Peter M James has a new article at www.ncgt.org June issue. He has been a long time critic of Plate Tectonics and notes that over the last 50 years there has been a lot of criticism of the hypothesis by geologists, admittedly a minority, but this has had little impact. He adds that critical importance is no doubt related to the fact that the mechanisms involved in the mobilist mainstream model are still of unknown magnitude and/or are taken to act at unknown depths, beyond the gaze of the critics (and the proponents). Plate Tectonics adherents are quite prepared to admit that some of the fundamental mechanisms are still a work in progress, he says. In contradiction to him you would not know that if you were the general public at the receiving of wisdom end of the rainbow loop. He makes the point he wishes to make and this is that field evidence is liable to be cast aside if it is in conflict with the mobilist consensus that is based around palaeo-magnetic data. This is in spite of geology traditionally, or supposedly, being based on solid observation and not on iso-morphism.
This is followed by another piece by James on a non-spreading interpretation of the sea floor. The palaeo-magnetic stripes, or patterns of magnetic reversal on the sea floor are open to alternative explanations he says. These include theories based on the earth acting as a dipole. Magnetic reversals may be a record of polar reversals with the earth's crust remaining in a static or stable situation. Evidence of 'polar wander' of the earth's magnetic north for example has been in the news recently and he appears to be referring to this. Readers of SIS Review may also consider other geomagnetic effects as a possible explanation of the magnetic stripes on the sea floor – via the EU model for example. Peter Warlow, who unfortunately died a few years ago, did research the possibility magnetic stripes had a connection with his tippe top flips of the earth, full or partial. Nothing was ever published. James does not say it but the discovery of the magnetic stripes in the 1950s led to a massive geological event, the coming together of several theories into one whole, theories that had previously been considered controversial. These are tied to the uniformitarian time scale (by the use of foraminifera fossils on the sea floor), and allied with i) the Milankovitch theory (brought out from the shadows) and ii) the idea of continental shift (also brought out of obscurity) and the whole led to the modern consensus Ice Age scenario of 100,000 year cycles. This opened the way for the hypothesis that multiple Ice Ages were a fact whereas only four of them had prevailed (or at least a manageable number of them). One has to wonder how mainstream could possibly change their tune when so much is interwoven and inter-connecting. It will certainly take a lot more than some threadbare alternatives to Plate Tectonics – and pressure may end up coming from other disciplines.