Consensus theories are often kept on board long after their sell by date. People become attached to them – a sort of comfort zone. Should that apply to science – does that apply to science?
Well, consensus theories are wonderful in that they allow one to stretch the facts to fit the theory to keep it afloat. This even involves the invention and dissemination of ideas, pulled 'out of a hat' – and like the magician the idea is not to deceive but to obscure the reality. This is done in the hope something will pop up later to explain why the theory has suddenly become weak.
Tim Cullen, in another probing post at http://malagabay.wordpress.com/2013/11/28/elementary-my-dear-watson-1-th… … has found one such wheeze in the first of what looks like being a succession of posts on nitrogen – well worth reading and recommended. Apparently, there is a high concentration of nitrogen in the atmosphere but a much lower proportion in the bulk of the Earth (the crust and the oceans). Why this is so is a mystery as the gases of the atmosphere are thought to have an origin in massive volcanic convulsions in the early Earth days. Tim Cullen suggests mainstream is in a wonderful state of double think, promulgating what is basically sleight of hand (magic) and as usual he probes a few Wikipedia entries to get the feel of the subject – and then hot hoof's to other sources to add treacle to the syrup. Basically, nitrogen in the bulk of the Earth was lost to solar evaporation early in the planet's formation – nitrogen and its compounds were driven out of the planetisimals in the early solar system by the heat of the Sun etc. Nitrogen is a somewhat rare element on the inner planets of the solar system, such as Earth, a fact that resembles neon, which like nitrogen, is abundant in the Universe at large. Nitrogen is not abundant in the solar system, it is alleged, yet makes up a large proportion of the atmosphere.
Tim Cullen says the escaped nitrogen that was driven out of the bulk of the Earth somehow managed to return to Earth and bury itself inside the planet so that it could subsequently be blown out via volcanism to form part of the atmosphere (in order to explain how the nitrogen got into the atmosphere).
Why is this unlikely explanation allowed to stand he asks, and so might we. He decides it is because it supports some cherished tenets of 'settled' science. These are i) the solar system formed from the remnants of a supernova, ii) muclear fusion only occurs in stars and supernovas, and iii) nuclear fission and nuclear fusion could never occur in the 'core of the Earth' – read the whole thing. Yes, and the follow-ups.