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From dinosaurs to Earth expansion


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I started thinking about the concept of Earth expansion in 1987. I’m one of several individuals who “discovered” the concept for themselves, only to find that many others had discovered it long before me.
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• VIII •
From dinosaurs to Earth expansion
Stephen W. Hurrell
I started thinking about the concept of Earth expansion in 1987.
I’m one of several individuals who “discovered” the concept for
themselves, only to find that many others had discovered it long
before me.
Looking back at all the science articles and books written about
Earth expansion it seems strange to think that I had neither read nor
heard anything about the Earth expansion concept in 1987. Although
I was a well-read individual in most science subjects, regularly reading
popular science journals like Nature and Science, the theory of Earth
expansion and the scientists who supported the concept were
completely unknown to me. Perhaps that’s not surprising, since the
concept of Earth expansion was rarely mentioned in popular science
journals. Most of the articles were in obscure science publications only
read by a few specialists. All this meant that the concept of Earth
expansion was virtually unknown to countless people in the late 1980s.
Scale effects save my job
My discovery of Earth expansion was by a most unusual route. I wasn’t
trained in geology but as a design engineer, and I believe it was this
training that provided a unique introduction to Earth expansion.
Technical Drawing was my favourite subject in school and it was
obvious that I should become an engineering designer, or a
“draughtsman” to use the job description of the time. By the late 1970s
I was a twenty-one year old starting a career in engineering design.
It was in the design office that older professionals began to teach me
the value of the difference between academic learning and practical
experience. As a young designer I was relatively academic and would
The Hidden History of Earth Expansion
often use calculations of one sort or another to help me design a
particular project. The Section Leaders at BNFL1 soon taught me to
be wary of reliance on calculations. While still in my early twenties I’d
been given the task of designing the supports for a large pipework
system and began to tackle the job with all my academic training. I
produced the calculations, checked them, and promptly had them
rejected as wrong! I had overlooked the fact that maintenance staff
might stand on the pipe (even if they shouldn’t) so I needed to design
it for that requirement. My initial assumptions about the forces
involved were simply wrong because I had failed to consider all the
factors involved. This lesson about considering design in a more
holistic fashion stood me in good stead over the coming years and I
soon began to notice this conflict between purely academic
calculations and the more practical approach.
By 1987 I had moved on to become a Design Engineer at the
Electricity Council Research Centre in the UK. Adopting the more
practical engineering approach resulted in several memorable
disagreements with the academic research scientists. I particularly
remember one time I had calculated that an electric motor needed to
be a specific kilowatt rating to pump some molten zinc. The scientist
leading the team had carefully calculated the amount of energy
needed to lift that amount of zinc and concluded the motor only
needed to be a quarter of the power I had specified. He told me to
reduce the size of the motor and seemed very surprised when I
refused. He had after all obtained his doctorate in physics so his
calculations were beyond reproach. My view from experience was that
extra power was needed to overcome the initial starting torque of the
motor and pump so I wasn’t going to design something that wouldn’t
work. The discussion soon reached an impasse and the final decision
about the size of the motor was passed to our superiors who eventually
agreed with me by opting for the larger motor. As they diplomatically
explained to the lead scientist this was “just to be on the safe side”.
This conflict between the scientists and the engineers in the Research
Centre was a common theme. Most scientists thought that the
engineers were just being awkward, had too much power, and needed
to be controlled by the scientists. We just thought we were doing our
Years later I recognised the same sort of conflict between practice
and theory happening in geology and physics. Geologists tend to be
practical “boots on the ground” sort of people while physicists tend to
rely on more theoretical considerations. A good geophysicist needs to
combine both.
1 British Nuclear Fuels Ltd. (BNFL)
• VIII • From dinosaurs to Earth expansion
These experiences all had a profound effect on how I viewed the
world of science. As a young man I would have probably granted that
all scientists should be given the highest level of deference but by 1987
I was more circumspect. Scientists could easily be just as wrong as
anybody else. I certainly thought we should all trust our own
judgment as far as possible.
One highly relevant experience I had as an engineer directly
concerned scale effects that were soon to be so crucial to my ideas
about palaeogravity1 and Earth expansion. Not long after I had
joined the Electricity Research Centre the funding had been reduced
and it seemed a real possibility that I might need to find a new
employer. This looked even more likely after the science manager in
one department told me he didn’t see what I did for his teams and I
was gradually removed from most of the projects in that division. It
seemed he thought that the scientists and technicians could function
just as well without a design engineer. For a time it appeared that I
would certainly be made redundant. But events took another
unexpected turn as I was urgently called down to offer some advice on
a machine that worked well as a small scale model but didn’t work at
all as a full-sized industrial unit. What could be the problem?
It was immediately obvious what the problem was when I looked at
it, since it was a surprisingly naive error. The scientists and the
technicians had simply scaled-up the small model to a larger size
without any thought of scale effects. Now scale effects are very relevant
to engineering in general and even more so in research. When you try
to convert small size laboratory research machines into much larger
industrial machines the effect of scale can cause all sorts of problems.
