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Deadly earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, China and Indonesia in the past two years—as well as the recent Icelandic volcano that has covered northern Europe in clouds of ash—have provided a stark reminder that this can be a very hazardous planet. But what if such natural disasters are not wholly natural? What if stepped-up geological activity is somehow linked to human-induced atmospheric warming?
When glaciers across the globe melted rapidly at the end of the last Ice Age 12,000 to 15,000 years ago, volcanic activity spiked, and underwater landslides created massive tsunamis. At the same time, increased earthquake activity rocked Scandinavia, Scotland and North America. There is even evidence that much more ancient, and dramatic, climate changes could have led to the rise of the Andes.
......... in the 1980s and '90s, Thomas Gold, a professor of astrophysics at Cornell University produced a long series of publications—culminating with a book, The Deep Hot Biosphere—in which he argued that methane (the main component of natural gas) and other small hydrocarbon molecules are continuously being generated deep in the Earth’s liquid mantle layer, and that they migrate through faults up into the crust; there, he wrote, they bond into the larger molecules that make up liquid petroleum.
Gold’s hypothesis has been shown to defy the laws of thermodynamics (pdf), but elements of it and other abiogenic scenarios persist on the fringes of the energy community—pumping up a belief in unlimited petroleum supplies, the existence of which is, in the minds of some, being concealed by big oil companies that want to keep oil scarce and its price high.
One strain of “evidence” for coexistence of humans and dinosaurs is the claim that their fossil footprints have been found together in the same rock strata. Probably the most famous such mingled prints were found near the Paluxy River southwest of Fort Worth, Texas, starting in 1910. But had they been bona fide, the “human” prints along the Paluxy, at 15 to 20 inches long, would have had to belong to veritable Goliaths. Finally, in 1989, a team of scientists found conclusive evidence that the so-called “giant man prints” had actually been made by other dinosaurs.
And the spirit of Paluxy retains its tight grip on the state of Texas, where 30 percent of people believe the earliest humans lived at the same time as dinosaurs, and another 29 percent aren’t sure whether or not they lived together.
The facts are simple," says Charles K. Johnson, president of the International Flat Earth Research Society. "The earth is flat."
You can't orbit a flat earth," says Mr. Johnson. "The Space Shuttle is a joke—and a very ludicrous joke."
"Nobody knows anything about the true shape of the world," he contends. "The known, inhabited world is flat. Just as a guess, I'd say that the dome of heaven is about 4,000 miles away, and the stars are about as far as San Francisco is from Boston."
As shown in a map published by Johnson, the known world is as circular and as flat as a phonograph record. The North Pole is at the center. At the outer edge lies the southern ice, reputed to be a wall 150 feet high; no one has ever crossed it, and therefore what lies beyond is unknown.
Wherever you find people with a great reservoir of common sense," he says, "they don't believe idiotic things such as the earth spinning around the sun. Reasonable, intelligent people have always recognized that the earth is flat."