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Year after year we watch science fiction movies showing creatures that are the wrong size. We may wonder what is wrong with this picture; what, if anything, limits the size of animals. But since Galileo’s Square-Cube Law was not included in our elementary science education most people fail to recognize how size matters.
In 1638 Galileo explained what is now called the Square-Cube Law in his last major scientific book titled Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences. The Square-Cube Law reveals why the common B-rated science fiction movies theme of showing people, gorillas, or insects as being extremely large or small is not physically possible. The Square-Cube Law is an extremely fundamental scientific concept critical to understanding physics, biology, aerodynamics, nanotechnology and numerous other science disciplines. But in addition to these positive attributes, Galileo's Square-Cube Law reveals what is wrong with the paleontologists' claim that there is nothing odd about dinosaurs and pterosaurs growing so large.
Over the years the incongruities have become increasingly apparent as to why dinosaurs and pterosaurs should not be so large. For the large dinosaurs there are the incongruities of 1) insufficient bone strength, 2) insufficient muscle strength, and for the taller dinosaurs 3) the problem of unacceptable high blood pressure. For the pterosaurs there is the paradox that no cold-blooded reptile, not even the smallest reptiles, can fly today and yet during the Mesozoic the cold-blooded pterosaurs grew to be the largest flying animals that ever existed. Clearly the belief that there is no scientific paradox regarding the exceptionally large dinosaurs and pterosaurs is incorrect. Yet the paleontology community has no means of saving face while backing down from their position, and so they continue to deny the paradox.
There are many talented scientists who recognize the importance of size. In 1928 J. B. S. Haldane advanced Galileo’s ideas when he wrote On Being the Right Size. A generation later numerous other famous scientists followed with additional arguments supporting Galileo's Square-Cube Law. Physics professors Phillip Morrison, Michael Fowler, Benjamin Crowell; biologists Steven Jay Gould, Michael C. LaBarbera, Steven Vogel, Knut Schmidt-Nielsen, Chris Lavers, John Tyler Bonner; and the rebel paleontologist Christopher McGowan have all presented arguments for why size matters.
Yet for the most part Galileo’s Square-Cube Law and how it explains why size matters is still being left out of most science education programs. The National Science Educations Standards points in the right direction by emphasizing the teaching of the importance of size; yet the National Science Education Standards does not warn science teachers of the existing scientific incongruities and thus it hurts the grade school science teachers who follow its directive. Elementary science teachers are caught like a deer in the headlights the moment one of their smarter students point out the incongruity between the previous existence of exceptionally large dinosaurs and the argument that size is important. The failure of the paleontology community to solve the dinosaur sized paradox obstructs the ability of science educators to teach the fundamental science of Galileo’s Square-Cube Law thus producing the awful effect of holding back the advancement of all the sciences.
The paleontologists’ problem of how the dinosaur grew so large is not the only major paradox in science. Paleontologists also have the problem of explaining how the pterosaurs were able to fly. The evidence is indisputable in showing that today’s atmosphere is too thin for pterosaurs to achieve the lift that they required.
Scientists in other disciplines are struggling with their own paradoxes as well. The paleoclimatologists cannot explain how the North and South Poles were ice free throughout the Mesozoic era, the age of the dinosaurs. Geologists have what seems to be a minor paradox known as the Dolomite Problem: unless the carbon dioxide levels were higher and the pressure greater they cannot explain how the dolomite formed. Speaking of carbonated rock, dolomite and limestone make up a whopping 20% of all the sedimentary rock, and some geologists have estimated that if the carbon dioxide locked up in these rocks was released the Earth’s atmosphere would be at least fifty times thicker. This brings us to another mystery: why is it that atmospheric composition of the terrestrial planets are not all the same? The atmospheric compositions of the four outer planets are all comparable, so why is this not the case for the closer terrestrial planets of our solar system? Venus and Mars have nearly identical atmospheric compositions of being around 96% carbon dioxide and only a small percentage of nitrogen, why is it that the Earth is different?
Up to now, scientists within each discipline have been trying to shoo away these pesky scientific paradoxes. Yet this is not the best approach. Scientific paradoxes are often the gateway to new discoveries, and so it is here. All of these scientific paradoxes are connected by one simple solution. Can you see what it is?