If you copy a small machine and reproduce it as another unit twice as
big there is no guarantee the larger one will still work. This is because
although the large machine is twice the linear size the area will be four
times larger and the volume will be eight times larger. For heat flows
for example, this difference in scale means that a condenser will not
work on the large machine when it worked perfectly well on the small
one. The stress within a supporting member can be even more critical
since a beam that could easily support the mass of the smaller machine
could buckle and fail when scaled up on the larger machine. All this
was immediately obvious to me. They had simply forgotten the scale
effect. However, it was fortunate for me because I was soon reinstated
as part of the science teams in that department and the threat of
redundancy was lifted for several years.
1 Palaeogravity is the force of the Earth’s surface gravity in the past.
The Hidden History of Earth Expansion
My Eureka Moment
These scale effects were also to figure largely in my thoughts about
palaeogravity and would eventually allow me to stumble across the
expanding Earth concept by this obscure route. By late 1987 I had
designed many engineering structures and was well aware of scale
effects. Our three dimensional world sets limits on both man’s and
nature’s creations so everything is limited in size by scale effects. The
weight of an object is proportional to its volume (three dimensional)
but the strength is proportional to its area (two dimensional). This
means that as any object increases in size its volume is cubed while its
area is only squared. The volume, and hence weight, of any object
increase faster than the area, and hence strength. This scale effect is
the fundamental reason that both man’s and nature’s creations are
limited in size. All land animals are limited in size by this scale effect.
But if all animals are limited in size by this scale effect then how do we
explain the gigantic size of dinosaurs that were so much larger than
present life?
I began considering this problem of the dinosaurs’ large size in
detail during a lazy beach holiday in Portugal. One idea that seemed
to present a possible solution for dinosaurs’ large size was that gravity
was less on the ancient Earth. It’s relatively easy to calculate how big
life would become in a reduced gravity so I soon calculated that
surface gravity would need to be about half its present value to enable
dinosaurs to achieve the size they had. I was sufficiently scientifically
literate to know that the popular view was that surface gravity was the
same on the ancient Earth as it was now. How could surface gravity
change on the ancient Earth? One possible solution was that the
ancient Earth was smaller with a reduced mass and gravity. This
concept of a smaller less massive planet seemed obvious to me because
the Moon, Mars and Venus are smaller with less gravity. I could even
roughly calculate that the smaller Earth would be about half its present
diameter based on the relative size of ancient life. I reasoned that
maybe the Earth was smaller some 150 million years ago and had
gradually increased in size, perhaps by the gradual accretion of
meteorites and comets. I’d never heard of any suggestion that this
might be the case so I became one of a number of people who thought
of the concept of Earth expansion without realizing that others had
already explored this idea in great detail before.
After I returned home I researched into geology at my local library
and began to slowly hunt for references indicating that the ancient
Earth might be smaller. There was of course no internet at that time
so a search through the geological textbooks was the only method
• VIII • From dinosaurs to Earth expansion
available. I started with my concept that the ancient Earth was smaller
and looked for any references that could be related to this in the
geological dictionaries.
Many of the geological reference books didn’t mention any concept
of a smaller diameter Earth at all. The McGraw Hill Dictionary of
Earth Science is typical of those reference books: it claimed to have
“more than 10,000 essential terms” that covered “every discipline of
Earth Science” but failed to indicate that anyone had ever considered
that the Earth had been smaller in the past.
Eventually I managed to find the term “Expanding Earth” in a few
geological books. The sort of passage I managed to find went
something like this:
Expanding Earth: A hypothesis which was strongly supported by
Warren Carey, but which was first proposed by M. R. Mantovani in
1907, and raised again in the 1930s by Hilgenbirg (sic) and others.
It holds that the diameter of the Earth has increased with time,
fragmenting the continents and causing the growth of ocean basins
at spreading axes (ridges). A conference to discuss the idea was
hosted by Carey at Hobart, Tasmania, in 1956.1
A Dictionary of Geology and Earth Sciences (Oxford Reference)2 published
in 2013 has virtually the same passage except it now gives the dates of
birth and death of Carey. It still misspells Hilgenberg. But even
though this reference was minimal it was sufficient to enable me to
begin my research in earnest.
The passage was misleading in several ways. Firstly, the 1956
conference wasn’t an expanding Earth conference but a Continental
Drift Symposium (although Carey did introduce his concept of
expansion in a chapter3 of the 1958 book issued to accompany the
symposium). Secondly, there was no indication that papers or books
were still being written about Earth expansion. There was no mention
of any of Carey’s books or any other author. The overwhelming
impression this and other similar references gave me at the time was
that this was an old idea that had been very briefly considered in the
1950s but soon discounted. This belief that the idea was virtually dead
is something that I now know was completely wrong, but at the time I
1 N.B. This passage contains several errors. The concept of Earth expansion had
certainly been proposed by the 1850s by a number of people. Drayson and Thorp
even presented a talk about it to the Yorkshire Geological Society in 1859 (See
Hurrell (2017) for more details). Hilgenberg is misspelt and the 1956 conference
discussed Continental Drift, not Earth expansion.
2 Allaby (2013).
3 Carey (1958).
The Hidden History of Earth Expansion
had no reason to doubt the science textbooks, although it did mislead
me for some time.
