CHAPTER 3.3
REMOVING THE NEED FOR GEOLOGICAL EPICYCLES

   
CHAPTER 3.3
REMOVING THE NEED FOR GEOLOGICAL EPICYCLES


One of the nice features of Ben's Antipodal Impact Theory is its ability to remove some of the over-elaborate explanations that have become necessary to explain physical features when using the Standard Theory.

These over-elaborate explanations can remind one of the mechanisms that were used by medieval astronomers who were wedded to a geocentric model of the universe. If the earth were at the center of the universe, as was the common assumption before Copernicus, Galileo and others got into the act, then astronomers had difficulty explaining the retrograde movements of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn (they could not see any planets out farther than that until telescopes were involved).

Because these three planets are located farther from the sun than the earth is, there are times when their orbits look as if they are going backwards in the sky, rather than moving in their usual paths. Ancient astronomers explained this phenomenon by using the device of epicycles.

The epicycle model posits that each of those planets orbits in a circle within a circle. Therefore, sometimes the planet actually moves backwards because it is moving backwards faster in the inner circle than it is moving forwards in the larger orbit.

As Tycho Brahe and others were able to make more precise measurements of these planets' movements. it became more difficult to explain the actual results using just one epicycle ... it became epicycles on epicycles.


Of course, all of these over-elaborate constructions were rendered unnecessary once the heliocentric model was used. There was no need for epicycles anymore.


ELIMINATING GEOLOGICAL EPICYCLES


When Ben's Antipodal Impact Theory is used as the basis for understanding the geological history of the earth, four significant geological "epicycle" mechanisms of the current Standard Theory can be discarded.

These are:

1. Rare Mantle Plumes

2. Mysterious Low Angle Farallon Plate Activity Forming the Rocky Mountains

3. Extremely Heavy Old Ocean Crust Involved With the Marianas Trench and the Challenger Deep.

4. The Many Conflicting Reasons Given for the Major Extinctions


1. RARE MANTLE PLUMES

The Standard Theory posits that hotspots are created by "rare mantle plumes." The reason given for these rare mantle plumes is the idea that they are a result of interior convection currents forcing the release of heat from the interior of the planet.

While this explanation is possible, just as epicycles are possible, this explanation is completely unnecessary once hotspots are viewed from the perspective of Ben's Antipodal Impact Theory. According to this new theory, hotspots are the logical antipodal result of a large impact from a celestial object. No rare mantle plumes are needed. We don't need to spend time worrying about when the next rare mantle plume will occur. Rare mantle plumes don't exist.

If we stop the impacts, we stop any future hotspots. No geological epicycles required.

2. THE MYSTERIOUSLY SHALLOW FARALLON PLATE

The NOVA television show on PBS has broadcast a one hour documentary that attempts to explain the unusual fact that the Rocky Mountains are located far to the interior of the North American Continent. This documentary posits a mysteriously shallow angled subduction of the Farallon Plate.

Most mountain ranges come about as the result of uplift from a subducting plate. These mountain ranges occur within a few hundred miles of the subduction zone. The Rocky Mountains Mountains are located almost 1000 miles from the supposed subduction zone between the Farallon Plate (an offshoot of the Pacific Plate) and the North American Plate.

The only way for the Standard Theory to explain this mysterious occurrence is to hypothesize the scenario where the Farallon Plate is subducted at such a shallow angle that it does not subduct into the mantle until almost 1000 miles later. This scenario occurs nowhere else on earth.

However, given the mechanisms of the Standard Theory, this is the best geological epicycle that can be trotted out.

Ben's Antipodal Impact Theory hypothesizes that the Eastern American Continent collided with the broken tail of the Siberian Continent 80 MYA to 70 MYA. The Eastern American Continent, with its western edge composed of mafic oceanic crust, was subducted under the Siberian Tail and caused the uplift of the high plains and the Rocky Mountains behind them. It was subduction from the east side, not the west side. No strange geological epicycles are required (see Chapter 2.5).