The paradox of gigantic dinosaurs and flying pterosaurs, the ice free arctic during the Mesozoic era, Earth’s atmosphere standing out as being different from its neighbors, and many other scientific paradoxes can be solved by proposing that the Earth’s atmosphere has not always been the way it is today. The evidence indicates that throughout most of the Earth’s history its atmosphere was much thicker and it was predominately carbon dioxide. As of now this proposal is still open to debate. Yet given the fact that there are numerous independent sets of evidences strongly supporting this conclusion it is all but certain that the Thick Atmosphere Theory is correct.
Science, Religion, and Politics
The Earth spins on its axis as it revolves around the Sun. It does not feel like the Earth is moving but nevertheless the evidence is overwhelming in leading us to the conclusion that the Earth is actually hurling through space. If not for imaginative and intelligent scientists like Galileo we might still be ignorant of this truth even today.
Throughout most of Earth’s history the Earth has had an extremely thick atmosphere. This may seem odd to everyone that just assumed that the atmosphere has always been the way it is today. Nevertheless the evidence is overwhelming in leading us to the conclusion that Earth’s atmosphere was similar to that of neighbors Venus and Mars except that the atmosphere of the larger Earth would logically be much thicker. If there were more imaginative and intelligent scientists like Galileo then most people would not still be ignorant of this truth.
It is easy to forget, or was it never learned, that besides fighting the church Galileo was fighting his fellow scientists when he was promoting the Heliocentric Theory of the Solar System and then later his Square Cube Law. Few scientists have Galileo’s level of insight and scientific curiosity. This is just as much true today as it was then.
The best scientists recognize that science is based on the premise that we exist in a rational reality, and so it both troubles them and invites their curiosity whenever something seems out of place. Do you have what it takes to be a top scientist? Have you ever wondered about an odd bit of data given in a table of a science textbook on a topic that is supposedly well known? Does it astonish you that a scientific idea as fundamental as the Square Cube Law – discovered by one of the greatest scientists of all time - is being left out of science education? Did you lose some respect for the global warming scientists when it was revealed that they were fudging their data? When an ‘expert’ claims that the leading scientists have figured out nearly everything there is to know about our reality, do you find yourself questioning his or her intelligence? Science is more than just going along with the beliefs of others so that you might be accepted within a group, in fact real science has nothing to do with that.
Beyond having the ability to reason correctly so as to make new scientific discoveries, the more difficult task is standing up to your peers in defending your ideas. It is easy to go along in believing whatever your peers believe; that’s religion. It is much more challenging to think for yourself, reach the correct conclusions based on the evidence, and successfully argue your position against the stubborn majority; that’s science.
Almost all new scientific truths are inherently unpopular, and this is true for both the science community and the public. It was this way when the Heliocentric Model of the Solar System was introduced; it was this way when the Theory of Evolution was first introduced; it is this way now with the introduction of my Thick Atmosphere Theory. At the very least, most people feel offended by the evidence showing them that views that they have held all of their lives are actually wrong; and believe or not, it is the scientists that have been proven wrong that feel most offended. Sadly, this is not the age of reason. When all people care about is what is popular, the truth may be out there but nobody wants to hear it.
Since some members of the science community are upset by this new science would it not be better to just let it be? Absolutely not! Science – the understanding of reality – is, more than anything else, what gives our society purpose. With science providing the correct understanding of our reality, human beings are able to move forward in our quest to reach for the stars and beyond.
On this website I have presented the evidence supporting the Thick Atmosphere Theory. At the bottom of each chapter you will find links to supporting references. The facts I present are undisputed and most of these facts can be found in standard science textbooks. By organizing the facts I give the reader insight into their significance. Besides the presentation of facts I produce new information by using mathematics and good scientific practices. I will give two examples. In chapter two I determine the mass of a few dinosaurs using Archimedes Principle. By either buying the experiment or putting together your own it is possible to determine the mass of whatever dinosaur is of interest. In chapter three I use physics principles to derive my Science of Flight Equations. Anyone with a strong physics, engineering, or mathematical background can confirm the validity of these equations by looking up the data on any airplane of their choosing and following the example. Besides my website, I have now given at least seventeen peer review scientific presentations around the USA explaining topics related to my Thick Atmosphere Theory.