I was fortunate that the librarians at my local library were very
helpful with my continuing “esoteric search” about expansion, as one
of them liked to call it, and as months became years I slowly managed
to build up a more complete picture of the history of the Expanding
Earth theory. This was a long-winded process. Having found a
reference to expansion I would ask for a copy of the paper or book to
be delivered to the library within the next few weeks. This reference
might generate a new lead and I could ask for yet another document.
Fortunately the librarians seemed to treat my constant requests for
strange documents from other libraries as an intellectual challenge
and appeared to enjoy searching for them. But it did take an
inordinately long time. Months soon turned into years.
Despite the best efforts of the helpful librarians the results of my
research also proved to be extremely patchy. I never located copies of
either of the two books1 Carey had written by then. It is particularly
surprising that I never located his second book which had only been
published in 1988 - I was to remain ignorant of it for a number of
years. Most of the German researches weren’t available to me either
and even when I eventually found the correct spelling of Hilgenberg’s
name I was still thwarted: the British Library reported that copies of
his book2 from two different locations had disappeared. One book3
that I did manage to locate was by the German Professor of Physics at
the University of Hamburg, Pascual Jordan, which had been
translated into English in 1973.
Fortunately there was also a British expansionist, Dr. Hugh Owen4,
who had published widely. By far the most information I managed to
obtain at the time was by this British palaeontologist who was working
at the Natural History Museum in London. He had written a number
of articles about expansion and I was especially interested in his book,
Atlas of Continental displacement5, reconstructing numerous globes at
different stages of expansion. These globes had been set alongside
reconstructions of the continents on a Plate Tectonic Earth that had
remained constant for the last 200 million years, allowing the merits
of both concepts to be compared.
Whilst I was continuing my slow research into the expanding Earth
theory I also continued to refine my own estimates of palaeogravity.
1 Carey (1976) and Carey (1988).
2 Hilgenberg (1933).
3 Jordan (1973).
4 See also the chapter by Hugh G. Owen.
5 Owen (1983).
• VIII • From dinosaurs to Earth expansion
Thus the enforced delay in establishing the exact details of the
expanding Earth had the positive effect that I could establish estimates
of palaeogravity completely independently of any previous thoughts
about the expanding Earth. One of the first methods I used was to
refine the technique of comparing relative scale of prehistoric life to
present day life. In theory, once it is accepted that all life is limited in
size by the force of gravity, it is relatively easy to calculate that a
reduction in gravity will allow life to become larger by a set amount.
So if we image all present day life evolving on another planet with only
half the gravity then all the life would need to be twice the linear size
to follow the same lifestyle with the same athletic ability. If we were to
assume that the dinosaurs were similar in lifestyle to present-day life
we could also assume that the largest of the dinosaurs were similar to
elephants in athletic ability to enable a calculation of palaeogravity.
Other smaller dinosaurs were obviously more athletic than the large
dinosaurs so these needed to be compared to present-day animals that
were dynamically similar to them. An obvious example was the
Triceratops dinosaur. This looks so similar to the rhinoceros that it is
easy to imagine they both followed a very similar lifestyle and were
dynamically similar. Being the size of an elephant, Triceratops is a much
larger animal than the rhinoceros but the reduced gravity allows it to
move more readily with a greater athletic ability than any elephant.
Using the dynamic similarity method I was once again able to
calculate palaeogravity was roughly half its present value during the
dinosaurs’ time. I was also able to use this method with life from the
Carboniferous, about 300 million years ago, and life after the
dinosaurs when a range of supergiant mammals evolved. These results
indicated that palaeogravity had been gradually increasing over
hundreds of millions of years.
Meanwhile my research into the expanding Earth theory was
beginning to show some results. One of the most fascinating aspects of
these early researches was that estimates of the expansion agreed with
my own rough estimates even though the other expansionists used
completely different logic and reasoning. Earth expansionists believed
the Earth could have expanded based on the geological evidence; I
had estimated a similar amount of expansion based on
palaeontological evidence of ancient life. This was a strong indication
that they were related. They were simply different aspects of the same
It was also clear that there were many different versions of
expansion. There was slow expansion that only suggested a small
amount of expansion; and fast expansion that suggested the Earth
had doubled in diameter over nearly two hundred million years since
The Hidden History of Earth Expansion
the beginning of the dinosaurs’ time. There were also various
suggestions why this expansion might be occurring. The first group of
suggestions could be loosely lumped into constant mass models where
the mass of the Earth stayed the same while the Earth expanded - due
to a change of Universal Gravity1 or some sort of phase change of the
materials within the Earth. The second group concerned increasing
mass models where the mass of the Earth grew to increase both the
size and mass of the Earth.
In 1994 Marie Tharp recalled that the 1960s version of expansion
was mainly rejected because most people believed it was just
impossible for physical reasons. Because the Earth was supposed to be
cooling off it should be shrinking, and getting all wrinkled, as it
shrunk: not getting bigger. Also Universal Gravity couldn’t have
changed enough to cause the expansion. Certainly this is the same
general view I acquired in the early 1990s about the expansion
concept. But there is one critical point about these objections. They
are all only relevant to the concept of a constant mass expanding
Earth. Once we realize that expansion must be due to an increase in
mass the old 1960s objections become irrelevant.
