The Instigator
Chrysippus
Con (against)
Losing
10 Points
The Contender
Nur-Ab-Sal
Pro (for)
Winning
18 Points

The Earth is hollow.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
Nur-Ab-Sal
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/26/2012 Category: Science
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 18,170 times Debate No: 23805
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (44)
Votes (8)

 

Chrysippus

Con

This is in response to this thread: http://www.debate.org...

A brief explanation of the subject can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org...

Hollow in this case does not refer to the fact that there are caves and mines in the outer part of the crust, but to an alleged vast central space inside making up a significant fraction of the Earth's total volume.

I will be arguing that the earth, in fact, is not hollow to any significant degree. My opponent will be attempting to show evidence that it is.

My opponent is welcome to either post his opening arguments R1, or to post his acceptance and await my opening arguments.

I thank my opponent in advance, whomever he may be.
Nur-Ab-Sal

Pro

I thank my opponent for issuing this debate challenge and will now present my case.

Seismologic unreliability

The deepest hole ever drilled by humans is located at the Kola Peninsula in Russia, at 40,000 feet.1 While this may seem like an extremely deep tunnel into Earth's inner structure, the average distance to Earth's core is a staggering 4,000 miles,2 or about 21,120,000 feet, only .2% of the distance. Mankind's physical exploits into the Earth's interior are thus undependable when attempting to understand its planetary structure. How have scientists formulated the solid Earth theory if humanity has only tangibly observed less than one percent of its interior?

Seismology, the detection and study of seismic waves, vibrations of the Earth's interior, has not provided scientists with a detailed model of the inner Earth. In fact, even with the study of seismic waves, “we know little directly about the interior of the Earth.”3 In fact, Giorgio Gratta of Stanford University has stated, “essentially, we only know the crust of our planet.”4

The placement of seismometers is one issue. As one article reports, “seismometers’ limited coverage of the surface has provided only blurry, incomplete images [of the Earth's interior].”5 Earth scientist Frederik Simons said, “[…] all we really have are land-based seismometers. That leaves more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface uncovered…You’re just not going to get a very good image of what’s inside.”5 Considering existing underwater seismometers, he later says, “underwater seismometers that sit on the ocean bottom exist, but they are expensive and often unreliable.”5 To summarize, the placement of seismometers only covers 30% of the Earth's surface, leaving over half untouched.

Moreover, even if seismometers dotted the globe on both land and sea, the sensitivity of seismometers so far away from any meaningful measurement presents yet another issue. At teleseismic distances, those which are greater than 1,000 km from the seismometer,6 the instrument was shown to be unreliable, and only slightly more reliable under better conditions.7

The first and foremost function of the seismometer is to predict earthquakes through measurement of seismic waves. It should be noted that the seismometer fails in this regard. The Guardian reports, “there is still no reliable or validated way to predict an earthquake.”8 Although not an argument against seismometer reliability, it is a very significant fact that seismometers simply are not as certain in their measurement predictions as a ruler or a compass, so an important distinction must be made between these instruments and other tools concerning their accuracy.

Mankind has just barely drilled into the Earth's crust, but not nearly enough to provide any substantial model of the Earth's interior. When one is faced with the alternative, seismology, these instruments may provide a somewhat accurate prediction of earthquakes within a reasonable distance from the measurement, but as I have demonstrated, fail in their placement predominantly on land, their unreliability at teleseismic distances, and their inability to foresee earthquakes with scientific certainty. While not a specific contention, I would like to leave this section with a quote: “the field of global seismology is in a continual, rapid state of flux, and any text can at best give an instantaneous and limited version of Earth structure and earthquake sources.”9

Satellite photographs

In 1966, the Environmental Science Services Administration Satellite Program launched the ESSA-3, a satellite which would provide NASA with detailed meteorological imagery. The ESSA program was advanced for its time, and provided photographs of higher resolution than its predecessor, the TIROS program.10A few months into its mission, the ESSA-3 satellite produced a composite image of the northern hemisphere of Earth from this angle. The resulting image can be seen below on the left.

Two years later, in 1968, the ESSA-7 satellite was launched. As with the ESSA-3, the ESSA-7 was equipped with gear to be used in cloud cover photography.10 The ESSA-7 confirmed the photographic result of the ESSA-3 with practically a duplicate image, seen on the right, but a little farther out, as the entire globe is visible.

ESSA Photographs - 1

As you can see, the photographs of the ESSA-3 and ESSA-7 both show a rather large hole at the North Pole. Hollow Earth theory necessitates, in most cases, an entrance to the inner Earth. These bird's eye photographs of the entrance to the Hollow Earth at the North Pole show, without a doubt, an entrance to the hollow Earth. It should be noted that these are indeed composite photographs, but even a composite photograph of the North Hemisphere would not leave a visible imperfect ring around the polar opening.

