Kerr Watch

Elapsed time since Richard Kerr failed to inform his Science readers of the confirmation of nanodiamonds at the YDB: 6 years, 2 months, and 2 days

A comprehensive, modern Catastrophist Bibliography



William I. Thomson III is a new friend of the Tusk, and a helpful one at that. With great care and obvious patience Bill has developed a tremendously informative and downright fascinating bibliography of Catastrophism. Anyone interested in reading the variety of publications within, and contributors to, our broad subject will appreciate his hard work. The list is filled with today’s journal articles and working hyperlinks where available.

From Abbott, Baillie and Clube, through Yeomans and Zanner, the list below is to my knowledge the most up-to-date compendium of written work concerning our ancient field. Enjoy.

PS. Bill and I are working on a YDB debate-only bib which I hope to post soon.

Download the PDF file .

  • E.P. Grondine

    Hi Steve –

    “I fail to see that there is any importance to us today about something that happened to the planet 800 million years after it formed.”

    Estimating the impact hazard is a sub field of the larger field of accretion studies.

  • Steve Garcia

    What happened 3.26 billion years ago, very early in the development of the solar system, and when the system was settling down, has nothing to do with the last several million years, much less the Holocene – when humans are here. They are two entirely different eras, with a totally different planet Earth (with almost entirely different life forms) and totally different NEOs.

    Wiki: “By producing oxygen as a gas as a by-product of photosynthesis, cyanobacteria are thought to have converted the early reducing atmosphere into an oxidizing one, which dramatically changed the composition of life forms on Earth by stimulating biodiversity and leading to the near-extinction of oxygen-intolerant organisms…

    …They are often called blue-green algae, but some consider that name a misnomer as cyanobacteria are prokaryotic and algae should be eukaryotic…”

    A.) It is not even known for sure that cyanobacteria did what they assert. It is just what some think they did.

    B.) Cyanobacteria were not even bacteria, per se, because bacteria are eukaryotic (actual cellular with a nucleus and mitochondria, etc.), while cyanobacteria were prokaryotic.

    Wiki: “Prokaryotes do not have a membrane bound nucleus, mitochondria, or any other membrane-bound organelles. In other words, all their intracellular water-soluble components (proteins, DNA and metabolites) are located together in the same volume enclosed by the cell membrane, rather than in separate cellular compartments.’

    Wiki: “Eukaryotes… The origin of the eukaryotic cell is considered a milestone in the evolution of life, since eukaryotes include all complex cells and almost all multicellular organisms. The timing of this series of events is hard to determine; Knoll (2006) suggests they developed approximately 1.6–2.1 billion years ago. Some acritarchs are known from at least 1.65 billion years ago, and the possible alga Grypania has been found as far back as 2.1 billion years ago.'[55]

    Organized living structures have been found in the black shales of the Palaeoproterozoic Francevillian B Formation in Gabon, dated at 2.1 billion years old. Eukaryotic life could have evolved at that time.[56] Fossils that are clearly related to modern groups start appearing an estimated 1.2 billion years ago, in the form of a red alga, though recent work suggests the existence of fossilized filamentous algae in the Vindhya basin dating back perhaps to 1.6 to 1.7 billion years ago.[57]
    Biomarkers suggest that at least stem eukaryotes arose even earlier. The presence of steranes in Australian shales indicates that eukaryotes were present in these rocks dated at 2.7 billion years old.

    All of this was at LEAST 0.5 billion years later – more than 1.0 by most counts. We can’t discuss that time lapse a if it was two weeks earlier. A billion years is 5,000 times longer than the accepted history of modern man. Or 50,000 times as long as since Caesar’s time.

    The life forms that existed at 3.26 Bya were not macroorgamisms whatsoever – no plants, no animals. Just PRE-bacteria – pre-cellular (as we define cellular). There is nothing relevant to present impact risks, to animals and plants. Whatever pre-bacteria (prokaryotes) survived survived. So what? With colonies of quadrillions upon quadrillions, and with much of their activity almost certainly deep underground, a surface impact meant little to nothing about their survival. It hit, they survived, end of story. Did we evolve from them? Almost certainly. How many mutations? Thousands? It is so far in the remote past as to be completely negligible to discussions of risks of impacts today.