I quickly grasped that my work on the relative size of ancient life
could resolve this debate because only one model could explain why
palaeogravity had increased over time. If I was right, only relatively
fast expansion caused by an increasing mass could explain the
increasing palaeogravity I was seeing recorded in the fossils of ancient
life. By the early 1990s I had realised that this information would
advance the expanding Earth theory considerably by ruling out
invalid models.
A reduced palaeogravity explained a number of seeming paradoxes
about prehistoric life. Dinosaurs in particular appeared to follow a
lifestyle much too active for their size. Calculations indicated their
bones were too weak, blood pressure too high and they would be
unable to run even if they looked like the should. The problems
concerning their large size, high blood pressure, weak bones,
ligaments and muscles had generated a large number of ad hoc
theories totally unrelated to one another. The trouble with these
theories is that they have no predictive power since they are only
formulated to explain a restricted set of facts. In contrast the one
theory of reduced gravity resolved all the different problems that had
been assumed to be unrelated to each other. These were all important
clarifications for science, so in the early 1990s I began to attempt to
publish my results in a science journal.
1 Note that Universal Gravity (big G) is not the same as the Earth’s surface
gravity (small g).
• VIII • From dinosaurs to Earth expansion
Early rejections
The editors of science journals regularly receive submissions that
claim a discovery that will revolutionize all of science. These are
usually discarded without much further thought unless they come
from an established scientific authority. My own thoughts about
palaeogravity could easily be considered in that light. It claimed a
revolutionary advance in science and it also came from a scientific
outsider. I didn’t have high hopes that it would be published.
In order to try to avoid this averse depiction I wrote my first paper
in very simple terms and kept my claims to an absolute minimum,
trying to avoid any claim of a science revolution. I described how
palaeogravity was nearly always believed to be the same as present
gravity but a belief isn’t science. It should, however, be possible to
scientifically calculate palaeogravity using several differing methods.
There were only three possible results of these calculations:
(1) palaeogravity was the same as at present,
(2) palaeogravity was greater,
(3) palaeogravity was less.
After describing how to calculate palaeogravity I presented the
“outrageous” answer that gravity during the dinosaurs’ time seemed
to be about half its present value based on these calculations. I then
presented a number of different methods of calculating palaeogravity
that all gave similar results. Having produced this first manuscript, I
then began a very long term activity of submitting it to a number of
likely science periodicals. This first manuscript was rejected several
weeks later with comments about the reason for rejection. Using these
comments I modified the article in an effort to make it more
acceptable. Continuing rejections and subsequent modifications
resulted in several different versions of the article. Some articles
removed the admission that it was “outrageous” to suggest that
palaeogravity was so much smaller, others added a general discussion
of how it might have varied and still others gave a detailed description
of the increasing mass expanding Earth theory and how this also
predicted a reduced gravity. But however I presented the evidence the
answer was always the same: a very definite no, this is impossible. In
the early 1990s it seemed likely that the concept of an ancient reduced
surface gravity was going to be strangled at birth.
These editors believed surface gravity had never varied. They had
forgotten that it’s not just what you don’t know that causes problems
in science. It’s also what you think you know for sure that just isn’t true.
The Hidden History of Earth Expansion
Eventually I came to realize that science editors have a
fundamentally different outlook from science innovators. My outlook
on the “outrageous” indications that palaeogravity was reduced was
one of curiosity. I wondered if this evidence was real or if there was
some other explanation. Could gravity really have been so much less,
as indicated by the evidence, and if so, how? I saw in these questions a
shiny new stone on the shore of a great undiscovered sea of science.
Naturally I wanted to show others this new and shiny stone. The
science editors didn’t share my views. They seemed to think that
nearly everything worthwhile had already been discovered and they
were custodians of that knowledge. There was no room, in their view,
for a new mystery that might take science in a completely new and
unexpected direction. Only papers that fitted this known view of
science could, and would, be allowed. Any new discoveries would tend
to be minor ones that supported what was already known. Even these
minor discoveries would be made by established scientists - it certainly
wouldn’t come from an unknown engineer.
On the other side of the Atlantic, in the USA, William Erickson1 had
already had his articles about reduced gravity rejected by various
1 See also the chapter by William Erickson.
Fig 1. A typical rejection letter
from the early 1990s. This is
for one of the early articles
outlining the evidence that the
Earth’s surface gravity was less
in the past. Like most other
rejection letters, the associate
editor of the science journal
Nature was clearly struggling to
see the significance of the
evidence I presented for an
ancient reduced surface gravity.
• VIII • From dinosaurs to Earth expansion
science journals, although we didn’t discover the close correlation in
our experiences until about a decade later. I have a copy of one of his
papers downloaded in December 2003 so I would guess we made
contact shortly before then. It transpired that we had both followed
similar lines of reasoning, using almost the same reference materials
to reach our conclusions, only to have our work rejected by the science
My book is born
After all this rejection a few more years had passed and it was now the
early 1990s. I had managed to find a contact telephone number for Dr.
