Geology: Mind the Gap

Mind The Gap - Stratigraphy

In the late 1960s London Underground began warning underground passengers to “Mind the Gap” so that unsuspecting travellers might not fall into the abyss.

“Mind the gap” is a warning to train passengers to take caution while crossing the gap between the train door and the station platform.

It was introduced in 1969 on the London Underground.

Geology - Mind the Gap

Unfortunately, you won’t find “Mind the Gap” printed on the cover of any geology textbook.

Instead, some textbooks will quietly refer back to Charles Darwin’s observation that the sedimentary record is very incomplete – just an entry now and then with long pauses between.

For the common sediments, however, we have no accurate knowledge of how long individual beds took to accumulate or of how much time elapsed between the deposition of each.

Some thick beds accumulate in a short time, some thin ones take much longer, and in all probability the period of nondeposition that separate most layers represent far more time than is represented by the strata.

As Charles Darwin pointed out over a hundred years ago, with far fewer facts to go on than we have today, from the standpoint of time, the sedimentary record is very incomplete – just an entry now and then with long pauses between.

Original Structures of Sedimentary Rocks – pages 70 and 72
Geology Illustrated – John Shelton – 1966

John Shelton provided some insight into the problem [once you had fallen into the abyss].

But observed rates of sedimentation range from almost unmeasurably small fractions of an inch per century to many feet per hour and make it almost impossible to estimate the average for any large deposit.

The Duration of Geologic Time – page 304
Geology Illustrated – John Shelton – 1966

Alfred de Grazia more explicitly declared “someone has stolen the rocks of the Earth”.

In North America, 35 epochs, comprised in 250 rock formations which are formed of a great many less thick and distinct strata, have been recognized as composing the geologic column back to the “beginning of life,” the Paleozoic of 570 million years ago.

But the formations are never present for inspection in one place.

If every different stratum that was ever labelled were heaped up in its maximum deposited thickness, the pile would tower into the stratosphere.

According to the accounts rendered of the world Geologic Column, there should be 400,000 feet or 80 miles thick of sediments.

Furthermore, the heap should cover the whole globe, unless somebody else has been digging rock from the oceans and carrying it up the continental shelves. For the ocean bottoms are scarcely sedimented.

Ninety-eight per cent of the Earth’s sediments have disappeared.
There is a kind of saving argument which is, however, self-defeating.
The layers added together to reach 80 miles are of known maximum deposits, not average ones. Sheer guessing might halve the maxima, making the total column 40, not 80, miles in height. So the 2% would become 4%. Then 96% of the sediments are missing.
Adding abyssal sediment would hardly matter.

Collapsing Tests of Time
Chaos and Creation – Alfred de Grazia – 1981

Derek Ager concluded there is “more gap than record”.

Thus the Globigerina ooze on the floor of the Indian Ocean seems to be accumulation at between a ¼ and 1 centimetre per thousand years. A very conservative estimate for the Upper Cretaceous Chalk in northern Europe would give a figure of something like 30,000 feet as an absolute minimum.

More Gaps than Record
The Nature of the Stratigraphical Record – Derek Ager – 1973

Professor Norman Newell deduced the geologic record is 90% gap.

Carbonate deposition on the Great Bahama Bank is said to have averaged half a metre per thousand years, even though most of the sediment is continuously swept into deeper water.

The average rate of accumulation of the 6,000 metres of limestone under the Bahamas is only four or five centimetres per thousand years. From this disparity in rates, Proffessor Norman Newell deduced that these Cretaceous and Tertiary limestones represent no more than a tenth of Cretaceous and Caenozoic times

More Gaps than Record
The Nature of the Stratigraphical Record – Derek Ager – 1973

Therefore, geology is an “ocean of obscurity” rather than a “sea of knowledge”.

Geology has perfected the “art” of papering over the cracks, gaps and abysses.

Geology is the “science” of artistic license because their belief system currently decrees that the Earth is 4,540,000,000 years old [give or take 227,000,000 years between believers].

The age of the Earth is 4.54 ± 0.05 billion years

However, if the geologic record is more gap than record then the Earth might not be so old after all.

Norman Newell’s estimate of 90% gaps indicates the Earth might be only 454,000,000 years old.