  • E.P. Grondine

    Hi Steve –

    “I fail to see that there is any importance to us today about something that happened to the planet 800 million years after it formed.”

    Once again, estimating the impact hazard requires a pretty good grounding in accretion studies.

  • Steve Garcia

    If by accretion is meant the agglomerization of larger bodies from smaller, none of that even remotely addresses how the supposed stones formed in deep space before they agglomerated together. Read on strengthless bodies. There is not enough gravity force to do more than have the two bodies lightly kissed up against each other. Those researching strengthless bodies realize this reality. I have been looking high and low for explanations on what source of high pressure (and temperatures) existed that could have compressed such solids at ANY size. Look at my numerous comments on the Allene meteorite and the materials found in it – including olivine and peridotite, which can only form at millions of PSI and VERY high temps, both. Impacts don’t explain any of it, because impacts are destructive, not constructive – they blow more ejecta out than are added by the collision. Collisions should cause pulverization if anything. THIS is how it happens in the present, so uniformitarians cannot dream up some special magical impact conditions that only existed in the past. “The present is the clue to the past.”

    Their entire accretion concept is a house of cards that has no basis in physics and metallurgy and geology. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 convincing me thoroughly, I rate them and this idea at a 0.23.

  • George Howard

    Trent, thanks for the link. I am following it and look forward to the press conference on the 22nd. I will get something up beforehand so Googlers that day will find the Tusk.

  • The universe recycles everything, even the guts of exploded stars, and the broken remains of supernova-blasted planets. “Accretion” is only one side of a cosmic cycle, it’s opposite is “Dispersion” Remember, 100% of the material in a new star, and it’s surrounding planetary accretion disk, consists of the debris of previously exploded stars, and the remains of any unfortunate planets that were blown away by the explosions of the stars they were orbiting.
    I don’t see any reason to assume that all of the shrapnel from the destruction of those planetary systems must be stuff so pulverized that only molecular sized dust particles remain to be cast outwards in the debris of a supernova. Depending on the distance from the actual exploding star I’d imagine that fragments of the broken, cores of a star’s outer planets might survive in rather large chunks, melted by the heat but otherwise intact. Only to fall into the accretion disk of a new born solar system.

  • Interestingly enough an ongoing example of building larger bodies from smaller is taking place in the rings of Saturn. It is being observed as we speak. Appears we have a winner in the debate about building larger bodies from smaller going on right now, today. Cheers –

  • Steve Garcia

    Dennis –

    Interesting take you have on all of that, stuff I myself had not considered yet. Nice food for thought. Totally worth keeping in mind!

  • Steve Garcia

    agimarc –

    As usual, you find some good stuff.

    However, the article makes some assumptions – in line with current accretion concepts – that are only that, concepts. But even the author writes:

    “The object is not expected to grow any larger, and may even be falling apart.”

    They apparently had not noticed this arc before. It being on the edge of Ring A, it seems conceivable that it is the defining object of the outer edge of Ring A, sweeping material to it. As I understand their thinking on the gaps between rings, that is what they hypothesize is happening there. Someone correct me if I am wrong. It seems only consistent that an object would also define the outer edge of Ring A.

    At the same time, it is quite apparent that they DO assume that this object has been building from zero diameter. Astronomer Tom van Flandern’s exploding planet would also account for an object being there, as well as all the matter in all the rings – in a different hypothesis altogether. In that case, it would be much more like what Dennis is talking about above – large chunks that get caught up in an “accretion” ring around a major body. And in that case, the body is attracting material – but not necessarily forming into a solid body. If I am right, the material simply lies lightly on the surface of the chunk, and the chunk came from the exploded planet. (Which is what propose along with van Flandern is the real source of asteroids and comets – and even the Kuiper Belt objects. I don’t include the Oort cloud, because van Flandern’s concept makes the Oort cloud unnecessary as a source for comets.) BTW, I call it van Flandern’s because he seems to have put the most thought into it; it was first proposed back in the 1700s by others when asteroids began to be detected.

