Fantastic Fringe Ideas

Various ideas exist about how the earth was created and how it operates today. Alternative geology ideas interpret the earth via non-scientific or pseudoscientific means, often based on religious or other ideological beliefs. These ideas are often also politically motivated or require invoking some conspiracy ideas to explain why scientists don’t see obvious evidence of them. Alternative explanations that have no scientific support include ideas about the mechanism of earth’s formation or processes of geology such as fossilization and erosion or geomorphological processes. Anomalies that appear unexplained are used to support these fringe views as if one as-yet-unexplained observation can overturn all of the collected geological knowledge. Examples of alternative geological explanations include a flat earth, a hollow earth, and earth age of millions or thousands of years (instead of billions as has been scientifically determined), lost continents, and the Apocalyptic end of the planet.

These ideas are often called “theories” but they do not have large bodies of reliable evidence to support them nor are they always easy to test. Science fiction and mythology are at the roots of some of these still promoted in modern times. Wacky ideas often have social value for their proponents who gain media attention and a following of contrarians who are anti-science. They reject the findings of various fields of science and experts in those fields but rely on one or a few people who call themselves “mavericks” in support of the idea. Alternative geological concepts, even utterly absurd ones, come and go and even circle around repeatedly as fads, a sign of lacking science education, or as satire or entertainment.

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