Crater formation

The imprints left behind by planetary collisions, craters, are inconsistent with the physics of a solid Earth. A crater contains of two areas: the excavation zone, a concave area where the force of impact by the colliding object is felt, and the deposition zone, a convex area where ejecta and other material form a wall or rim around the crater.11

Crater diagram - 2

Craters, however, are formed with a diverse range of sizes. Small craters, those with a diameter of up to 25 km, form a standard crater, one with no unusual phenomena, but rather just a bowl surrounded by a wall of ejected material.11

A slightly larger crater, however, or one with a diameter between 25 to 130 km, will form and act a bit differently. Medium craters are more shallow than small craters, and have a small summit in the center.11

Medium crater - 3
Scientists argue that this summit is caused by a rebound of compressed rock immediately after the impact, as can be seen in the diagram below, on the left. It is compared to a droplet colliding with a fluid, as can be seen on the right.

Peak formation - 4
If we were to assume that this model of crater formation is correct, then one must also assume that before the formation of the central peak, the crater would have been deeper, and decreased in height after some of the material rebounded to form the peak.

However, the amount of energy necessary to construct these central peaks is massive. In their book, The Land of No Horizon, Kevin and Matthew Taylor write, “Such energy could not be sourced from a gradual returning or reforming of the planet's surface. Rebounding must have been rapid. This action catapulted central matter upward.12 How does a compressed planetary structure compress further to form these peaks? If the planet or moon follows the solid planetary structure most humans accept, a normal bowl-shaped crater should be excavated.

Large craters are the most mystifying when one accepts solid planetary structure. In craters over 130 km in diameter, the impact crater is ridged with rings.11 These rings are convex, following the curvature of the planet.

Large crater - 5
Taylor again writes,
How does the crater floor from a celestial impact of this size end up convex? An impacting asteroid would excavate considerable material dispersing it in all directions form the site. An obvious large depression or excavation should be left behind in the surface of the planet. But, contrary to observable facts, this does not happen. The crater walls are over the horizon from the center of these large impacts!12 A compressed, solid, planetary structure would result in bowl-like craters no matter the size, because of its inability to compress further.

A hollow planetary structure does not mandate an enormous amount of compression in these medium and large craters. In fact, a hollow planet structure fits with visible craters better than the massive solidity of a non-hollow Earth. This can be seen in the diagram below.

Hollow structure supports craters - 6
Science’s view of a solid, compressed planet does not explain visible crater phenomena. The accepted view of the Earth’s interior simply does not align with the rings and central peaks of medium to large craters.

Sources

http://goo.gl...

Debate Round No. 1
Chrysippus

Con

I thank my opponent for his valiant foray in the defense of the Hollow Earth hypothesis. This looks to be a fun debate.

Seismology
For purposes of space, I will not be quoting my opponent's entire argument; hopefully my summary will not mangle his points too much.
His points are, roughly, these:
- We do not have observational evidence of the interior of the earth, as our deepest direct measurement did not even reach the mantle;
- Seismographs give an indirect, incomplete, and imprecise picture of the earth's interior.
His point, I believe, is to cast doubt on the conventional picture of the Earth as a solid sphere of molten rock with a super-dense core and a thin solid crust. This picture is our interpretation of these same indirect measurements of seismic vibrations, after all. If the seismographs are unreliable, then we have little idea what the earth looks like below 40,000 feet.

The problem with this argument is that, although it is true that seismographs are indirect and cannot give us direct images of the interior of the planet, we can tell the density of the materials through which the waves pass by their speed. Mechanical vibrations travel through different substances at different speeds, depending on the density of the medium; hence the difference in the speed of sound at sea level and in the upper atmosphere. The speed of sound through the air is about 670 mph; through granite, it travels at almost 13,500 mph. [1]
By timing the passage of waves from recorded earthquakes to stations at various parts of the globe, scientists can determine the density of the materials these waves passed through on the way. A hollow earth would give a completely different reading than a solid earth; and the whole reason we have the crust/mantle/core model is because the waves revealed progressively denser layers beneath the surface.
[1] http://books.google.com...

Satellite photographs

"As you can see, the photographs of the ESSA-3 and ESSA-7 both show a rather large hole at the North Pole. Hollow Earth theory necessitates, in most cases, an entrance to the inner Earth."
These photographs are composites from many passes of satellites in semi-polar orbits. IS specific, the image in the right was captured by the ESSA-7, which had a sun-synchronous 102-degree inclination retrograde orbit.[1] This gave it an orbit that almost passed over the poles, but not quite. "If one is interested in imaging from LEO [Low Earth Orbit], one might wish to view the Earth under fixed lighting conditions. This can be done with a near-polar, retrograde orbit whose inclination depends on the altitude of the spacecraft. This is called a sun-synchronous orbit. Due to gravity torques this orbit plane precesses just the right amount to keep the spacecraft viewing a fixed local time on each of its two (north and south passes)." [2]

As you can see, there is a space around the pole where the satellite will not pass. The black circle in this and other images are artifacts created by this dead spot where the satellite simply never crossed.

