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 using the
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
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
Low Angle Farallon Plate Activity Forming the Rocky Mountains
Heavy Old Ocean Crust Involved With the Marianas Trench and the Challenger
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
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,
being not fully uplifted, 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 Appendix IV).
3. THE MARIANAS TRENCH AND THE
The lowest point on the ocean floor is
the Marianas Trench, located to the east of the Marianas 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 millioins 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 Appendix III. 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 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
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 (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 EXTINCTIONS
The Standard Theory relies on several
different possible mechanisms to explain the earth's major extinctions. These
1. Impacts of Cosmic Objects
Rare Mantle Plumes
4. Lowering Sea Levels
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
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
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
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.