2003) The trans-Pacific zipper effect: disjunct sister taxa and matching geological outlines that link the Pacific margins. Journal of Biogeography, 30, 1545-1561.

    McCarthy gets hauled over the coals by Derek Briggs in a reply, but it’s interesting to see that expanding earth hasn’t totally died. If you are fancy, you can read the papers at McCarthys website:

    http://www.4threvolt.com/

  17. #17 Carl Brannen
    February 22, 2008

    It’s typical of the sociology of science that there have been plenty of comments making fun of the theory but none of them give much evidence that it is wrong. The closest one is the comment on conservation of energy, but lacks a calculation for how good of an estimate we have of how conservation of energy applies at the center of the earth. And the comment on where the water comes from is good, but the fact is that water is only a tiny fraction of the planet’s mass and so the change in water can be explained by supposing that part of the growth of the earth was in water, which floats up to the top.

    Since I started out college studying mining engineering, let me give a no nonsense refutation of the idea.

    The spread in the rifts amounts to several centimeters per year, but this is entirely accounted for by the measured loss of ocean floor at subduction zones such as the Pacific coast of the US. In addition, the measured rate of rift spreading, if it were to actually result in a change in the circumference of the earth, would be contrary to the observed (from spacecraft measurements) that the earth is not, in fact growing. Nor are the highest mountains significantly increasing in size.

    Physics is a social science because humans are social animals. None of you are smart enough to instantly know the difference between crackpottery and science. Instead, you know what you are told and you believe it almost entirely because other people, who you respect, also believe it. The method that you use to understand the world is, in this way, identical to that of the religious you make fun of 99% of the time. You let a few wise men argue over things and then you judge it on the basis of how smart you think they are, relative to each other. You’re not smart enough to judge the ideas on their own merits. You’re basically a bunch of stupid sheep, not scientists.

  18. #18 Chris Granade
    February 22, 2008

    This was so amazing that I have since posted this on to our local Society of Physics Students listserv. Frankly, Dr. Bacon, you’ve been indirectly responsible for quite a number of messages on our list.

    Oh, and Mr. Brannen, the burden of proof lies squarely with Mr. Adams. His video is not a proof; he has no evidence. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and he has presented only an elaborate animation filled with visual distortions. Once Mr. Adams graces us with that evidence currently reserved for his “members,” then maybe more people will take him seriously. Until then, of course we will make fun of him.

  19. #19 JohnQPublic
    February 22, 2008

    No evidence? Didn’t you see the cartoon??

  20. #20 JohnQPublic
    February 22, 2008

    “..identical to that of the religious you make fun of 99% of the time…”

    I take severe umbrage to that statement! I spend a lot more than 99%!

  21. #21 JM Geremia
    February 22, 2008

    … all I’m saying is that someone might need a little nap.

  22. #22 Kea
    February 23, 2008

    Actually, I have mentioned this on my blog previously, and I consider myself fortunate that my readers do not automatically ridicule radical ideas. Carl, the space measurements do not rule out the possibility of quantum jumps taking place at discrete time intervals, and Adams is well aware of the subduction theory. I recommend the radio interview linked above.

  23. #23 guthrie
    February 23, 2008

    Carl, you really need to cut down the snark and stop being so big headed.

  24. #24 Jacob Wintersmith
    February 23, 2008

    I guess some people really can’t tell the difference between a donut and a coffee mug. :)

  25. #25 SteveF
    February 23, 2008

    I posted this last night, but it must have been lost in the matrix. Anyway, expanding earth hasn’t totally died. There’s a chap by the name of Dennis McCarthy that has published a bit recently, arguing that certain biogeographical patterns are best explained by an expanding earth. The papers are:

    McCarthy, D. (2005) Biogeographical and geological evidence for a smaller, completely-enclosed Pacific Basin in the Late Cretaceous. Journal of Biogeography, 32, 2161-2177.

    McCarthy, D. (2003) The trans-Pacific zipper effect: disjunct sister taxa and matching geological outlines that link the Pacific margins. Journal of Biogeography, 30, 1545-1561.

    Derek Briggs gave him a shredding in a reply, but it goes to show that the idea isn’t totally dead. You can read the papers at his website:

    http://www.4threvolt.com/

  26. #26 Stefan Scherer
    February 23, 2008

    This guy is really a complete crackpot: He completely ignores the big track record of “Expanding Earth Theories” – and it would have been sufficient to have a look at Wikipedia ;-)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expanding_earth_theory

  27. #27 Kea
    February 23, 2008

    Actually, this guy is referenced in the wikipedia article, and he is well aware of the history briefly discussed there. Moreoever, he does not even claim to be a professional scientist. You would know all this if you bothered to check, silly sheep.

  28. #28 JohnQPublic
    February 24, 2008

    Sorry, but perhaps it is just beyond me (I am certainly not a scientist). How does the reference link in the wikipedia article demonstrate his awareness of the history and track record of the expanding earth theory? Is peer review and skepticism losing its importance in the science community? Even if he is right the starting point should be absolute skepticism. And if for not other reason than he’s not formally trained in the field he’s making extraordinary claims in. The trust in science squarely lies in its critical peer review process.

  29. #29 Kea
    February 24, 2008

    JohnQPublic, I am not basing my assessment of this idea on a wikipedia article. That is the point.

  30. #30 JohnQPublic
    February 24, 2008

    But if the science community were to greet every idea with equal consideration, it would render itself useless. The knee-jerk ridicule can be healthy. Only good can come from forcing one to defend their claims. A skeptical quick judgment is simply necessary or all of you would be spending all your time forming lengthy refutations of vampires and gremlins.

  31. #31 Dave Bacon
    February 25, 2008

    You’re not smart enough to judge the ideas on their own merits.

    Speak for yourself! I’m certainly the smartest person in the world! I can judge scientific theories valid or not valid in microseconds (shorter if they are simple theories not involving the representation theory of the symmetric group.) In fact I once spotted pseudoscience while jumping of a cliff with skis on even though the sun was shining in my eyes. It was very fantastic.

    What, I sound pompous?

    Yes. Perhaps there is a lesson in there somewhere.

  32. #32 CortxVortx
    February 25, 2008

    None of you are smart enough to instantly know the difference between crackpottery and science. Instead, you know what you are told and you believe it almost entirely because other people, who you respect, also believe it. The method that you use to understand the world is, in this way, identical to that of the religious you make fun of 99% of the time. You let a few wise men argue over things and then you judge it on the basis of how smart you think they are, relative to each other. You’re not smart enough to judge the ideas on their own merits. You’re basically a bunch of stupid sheep, not scientists.

    I note that Carl says “you” and not “we.” Of course, he fact-checks every claim that he encounters.

  33. #33 Dave Briggs
    February 27, 2008

    He has it backwards! I will produce animation that proves the earth is not growing but that humans are actually shrinking and that is why we think the universe is expanding.

    Posted by: JohnQPublic | February 22, 2008 4:08 PM

    LOL! Thanks for the heads up! This is going to save a lot of time spent with those pesky formulas, calculations etc. LOL!
    Dave Briggs :~)

The site is currently under maintenance and will be back shortly. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.