The plate-tectonics

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“The plate-tectonics people have certain set patterns that they expect to see,” Anita said. “They kind of lock themselves in. If something doesn’t fit the theory, they’ll find some sort of reason. They’ll say that something is missing, or that it was subducted, or that it has not yet been found in the subsurface. They make things fit.” “Do you believe that ocean crust is subducted into trenches, that it melts and then comes up behind the trenches as volcanoes and island arcs?” I asked her. “That is straightforward,” she said. “And I have no doubt that one edge of the Pacific Plate is grinding northwest through California. What I object to is plate tectonics taken as absolute gospel. To stuff that I know about, it’s been overapplied-without attention to geologic details. It’s been misused terribly. It has misrepresented facts. It has oversimplified the world. The Atlantic spreading open I absolutely believe. How long it has been spreading open I don’t know. I don’t really believe that North America and South America were conference room almere up against one another. The whole Pacific margin is thrusting from west to east, but there is no continent colliding with it. I don’t see that plate tectonics explains all of these things. I think tectonics on continents is different from tectonics in oceans, and what works in oceans is often misapplied on land. As a result, there is less understanding of regional geology. The plate-tectonic model is so generalized and is used so widely that people do not get good regional pictures anymore. People come out of universities with Ph.D.s in plate tectonics and they couldn’t identify a sulphide deposit if they fell over it. Plate tectonics is not a practical science. It’s a lot of fun and games, but it’s not how you find oil. It’s a cop-out. It’s what you do when you don’t want to think.” Before the plate-tectonics revolution, back in the penumbra of the Old Geology, mountains (as has been noted) were thought to be driven upward from a deep-seated source known as a geosynclinea profound downwarp of the crust, a long trough below the sea, which conference room amsterdam sediments fell into. East of North America, for example, the muds that would become Martinsburg slates first became rock in a geosyncline. The great trough trended northeast, like the mountains it would produce.

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