"These bird's eye photographs of the entrance to the Hollow Earth at the North Pole show, without a doubt, an entrance to the hollow Earth."

Circular reasoning works because circular reasoning works.

As counter examples, please accept these photographs as a small token of the vast number of existing images of the poles taken from space that show no such circles.
http://i.telegraph.co.uk...
http://marinesciencetoday.com...

Crater formation
My opponent writes, "The imprints left behind by planetary collisions, craters, are inconsistent with the physics of a solid Earth."
The fact is that there is little to no observational evidence of crater formation. Apart from laboratory experiments in sand, which hold only a vague relation to the reactions of a full-size planet, we have not observed craters forming, and certainly not the size craters that my opponent bases this argument on. This point is, therefore, firmly in the realm of hypothesis and conjecture.
He questions how a solid planet could show large craters with central uplifts; but in reality, the solid crust with magma under pressure underneath is the only good explanation for such phenomena. The hollow model has no mechanism sufficient to uplift the weakened crater floor; and in fact, faces significant problems from the existence of craters.
For instance, why would a object capable of making the large craters he discussed not punch through the crust? Without a solid planet, there seems to be no real reason to not observe gaping holes instead of craters.
Also, if the planet were hollow and had to rebound after a significant strike, why do we not observe spiderweb fractures radiating outward from the craters? If the planet walls were forced to absorb the full impact without any support underneath, one would expect to see significant radial fracturing; but this is not the case.
With a magma-filled planet, the pressure of the mantle provides a reasonable explanation for the uplift seen in the crater floors; with a hollow planet, craters should exhibit radial fractures and the occasional hole or missing fragment, none of which have been observed.

[1] http://science.nasa.gov...
[2] http://www-ssc.igpp.ucla.edu...

Minor Counter Arguments

The trans-polar voyage of the USS Nautilus is proof that no Arctic hole exists on or near the North Pole, as the submarine passed directly over the pole without incident.
http://www.nytimes.com...

The presence of volcanoes is fairly compelling evidence for large quantities of magma under high pressure, something the hollow earth has no real explanation for. The global distribution and activity of volcanoes along the edges of tectonic plates makes perfect sense if the plates are thin beds of solid rock floating on a liquid sphere, but none at all if the crust is thick and monolithic. For the same reason, the hollow earth theory is incompatible with continental drift, a phenomena that can be measured. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge has no place on a hollow planet, as it would lack the internal pressures that could create such a fracture, or the magma to build the spreading plates.

The presence of the oceans is incompatible with a central void and polar openings, as the oceans would drain into the center in a matter of hours.

Without a churning central magnetic core, the hollow earth cannot explain the drifting magnetic poles; nor can it explain the geomagnetic reversals the Earth experiences roughly every 450,000 years. The current theory is that this is caused by convection currents in the molten core, which of course the hollow earth would lack. http://en.wikipedia.org...

Argument from mathematics and the mass/volume of the Earth

The Earth has a volume of 2.598�10^11 cubic miles [1] and a mass of 1.3166444�1025 lb.[2]
The problem arises when claims are made that much of that volume is empty. A solid earth gives an average density of 344.3 lb/ft3 [3], which is comfortable for a planet made of mostly dense stone with a super-dense core of nickel in the center.
An Earth with 75% empty space inside, which is much less than most hollow earth theories posit, has the problem of far too much mass in far too little space. This gives us a solid volume of 6.495�10^10 mi3, which still sounds like a lot but isn't nearly enough.
You end up with an average density of 1377 lb/ft3, over four times the density of the solid-earth model.[4] At only 75% hollow, the Earth's crust would have to be twice as dense as lead; and from
Nur-Ab-Sal

Pro

I would like to begin by thanking my opponent for his contribution to the debate.

Seismologic unreliability

My opponent apparently does not dispute that seismographs are not the most accurate method of measurement: he states early on, “it is true that seismographs are indirect.” He then explains how seismometers work, in vibrations calculating density of the materials they pass through. This explanation, however, fails to actually refute my argument: I was not arguing that seismometers were unreliable in their method of measurement, but rather in their placement predominantly on land, distance from any meaningful measurement, and failure to fulfill their primary function.

I will repeat them briefly. Princeton earth scientist Frederik Simons states, “all we really have are land-based seismometers. That leaves more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface uncovered…You’re just not going to get a very good image of what’s inside.”1 The limited coverage of the planet by seismometers partially accounts for their unreliability. Next, seismometers placed at a teleseismic distance from any significant measurement were shown to be unreliable.2 Ergo, seismometers on the surface placed thousands of miles from the core, or practically anywhere under the crust, are unreliable in their extreme distance. Lastly, seismometers fail in their foremost function of earthquake prediction.