3. THE MARIANAS TRENCH AND THE CHALLENGER DEEP

The lowest point on the ocean floor is the Marianas Trench, located to the east of the Mariana Islands in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Not only is this the deepest trench, but at the southern end of the Marianas Trench Arc is the Challenger Deep, which extends several thousand feet below even the already deepest trench on earth. Why is the Marianas Trench so Deep?

Why is the Challenger Deep even several thousand feet lower still? Again, the NOVA television show on PBS has broadcast a one hour documentary which explores these questions. And, again, the answer is based upon the only plausible explanation that can be extracted from the Standard Theory. And, again, the show has to create a geological epicycle in order to accomplish this.

The NOVA documentary explains the depth of the Marianas Trench in general and the Challenger Deep in particular as being the result of the accumulated heaviness of the seafloor slab as it moves farther and farther from the mid-ocean ridge in the Pacific and eventually, after millions and millions of years, reaches its subduction point. The NOVA documentary posits that the slab's heavy weight at the end point causes it to sink lower and open up a deep gap at the point of subduction.

However, the documentary does not explain why subducting slabs to the north and south (especially the south at the Challenger Deep site) of the Marianas Trench are not as deep or deeper. They also don't address the strange almost half-circle arc of the Marianas Trench and why there is another seamount arc on a straighter line just behind it to the west.

Ben's Antipodal Impact Theory addresses the issue of the Marianas Trench in Chapter 2.4. According to this new theory, the Marianas Trench is the trace remains of the crater impact of the object that caused the uplift of the South American Continent at its antipode 132 MYA. The Marianas Trench was caused by the deep annular ring of the trailing edge of the crater, which took over the subduction function from the previous, shallower trench that was located behind it. Once this subduction was taken over by the crater's deep annular ring, the subduction system continued to replicate this structure as the plate continued to be subducted ... much as a winding tidal river continually retraces its looping path through a salt marsh as the tide goes in and out.

It is especially important to note that the Challenger Deep is located at the southern end of the Marianas Trench, which would have been the eastern side of the leading edge of the impact, which we would expect to be the deepest part of the annular ring at the edge of the crater.

Even more important than this, the Marianas Trench goes from deep to deeper as it approaches its southern end ... and then it stops! Why is this?

The NOVA documentary doesn't address this question. Ben's Antipodal Impact Theory explains it by realizing that once the southernmost part of an annular ring from an impact has been reached, the annular ring would bend back to the north, and, in this case, would have been already subducted, leaving no residual trace.

Once again, rather than needing the construct of a geological epicycle involving an increasingly heavy slab that occurs nowhere else on earth (and without this concept extending to the neighboring slabs), Ben's Antipodal Impact Theory explains the structure with ordinary impact physics. It even explains the straighter line of seamounts to the west, behind the Marianas. No geological epicycles required.

4. SOLVING THE MAJOR MASS EXTINCTIONS The Standard Theory relies on several different possible mechanisms to explain the earth's major mass extinctions.

These include:

1. Impacts of Cosmic Objects

2. Rare Mantle Plumes

3. Glaciation

4. Lowering Sea Levels

5. Other Disasters


Based upon the Standard Theory, we are all just one unhappy random accident away from total annihilation. It is as though we are constantly spinning a wheel of fortune, wondering which random geological accident will destroy us next.

But, as we have seen from examining Ben's Antipodal Impact Theory, these supposedly independent causes of the major mass extinctions are all the result of just one thing: Impacts and the impact effects at the antipode of the impact. In other words, if we stop the impacts, we stop the extinctions.

There are no nefarious geological extinction monsters waiting to come out of the closet. There are only impacts. And we can control impacts.

The fiction that we are at the mercy of any one of a number of possible extinction monsters is a myth of the Standard Theory. It is a real pleasure to put this geological epicycle out of its misery.


CONCLUSION


A new theory should do more than just explain the same facts in a slightly different way. It should be able to clean up lots of messy stuff that the old theory could never really deal with very well.

While there are many facets of Ben's Antipodal Impact Theory which create a simpler, more logical explanation for the physical evidence that exists today, I believe that these four examples are the best illustrations of this new theory removing the need for the geological epicycles of the current Standard Theory.