Hugh Owen at the Natural History Museum and while discussing
expansion in general I mentioned the problem of publishing in
science journals. He was quick to suggest that I should simply ignore
the science periodicals and publish a book. At first I wasn’t sure if this
was something I really wanted to do. It sounded like a lot of work and
I thought it would likely only sell a few copies anyway. As far as I could
tell at that time there only seemed to be about a dozen people at most
who would be interested in this concept. But as I considered the
possibility of writing a book it occurred to me that I already had much
of the material I needed in the various versions of the rejected
manuscripts sent to the science journals. Also, a few dozen copies of
the book could be produced with the technology of the time with
relative ease. Soon I found a local bookbinder with the correct
equipment and my books were ready. There was no need to stop
sending my various manuscripts to science periodicals either, since this
only entailed a minimum of effort once every several weeks, so I could
easily do both. So this suggestion from Hugh Owen eventually
resulted in the first edition of Dinosaurs and the Expanding Earth1 being
published in August 1994.
The initial response to my book was very positive and I was soon
finding that I was being contacted by people from all over the world
with comments about palaeogravity and its implications for Earth
expansion. It was soon evident that I had badly underestimated the
interest in a publication about this subject and I began to produce
more books to keep up with the orders. Nonetheless I had only
scratched the surface of the full extent of the interest in the subject. If
anyone could have told me at the time that my book would still be
selling and gaining converts over twenty-five years later I wouldn’t
1 Hurrell (1994).
The Hidden History of Earth Expansion
have believed them. Yet that is exactly what has happened. The third
edition of my book1 is still selling.
When the book was first published there was a general lack of
knowledge about Earth expansion amongst a generation of scientists
educated in the early 1990s. After joining the local Geological Society
I asked some of the geological graduates what they knew about the
Earth expansion theory. The more recently graduated knew nothing
about it. The older generation vaguely recalled the theory. Of course
now, with the internet, it has all changed and I would be very
surprised if any modern day geological student was unaware of the
theory of Earth expansion. They probably know a lot more than their
The 21st century dawns
The 21st century opened with a very pleasant surprise for me. I had
previously come across a copy of Professor Carey’s latest book2,Earth,
Universe, Cosmos, uploaded to the internet by David Ford, but that was
only a first edition copy. After I had read some of the professor’s new
book on the internet I bought a copy from the University of Tasmania
in June 2000.
As far as I was aware at that time, Carey had never heard about me
or my thoughts about dinosaurs and gravity, so I was delighted to find
he had included me in the updated edition of his book3. This second
edition, which had only just been published in March 2000, now
included a new section about dinosaurs and gravity. It also referenced
me in several other places.
The section about the effect of gravity on dinosaurs covered nearly
a page. Part of the text in Carey’s book explained:
“Mesozoic dinosaurs could not have existed with present surface
gravity, nor would have bat-like pterosaurs with 12 metre wing
spans. Engineers (Hurrell, 1994) have shown that dinosaurs’ bones
could not have borne their weight …
The size of dinosaurs peaked in the Jurassic with Diplodocus,
Brontosaurus, and flying reptiles like Quetzalcoatlus. By the mid-
Cretaceous Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus rex were much smaller,
although still huge. Oligocene animals were much smaller although
very much larger than their modern relatives. Birds became lighter
1 Hurrell (2011).
2 Carey (1996).
3 Carey (2000).
• VIII • From dinosaurs to Earth expansion
from the heavy-boned Archaeopteryx and the bird-like Iguanodon to
much lighter modern birds.”1
Carey was basically endorsing my own thoughts about palaeogravity.
One of Carey’s former students, John Davidson, told me later that he
had given Carey his own copy of my book in the late 1990s. One
interesting point here is that William Erickson found that Carey didn’t
believe that gravity could have been less when he contacted him in
1982. Clearly he had changed his mind by 2000.
I was also able to discover some of those specialist publications that
allowed the discussion of Earth expansion and palaeogravity. One
journal that encouraged articles about Earth expansion was the New
Concepts in Global Tectonics (NCGT) Journal. It was originally
initiated after a discussion at the symposium Alternative Theories to
Plate Tectonics” held in 1996 at the 30th International Geological
Congress in Beijing. Over the coming years it featured many
interesting articles discussing some of the problems with plate
tectonics. One of my own articles2 was published in 2014 and
produced much interesting discussion from readers.