My opponent has not provided an adequate response to any of these arguments; he has merely explained how seismometers work. If one were to measure the temperature of the Sun with a thermometer on Mercury, you simply would not measure very accurately, no matter how precise your thermometer may be.

Satellite photographs

My opponent disagrees with my photographic evidence. He explains how the semi-polar orbit of the ESSA-7 produces a composite photograph of the Northern Hemisphere, and the hole is simply where the satellite never crossed. Fine. I did, in fact, agree they were composite photographs in my Round 1 argument. My issue is not with that they are composite photographs, but rather the evidence within the content of the image that points to an actual hole present.

As you can see in the comparison below, a closer look at the ESSA-7 photograph shows that the hole is not perfectly circular as one would expect from a composite photograph, but rather irregular, with a “rim” around the edges. Compare this to an image of a Guatemalan sinkhole:
Comparison of north pole hole & sinkhole

For the section of an image that is supposed to be perfectly circular and look as if it were simply a missing part of the photo, the hollow Earth entrance does seem to have undeniable similarities to actual sinkholes, albeit smaller ones. Moreover, my opponent did not address the same findings by the ESSA-3 earlier.

What is even more interesting is that my opponent’s two photographs supposedly showing an intact North Pole are both rather misleading. The first photograph does not show the North Pole, but rather “Arctic sea ice,”3 which, need I remind the reader, is not synonymous with the North Pole; the second image is not a photograph at all, but a computer generated image (CGI) known as data visualization.4

Crater formation

My opponent states: “we have not observed craters forming, and certainly not the size craters that my opponent bases this argument on.” My opponent is correct that we have no direct way of seeing craters (although a comet collision with Jupiter was observed in 1994,5 2009,6 and 20105 – leading scientists to speculate that “collision rate of events of this magnitude may be five to ten times more frequent than previously thought7) in the same way that my opponent agrees seismometers have no direct way of imaging the planet. However, research into the formation of impact craters is “aided by synthesizing ideas and methods of petrology, mineralogy, crystallography, geochemistry, geophysics, [and] astronomy.”8

My opponent then goes on to state that “The hollow model has no mechanism sufficient to uplift the weakened crater floor; and in fact, faces significant problems from the existence of craters.” If there is no mechanism sufficient to uplift the weakened crater floor, then how are central peaks observed at all, and why are basic craters deeper than large craters?9 The argument that there is a planet is unable to rebound is contrary to observable evidence, nevermind the dispute over the planetary structure underneath. My opponent also argues that the impact would break the outer shell of a planet; this argument is only relevant if one were to consider the outer shell extremely thin which a hollow planetary structure does not necessitate at all. Spiderweb fractures radiating from the impact site can be considered negated in the same regard; the Hollow Earth hypothesis does not dictate a skeletal, thin outer shell.

Lastly, I would like to reitarate my point about crater formation under a compressed Earth. A Hollow Earth is simply more compatible with the current theories of crater formation, such as the rings and central peak, than a solid Earth – it is simply too compressed to allow any change from the basic bowl-shaped crater. I encourage readers to review the diagrams in my Round 1 argument.

Volcanoes

Volcanoes are not contrary to the Hollow Earth hypothesis. In fact, magma is not contrary to Hollow Earth hypothesis. We are arguing whether or not a considerable amount of space in the Earth’s interior is empty. This does not mandate a lack of magma, and I would ask my opponent in his last round to prove where a Hollow Earth certainly requires a lack of magma, or plate tectonics for that matter, as a model for interior planetary strucure certainly does not dictate the affairs of the exterior planetary structure, even if they are closely related.

Oceans

This argument only works if the oceans were somehow attracted to the polar holes. The oceans exist stay on the surface because they are gravitationally attracted to the center of the Earth; this is the reason anything falls towards the surface. Moreover, not all ocean water moves towards the poles. Consider this chart of ocean currents:
Ocean currents

As you can see, many ocean currents are roughly circular, some are linear, but not all of them move towards the poles. Thus, the presence of a hole does not mandate a drainage of the oceans – the oceans would stay because they are attracted towards the core, not the poles, and because not all water currents travel towards the poles.

Core

My opponent asserts that drifting magnetic poles are caused by “by convection currents in the molten core, which of course the hollow earth would lack.A Hollow Earth model does not abandon the idea of a core at all. In fact, one of the most famous Hollow Earth models, that by Edmund Halley, posits the existence of multiple layers of shells, each with its own magnetic field, and explained shifts in the overall magnetic field within this framework.10 This (and the central core) can be seen in the diagram below.
Halley's shells

Earth mass and volume

This argument relies on a specific embodiment of the Hollow Earth hypothesis. As I stated above in “Core,” Hollow Earth theories do not always hypothesize one outer shell with no empty space within. My opponent’s estimate of 75% empty is an incredibly vast overestimate of the supposed inner world that most hollow planetary structure models theorize. For instance, Halley’s model above clearly has less than that estimate. Adding more shells, such as in Halley’s model, certainly bring the density to a reasonable quantity.