College Physics Instructor / Science Researcher
1. Galileo’s Square-Cube Law: Galileo’s Square-Cube Law shows that it is impossible to change the size of an object without changing the properties of the object. It is impossible to maintain the proportionality of all the object’s properties because the ratio of an object’s area to its volume decreases with the greater size of an object. This simple scientific concept has far reaching consequences that are extremely important to nearly every science discipline. This chapter explains Galileo’s Square-Cube Law and how the area to volume ratio restricts the variation in size of the more complex objects.
2. The Dinosaur Paradox: Once we understand Galileo’s Square-Cube Law showing how size matters it becomes clear that the large dinosaurs and pterosaurs of the Mesozoic era present a scientific paradox. Four areas of scientific incongruities regarding these animals’ large size are identified: 1) insufficient muscle strength, 2) insufficient bone strength, 3) unacceptably high blood pressure within the tallest dinosaurs, and 4) the paradox of pterosaurs having grossly insufficient power to fly in atmospheric conditions similar to the present. This chapter explains the first three paradoxes concerning the large dinosaurs while the following chapter explains the paradox regarding the large flying pterosaurs.
3. The Science of Flight and the Paradox of Flying Pterosaurs: There is a huge difference between getting something to work and having a correct theoretical understanding of how it works. By testing wing profiles in their wind tunnel and then test flying gliders, the Wright brothers were successful in building the first real airplane; yet nevertheless, the Wright brothers never actually figured out how wings generate lift. A century later we have supersonic jets, and yet the aviation industry still cannot explain how wings generate lift. The most common explanation of lift makes the bogus claim that the air must travel either above or below the wing in the same amount of time. This statement is wrong, and most people within the aviation industry are aware of this. Yet they would rather present an incorrect explanation than suffer the embarrassment of admitting that they cannot explain how an airplane flies. The fact is that the development of airplanes has always been more of an art than a science. The absence of a theoretical understanding of flight becomes most apparent when the paleontologists make their foolish attempts trying to explain how the giant pterosaurs flew. Common sense tells everyone that a reptile the size of a horse should not be capable of flight, but until now there has not been a theoretical understanding of flight enabling us to scientifically clarify what is wrong with the paleontologists’ claim that there is nothing odd about gigantic flying reptiles.
In this chapter, I derive the Power for Flight Equations so as to clarify why large pterosaurs could not have flown in an atmospheric environment similar to the present. These equations, and the concepts incorporated in their derivation, are applicable to all airplanes, birds, and all other medium to large flying objects.
4. The Search for a Rational Solution: Acknowledging the existence of these scientific paradoxes, a systematic investigation is conducted to find the solution. The first step is to determine a scaling factor between the size of the largest and tallest animals of today and the largest and tallest animals of the peak of dinosaur gigantism. The next step investigates how the Earth’s gravitational field could have been less during the Mesozoic so as to allow this gigantism. Each possible hypothesis is systematically investigated in regards to scientific principles and physical evidence. This pattern goes on until the presentation of the last possible hypothesis: that the Earth had an extremely thick atmosphere that provided a buoyancy force that reduced the effective weight of the dinosaurs. This proves to be the correct solution.
5. The Thick Atmosphere Solution: The Thick Atmosphere Solution’s ability to solve the dinosaur paradox qualifies it as being a strong hypothesis, but with additional evidence it can be shown that the Thick Atmosphere Solution is actually a new scientific theory. For a conceptual model to achieve the status of being a scientific theory there needs to be 1) multiple distinct evidence-supported arguments all leading to the same conclusion, and 2) the conceptual model must show itself to be invaluable in providing the ‘big picture’ that allows us to make sense of the numerous miscellaneous surrounding facts that were previously a mystery. Each of the remaining chapters presents an evidence-supported argument that leads to the conclusion that the Earth has had an extremely thick atmosphere throughout most of its existence. This chapter starts by addressing a few misconceptions regarding fluids that may have confused some people regarding animals living in a high pressure atmosphere. The chapter then finishes strong by showing how the Thick Atmosphere Theory solves the long-standing paleoclimatologist puzzle of how the Mesozoic era Earth had the same pleasant climate over its entire surface.
