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February 18, 2010


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Great post!


I don't remember now where I saw the reference(I peruse to many sites!)to the author, H.W. Menard and the book below,"Oceans of Truth"; but I have just ordered a used copy from Ammzon and was wondering if you are familiar with this scientist who also was involved in those early days when the theory of plate tectonics was being worked out.



Thanks for letting us know about the Royal Society's new site and the personal insights into those who helped bring this revolutionary idea to fruition.

Yes, indeed I am - Menard was a great marine geologist and one of the "heroes" of the history of plate tectonics. However, I have to admit that I haven't read "Oceans of Truth" - thanks for reminding me!

Carey's lecture at Princeton also deeply impressed Eldridge Moores. I've written elsewhere that Warren Carey was very important as an irritant, one of those people that Thomas Henry Huxley meant when he praised the "fruitful error, bursting with the seeds of its own demise." People were so riled by Carey and his expanding Earth that they were knocked out of their orbits.

Lovely to see you expand on my question here on your blog.

Jules, you remind me that Menard served as head of the US Geological Survey in the late 1970s, so he was my boss at one point in my career.

Carey was indeed a stimulating irritant. But one of the problems was that the irritation over his expanding earth detracted from the value of his continental fits. As Everett and Smith point out, his tectonics "apart from global expansion, actually contained the essence of continental motions." It's impressive today to think that Carey achieved a remarkably good visual fit of the continents (particularly at the 2000m contour) through moving tansparent spherical caps around a 75 cm globe. And I like Everett and Smith's comment that "Carey's work formed a part of the disparate ideas and evidence that at the time made any discussion about the Earth such a vigorous and often emotional affair."

Incidentally, Alan Smith and Eldridge Moores became lifelong colleagues and friends after meeting at Princeton in those heady years.


Thanks... Lots of connections in the field of geology. I thought I had seen the reference to Menard on your site, but now I can not locate where I first read about his book, however it aroused my interest enough to want to read his work, hence I searched for it on Amazon. I also purchased a very inexpensive copy of Islands,(the Scientific American Library series) that he wrote in the late 80's.

Despite the bulk of information online we often fail to get the specific information which is needed this post is good & contains relevant information that I was in quest of .I appreciate your efforts in preparing this post.

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