  • Steve; I’ve just returned from a week away from everything but horses. Took the wife with and found out we still like each other. I was reading on the tusk trying to get back up to speed and read yours and Trent’s conversations about accreation and their mechanics. One thought to throw in the mix: If there is strata of debris circling various objects, Planets, suns, semi large bodies they are somewhat orginized through speed and weight seperations then something comes through their zone and disrupts their stratafication, could this provide an eddy effect causing some of the debris to be swirled into the object or other pieces of the debris soup? Also if the obeject is moving in the same direction as the whole group but at a greater speed could this cause other debris to be dragged along or impacted and incorporated into the initial object until sufficent density is accumulated to form some sort of gravity?

  • Steve; Here’s an interesting article that might pique your interest

  • Steve – you’ve got me on a search to find supportive observations for accretion, which is fun and moderately challenging / interesting. The outer solar system is a pretty wild place. I suspect that we will see processes in the ring systems that may point in that direction. Ran across something a few years ago that described a pair of shepherd moons covered in a thick blanket of ring material, implying accretive growth. Unable to find it again. Will post when and if I find it. Also need to look further into Miranda.

    On a related topic, looks like the B612 Foundation has their hands on data that may double to triple the currently agreed upon flux of bodies from the sky. Announcement scheduled for April 22. Cheers –

  • Steve Garcia

    Jim –

    You scenarios are probably more or less correct about accretion, s I’ve read in various places. And they do make sense logically. (but don’t let either sway you completely – it is empirical that trumps all – and sometimes it DOES, making logic and reason look pretty bad sometimes.)

  • Steve Garcia

    agimarc –

    I laughed when I read the “covered in a thick blanket” point you made. I do NOT doubt thick blankets. I mean volcanic ASH can often be a thick blanket. But if you dig down into ash, all you get is ash. (Someone correct me on that if I am wrong, but I don’t think so.) And that is under the gravitational pull of a massive planet like Earth. Now deposit that ash onto a small asteroid. When heavier sediments or lava are laid over the ash there can be sufficient compression to solidify ash, but normally not ash over ash. At what point does the blanket solidify? And under what conditions?

    I simply argue that the conditions do not exist in deep space under microgravity conditions on asteroids – even 100 km ones. it is STILL microgravity.

    DO have at it! I’d love to have someone bring in lots of things I haven’t found yet.

    If you haven’t noted my comments on Itukawa, google it and look at the thin blanket of debris.

    I mean, it is like pointing at windblown dirt in the back of a dead end alley and then expecting it all to harden into granitic rock or near diamonds. I do NOT see that happening to that debris. It will sit there till hell freezes over and still be a blanket of loose dust or rocks sitting perkily on the surface. I assert that NO congealing or agglomeration into other more complex materials will happen.

  • Barry Weathersby
  • Steve –

    I thought we reached an impasse with Itokawa – you describing it as one or two solid pieces with a regolith cover and me adopting the rubble pile description. Figured that particular horse was way past dead.

    There are two Saturn shepherd moons Atlas and Pan that appear to be accreting ring material. As the moons are much larger than the rings are thick, what you end up with is a ridge 2-3 km high around the moon centered on the ring plane. Interestingly enough, not a lot of other shepherd moons appear to be doing this.

    Finally, you have the Uranian moon Miranda that looks like it was disrupted and then re-accreted into a spherical object. Current argument is between the tidal disruption vs an impact-related event. Problem with tidal is that we already know what happens with tidal forces on moons with Saturn’s Enceladus, Jupiter’s 4 Galilean moons, none of which show the layering that Miranda does. Cheers –

  • Steve –

    Interesting you ask about how accreted ices (or anything else) will solidify. Ever hear of sintering – the mechanical heating of ices / dust?