Alfred de Grazia’s estimate of 98% gaps indicates the Earth might be only 90,800,000 years old.

Therefore, it is unsurprisingly that over 150 years ago Lord Kelvin calculated the age of the Earth to be between 20 million and 400 million years.

In 1862, the physicist William Thomson (who later became Lord Kelvin) of Glasgow published calculations that fixed the age of Earth at between 20 million and 400 million years.

He assumed that Earth had formed as a completely molten object, and determined the amount of time it would take for the near-surface to cool to its present temperature.

Charles Darwin’s son, the astronomer George H. Darwin of the University of Cambridge, proposed that Earth and Moon had broken apart in their early days when they were both molten. He calculated the amount of time it would have taken for tidal friction to give Earth its current 24-hour day. His value of 56 million years added additional evidence that Thomson was on the right track.

The last estimate Thomson gave, in 1897, was: “that it was more than 20 and less than 40 million year old, and probably much nearer 20 than 40”.

William Thomson - Lord Kelvin

Unsurprisingly, Lord Kelvin upset the mainstream.

Geologists had trouble accepting such a short age for Earth.

Therefore, the mainstream has marshalled its resources to counter Lord Kelvin’s calculations.

His calculations did not account for heat produced via radioactive decay (a process then unknown to science) or convection inside the Earth, which allows more heat to escape from the interior to warm rocks near the surface.

The secondary argument deployed by Wikipedia regarding “convection” is a doubled edge sword.

If “convection” within the Earth “allows more heat to escape” then the Earth has cooled more rapidly than originally envisaged by Lord Kelvin.

Therefore, “convection” implies Lord Kelvin overestimated the age of the Earth. Oops!

The primary argument deployed by Wikipedia regarding “radioactive decay” is highly dubious.

Initially, there are huge theoretical and practical problems with “radioactive decay” and the radiometric dating of the Earth.

Firstly, the mainstream has to assume that the Earth hasn’t gained or lost any material since its formation.

Unfortunately, the mainstream currently “thinks” the Earth has lost a Moon sized chuck of material.

The prevailing hypothesis today is that the Earth–Moon system formed as a result of a giant impact, where a Mars-sized body (named Theia) collided with the newly formed proto-Earth, blasting material into orbit around it, which accreted to form the Moon.

Unfortunately, the mainstream also “thinks” that about 130 kilograms of “extraterrestrial material” has been deposited on each and every square metre of the Earth’s surface [on average].

Cosmic dust can also be detected directly (‘in-situ’) using a variety of collection methods and from a variety of collection locations. At the Earth, generally, an average of 40 tons per day of extraterrestrial material falls to the Earth.

Cosmic Dust

Let’s not mention the 25 billion meteorites they “think” may have impacted the Earth.

Most meteoroids disintegrate when entering Earth’s atmosphere.
Only 5 or 6 a year are typically recovered and made known to scientists.
Few meteorites are large enough to create large impact craters.

Instead, they typically arrive at the surface at their terminal velocity and, at most, create a small pit. Even so, falling meteorites have reportedly caused damage to property, and injuries to livestock and people.

Meteorite impacts

Secondly, the mainstream has to assume they “know” the exact composition of the entire Earth and can precisely quantify all the elements and compounds of which the Earth is currently composed.

Unfortunately, humans have only managed to scratch away at 0.1938 % of the Earth’s surface.
Being charitable, this still leaves a massive 99.8 % knowledge “gap”.

The Kola Superdeep Borehole is the result of a scientific drilling project of the Soviet Union on the Kola Peninsula.

The project attempted to drill as deep as possible into the Earth’s crust.

For two decades it was also the world’s longest borehole, in terms of measured depth along the well bore, until surpassed in 2008 by the 12,289 m (40,318 ft) long Al Shaheen oil well in Qatar, and in 2011 by 12,345 m (40,502 ft) long Sakhalin-I Odoptu OP-11 Well (offshore the Russian island Sakhalin).

Earth's longest borehole

Unfortunately, the Earth is currently too big to fit in a mass spectrometer.

Mass spectrometry (MS) is an analytical technique that produces spectra (singular spectrum) of the masses of the molecules comprising a sample of material. The spectra are used to determine the elemental composition of a sample, the masses of particles and of molecules, and to elucidate the chemical structures of molecules, such as peptides and other chemical compounds. Mass spectrometry works by ionizing chemical compounds to generate charged molecules or molecule fragments and measuring their mass-to-charge ratios.