A Note on the Entrance

I have provided sufficient evidence that there is a hole at the North Pole, serving as an entrance to an inner Earth. However, I would like to remind the reader that although most theories necessitate an entrance, the pure concept of a hollow planetary structure does not absolutely mandate an entrance, and thus one should contemplate a polar entrance only in addition to contemplating a Hollow Earth.

Sources

Debate Round No. 2
Chrysippus

Con

It's been a fun debate, and I thank my opponent for taking up a side which he does not actually believe, and being such a good sport about it.

Seismologic unreliability
There is a huge difference between accuracy and directness. Seismographs are finely tuned instruments, giving accurate and reliable readings of seismic tremors. These tremors are mechanical energy given off by certain events, and the point of the seismograph is to record that energy. Full stop. That's it.

My opponent seeks to discredit the findings of modern geophysics by casting doubt on the primary instrument of research in this area by repeatedly mischaracterizing the seismograph as an instrument for predicting earthquakes, rather than measuring them. The fact that they are primarily on land and far-spread has little to do with the enormous discoveries they have allowed us to make about the structure of the earth - namely, that tremors travel faster through certain parts of the earth than others, allowing us to calculate the density of parts of the mantle and core. We can tell that the tremors are traveling through liquid rock, for instance, rather than through air or a vacuum, because of the speed. We can hear when they echo off abrupt temperature or structure changes, giving clues as to the form of the interior. We can tell that there is a solid core because of the way the waves are deflected.

Were the earth hollow, the readings we'd get would be entirely different. That is why my opponent has to discredit these instruments; because the informationn they give directly contradicts the teachings of the hollow earth fiction.
Satellite photographs
The simpler explanation, especially considering that the very presence of the oceans proves that there is no arctic hole, is that these white specks are either parts of the ice cap or artifacts from the image compositing process. The orbit information I provided for the ESSA-7 is almost identical to that for all the other ESSA satellites, who all were on arctic-avoinding orbit for the reasons I gave last round.

I gave images from satellite photos, two of which were not composites, but direct photographs of the norther section of the earth. The "sea ice" my opponent refers to happens to be the entire polar ice cap; if there is a hole, I challenge my opponent to find it.
Furthermore, these are only a few of a very large number of photos available from various sources, both public and private, that show the unblemished polar cap. I am not obligated to provide every single image of the North Pole to prove this point; my opponent is leaning on two very grainy photos with an unusual but perfectly logical compositing artifact, and if he were to use any other photo of the pole he would have no basis for his claims.

This is cherrypicking at its most blatant.

Crater formation
My opponent concedes that no meteor craters have been observed in formation, and once agian misunderstands the nature of the seismograph. Since we do not have any observations, direct or indirect, of the the event in progress,
My opponent mischaracterizes my argument by saying "The argument that there is a planet is unable to rebound is contrary to observable evidence," This is a strawman. I provided a mechanism by which the magma-filled planet would rebound - an explanation the hollow earth lacks.

The pressure of the mantle are quite sufficient to explain the rebounding of the crater floor, as well as explaining the lack of radial fractures. My opponent had no adequate explanation as to why a hollow planet would not exhibit these fractures, or holes into the inner void in particularly large craters. He also did not give any real reason why the hollow earth would spring back into shape after a large meteor strike, rather than shattering or puncturing.

Volcanoes
Magma, and consequently volcanoes, continental drift, and plate tectonics, is logically incompatible with a hollow earth. With an internal void, there is no reason for the magma to escape upwards; the slightest opening in the inner surface would allow the draining of the magma to the center, and any volcanic activity we may have once had should have ended eons ago.
Not to mention the fact that the thinness of the shell doesn't provide a plausible reason for the existence of magma; the pressures involved are far less intense than the mantle and core, and you presumably have another solid crust on the inner surface, which makes no sense at all considering magma is rock under great pressure and heat, both of which should be lacking from the hollow earth.

This is a fatal inconsistency for the hollow earth idea. Without vast amounts of liquid rock, the whole observed process of continental drift cannot take place, as the expansion of the plates at the ridges (such as the massive Mid-Atlantic Ridge) cannot take place without generation of new crust from magma.

Oceans
My opponent's chart is proof that there is no such hole, at least in the Arctic. Water will seek the lowest possible level, and the North hole is supposedly directly on the axis of the earth, placing it on the abbysmal plain. This area of the arctic ocean is more than 5000 feet deep [1], placing it as deep or deeper than the vast majority of the oceans. Any hole here into an inner void would open a direct path for the water to flow down farther than any other point in the ocean, and would open up a space large enough to hold the water from all the oceans of the world. WEre there such a hole, there would be no visible oceans, as they would have already disappeared into the inner void.
[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...