Earth expansion Science Conferences
Earth expansion has been discussed at numerous scientific
conferences. There have even been a few conferences hosted
specifically to discuss Earth expansion. Many of these passed me by
but I remember seeing the Why Expanding Earth? conference
advertised on the internet in the early 2000s. In the end I didn’t
attend but Giancarlo Scalera sent me the 2003 book3 of published
papers from the conference. I did attend the week-long conference,
The Earth Expansion Evidence, held in Erice, Sicily in 2011 and have
many fond memories of it. James Maxlow4 and his wife Anita had
travelled all the way from Australia to attend. We had corresponded
so frequently via email it was just like meeting an old friend. Klaus
Vogel, who is well known for constructing many globes illustrating
Earth expansion, was well into his eighties but enthusiastically
described to me how he had just started looking at how the Chicxulub
impact crater might affect his reconstructions. I was also able to discuss
details of Earth expansion with Giancarlo Scalera, Jan Koviar, Stefan
Cwojdzinñski, Richard Guy, Vedat Shehu and many others.5 Ramin
1 Carey (2000) p 131.
2 See Hurrell (2014).
3 See Scalera & Jacob (2003).
4 See also the chapter by James Maxlow.
The Hidden History of Earth Expansion
Amirmardfar had brought his friend with him to act as an Iranian
interpreter. There were more than thirty participants so it’s impossible
to mention everyone. Perhaps the most constructive periods were the
meals after the presentations when we all discussed various aspects of
expansion. I remember that this period of enthusiasm continued for
some time after we returned home with even more emails than normal
being exchanged.
There were three presentations about palaeogravity at the
conference. I presented the first lecture, followed by Ramin
Amirmardfar and then Carl Strutinski.1 These three lectures were
later written up and published2 in the conference book3. I was
unaware that Carl Strutinski was interested in palaeogravity before the
conference but since then we have had many interesting discussions.
Carl was also able to resolve something that I had been puzzling about
5 See also the chapters by Jan Koviar, Stefan Cwojdzinñski, Richard Guy and
Vedat Shehu.
1 See also the chapter by Carl Strutinski.
2 Hurrell (2012), Amirmardfar (2012) and Strutinski (2012).
3 Boschi, Cwojdzinski & Scalera (2012).
Fig 2. From left to right: Carl Strutinski, Ramin Amirmardfar and the author, who all
presented talks about the effect of palaeogravity on Earth expansion during the 2011 Earth
expansion conference held in Sicily.
• VIII • From dinosaurs to Earth expansion
since the late 1990s. Around that time John Davidson had sent me the
cover of an old book, Das Wachsen Der Erde1, written by Ludwig Kort.
On the cover was a picture of a dinosaur seemingly related to an
expanding Earth. Was this an early discussion of reduced gravity?
John didn’t know and I couldn’t find any more details. Over a decade
later Carl was finally able to confirm that in 1949 Kort did propose
that ancient gravity was less.2
The internet
One of the most profound influences for everyone has been the
internet. When I think back to the difficulty I had with even finding
references to Earth expansion in the late 1980s it seems like a different
world. It was a different world. Today I can enter the search term
“Earth Expansion” and be given multiple references to read. One of
those results is my own website3, which has links to numerous scientific
papers published in science journals, many made freely available by
the authors. The internet links us to science papers and websites galore.
The internet has evolved slowly over the years. At first there were
mainly emails. Looking through the emails from the late 1990s recalls
many names: Ben Berends, Bas den Brok, John Davidson, John
Mann, Bill Hokenberger, Karl Luckert, James Maxlow, David Ford,
Edwin Myers, Larry Myers, Charles Stewart, Henry Gwillim, Ted
Holden, Ray Peat, Mark Reinhold, Duff Smith, Bob Tuttle, Jozef
1 Kort (1949).
2 See Strutinski (2012) for more details.
Fig 3. One of the meals at the 2011 Earth expansion conference were various aspects of
Earth expansion continued to be discussed. The left hand picture shows Anita and James
Maxlow. The author and Richard Guy are in the foreground of the right hand picture.
The Hidden History of Earth Expansion
Verhulst, Niels Westh, Don Burnett. Some have drifted away but
others have become firm friends (if only in the virtual world). One
email I received on the 9th September 1999 was from James Maxlow.
He had found my web site and went on to say.
“Your dinosaur information cleared up a very contentious issue for
me redarding whether the Earth is expanding under conditions of
constant mass, or increasing mass. After reading your web site I
checked my mathematical modelling today and discovered that
under conditions of mass increase the surface gravity during the
Permian was about 50% what it is today, precisely what you are
suggesting. Prior to this I had been erring towards a constant mass
scenario because of the, what I thought was an, unacceptable
increase in mass for the future.”1
These sentiments were exactly what I had hoped to achieve and we
soon exchanged our respective books. Whilst email allowed us to easily
contact each other the amount of data was limited so a lot of
information was still sent via surface mail. In the 1990s Larry Myers
would send me many physical copies of different articles he had
written, while James Maxlow would send me DVDs of his Earth
expansion globes. A very early method of exchanging information was
by bulletin boards, a sort of crude version of a website blog page.
Eventually much of this information was transferred onto websites,
Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as the technology developed.
One person who has been highly successful with promoting Earth
expansion on the internet is Neal Adams. His 2005 video, Science: 01 -
Conspiracy: Earth is Growing!2, has been viewed more than 2.2 million
times on YouTube alone. Jeff Ogrisseg, a science writer, is only one of
many people who credit these videos for their initial interest in Earth
expansion. In 2009 he wrote a three page article3 about the
Expanding Earth for the Japan Times.
