The Problem With Dinosaurs
I'm not sure whether this belongs here or in the question and answer forum, however, because I believe it will inevitably touch upon Professor Carey's idea of an expanding Earth, I thought it might belong here.
My central idea is that we should be paying more attention to what the size of certain dinosaurs, flying ones and sauropods for example, and what their remains are telling us about Earth at the time of their existence. If it's the case that it would be impossible for a sauropod to live today under present Earth conditions, or for flying dinosaurs to fly today, then that fact presents certain problems to our present understanding of conditions at the time, which may easily be explained by lower gravity ie. smaller earth.
This seems to be a problem conveniently unacknowledged or ignored in the mainstream: so much so that when a film like Jurassic Park was made the issue seemed to bother very few. I understand that with many films of that ilk many questions aren't asked generally, but I can't recall the point ever being made concerning the idea even by scientists, yet there was serious consideration of whether it was possible to revive an ancient extinct species from remnant DNA. BBC's "Walking with Dinosaurs" never made mention of the problem either.
Furthermore, the idea of "snowball Earth" appears commonly accepted, although no clear explanation has been put forward as to why it occurred, and if it did occur, why it ceased. Please correct me if I am wrong, but the idea of a snowball Earth is primarily based upon geological finds that suggest there were glaziers at the equator at some point of time. This conclusion is based upon calculations of the Earth's size being the same then as it is now - evidence of glaziers in Australia, and that location, according to present theories, being at the equator at the time. However, if one was to assume a different Earth size, different conclusions would be reached as to where the glazier was on the Earth, with no need to conclude that Earth was a snowball at one stage, and with no need to explain the mystery of why it occurred, plus the further puzzle of why snowball Earth disappeared.
I would have thought with our present understanding of flight and gravity and what we have in the way of fossil records, it ought to be possible to calculate fairly closely the conditions which certain species of dinosaur would have needed to be sufficiently mobile for survival or flight. Once calculated, then it really becomes necessary to answer the questions those calculations pose rather than looking around them, continuing to base our theories about past earth conditions ignoring what appears to be an obvious problem.
Naturally, if these problems suggest lower gravity conditions in the past, it has astronomical implications, including concerning ideas about the evolution of the solar system and its future. If earth has increased in size, it is unlikely to be the only planet to have done so. It may also continue growing. It's also possible that it has stopped growing or may grow in spurts.
Extending the idea to the solar system may involve some reconsideration about what we are observing on certain moons which have volcanic activity - essentially spurting matter into space. Are they losing matter or, somewhat challengingly to our present ideas, creating matter some way? Because of a moon's lower gravity, at least some, possibly most, of the volcanic activity is lost to the moon in this process. Does this mean a moon with volcanic activity shooting vapour into space, for example, is slowly and marginally decreasing in mass as a result of the volcanic activity?
Last edited by Canis Lupus; 2010-Jun-05 at 06:33 AM.
"It's the rabbit hole that matters, not the blackhole, the wormhole or any other hole," a wolf said that.