    In the cold country, you see it most often with avalanches, which flow like liquid, yet set up like concrete once stopped due to the partial melting of ice crystals. Someone trapped in an avalanche is immobilized when the flow stops, unable to dig out. You get the same effect with a snow plow / snow blower.

    We also get snow dumps, where road snow is dumped after the streets are cleared. They slowly melt over the summer. While melting, they also turn black and form a crust as the water content sublimates out / melts. Same thing should happen to a high percentage ice content comet / asteroid.

    Finally, impacts deliver energy in the form of heat to bodies. Low speed impacts stay intact. High speed ones don’t unless one of the bodies is pretty big. I think an accretion history starts with slow speed accretion as like the Saturnian rings, everything is pretty close together and moving relatively parallel. Over time, as the various bodies grow, the relative velocities of the impacts also grow. Yeah, I know I’ve just introduced another constraint. But it is a constraint we see at Saturn and perhaps with Miranda. Cheers –

  • Steve Garcia

    Actually, agimarc, I can see ice solidifying in probably more than one possible way, but not “anything else”. Water’s freezing point and its nature – that it doesn’t really need much pressure at all to solidify – makes its solidifying a simple event. It is the ones that also need ULTRA HIGH PRESSURE that I have a problem with.

  • Steve Garcia

    agimarc –

    Also, about Itukawa, neither yours nor mine explain how the large main body is solid.

  • Cevin Q


    So I was in Washington DC for vacation, and spent a great deal of time the geology section of the natural history museum. They have a fantastic display of meterorites that have been sectioned.

     I was in that display for several hrs., what I noticed is that many displayed the very very fine grain structure that is indicative of the accretion model, but there were several that had a very different structure, they huge “grown” crystals of near gem quality peridot. It is visibly obvious that these crystals grew out of solution. 

     So I now see where you are coming from in your thoughts on the pure accretion model. 

     The only way these very large crystals can form is out solution, in this case magma.


  • Steve Garcia

    Cevin –

    Be a little bit careful with your conclusions based on other crystals. While peridot, the gem (perfect enough for gems), have water involved with their formation, they are formed in ultra-high pressure and extreme temperature, out of peridot . .

    Formation of Peridot

    Peridot (or olivine, as the mineralogist calls it) is a mineral that is very common in nature, particularly in basic igneous rocks (i.e., those low in silica content). It is so common that a major igneous rock type is called peridotite. However, gem peridot is very rare.

    Since diamond-bearing kimberlite is a type of peridotite, peridot, as might to be expected; is an important constituent of the peridot has altered to serpentine, peridot is an important constituent of kimberlite in the lower reaches of the mines. However, it does not occur in large enough fragments to be of interest as gemstones.

    In some areas of the world, rocks made up almost entirely of peridot are found. Most of the major chromium deposits in the world occur with the mineral chromite disseminated in a rock called dunite. Although the grains of peridot in dunite are transparent and of a lovely color, they are too small to be of interest as gemstones. Only very rarely do igneous rocks in which peridot occurs have peridot crystals of a size and perfection to be of interest to the gemologist. Since olivine is one of the earliest minerals to crystallize from an igneous melt, it often occurs as fairly large crystals in a minutely crystalline groundmass; however, it is usually too badly fractured to provide gem crystals. Thus, despite the wide distribution of this rock, it is exceedingly rare when the major constituent is found in gem quality. In addition, where it is formed in gem quality crystals, its tendency to alter rapidly to serpentine reduces further the chances of finding crystals of gem quality.

    The two situations in which gem quality crystals seem to occur are in cavities in an extrusive igneous rock and in contact metamorphism of sedimentary rocks containing magnesia and silica, such as impure limestone or dolomite.

