I forwarded Adam Crowl's msg from [Tue, 16 Mar 1999 23:54:22 PST "Adam
Crowl"] to Tom Van Flandern. Tom responded as follows:
--------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Tom Van Flandern" <email@example.com>
To: "'Bill Payne'" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 18:12:12 -0500
Subject: RE: EPH
Here are some remarks on Crowl's last message. Feel free to post them to
the discussion group. I really can't afford the time to get directly
involved. But I'll help out with specific points whenever I can. -|Tom|-
> there's no evidence [still] for Flandern on Earth.
That's "Van Flandern", and my mother wouldn't agree with your claim. :-)
However, assuming you mean the exploded planet hypothesis (eph) and not
me, it is the combined effort of dozens of astronomers over the last 200
The last three (of at least seven inferred) explosions all correspond
well known geological boundary layers. The most recent (a relatively
explosion, probably of a Moon-sized body) at 3.2 million years ago
corresponds with the Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary, the end of a tropical
pole-to-pole climate period, and the onset of the continuing series of
glaciation cycles. New evidence in just the last six months from Peter
Schultz indicates a major cratering event in Argentina coinciding with
boundary. The previous event, the explosion of something Earth-size or
larger in or near the present orbit of Mars, occurred at 65 Mya, giving
the K/T boundary and the extinction of 70% of all species (including all
dinosaurs), a single global fire, etc. The somewhat larger and earlier
explosion at the P/T boundary (about 336 Mya) probably gave rise to the
C-type asteroids in the main belt. For details, see the technical report
Meta Research Bulletin, vol. 4, pp. 33-42 (1995). For MRB order
> Flandern's theory now incorporates three planetary explosions, all
> caused by antimatter trapped in the planet's cores. How it got there
> is anybody's guess.
Where this notion came from is also anybody's guess. The study of
explosion mechanisms is experiencing a resurgence as eph evidence
to strengthen. Changes of state (like water to ice, but involving heavy
elements) in the cores of small planets can produce either explosions or
implosions in a planet explosion model developed by Ramsey. The energy
needed to blow up larger planets is plainly available from gravitational
forces, and the incorporation of this mechanism into explosion models is
an advanced stage, with crucial parts of the model already published in
Meta Research Bulletin (vol. 7, pp. 33-47, 1998).
> 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
An ad hominem attack -- the mark of a "true" scientist! :-)
I have written extensively about the scientific method (as well as the
in my book, "Dark Matter, Missing Planets and New Comets" (North Atlantic
Books, Berkeley, 1993; 2nd edition 1999), and its counterpart, the
"unscientific method". One of the tactics in the latter is the "shoot and
run". This consists of making some sweeping dismissal of everything a
has written or said in lieu of any kind of specific criticism that can be
addressed and shown to be right or wrong. Does this sound familiar? :-)
Because my research (being outside the mainstream) is subject to such
intense scrutiny, and because it is so often attacked unscientifically, I
take great care to adhere closely to sound scientific methodology, to use
only theorizing that can easily answer all counter-arguments, and never
use a strawman argument. If I slipped up in an article I wrote, you can
sure that article would not get published in a mainstream journal --
the several on this subject that have been. Can the accuser show a single
example of a real strawman argument or invalid theorizing that I've used?
will he reveal that he has not actually read my book and articles, even
ones in mainstream journals, because that would be "a waste of his time",
thereby making his present opinion invincible?
> 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.
On the contrary. When such an artifact was suspected, Ernst Opik
way to test the new orbital relationships predicted by the eph and
subsequently found in real comet orbital elements. His test was specific
whether new comets were coming from an Oort cloud or were the rainback
an explosion in the inner solar system. He then applied the test, and
discovered (to his horror, because he publicly opposed the eph) that it
squarely supported the eph, and not the Oort cloud model. Details of the
test and its results are available on request.
> 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.
That probably refers to my original (unpublished) calculation in 1976,
which neglected galactic tides, and was therefore invalid. I subsequently
redid the calculation correctly, and the eph case got even stronger. That
led to my 1978 article in Icarus showing that the origin of comets was
the explosive break-up of a body orbiting the Sun in the inner solar
> Now we actually know where comets come from and don't need a
> planetary blow up to make them.
That we already know the origin of comets will come as news for the
experts preparing for this year's "asteroids, comets, meteoroids" meeting
Ithaca. :-) As for their proximate source (as opposed to their ultimate
source), both the eph and the Oort cloud are still on the scientific
The eph stands alone as a sufficient source. The Oort cloud also requires
"inner core" and a "Kuiper belt". But the former has so far proved
and the latter has not co-operated with any predictions of its form or
> They're elementally distinct from the planets indicating a
> lot less heating in their origin - totally against his theory.
If you keep up on the meteorite analysis literature, you will discover
one of the "hot topics" currently is the nature of the anomalous sudden
heating event, "probably in the early solar system", that affected
classes of chondrites. We're not sure if chondrites come from comets, but
certainly can't rule that out because their spectra and dust particles
collected during meteor showers associated with comets both indicate a
carbonaceous composition. We have no way to be certain when that sudden,
anomalous heating actually took place. But it is undisputed that at least
one did happen as part of the solar system's history.
> And comets show no sign of the extreme heating implied in a
> detonation sufficient to raise them beyond escape velocity.
Unlike the kinds of explosions we are familiar with, where accelerations
are sudden indeed (and therefore generate heating), a planetary explosion
takes place over many minutes because, even at 20 km/s, it takes material
over five minutes to travel the radius of the Earth. So the accelerations
take place relatively gradually as the planet blows up. And gradual
accelerations are not accompanied by extreme heating.
> I was talking of the escape velocity of the planet of origin.
> In the case of comets it was bigger than Jupiter.
Again, I don't know where that came from. The largest eph-mass estimate
I've ever heard of was Ovenden's in the early 1970s, and he suggested
something slightly smaller than Saturn. As for my own work, it shows that
the parent body of the comets was roughly Moon-sized -- relatively small,
but not just another asteroid either.
>>> Actually Mars' hemisperic asymmetry is the only example
>>> known and it was probably due to early oceans.
This hemispheric asymmetry argument refers to the proposed explosion of
Planet V (original fifth planet) in or near the orbit of Mars at 65 Mya.
Mars was a moon of Planet V at the time of the explosion, keeping one
permanently toward its parent. Hence the extreme cratering asymmetry
>> [bp]: All astronomers know that Iapetus is icy bright on one side
>> (the trailing hemisphere) and coal dark on the other by a factor
>> of 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
> 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?
Even at 20 km/s, it would take over a year for the blast wave to reach
Jupiter, and longer to reach the further planets. The spread in arrival
times would be a few weeks. The Galilean moons and most solar system
would get coated all over during that much time. The only exceptions are
Iapetus -- which takes three months to rotate once, and so could be
on only one side; Triton -- which shields one polar region from view for
years at a time, and "coincidentally" has one anomalously bright polar
region with the rest of the surface covered by carbonaceous material; and
Pluto -- which has a 90-degree axis tilt, and so gets coated
on one hemisphere, and "coincidentally" has a dark region on one
and bright region on the other. What an amazing coincidence: Only those
bodies that shield part of their surfaces from such an explosion for
than several weeks have surfaces that are still icy bright. All the
have dark material all over them.
Now the question I pose back to you is this: Will you seriously maintain
that the distribution of dark and bright surfaces all over the solar
is a coindicence, or concede that this distribution is a good indicator
a proof) of a relatively recent massive explosion in the solar
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