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A theory of the Earth: Hutton and Humpty Dumpty and Holmes

Anderson, Don L. (1999) A theory of the Earth: Hutton and Humpty Dumpty and Holmes. In: James Hutton: Present and Future. Geological Society Special Publication. No.150. Geological Society , London, pp. 13-35. ISBN 9781862390263.

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Paradoxes can be viewed as a bother or as a rich source of information. Paradoxes, fallacies and logical inconsistencies, along with the unstated assumptions behind old worldviews often form the foundation for a new worldview. This is where science differs from myth and just-so stories. Mantle dynamicists and geochemists have developed a worldview that, in many respects, is incompatible with modem theories of planetary accretion, geodynamics and geophysics, and with the geological context of volcanoes. A primordial undegassed mantle, as both the furnace and the fuel of midplate volcanoes, occupies a central role in the geochemical models. Although modem data alone are sufficient to overturn this view, it is interesting to address it in terms of its own assumptions, fallacies and inconsistencies, and the history of ideas. This is a vast field, so, in honour of James Hutton, I focus on volcanoes, their products, their causes and their sources.

Item Type:Book Section
Additional Information:© 1999 Geological Society of London. This work was supported by NSF grant EAR92-18390. Contribution No. 6214, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology.
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Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences6214
Series Name:Geological Society Special Publication
Issue or Number:150
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20121009-132023284
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:34795
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:09 Oct 2012 20:38
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 04:22

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