Core
Halley's model is both patently ridiculous and physically impossible. By no conceivable process of planetary evolution could a series on concentric spheres form, when during the aggregation stages they would be both deformable and attracted into the common center. Far more incredible is the idea that a core of super-dense material could form free-floating within these spheres, absent from the enormous pressures that are necessary to crush matter into that state. Our planet has over over 26000 tons of pressure per square inch bearing down on the center from every angle, allowing for such a core; a hollow planet would not. Halley's was a thought experiment, nothing more; it does not represent a physically possible form of planetary development.

Earth mass and volume
75% hollow is hardly unreasonable for most models, especially considering the multiple-shell models face insuperable difficulties with planet formation, even more so than the rest of the hollow spheres.

The problem of density stands. Even Halley's model, which posits a central core but has no mechanism for compressing it, faces a severe density problem; any model with more space has worse issues with reconciling the known density of the earth.

To recap:
We have ample photographic evidence of the unbroken poles. The presence of a hole into the inner void at the north pole would drain the oceans. The speed with which mechanical energy passes though the mantle proves it is not hollow. The presence of magma, volcanic activity, and continental drift defies the ability of the hollow earth model to explain. These models also cannot support a super-dense core, which is necessary to Earth's magnetic field. These models also fail to adequately explain the rebound of large crater floors, and the absence of radial fractures and holes. The Earth's mass/volume is far too great to allow for any significant fraction of it to be hollow.

I thank my opponent, and return him the debate.
-C
Nur-Ab-Sal

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for a fantastic debate.

Seismologic unreliability

My opponent still seems to believe that seismometers are reliable no matter their placement or distance. This argument has never been that seismometers are completely unreliable; obviously, they have assisted in the study of plate tectonics and seismic waves. Their study, as I have shown in my previous rounds, is still extremely limited.

Yes, a seismometer measures speed variations of seismic waves. A thermometer measures temperature through the expansion and diminution of a substance due to heat change.1 However, there are limits to a thermometer’s measuring capacity; an earthly thermometer cannot assess lunar temperature. Likewise, land thermometers cannot calculate the true average surface temperature of the Earth, as the oceans would not be accounted for in the average.

The seismometer is limited in a similar manner – as I have shown, seismometers are restricted to land2 and are unreliable at teleseismic distances.3 The only way to refute this argument was to provide counter-evidence that seismometers do indeed cover the oceans and can measure seismic waves with reasonable precision at extreme distance. My opponent has provided neither; he has reiterated an explanation of seismometer mechanics.

Satellite photographs

This argument stands. My opponent explains the irregularity of the entrance, as well as the rim, as a blunder in photographic development, considering them an artifact of the image. Photographic errors cannot account for the abnormalities I described: artifacts are “random pixels that don’t match their surroundings,”4 a randomness that must persist through the lengthy circumference of the polar entrance. A rim is a much simpler and likelier explanation.

My opponent then avoids defending his very own evidence. He states: “I gave images from satellite photos, two of which were not composites, but direct photographs of the norther section of the earth.” Firstly, this claim is untrue even if they both displayed an intact pole: the second “photograph” was an artificial CGI rendering!5 The article exhibiting the first photo clearly states, “the graphic depiction […] shows Arctic sea ice coverage…”6 My opponent chooses not to provide any counter-evidence, despite the supposed ease he would have.

Crater formation

The argument from crater formation is perhaps the most compelling in favor of a hollow planetary structure. My opponent’s reply here is once again that astroblemes are not visually recorded. My opponent states that magma is what causes the planet to rebound against the impacting object – however, even solid Earth theorists disagree with this statement. In Planetary Sciences, astronomer Imke de Pater states, “shortly after the excavation process ends, the debris remaining in the crater moves downwards and back towards the center, while the crater floor undergoes a rebound…”7 Magma has little to do with crater rebound, and is not a sufficient mechanism to uplift the crater floor.

A hollow Earth is simply more compatible with crateral rebounding. The energy required for such a compressed planetary structure to form a central peak is colossal. The natural rebound of an uncompressed shell, which does not mandate unrealistic energy, is more reasonable than the abnormal compression of a solid Earth. He additionally restates his claim that a collision would punch through the exterior, but does not show how hollow Earth theory absolutely requires a fragile exterior – a thick outer shell is more plausible. Once again, my opponent questions a specific manifestation of hollow Earth theory without attacking the idea of an empty interior as a whole.

