Fitness Landscapes of the earth (II) LO27411

From: Leo Minnigh (
Date: 10/15/01

Replying to LO27394 --

Dear LO'ers, dear At,

Thank you for the compliments. I have lived in some doubt the last month,
not knowing if the connections between my long message and LO's were
enough visible.
Thank you also to bring the analogy between ocean floors and tacit
knowledge in he spotlight.

> Tectonics is a nice word. It comes from the Greek word "tekton" which has
> been used to refer to a person who creates constructively like a carpenter
> or builder.

Geology uses two expressions for organizational matters in rocks and in
the earth. It is an unwritten rule to reserve the word *tectonic* for
large-scale organizations, on the scale of mountain
chains/continents/earth, whereas the expression *structural* is commonly
used for smaller scale phenomena, like folds, and other deformational
things in rock formations (such as shears, second generation layering,
orientation of minerals, etc.). My own PhD research touched both scales
from microscopic structures to mountain tectonics.

> >If we try to reverse the present film of plate
> >tectonics, we could very well imagine that once
> >both Americas were linked to Europe and Africa.
> >That was some 150 my years ago. At that time
> >there was a super continent with the old name of
> >'Gondwana'. Nearly all the ocean older than
> >150 my has disappeared in the great depths.
> Leo, you had so much on your mind that no one can take exception that
> you forgot to search for that movie on internet. Fellow learners may surf
> to the following site:
> < >
> and select any of the animations like
> < >
> It is really fantastic to see this global tectonics happening.

Yes, you are right, I knew and know that there is an immense amount of
information on this subject on the Internet. I completely forgot to
mention some sites. Thank you and Winfried for the URL's you provided to

The 'film' of plate tectonics at the Berkeley-site is a very fast one -
0ver 700 my in less than 10 seconds! Difficult to see some details. If you
are curious for more detail and a slower movie, you may also look at:

For the symmetrical patterns of magnetic polarities in rocks of the
oceans, I found a good illustration at:

> >But wht about mountains with a cleft at the summits?
> >Well, this strange landscape occurs in the deep oceans.
> >The spreading ridges in the oceans coincide perfectly
> >with this description.
> Fellow learners may try to find topographic maps of the ocean floor and
> see whether they can picture these strange ridges with clefts in them
> where all the fun happens!

Thanks again At for that remark. I have kept still a surprise for you all.
This strange world at great depths, in the clefts of the spreading ridges
is realy a world where fun happens!
In the early seventies of the past century the deep-sea remote-controlled
vessel Alvin dived to great depths to have a look in these clefts, at the
places where all fun happens. What could you expect in these places where
it is absolutely dark - no light could penetrate to depths over 300
metres, and here it is several kilomtres of depth! The searchlights and
cameras of Alvin were running and the reasearchers behind their monitors
were curiously waiting for the first pictures.
What they saw, was so astonishing, so surprisingly; it was much better
than science fiction, because it was no fiction but pure science, pure
reality. A reality that nobody could have imagined in advance.
In the depths of this strange 'landscape' they saw *black smokers*,
chimneys that permanently smoked in thick dark colours, full of strange
chemical composition; they saw forms of rock formations never seen before.
But the absolute surprise was:


Creatures that could live without light. What an amasing thing: if there
is a source of energy, there is life. The energy comes from the earth
itself: warmth and minerals. Clams, crabs, mussels and these very strange
2 metre long tube worms. Even in your weirdest dreams, these things had
not appeared yet.
I beg you to have a look at:
and after the 'life forms' button:

So At, you are right. Here is the place where a lot of fun happens.

And for those of you who are intrigued by this. These life forms have now
been found on lots of other locations in spreading ridges of every ocean.
Think of the prerequisites of the energy sources. Think also of the
question: how did this life in these remote places has developed and how
it came there.

> Now for getting the gooseflesh !!!
> I have prepared a hypsograph of the topographic distribution of the earth's
> crust. Rick, will you please archive it for us and supply the URL in the usual
> manner. Thank you:
> [Host's Note: Here is the URL for At's figure... ..Rick]

Thank you Winfried and At for illustrating this important graph and also
for expanding this graph to the world of thinking, learning and knowledge.

> PS. A certain South African A L du Toit played an immense role next to
> Weneger in forming the idea of continental drifts. You may have a look at
> < >
> < >

Yes, Du Toit is fully recognised among geologists. Unfortunately, both
Wegener and Du Toit (and some others) lived in a time that the mental
models of the majority were too closed. If you dig in the literature of
what had been written in that time against Wegener and Du Toit by the
'eperts' then pictures of the present news around terrorism jump in my
head. Then, not only the word *tyranny* fits, but also *fundamentalism* -
it did not fit with the fundaments of the thinking af the majority.

dr. Leo D. Minnigh
Library Technical University Delft
PO BOX 98, 2600 MG Delft, The Netherlands
Tel.: 31 15 2782226
        Let your thoughts meander towards a sea of ideas.


Leo Minnigh <>

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