COMMENT: Dance of Continents

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BY THE WAY– The bomb blasts last Wednesday evening in General Santos City, Kidapawan City and Cotabato City in that order in a 4-hour span killing seven and wounding 29 touched off  police theories that they were done by the Abu Sayaff-Jemaah Islamiyah terrorists or by other militants out to disturb the ASEAN Conference in Mactan City.

Having no immediate suspects, the General Santos City police chief said the AS-JI network was the "usual suspect". And he also suspected that the bomb had been planted by lotto winners that the operators had failed to pay since it was right in front of that lotto outlet which closed three days ago.

Why are the police so quick to give to the media their theories in the absence of real suspects? This is a habit. Or, is the media extracting the theories from the police then give the bombings national significance — in last Wednesday's incidents, linking them with the ten-nation  Association of Southeast Asian Nation conference?
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In 50 million years from now – geologically a "short term" – Los Angeles will become a suburb of San Francisco and Southern California will migrate northward to merge with Alaska. Africa, drifting to the north, will fuse with Europe transforming the Mediterranean Sea into rugged Mediterranean Mountains — the new land mass named Afrasia (Why not Eurafrasia since Europe and Asia are also known as
Eurasia?—PPD).

In 25 to 75 million years from now, "Australia moves north, slamming into Indonesia and Malaysia before pirouetting counterclockwise to smash into the Philippines and Asia, eventually merging with it". (Will the Philippines be sent hurtling to Asia or pinned deep down? — PPD)

In 100 million years from now, Antartica, moving north, "plows into the Indian Ocean, and 50 million years later wedges itself between Madagascar and Indonesia" turning the Indian Ocean into "a virtual inland sea".

"Some 200 million years from now," the geologist Dr. Cristopher R. Scotese predicts, "a giant subduction zone" will have torn "through the dark Atlantic and begun to eat up seabed, slowly closing the ocean" to force "Newfoundland to smash into Africa and, a bit later, Brazil to ram into South Africa".

[NOTE: See "Theory" below to understand "subduction zone". – PPD]

With the force of the collisions, "250 million years from now, the continents will have merged into a new  supercontinent that encircles what remains of the Indian Ocean." At the suggestion of a friend, Dr. Scotese named this supercontinent Pangea Ultima.

Pangea is Greek for "all the land".  Despite its connotation, Dr. Scotese said Pangea Ultima is not the last supercontinent. Over billions of years, the continents have split and joined repeatedly in a slow dance.

Dr. Scotese foresees what will happen millions of years after the formation of Panglea Ultima .  The continents can break apart and reverse to merge again.  Or, they can move apart until their paths around the planet cause them to coalesce on the far side.

Theory

Forecasts of continental motion are based on the "theory of plate tectonics (which) holds that the surface of the Earth is composed of a dozen or so huge crustal slabs that float on a sea of partially molten rock".

The theory continues: "Over the ages, hot convection currents in this sea, as well as gravitational forces, move the plates and their superimposed continents and ocean basins, tearing them apart and rearranging them like pieces of a giant jigsaw puzzle."

The "tearing" and "rearranging", as described above, occur at the subduction zone– "an area on earth where two tectonic plates meet and move toward one another, with one sliding under another and moving into the mantle (the surface beneath the crust)…. An oceanic plate ordinarily slides under a continental plate…."  (Wikipedia)

NOTE: The foregoing is from "Long-Term Global Forecast?  Fewer Continents", by William J. Broad, published in The New York Times, January 9, 2007.

Testimonies

While Broad cited lengthily the works of Dr. Scotese, he mentioned three other geologists who are doing the same researches and corroborating Dr. Scotese who communicates "his increasingly detailed visions of the terrestrial past and future" in his Web site, www.scotese.com, since 1998. Visit the Web site. It's fascinating: I've tried it.

The dance of continents explains the findings in the Philippines of bones of animals that are known to be found only in mainland Asia.  Or the discovery of shells and remains of sea creatures on mountain tops.

I remember a report of sea shells dug up on top of Mt. Apo. Similar testimonies must be found in other parts of the world.


There are more. Some races, like the American Indians, trace their ancestry to another continent. How they had become separated could not be explained by

migration. This may also be true to animal species.

Questions

Interesting may this dance of continents be, amusing questions pop up. Aside from geologists and students of Geology, who are seriously interested?

Who will care about the earth 250 million years from now?  By that time, no one today – not even geologists – will know how men (including women, of course) will look like, will live, and so on.

Will any Filipino care where his or her bones in their tombs – if tombs and bones can survive 250 million years – will be hurled when Australia smashes the Philippines?  Or, will Californians also care so when their state migrates to Alaska?

This one is not amusing: The dance of continents is also a violent rumble. Will any earthman survive when continents ram one another creating violent earthquakes, triggering oceanic and terrestrial upheavals and detonating volcanoes?  Dr. Scotese and other geologists, please….!

("Comment" is Mr. Patricio P. Diaz' column for MindaViews, the opinion section of MindaNews. Mr. Diaz is the recipient of a "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the Titus Brandsma for his "commitment to education and public information to Mindanawons as Journalist, Educator and Peace Advocate." You may e-mail your comments to [email protected]).

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