Volcanoes, Oceans, and Core

Several claims are made that geographical features are supposedly in conflict with a hollow terrestrial interior. He claims, (1) a hollow Earth would drain magma, but provides no evidence, or evidence as to how a solid Earth would restrict similar drainage, (2) a hollow Earth would have eons ago ended volcanic activity, but similarly refrains from substantiating this statement, and (3) the terrestrial shells would be thin, an erroneous statement that is incorrect for the same reasons listed in response to crateral rebounding.

My opponent rejects Halley’s model because “no conceivable process of planetary evolution could a series [of] concentric spheres form.” We have already agreed that seismometers do not directly image the Earth’s interior, and that impact crater formation is not directly observed. Only a deity could possibily watch as the Earth itself was shaped from a protoplanetary disk – and if one were to accept this refutation as valid, please rethink the refutation of crater development. My opponent also asserts that Halley’s model was “a thought experiment,” despite the fact that the famous scientist “maintained this belief more than thirty years till his death.”8

Earth mass and volume

In Round 1, my opponent defined hollow as follows: “hollow in this case does not refer to the fact that there are caves and mines in the outer part of the crust, but to an alleged vast central space inside making up a significant fraction of the Earth's total volume.” Nowhere did my opponent provide a specific number, percentage, or amount.

Attention must only be drawn to “significant fraction,” which, in subjectivity, could mean anything from an extensive labyrinth of internal tunnels9 to nearly the entire interior.10 The 75% overestimate can be dismissed as a vast overvaluation intended to misrepresent hollow Earth theory. Halley’s model clearly shows a much greater mass than my opponent claims is the theoretical norm among hollow Earth thinkers. Once again, if we presume a more rational percentage of empty space, my opponent’s calculations can be dismissed, as it brings the total density to a realistic amount.

Conclusion

I will review both my arguments in favor of a hollow Earth and my opponent’s arguments in favor of a solid Earth.

My arguments

1. Seismology: Seismometers, which solid Earth theorists employ as evidence for their case, are unreliable in studying the structure of the Earth. I have shown that seismometers fail to provide a complete view of the interior because they are limited in their coverage of the Earth and are untrustworthy at a teleseismic distance.

2. Photographs: While clearly a composite photograph, the perfectly circular blackness one would expect to find from the ESSA hemispheric photo is instead an irregular opening with a visible rim, similar to observable sinkholes. Moreover, the polar photographs my opponent provided were either faulty or computer-generated.

3. Craters: A compressed planetary structure underneath the impact site cannot account for observed central peaks or rings in sizeable craters. Basic physics requires an outer shell for planetary surface rebound and concentric ring expansion.

Opponent’s arguments

1. Topography: My opponent has suggested that geographic features such as oceans and volcanoes present evidence that is contrary to a hollow Earth. Dismissing the fact that these arguments only attack meager manifestations of the theory, the ocean argument fails in that currents are not all polar, but are gravitationally bound to the surface; the volcano argument fails in that a layer of magma and a shelled hollow Earth are compatible.

2. Mathematics: My opponent declared that calculations of telluric quantities such as mass and volume are inconsistent with a hollow Earth. However, my opponent established this entire argument on a subjective overestimate, insisting that 75% vacuity was reasonable. I have shown planetary theories are visually contrary to this approximation, and shift these measurements to a sensible amount.

I will remind voters that the inner Earth does not require an entrance. Any arguments that negate an entrance do not necessarily negate the hollow Earth; arguments that support an entrance do support a hollow Earth.

Thank you.

Sources

http://goo.gl...

Debate Round No. 3
44 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Nur-Ab-Sal 5 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
So what you're saying is Pro lost before the debate began?
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
False arguments are never stronger than a single true argument.
Posted by Ahmed.M 5 years ago
Ahmed.M
>>"The voting is ridiculous. It only takes one proof to win a debate, no matter how much fluff and nonsense is thrown up as distraction. No question that Pro has great potential as a lawyer or politician where distractions can get a win. If there was a category for making something out of nothing, Pro gets all those points. But this was about science. If the earth were hollow, it wold show on seismographs and gravity would be less, end of story."

But debate is about persuasion and who can argue their case better. If Pro's argues his case better, then he should win. Since his arguments were strong the victory should necessarily follow.

a reason or set of reasons given with the aim of persuading others that an action or idea is right or wrong:
there is a strong argument for submitting a formal appeal
[with clause]:
he rejected the argument that keeping the facility would be costly
http://oxforddictionaries.com...
Posted by Nur-Ab-Sal 5 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
That bothers me too, to be honest.
Posted by Chrysippus 5 years ago
Chrysippus
You know, if Nur can sway people to ignore the facts, I'll take my loss. Most of debating is persuasion; and like some people have already said, it is much harder to defend something despite reality than to defend a proven fact.

If he can make black white and white black just by talking about it, he deserves to win.