    Recent studies by Professor Richard Jahns, Ph.D., indicates that large gem quality crystals are unlikely to occur in magma that cooled under ordinary conditions at depth. He has demonstrated that an essential condition to the formation of large crystals of excellent quality, structurally, is for the melt to reach a condition of water or other fluid saturation. Such a condition could occur quickly, if the magma moved toward the surface with an accompanying reduction in pressure. With a highly volatile liquid or gaseous phase, large, fine crystals may grow at very rapid rates (in a matter of weeks or months). Of academic interest only is the fact that peridot is sometimes found in meteorites. The grains are always very small and never of gem quality.

    So, all of this discussion is about Peridotite, peridot’s parent and inclusive material. When you saw peridot crystal in those meteorites, be aware of the peridotite, too. It is a form of olivine, and both are closely related to kimberlite, the rock that diamonds are found in. And I think we all are aware that diamonds are formed by ultra-high pressure and extreme temperature. So you are discussing the first cousins to diamonds, at least in the rocks they are both found in. THAT was my first real clue.

    How small were the peridot crystals you saw? Would you agree that they were “very small and never of gem quality”?

    This, too, from, though I am not sure how reliable that site is, in general:

    From Olivine to Peridot
    When olivine crystallizes, it turns into the gemstone form we know as the peridot. This process involves long periods of high temperature and pressure within the rocks in which the mineral is found, and occurs on geological time-scales–sometimes millions of years.

    Olivine has a very high melting point, which explains why it’s mainly found in places like volcanic rock and the mantle of the earth (where pressure and heat are abundant). In these deep, hot places, the gem we know as the peridot is slowly formed.

    And this:

    Most gemstones of mineral origin are formed in the earth’s crust. But there are two exceptions; both peridot and diamond are formed much deeper in the earth, in the region referred to as the mantle. Peridot crystals form in magma from the upper mantle (20 to 55 miles deep), and are brought to the surface by tectonic or volcanic activity where they are found in extrusive igneous rock. Diamonds were formed much deeper in the mantle (around 100 – 150 miles below the surface), at extreme temperatures and pressures.

    THIS is why I see olivine and peridotite in meteorites and MUST reject the accretion theory, at least as it has to do with asteroids (which are what meteroids are in space) and meteorites (after the meteroids hit the Earth’s surface). It only forms at ultra-high pressures (about 4 million psi, as I recall), and also needed is high TEMPS.

    If someone can explain to me where the high temps and pressure come from, out in deep space, I am all ears. For the moment I reject out of hand that impacts did it, because – as I’ve argued, too – impacts are destructive, not creative. Impacts on asteroids and comets (we’ve seen it on both) gouge out craters, and the debris returns as regolith – dusty debris covering the surface of asteroids and comets.

    I say “for the moment” because there MAY be some way what we find as meteorites are remnants of impacts, if the meteorite represents the core of a body which – as it passes through the atmosphere – ablates the outer shell of a body, leaving only the core intact (which hypothetically might have been pressurized by impact and made stronger). This scenario doesn’t exactly explain the high temps, though.

    At the moment, peridots and peridotite and olivine are understood to have been made at depth, near the mantle, or atthe LEAST in the aesthenosphere, more than 80 km deep.

    So, in my mind, it is up to the astronomers to explain the existence of peridot/peridotite in the meteorites. To me, this amounts to an extraordinary claim, that this material, along with olivine, can possibly have accreted without the existence of great pressure and great temperature.

    And now, with the mention of liquid WATER involved, NOW how do they explain it?

  • Cevin Q

    I think I was unclear, by precipitation out of solution, I was referring to magma, which is a liquid solution of metals and non metals, ie iron silicon and oxygen.
    These near gem quality crystals are very very large. I took photos that I would post if I could.
    The sectioned meteorite was approx. 18″ across the section face and the crystals that were exposed several inches across and displayed a regular polyhedral cross section.
    Like you said, these types of crystals require heat, pressure and time to form.
    So I can totally see where you are coming from, these types of crystal had to have formed whithin a planetary object.
    So, my question is now, how did the deep crust materials end up in interplanetary space?