The mainstream will have to wait for the fictional Vogon Constructor fleet to arrive.

Shortly after Arthur and Ford return to the ruins of Arthur’s house, a fleet of Vogon Constructor Ships arrives in the sky, and Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz broadcasts an announcement that they are to demolish the Earth to make way for a hyperspace bypass. Panic ensues. Ford uses his “electronic thumb” to hitch a lift onto one of the ships, taking Arthur with him, just moments before the Earth is destroyed.

Don't Panic

Perhaps “Don’t Panic” is more appropriate than “Mind the Gap” for geology textbooks.

The third major problem with “radioactive decay” and radiometric dating is that the mainstream has to assume they “know” the exact composition of the entire Earth at the time of its formation.

Unfortunately, the mainstream has yet to discover a time machine.

The Time Machine is a science fiction novella by H. G. Wells, published in 1895 and later adapted into two feature films of the same name, as well as two television versions, and a large number of comic book adaptations. It indirectly inspired many more works of fiction in many media. This story is generally credited with the popularisation of the concept of time travel using a vehicle that allows an operator to travel purposefully and selectively.

The Time Machine - H G Wells

The fourth major problem with “radioactive decay” and radiometric dating is that the mainstream has to assume they “know” that the rates of “radioactive decay” have been constant for the last 4,540,000,000 years.

Unfortunately, the mainstream will have to measure “radioactive decay” for the next 4,539,999,900 years before they can make an intelligent hindcast for that metric.

Therefore, it is hardly surprising that mainstream can’t decide whether “radioactive decay” accounts for 45 percent or 90 percent of the Earth’s heat loss.

Wikipedia - Radioactive Decay

It’s also unsurprising that Wikipedia makes the occasional Freudian slip when trying to “big up” the “radioactive decay” heat flow numbers.

Wikipedia Heat Loss

It’s also unfortunate that the mainstream “thinks” that Uranium and Thorium only accounts for 8 parts per billion of the Earth’s bulk (total) elemental abundance.

Isotope Half-Life

It’s doubly unfortunate that the mainstream “thinks” radiogenic heat only accounts for 2.67 percent of the Earth’s total heat content.

Comparison of global energies

It’s trebly unfortunate that the mainstream also describes radioactive heating as “puny”.

Radioactive heating

Heat Flow and Earth’s Interior Dynamics – Dr. Gavin Bell

Click to access lec16.pdf

Personally, I’m not holding my breath waiting for geology to embrace Mind the Gap.

After the Vietnam War, the term “credibility gap” came to be used by political opponents in cases where an actual, perceived or implied discrepancy existed between a politician’s public pronouncements and the actual, perceived or implied reality.

This entry was posted in Catastrophism, Earth, Geology, Inventions & Deceptions, Moon, Science, Solar System. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Geology: Mind the Gap

  1. Dave Page says:

    It’s not really clear what this decomposition of stratigraphical (in)completeness is meant to achieve, other than to perhaps highlight the creationist bent of its author. Do we junk notions of ‘deep time’ and geology as a way of understanding the world simply because the depositional record is incomplete in places? Yes, there are only a few feet of Miocene deposits in some parts of northern Europe, but there are kilometres of it on the other side of the pond. So what? There is likewise precious little sediment preserved from the last few millennia wherever one looks on land or sea, yet the author of this blog would look back from the future and compress the last 2,000 years by 90% to fit his misapprehensions of geology and say that WWII ended just six-years ago. Earth has an effective atmospheric, hydrological, and plate-tectonic system of recycling its sediment, a system that can be seen by anyone with a access to a tidal beach and 24 hours to waste.

    Still, as this blogger is also busy with “…The Falsification of Newton’s Universal Law of Gravitation”, I suppose that he has bigger fish to fry then telling geologists that we don’t know what we’re doing…

  2. Martin Sieff says:

    Mr. Page: Catastrophism is not Creationism.

    You claim Mr. Cullen has a “Creationist bent.” Would you care to document that claim please?

  3. Pingback: Time | Louis Hissink's Crazy World

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