Another person who was introduced to Earth expansion by the
internet was Andrew Johnson, an Open University lecturer. He
became so interested he began to deliver talks about Earth expansion
at various venues around the UK. I met up with him in 2012 while he
presented a talk in Blackpool. There were also printed copies of his
talk, The Earth… …but not as we know it, (something he would later
publish in book4 form) and James Maxlow’s article, Expansion Tectonics
– an overview5, available on a table at the back of the room. A few years
1 Maxlow personal communication 09/09/99.
3 Ogrisseg (2009).
4 Johnson (2019).
• VIII • From dinosaurs to Earth expansion
later, in 2015, Andrew Johnson interviewed Neal Adams about the
Growing Earth theory and made the interview freely available on
YouTube. In that interview Adams explained that Earth expansion
needs to be called a Growing Earth instead of an Expanding Earth
since there is mass increase. The interview covered the mass increase
by “pair production”, his 2005 YouTube reconstructions and why they
so closely match the reconstructions of James Maxlow and Klaus Vogel
with identical exponential expansion. His long-term interest started
with Prof. Carey’s concept of expansion over 30 years ago. He agreed
that gravity must have been less during the dinosaurs’ time as
described in my book - T. rex evolved to run and it can only run in a
reduced gravity. And so the concept of Earth expansion is slowly
passed on.
The internet has enabled me to be interviewed by people like the
journalist Greg Moffitt on his Legalise Freedom program and David
de Hilster on his Dissident Science channel. One particularly pleasant
surprise was a video about Prof. Carey, Planet Earth: A Question Of
Expansion1. This was an illustrated presentation with Carey describing
his long held theory that the Earth’s expansion provides an
explanation of continental drift and other geological phenomena. It
had been produced and distributed by the Tasmanian Film
Corporation in 1982 but had been virtually forgotten until the
Libraries of Tasmania put it on YouTube in 2017.
Not everyone is happy with this freedom of information. When
Wikipedia launched a web page about the Expanding Earth there was
a “call to arms” by some supporters of the rival theory of plate
tectonics. They began “tidying up” the Expanding Earth page with a
number of savage cuts beginning in June 2010. First one cut and then
another removed any reference to palaeogravity or why the latest
evidence indicated that Earth expansion must be caused by mass
increase. By October 2010 the “improvement” had been the gradual
deletion of any evidence in support of the Earth expansion theory and
elimination of references to modern scientists developing it further.
References to articles by the well-known expansionists, Giancarlo
Scalera, James Maxlow, Stavros Tassos and others had been removed.
The scientific evidence for a variation in palaeogravity had been
removed completely. Later, Wikipedia editors opposed to Earth
expansion deliberately deleted the page on Wikipedia describing the
work of the celebrated German scientist Ott Christoph Hilgenberg,
one of the founders of the expanding Earth theory.
The Hidden History of Earth Expansion
One place that prides itself on its scientific approach is the Geological
Society of London. This institution was inaugurated in 1807 and has
a long history of debating controversial geological topics. During its
time the society’s members have debated innovative geological ideas
like the age of the Earth, Ice Ages and continental displacement while
other people mostly ignored the subjects. During his presidential
address in 1953, George Martin Lees highlighted the poor fit of South
America-Africa as one of the crucial reasons to reject the controversial
theory of continental displacement. The Australian geologist S.
Warren Carey countered that the fit was very good and in 1955 the
Geological Society published1 Carey’s South American-African
assembly proving the point. Over a decade later a computer fit based
on Carey’s reconstruction was published - it became widely known as
the Bullard Fit. Nowadays that same reconstruction is published in
virtually every modern geological textbook as evidence for continental
drift (known today as plate tectonics). With such a long history of
debate it’s no surprise that the Geological Society hosted a debate2
about Earth expansion in January 1979. In 2016 they returned to the
subject when they published Professor Stefan Cwojdziñski’s article3
discussing Earth expansion. The concept of Earth expansion is one of
the most long-running controversial geoscience topics still being
debated by serious scientists.
Final thoughts
Today I am mostly involved with trying to generate the most accurate
estimates of palaeogravity. The method showing the greatest promise
is the weight-mass method. This compares the weight of a dinosaur
(estimated from their leg bone dimensions) against their mass
(estimated from the volume of their bodies), enabling the calculation
of palaeogravity at various times in the past. It is giving the most
1 Carey (1955).
2 On the 17 January 1979, the Geological Society of London and the Association
for Geophysics hosted a joint meeting entitled: An expanding Earth? The meeting
was a debate about the geological evidence for expansion by four speakers who
had been chosen to present a balanced view of the evidence. The first talk by A.
D. Stewart was; Quantitative limits to palaeoradius. The second talk was by S.
Warren Carey; The expanding Earth. Keith Runcorn gave the third talk; A
geophysicist’s view of the expanding Earth hypothesis. The final talk presented
was by Hugh G. Owen; Ocean-floor spreading patterns do not support the
constant dimensions Earth.
3Cwojdziñski (2016).