  • Cevin Q

    Steve ,
    I have to admit , in my haste to reply, i didn’t thoroughly read your reply.
    So water is required to form these types of crystals.
    With some of the olivine based meteorites, it’s obvious that they were formed by accretion, grain size is almost microscopic and evenly dispersed.

  • Steve Garcia

    Cevin Q: “So I can totally see where you are coming from, these types of crystal had to have formed within a planetary object.
    So, my question is now, how did the deep crust materials end up in interplanetary space?

    THANK YOU. For understanding the point I had been making. That is IT, in a nutshell.

    As to them having to form inside a planet, I actually posted a link somewhere in the comments to a paper that discussed the Allende meteorite, which was even bigger than your VERY nice sized 18″ baby. And in that paper, the authors actually arrived at how big/small a body had to be in order to allow olivine (or peridotite? I can’t recall now) to form. That size was 3000 km in radius. But they can NOT form in the planetary core – there has to be other materials UNDER THEM, putting them the right distance from the surface, but also where there is heat from the core..

    So, we have these facts:

    1. Peridotite and/or olivine can form only from the pressure at depth within a planetary body of a minimum 6000 km diameter. (The Moon is only 3475 km in diameter, so if those authors are correct, it would not be possible for the Moon to have peridotite, olivine, and probably no diamonds, either.)

    2. Peridotite and olivine are found in asteroids/meteorites (and perhaps in comets, too***).

    3. Having been created deep underground of a large body, peridotite and olivine somehow were removed from there.

    4. Having been somehow removed from deep underground of a planetary body, some peridotite somehow ended up instead inside of and integrally part of an asteroid in space which ended up crashing to Earth.

    Not many mechanisms come to mind, do they?… But we all know the obvious one.

    *** Based on the one NASA paper from the 1960s that I lost track of and that talked about 47% of all asteroids have at least one characteristic of comets. From other reading, I’ve seen more of this kind of mention, and I tentatively take that to mean that there is a lot of overlap between comets and asteroids. Time will tell.

  • Steve Garcia

    Cevin Q: “With some of the olivine based meteorites, it’s obvious that they were formed by accretion, grain size is almost microscopic and evenly dispersed.

    I don’t understand why grain size would be important.

    What is your thinking there? Accretion is only small grains? Impacts would pulverize?

    The latter is another point I’ve been making, so that would explain the small grains.

    But HOW do you get the grains to form into a solid rock? At least some of these meteorites look for all the world like metamorphic rocks (like granite). But metamorphic rocks are also formed by high pressure and high temperature!

    You can take as many grains as you want to and accrete them via mutual gravity, and they will never fuse together like the Allende meteorite is fused. The grains will just lie there, in a “rubble pile” (not my term), as a strengthless body. The slightest jostle on an asteroid or comet will send dust dispersing out into space. As I’ve pointed out, dust on the surface of even the Earth just sits there, being moved about on the surface by wind and rain. But not being fused.

    Somebody in this hypothesis is CONfused.

    Seriously, all of this is basic materials science – and that is based essentially on basic physics and chemistry and geology.

  • Cevin Q

    Do remember that silicon carbides and olivine have been shown to be present in the atmospheres of very young stars, stars young enough to not have developed solid planets yet.
    Grain size comes into play because when the individual crystals are small enough they will stick to each other. And not just stick to each other in an adhesive sort of way, they will actually share electrons and essentially become one crystal, and they will acquire more micro crystals. Two unrelated but analogous processes illustrate this. One being the act of “wringing” two finely ground surfaces together. It used to a be used as an Ooh and Ahh teaching moment in beginning machinist apprentice programs.
    Two gauge blocks, they have to have pristine surfaces with no scratches, are put face to face and twisted or “wrung”. The surfaces are so smooth that the wringing the two surfaces to share electrons. When two blocks are properly wrung, almost no amount prying will separate the surfaces, they have to be unwrung.
    The other is represented by galvanic corrosion of two dissimilar materials places in close proximity, such as iron based and aluminum based alloys, or with similar sticky or gummy materials, such as 300 series stainless steels.
    My first experiencence with it was a bicycle mechanic, when I was young. In the early days of non anodized Al parts, handlebar stems would fuse to steel steering tubes over time, even when coated with grease or oil.
    The example I have to deal with all the time is a stainless fastener threaded into an aluminum member.
    If anti seize compounds aren’t used the screw will become welded to the hole.
    The other is two very closely spaced 304/316 parts can seize upon assembly. I’ve had two parts seize upon hand fitting of the parts, not press fits but very close tolerance slip fits will roll up a gall by simply slinding them together

