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The study of ancient life highlights significant problems for orthodox Plate Tectonic theory

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The study of ancient life highlights significant problems for orthodox Plate Tectonics theory. Especially since Plate Tectonics theory predicts that the ancient Pacific should have been nearly twice as large as today’s Pacific Ocean.

Since the ancient Pacific would have been much larger than the present day Pacific it would seem virtually impossible for life to have migrated across this vast ocean. Yet the opposite is true, ancient life seems to have found it very easy to transverse what should have been a vast ocean.

One answer to this migration problem may be simply that the Pacific wasn’t larger than present. It was smaller.

This smaller Pacific is exactly what the Expanding Earth theory predicts.

It is hardly surprising that a number of people researching the problems of ancient life’s migration have considered the expanding Earth theory as a possible answer to these problems.

In the 1970s O. Shields suggested that the Pacific Ocean was closed in the Late Jurassic on a smaller diameter Earth. In 1981 M.K. Howarth compared the concept of expansion with conventional theories and used the maps of his colleague H.G. Owen to illustrate the concept (both worked at the London Natural History Museum at the time). The problem was raised by D. Ager at his Presidential Address to the geology section of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. David Noel discussed the problem in his 1989 book, Nuteeriat: Nut Trees, the Expanding Earth, Rottnest Island, and All That...

In the 21st century Dennis McCarthy provided additional biogeographical, palaeomagnetic and palaeosedimentary data supporting a closed Pacific with land connections in Late Cretaceous between Australia and East Asia, East Asia and North America, North America and South America, South America and Antarctica, and Antarctica and Australia. Giancarlo Scalera also commented on the debate.

This interesting palaeobiology problem has been recently discussed again in an edition of the Journal of the International Dragonfly Fund, published online as a free download in 2016. Milen Marinov’s paper, The seven “oddities” of Pacific Odonata biogeography, discusses some of the problems of the dispersal of ancient insects like the dragonfly around the Pacific Ocean and then considers expansion as a possible answer to the problem.

Marinov hopes that this new paper will draw “attention to details that are difficult to be explained with the Pacific Odonata palaeontology as we know it for the moment”.

Let’s hope Marinov’s wish is fulfilled so this perplexing problem is studied in more detail.

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References

Shields, O. (1978). The Expanding Earth. Systematic Biology, 27(3), 379-381.

Shields, O. (1979). Evidence for initial opening of the Pacific Ocean in the Jurassic. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 26, 181-220.
Abstract and Paywall pdf

Howarth, M.K. (1981). Palaeogeography of the Mesozoic. In The evolving earth13, 197-220.
Book details on Amazon UK

Ager, D. V. (1986). Migrating fossils, moving plates and an expanding Earth. Modern Geology, 10(4), 377-390.

Noel, D. (1989) Nuteeriat: Nut Trees, the Expanding Earth, Rottnest Island, and All That... Cornucopia Press
Book details on Amazon UK

McCarthy, D. (2003). The trans-Pacific zipper effect: disjunct sister taxa and matching geological outlines that link the Pacific margins. Journal of Biogeography, 30(10), 1545-1561.
Abstract & paywall pdf

McCarthy, D. (2005). Biogeographical and geological evidence for a smaller, completely enclosed Pacific Basin in the Late Cretaceous. Journal of Biogeography, 32(12), 2161-2177.
Abstract & paywall pdf   Comments

McCarthy, D. (2007) Are Plate Tectonic Explanations for Trans-Pacific Disjunctions Plausible? Empirical Tests of Radical Dispersalist Theories. In Biogeography in a Changing World edited by Ebach and Tangney.
Book details

Scalera, G. (2007). Fossils, frogs, floating islands and expanding Earth in changing-radius cartography–A comment to a discussion on Journal of Biogeography. Annals of Geophysics.
Abstract & Free pdf

Marinov, M. (2015). The seven “oddities” of Pacific Odonata biogeography. In Journal of the International Dragonfly Fund.
Abstract & Free pdf



Page created   16 Aug 16
Page updated   09 Jan 17