The Hollow Earth, Global Warming And The Truth About Science
The past week has witnessed the advent of a new climate change offensive by know nothing progressives, led by the triumphantly ignorant U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry. Kerry and his boss, the equally scientifically naive Barrack Obama, have publicly stated that climate change “is a scientific fact” and that the argument is over. This stunning display of politically motivated, willful belief over scientific rigor demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of scientists and the scientific method. Contrary to popular belief, science is seldom sure of anything and scientists often spend years debating ideas that just don't prove to be true in the end. An illustrative example is the Hollow Earth theory, which suggests that within the bowels of our planet are other, habitable worlds awaiting discovery.
Today we treat the idea that our planet might be hollow with scorn and disbelief, but that has not always been the case. Where did such ideas come from? Quoting Wikipedia, the Internet's ultimate authority on everything, the idea of worlds beneath Earth's surface has a long history:
In ancient times, the concept of a subterranean land inside the earth appeared in mythology, folklore and legends. The idea of subterranean realms seemed arguable, and became intertwined with the concept of "places" of origin or afterlife, such as the Greek underworld, the Nordic Svartálfaheimr, the Christian Hell, and the Jewish Sheol (with details describing inner Earth in Kabalistic literature, such as the Zohar and Hesed L'Avraham). The idea of a subterranean realm is also mentioned in Tibetan Buddhism belief, according to one story there is an ancient city called Shamballa which is located inside the earth.
In the late 17th century, the famous British astronomer Edmund Halley proposed that Earth consists of four concentric spheres, nestled inside one another like a set of Russian dolls. Supposedly, the interior of the world was populated and lit by a luminous atmosphere. He speculated that the southern and northern lights were caused by this luminous gas escaping through the thin crust at the poles.
In the 18th century, the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler replaced the multiple spheres theory with a single hollow sphere. Within the sphere was a sun 600 miles wide that provided heat and light for an advanced civilization that lived there. Note that both Halley and Euler were respected scientists in their day and remain so today.
In 1818, an American Army officer named John Cleves Symmes Jr. reignited interest in the Hollow Earth Theory. According to Symmes, Earth consisted of a hollow shell about 1,300 km (810 mi) thick, with openings about 2,300 km (1,400 mi) across at both poles. Supposedly, from the poles access could be gained to four 4 concentric inner shells. Symmes became the most famous of the early Hollow Earth proponents, but he was certainly not alone.
Symmes proposed making an expedition to the North Pole hole, to prove the veracity of his claims. President John Quincy Adams indicated he would approve of this but he left office before the expedition could be mounted. In 1868, Professor W. F. Lyons published The Hollow Globe which put forth a Symmes-like Hollow Earth hypothesis, but not crediting Symmes with the idea. Symmes' son, Americus, then published The Symmes' Theory of Concentric Spheres in 1878 to ensure proper attribution for the theory.
Perhaps the most shocking thing to modern sophisticates is the fact that this theory was seriously debated throughout the 19th century. A number of scholars wrote papers on the subject and it made a great premise for subterranean adventure stories like Edgar Allan Poe's The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, and Jules Verne's A Journey to the Center of the Earth. But there is no scientific evidence that such things are possible. In fact, the idea has been soundly debunked by modern science.
Sadly, there are still some who believe that our world is hollow. Still the rumors persist, that every thing from survivors of the fall of Atlantis, to UFO space aliens, to refugee Nazis are all living on these worlds within our world. Not unexpectedly, such beliefs are often motivated by misdirected religious thinking. I have said this many times before but it bears repeating: religion is about belief, science is about empirical evidence gained through observation that can be repeated by others. One does not believe in a theory, one accepts or rejects a theory based on supporting or contradictory evidence. Belief is not a part of science. Period.
The hard truth is that scientists spend their lives arguing over things that prove to be wrong. Most all scientific theories are discarded in time and those that persist are often modified significantly as the years pass by. All real scientists know how ludicrous the phrase “settled science” really is. Newton's Laws of Motion were considered rock solid for centuries until a Swiss patent clerk prove them wrong under some conditions (the clerk's name was Einstein).
That is why the fools throwing around statements like “settled science,” “global warming is a fact,” and “the argument is over” are usually non-scientists. Why anyone would take a politicians' word for such a thing is beyond understanding—and the same goes for Hollywood stars and news personalities. It is not unusual for scientific theories to come into fashion and fall back out many times. The notion of planetary motion affecting Earth's climate waxed and waned several times, with spirited and serious scientific debate each time. Nowadays that notion is called the Croll-Milankovitch Cycles and it is widely accepted as a valid theory.
It has been widely discussed in other places how climate change has blown hot and cold over decades past. Threats of crushing Ice Ages alternate with dire warnings of a scorched planet—neither has come to pass. In truth, climate is always changing and humans do have an impact on the environment. On that most scientists would agree. The problem comes when the magnitude of that change and the importance of man's contribution to it are discussed. Here there are no solid, agreed to theories. Remember, scientists are used to speculating and then arguing with each other over their speculations. But, if history is our guide, almost all of those scientific arguments will be wrong. That is the way science is done.
Moreover, the prattlings of publicity seeking posers like Al Gore, Yeb Saño, and Prince Charles are nothing more than pathetic attempts to make themselves relevant in a world that has better things to do than stroke their egos. Even worse are the self serving, politically motivated pronouncements from narcissistic ignoramuses like John Kerry. Kerry recently claimed, “climate change can now be considered another weapon of mass destruction, perhaps the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.” What total tripe.
Absolute statements of truth come from those least qualified to make such statements; just check who is saying such things in your news paper or on TV. It is true that some scientists have jumped on the global warming band wagon, but that is because the have discovered what the news media has long known—you can't make money on good news, but bad news sells. Predict disaster, collect government money, repeat. That is not the way real science is done.
Be safe, enjoy the interglacial and stay skeptical.