Now, the people who didn't even think about the debate but voted anyway, those bother me. The fact that 16k and TheOrator have walked away with a false idea of reality bothers me. Losing the debate? not important.
Posted by Nur-Ab-Sal 5 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
RoyLatham, I agree that I don't deserve some of these points.
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
The voting is ridiculous. It only takes one proof to win a debate, no matter how much fluff and nonsense is thrown up as distraction.

No question that Pro has great potential as a lawyer or politician where distractions can get a win. If there was a category for making something out of nothing, Pro gets all those points. But this was about science. If the earth were hollow, it wold show on seismographs and gravity would be less, end of story.
Posted by Nur-Ab-Sal 5 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
Man-is-good, you've probably provided the most truthful RFD yet.

Chrysippus thank you for the compliment. You did very well as well.
Posted by Chrysippus 5 years ago
Chrysippus
In 27 days, 14 hours, and 42 minutes I will be free to tell you about all the arguments that I had but could not fit in because of the character limit. You are just scratching the surface there.
Posted by elvroin_vonn_trazem 5 years ago
elvroin_vonn_trazem
There are some argument points that Con missed.

One is the fact that inside a spherical shell there is no net gravitational force upon any object inside the shell, from the shell. If the Earth contains a hollow <strong>and</strong> something centered inside that hollow, then the object in the hollow will not be able to stay centered, due to <em>external</em> gravitational effects like the Moon. And, once it ends up off-center, its own gravitational force can be detected at the surface. That is, one place on the surface will experience more total gravitation than the rest of the surface; on the opposite side of the Earth from that spot, gravitation will be least strong. Yes, this effect depends on the magnitude of that off-center mass....

Next, on the planet Mercury is the Caloris Basin, a very large impact crater, and on the opposite side of the planet is "weird terrain". The shock-waves from the collision propagated through the planet and messed up the surface royally.

Earth appears to have experienced some similar-type events. One good candidate is the Chixulub crater the Yucatan/Mexico area, and the "Deccan Traps", a vast outpouring of magma in India. See, 65 million years ago, due to plate tectonics. India and Yucatan were on opposite sides of Earth.

Mercury's interior has cooled more than Earth's, since the planets formed --it's smaller. So Mercury got crustal blocks shoved around in its weird terrain, while Earth oozed magma.

Then there are Russia's "Siberian Traps", and the "Vredevoort Ring" in South Africa, both really old. The Columbia Plateau in the Idaho region is another massive outpouring of magma, and while I don't know what large crater might be associated with it, I suspect there is one, somewhere.

This aspect of the Earth wouldn't be possible if it had a hollow core. Because most of the impact-shock waves, needed to open the crust for a magma outpour, pass straight through the planet, not around a shell.
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by AlwaysMoreThanYou 5 years ago
AlwaysMoreThanYou
ChrysippusNur-Ab-SalTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Even if Pro's arguments were wrong, they were still more convincing.
Vote Placed by daytonanerd 5 years ago
daytonanerd
ChrysippusNur-Ab-SalTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Bravo at Pro for not only defending a theory he doesn't believe in, but defending it better than Chrysippus fighting for a universally accepted theory. Bravo.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
ChrysippusNur-Ab-SalTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I will commend Nur-Ab-Sal for his good defense of the hollow earth theory; however, the very fallacy of such a theory undermines Pro's good arguments. Con's arguments were technically scientific sound and had clear scientific reasoning on which conclusions were based; for example, the issue of seismology, in terms of Pro's hands, rests on an odd premise that there must be an exact certitude remote from 'indirectedness'. Moreover, quibbles over the two photographs, the mechanisms of crater...
Vote Placed by ScottyDouglas 5 years ago
ScottyDouglas
ChrysippusNur-Ab-SalTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Made more of a convincing arguement.
Vote Placed by TheOrator 5 years ago
TheOrator
ChrysippusNur-Ab-SalTied
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Reasons for voting decision: pro not only made me change my mi9nd, his argumetns made me completely change my mind on how the earth was formed
Vote Placed by SuburbiaSurvivor 5 years ago
SuburbiaSurvivor
ChrysippusNur-Ab-SalTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro had better sources.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
ChrysippusNur-Ab-SalTied
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Reasons for voting decision: The seismic evidence alone disproves the theory, and the mass requirements for the observed gravity also alone disproves the theory. The debate is interesting in it's demonstration of bad scientfic arguments; the most common is the fallacious notion that anything having less than total precision and complete certainty cannot be relied upon at all.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
ChrysippusNur-Ab-SalTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Very interesting, I thought an easy pro win was in order, but I was wrong. Con adequately showed the topographic argunment was based on only a minor part of the theory and the math was over calculated, and at the same time he was able to hold his own when his argunments where attacked. I found his satellite imagery convincing. I found that awesome. Based on the evidence provided pro ruined my conception of the earth and won the debate in my eyes.