• VIII • From dinosaurs to Earth expansion
Fig 4. Graph showing slowly increasing palaeogravity over time, based on weight and mass
estimates of prehistoric life. Coelophysis: 0.42g and 0.44g at 210 Ma, Megalosaurus:
0.51g at 167 Ma, Giraffatitan: 0.54g at 152 Ma, Acrocanthosaurus: 0.54g at 113 Ma,
Gigantoraptor: 0.61g at 80 Ma, Euoplocephalus: 0.65g at 76 Ma, Tyrannosaurus rex:
0.67g, 0.66g, 0.61g, and 0.64g at 67 Ma, Ankylosaurus: 0.69g at 67Ma and
Paraceratherium: 0.73g, 0.81g and 0.85g at 29 Ma. See Hurrell (2018) and Hurrell
(2019a to 2019h) for complete details.
accurate values of palaeogravity yet and the results are being made
freely available on my website and elsewhere as I produce them.
The application of this weight-mass technique to four specimens of
Tyrannosaurus rex, representing some of the most complete theropod
dinosaur skeletons known, provides us with a reasonably accurate
value of palaeogravity when they lived. For the four Tyrannosaurus rex
specimens “Carnegie” CMNH 9380, “Wankel rex” MOR 555, “Stan”
BHI 3033 and “Sue” FMNH PR 2081, the results indicate that a
palaeogravity of 0.67g, 0.66g, 0.61g, and 0.64g respectively are
reliable estimates for 67 million years ago.
Using this weight-mass technique allows me to push the
palaeogravity calculations back in time to one of the very first
dinosaurs, Coelophysis. Two specimens of this animal allow us to predict
palaeogravities of approximately 0.42g and 0.44g at 210 million years
ago (Ma). Other animals produce a range of palaeogravity estimates:
Megalosaurus predicts 0.51g at 167 Ma, Giraffatitan predicts 0.54g at
152 Ma, Acrocanthosaurus predicts 0.54g at 113 Ma, Gigantoraptor
predicts 0.61g at 80 Ma, Euoplocephalus predicts 0.65g at 76 Ma,
Ankylosaurus predicts 0.69g at 67Ma and Paraceratherium predicts
The Hidden History of Earth Expansion
0.73g, 0.81g and 0.85g at 29 Ma. Plotting all these results, as shown in
Fig. 4, indicates that palaeogravity has been slowly increasing to its
present-day value.
Looking back over the years I don’t feel my evidence for an ancient
reduced gravity has changed substantially. In 1992 my article to the
science journal Nature was entitled, “Was gravity less when the
dinosaurs were alive?”. In 2019 my 10 minute talk to the Liverpool
Geological Society was entitled, “Can we calculate palaeogravity?”,
detailing some of my latest estimates for palaeogravity using the
weight-mass method. I intend to give a very similar talk at the Polish
Geological Congress in June 2020. What has changed significantly is
that whereas science editors struggled to see any relevance for my
evidence in the 1990s, today people are starting to agree that the
evidence does indicate gravity was less in the past. Perhaps in another
30 years virtually everyone will agree it is obvious.
About the Contributor
Stephen W. Hurrell was a Design Engineer
working at the UK’s Electricity Research Centre
when he first became interested in the structural
strength of dinosaurs. This developed into the
concept of a Reduced Gravity Earth and a life
long interest in developing various methods to
calculate palaeogravity. He has interacted with
many Earth expansionists to argue that
palaeogravity must be related to Earth
expansion and this implies it was caused by the mass increase of the
Earth. Details of his latest work are available on his web site
• Introduction •
The Science Innovators: an historical context 11
Stephen W. Hurrell
• Chapter I •
From hunch to serious consideration 89
Hugh G. Owen
• Chapter II •
My Memories and Ideas about the Expanding Earth 105
Cliff Ollier
• Chapter III •
An insight into self-organizing processes in geology with
respect to Earth expansion 131
Karl-Heinz Jacob
• Chapter IV •
Modelling the Earth: a brief history 147
James Maxlow
This essay was first published as a chapter in the 2020 book, The
Hidden History of Earth Expansion, which is widely available from good
bookshops in both Hardback and Paperback editions, as well as a
Google eBook.
The Hidden History of Earth Expansion presents the personal histories
of some of the most well-known researchers into Earth expansion in
14 original essays. In addition to furnishing us with their personal
histories, as they strived to explore the seemingly overwhelming
evidence for confirmation of Earth expansion, the authors’ highlight
areas where further research is required.
The chapters expressly written for the book are:
• Chapter V •
My work on the Expanding Earth Theory 173
Jan Koziar
• Chapter VI •
My lifetime adventure with an expanding Earth 217
Stefan Cwojdziñski
• Chapter VII •
Orogenesis on a growing Earth 239
Carl Strutinski
• Chapter VIII •
From dinosaurs to Earth expansion 265
Stephen W. Hurrell
• Chapter IX •
The Problem with Earth expansion 287
John B. Eichler
• Chapter X •
A Personal History of Earth Expansion 321
William C. Erickson
• Chapter XI •
How I got involved with Earth Expansion 351
David Noel
• Chapter XII •
Should Plate Tectonics be replaced by Expanding Earth? 365
Zahid A. Khan and Ram Chandra Tewari
• Chapter XIII •
The Geotheory of Growing Earth: My Viewpoint of Cosmic
Core Kernel Transformation 385
Vedat Shehu
• Chapter XIV •
Receding Seas of Earth expansion 413
Richard Guy
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