Re: asteroids and energy

Adam Crowl (
Fri, 19 Mar 1999 04:34:04 PST


Well I wasn't expecting this...

>From: Bill Payne <>
>Subject: Re: asteroids and energy
>Date: Thu, 18 Mar 1999 01:19:34 -0600
>On Tue, 16 Mar 1999 23:54:22 PST "Adam Crowl" <>
>>A bombardment "all at one time" wouldn't be a good idea, and doesn't
>>the scenario that Allen is discussing which involves tsunamis causing
>>sediment movements necessary to build the geological column. A
>>simultaneous impact wouldn't fit the observed cratering on Earth and
>>would probably puncture the crust into the mantle. A fire fountain
>>kilometres high would not be pretty and hasn't been observed in the
>Since most of the earth is covered w/ sedimentary rx which supposedly
>were deposited during the flood, then any pre-flood craters could be
>buried in the PreCambrian basement. And the subsequent
>may have distorted the basement to the point that any pre-flood craters
>would now be obliterated or at least unrecognizable.
Convenient - absent evidence. Hence irrelevant. Where the debris came
from must remain open, amd there's no evidence [still] for Flandern on

>>Flandern's theory now incorporates three planetary explosions, all
>>caused by antimatter trapped in the planet's cores. How it got there
>>anybody's guess.
>The cause of the hypothesized explosion is a separate question. If we
>can't imagine what the cause was, that still should not limit our
>consideration of the hypothesis.
Why not? Flandern's hypothesis is one amongst many other loopy ideas
that he's trying to propagate, and they're all tarred with the same
brush - disregard for sound theorising and use of endless strawman

>>His original study of cometary origins has long since
>>been shown to be an artifact of other orbital effects and doesn't
>>indicate an exploding planet.
>Do you mean to say that it doesn't _require_ an exploding planet?
Yes. He back calculated a number of comets to show that they had a
common "origin" in the sky, but that turned out to be illusory. Now we
actually know where comets come from and don't need a planetary blow up
to make them. They're elementally distinct from the planets indicating a
lot less heating in their origin - totally against his theory.

>> And comets show no sign of the extreme heating implied
>>in a detonation sufficient to raise them beyond escape velocity.
>The comets that we can see obviously weren't raised beyond escape
>velocity, or they wouldn't return. There are comets which range up to
>just under escape velocity, but all of them are gravationally bound to
>the solar system, implying an origin within the solar system.
You miss my point - I was talking of the escape velocity of the planet
of origin. In the case of comets it was bigger than Jupiter.

>>Actually Mars' hemisperic asymmetry is the only example known and it
>>probably due to early oceans. Other "planets" show pretty much uniform
>>cratering, if they've got craters.
>Ummm...what about our moon? About 25-30% of the near side is covered
>with lunar mares, while there are _no_ mares on the far side. I would
>think that's a rather stark example of hemispheric cratering asymmetry.
True and I was well aware of it, but the dates for the mares are well
known and they're far older than the three detonations Flandern

>Tom Van Flandern had previously written to me (w/ permission to
>"The Mercury cratering asymmetry can be seen in the
>Mariner spacecraft photos. Even though over 1/3 of the surface has yet
>seen close up, a strong asymmetry is already evident.

Caused by a rather singular impact - Caloris. We're not talking a mass
swarm here, but one BIG roid.

On Venus, the known
>surviving asymmetry is in the large craters over 20 km in diameter.
>Venusian craters cannot survive as long as a billion years because of
>temperatures and pressures there, no special event is needed to wipe
>cratering record clean. Only a recent source of fresh cratering is

Venus' cratering matches a surface age of ~ 600 million years, taking
into account the muting effect of its dense atmosphere on impact
statistics. There's no hemispheric asymmetry observed, contra Flandern.

>Since asteroids in Venus-crossing orbits get swept up in under 10
>years, a continuing source of such bodies is an unsolved problem to
>mainstream astronomy.

Like all pseudo-scientists Flandern latches on to a "mystery" that can't
be solved and imagines that it fits his system like a glove. Doubtful as
an argument. On this point I don't know, but you'll have to explain the
relevance to his argument.

All astronomers know that Iapetus is icy bright on
>side (the trailing hemisphere) and coal dark on the other by a factor
>five in mean albedo. Its spectrum and albedo are similar to that of
>carbonaceous chondrites.

Also consistent with dust falling in from one of the smaller moons
[Hyperion or Phoebe, can't remember], as a number of studies have shown.
If Flandern's right then why aren't more moons showing such a marked
colour difference? Why no strong asymmetries in the Galileans, even tho
they were closer to Planet A [or whatever] when it went off?

>The dark material is distributed throughout the solar system in just
the way a single blast wave could produce.

See? One moon affected out of how many? It's ridiculous.

>"With uniform illumination all over, Iapetus (a satellite of Saturn
>slow rotation) is coated with dark material on one half, and bright
>on the other. The dark hemisphere leads it in orbit.

i.e. it's picking up material from its orbit, probably dark dust from a
neighbouring moon.

It always keeps the
>same face toward Saturn, but rotates with respect to the Sun. I
mentioned Iapetus as the best example of evidence
>a blast wave spreading out through the whole solar system from the
Best evidence? Total garbage. Elaborate scenario created to explain what
a simpler theory can cover easily. All we need is a spectrographic study
to compare the source with the darkening.

[snipped - a bit on floating rafts and coal]
>If you're going to say:
>>On of my issues with YECism is it's willingness to make up anything
>>sounds plausible [even if quantitatively flawed] but to then not
>>actually confirm it either in Nature or the Bible
>then I invite you to point out the flaws in my thinking. A failure on
>your part to do so, Adam, would imply that I have confirmed YECism in
>nature, and we wouldn't want that now would we? :-)
Individual hypotheses deserve attention on a relatively stand alone
basis if they're not too far fetched. I don't know much about coal, or
Austin's theory. I doubt his is the whole story of coal, even if it
explains some coal deposits. I've heard a lot claimed by YECs and when
I've been able I've followed up their theories - very few contain
anything remotely like reality. Austin might've hit the nail on the head
- other ASAers know better than I - but a lot of his other ideas strike
me as ill-researched. What's painful is the way that a half-baked
hypothesis is splashed across YEC media productions as another sure
pillar of truth that the Bible can be defended with.

But that's popular YECism and not a fair comparison to the actual
scientific work of other YECs - it's just that I don't see many of them
speaking out against has-been "proofs", and some still try to defend
theories that should remain buried.

How much this applies to regular science is an exercise for the reader,
but remember most old scientific "truths" still roughly apply and
usually aren't propping up someone's soul-critical faith.


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