6. Biology Revolution: Sometimes we fail to notice unusual facts that should drive our scientific curiosity. Besides the paradox of the dinosaurs being so large there is also the paradox of why dinosaurs have a distinctly different shape from the large terrestrial animals of today. This chapter emphasizes the application of physics and the Theory of Evolution for the understanding of biology. Specifically it points out how species evolve so as to fill available niches within their physical and biological environment. The reason dinosaurs had disproportionally larger rear legs and a powerful flexible tail is because these appendages best facilitated terrestrial animals attempting to move quickly through a thick fluid that is about 2/3’s of the density of the animal.
7. Hell, Heaven and Earth – The Earth’s Internal Heat: For the Thick Atmosphere Theory to be a complete theory there needs to an explanation and supporting evidence showing how this extremely thick atmosphere came into existence and why the present atmosphere is considerably thinner. This requires the development of a supporting theory explaining the source of the fluids that now surrounds the Earth: a theory on the origin of the Earth’s oceans and atmosphere. The fact that these fluids came from the interior of the Earth will become clear in later chapters but for now the focus is on how the interior heat is generated so as to drive these fluids to the surface. The quantity of exhausted volcanic gasses that later evolves into being the atmosphere is largely determined by how much heat is generated inside the Earth. This chapter, the first of the three chapter series, investigates hypotheses regarding the source of the Earth’s interior heat. The investigation leads to the hypothesis that tidal forces are the source of the Earth’s internal heat.
8. Hell, Heaven and Earth – Our Solar System: Historically mankind first sought answers about the Earth while it was only recently that scientists had enough data about the planets to theorize about the solar system. This stacking of theories – first the Earth, then the solar system – impedes our ability to reach the correct understanding. To understand the Earth we need to first view it as just another planet in our solar system. After seeing how our solar system evolved we will then understand how our Earth is special.
This chapter presents the evidence showing that gravitational tidal heating is the primary mechanism for heating not just the Earth but all the planets and moons of our solar system. Each planet or moon evolves as a result of this internal heating such that now that it is 4.6 billion years since the solar system’s formation each planet or moon is either in a stage of its evolution or it has completed its evolution. The author’s theory on planetary development based on tidal heating shows how the application of physics principles enables us to understand our solar system.
9. Hell, Heaven and Earth - The Blue Planet: The author’s theory on planetary development leads the conclusion that the largest terrestrial planet Earth should have the thickest atmosphere and that this atmosphere should be like the atmospheres of Venus and Mars in being primary carbon dioxide. Initially the Earth did have the thickest atmosphere and this atmosphere was primary carbon dioxide. But then life evolved on Earth and this set off a chain of events that led to the atmosphere that we have today. Because of the water on the Earth’s surface and life that evolved in this water, carbon dioxide was removed from the atmosphere until now nitrogen is the primary component of the Earth’s atmosphere. In support of this position, the Earth is literally covered with mountains of rock solid evidence: the sedimentary carbonate rocks limestone and dolomite that lock up the carbon dioxide that once filled the Earth’s atmosphere.
10. Rocks and Fossils: Over the last couple of hundred of years our understanding of the Earth has advanced considerable as a result of the hard work of numerous dedicated geologists; yet we are still a long ways from having a complete picture of how the Earth evolved. The Thick Atmosphere Theory provides an important advancement in understanding much of the gathered geological evidence. The global paleoclimate, glaciations, sea level changes and other physical events of the last half a billion years can now be placed in their proper context based on whether it was a thick or a thin atmosphere environment.
11. Dinosaurs and Dragonflies: The biological changes that occurred through time are even more interesting than the physical changes. Combining the geological record of mass extinctions, knowledge of when the atmosphere was thick or thin, and applying our understanding of how species evolve produces remarkable insight regarding the major biological events that occurred on this Earth.
12. Spaceship Earth: In the process of greatly increasing our understanding of how the Earth evolved we gain a greater respect for our home. Hopefully mankind will become more thoughtful in considering how our actions affect the health of our planet. Just as centuries ago Galileo gave us a new perspective of the heavens, the Thick Atmosphere Theory forces us to reconsider our beliefs regarding life, who we are, and what we aspire to be.
Thick Atmosphere Solution / Biology Revolution / Earth's Heat / Solar System
Blue Planet / Rocks & Fossils / Defining Science / Scientific Theories
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