  • Steve Garcia

    Cevin Q –

    The silicone carbide and olivine in young star atmospheres – something new to me. If you could point me to something on that, I’d appreciate it. I can google it, but I’d like to see what you have on it.

    The rest of your discussion is interesting, and I typed in several responses, based on my 40 years of industrial design with stainless steels and aluminum, but I decided that that is a bit off-topic. If you want to discuss it by email, I can do that.

    As to the basic discussion here, of materials forming into larger materials, I’d have to say that unless the pressures are provided, such crystalline binding simply by proximity/contact is far from adequate to create peridotite or olivine mineral – the parent materials from which the peridot crystals can ONLY OCCASIONALLY be made. Everything I find on these materials talks about MILLIONS of PSI. Touching – even intimately touching or under SOME unit stress – is not enough, from what I keep finding. The entire environment that the two minerals are within is necessary – and this idea fulfills neither the high pressure requirements nor the high temperatures needed. Under no circumstances do these materials form at lesser pressures and lesser burial depths than below the lithosphere and above the core of a planet. Adding in that other requirement – super-high temperatures – I’d argue that what you are bringing into this is not related – though it is interesting. There is no possible substitute for either the temps or the pressures. You need both – and LOTS of both.

    BUT: Bringing the other possibilities into the discussion is PROPER, even if in the end it doesn’t suffice. ALL possibilities should be brought into the discussion. I don’t mean to dismiss these points out of hand. It is just that the pressures and temperatures trump other and lesser candidates.

    The mention of some liquid water being necessary in the one paper for peridot gems to form is yet a third requirement. Such liquid water within the body of a comet or asteroid in outer space – accompanied simultaneously by high temps and high pressures – this seems impossible. What is had out there is ultra-low pressures and ultra-low temps. SOME temperature rise on the side facing the Sun? At certain AU, yes, but not out in the asteroid belt (for example).

    Wiki says: “When sunlight hits the moon’s surface, the temperature can reach 253 degrees F (123 C).” Since the Moon is at 1.0 AU, we can safely say that the surface temps on a Near Earth Asteroid is going to be somewhere near 253°F. says, “The average temperature of the surface of a typical asteroid is minus 100 degrees F (minus 73 degrees C).” As you can see, these are much too cold. +253°F or -100°F are nothing like the 1300°C to 1600°C (2370°F to 2910°F) given for the asthenosphere where peridotite and olivine are found.

    If these specific solid rocks found in meteorites cannot have formed in space, it is incumbent on us to ask where they COULD have formed, based on the physics, the crystallography, the chemistry and the forces necessary for those specific materials to form. If many of our attempts to explain this don’t succeed, at least we can begin to narrow down the possibilities.

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  • jim coyle

    Mr. Thompson; I would like to thank you for the excellent compilation of reading material. This will be extremely helpful to a lot people here at the Tusk.

  • Trawling this site for whatever is found interesting, I happened on this thread. The subject matter is very interesting, and the length of the list of material is impressive.

    I looked for Dodwell under ‘D’. It is there. I feel sure I have vindicated the gentleman. He was dead right.

    The piece on Arthur Custance makes interesting reading. If I got the gist of it right he complained of absence of geological evidence (WIT corrects but says in the distant past. Evidence shows it was not so distant, between 5000 to 2000 bce, and repeatedly). There is evidence, once it is noticed, — and we overcome the shock, and the denial, of it.