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Old 02-17-2003, 07:42 PM
Nocktober Nocktober is offline
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Hollow Earth: Disproof

What is the main disproof of the Hollow Earth theory?
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Old 02-17-2003, 07:51 PM
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I think it's called physics.
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Old 02-17-2003, 07:53 PM
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I am not a geologist, but I believe that one way in which the make-up of the earth is determined is by measuring the speed of seismic waves as they pass through the earth. For instance, when there is an earthquack in Japan, some of the seismic waves will travel to, say, New York, by traveling along the surface of the earth, along the crust. Other seismic waves will travel through the inner layers of the earth in more of a straight line path from point to point (as opposed to the curved path along the surface). The speed of compressional waves in air is generally slower than it is in many solids and liquids. So the data geologists have probably does not agree well with a hollow earth.
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Old 02-17-2003, 08:02 PM
X~Slayer(ALE) X~Slayer(ALE) is offline
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The Physical sciences would be hard pressed to find a way for a heavenly body to form while hollow or become hollow after formation. It ain natural or logical.

The Geological aspect would be hard pressed to explain why we have volcanoes, why there is so much pressure to shoot into the outer surface and not the inner surface.

Physics also has determined the mass of the earth based on its orbital relationships with the sun and moon and it is considerably more than if the eath is hollow.

Magnetic poles are caused by the earths molten Iron core. No Core, no poles, no van allen belt, no northern lights.
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Old 02-17-2003, 08:39 PM
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What Tangent and X~Slayer(ALE) said. In addition, a hollow earth is structurally equivalent to a 12000-km diameter unsupported dome. No known material is strong enough to support that.
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Old 02-17-2003, 08:53 PM
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For it to be called a "theory," it must have some evidence behind it. So why don't you, Nocktober, start by telling us what the supposed theory is and what the evidence for it might be before the rest of us waste time disproving it.
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Old 02-17-2003, 09:08 PM
Reeder Reeder is offline
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When you drop something heavy you don't here an echo.

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Old 02-17-2003, 09:09 PM
Reeder Reeder is offline
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or hear even...geez.
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Old 02-17-2003, 09:41 PM
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just gotta have faith
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Old 02-17-2003, 10:19 PM
Nocktober Nocktober is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by David B
For it to be called a "theory," it must have some evidence behind it. So why don't you, Nocktober, start by telling us what the supposed theory is and what the evidence for it might be before the rest of us waste time disproving it.
For the obvious reason that I don't expect you to be an expert on a theory you've never heard of. Sheesh.
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Old 02-17-2003, 10:23 PM
Nocktober Nocktober is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jack Batty
I think it's called physics.
But specifically?
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Old 02-17-2003, 10:26 PM
scr4 scr4 is offline
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Originally posted by Nocktober
For the obvious reason that I don't expect you to be an expert on a theory you've never heard of. Sheesh.
You're missing the point. Science works by making observations and constructing theories to explain them. The so-called "hollow earth theory" does not attempt to explain any observed facts that I know of, so it's not a valid theory to begin with and does not merit disproof. If someone came up to you and say "My theory is that invisible pink unicorns exist," would you be obliged to disprove the existance? No, you'd first ask for evidence for the existance of invisible pink unicorns because otherwise there is nothing to prove or disprove.
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Old 02-17-2003, 10:40 PM
Persephone Persephone is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nocktober
For the obvious reason that I don't expect you to be an expert on a theory you've never heard of. Sheesh.
I've heard that there is a theory called "hollow earth." But I know nothing about it. That's what David B's point really is there. He's not asking whether or not you believe it. He's not asking if you even understand it. All he's asking you to do is tell us what the "hollow earth" theory is, and what evidence you've read that supports the theory.
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Old 02-17-2003, 10:48 PM
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[sigh]

If the Earth were hollow, the void inside would have microgravity only. (In an interesting mathematical twist, all forces that obey the inverse-square law are negated within the volume contained by a charged, hollow sphere. Really. Do the math.)
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Old 02-17-2003, 11:01 PM
David B David B is offline
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I had said:
Quote:
So why don't you, Nocktober, start by telling us what the supposed theory is and what the evidence for it might be before the rest of us waste time disproving it.
Nocktober replied:
Quote:
For the obvious reason that I don't expect you to be an expert on a theory you've never heard of. Sheesh.
Um... What? You're not going to tell us what the theory is and you expect us to disprove it, but you won't tell us what it is because you don't expect us to be an expert on something we've never heard of.

Is there a single logical bone in your entire body?
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Old 02-17-2003, 11:09 PM
Trigonal Planar Trigonal Planar is offline
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Guys, I'm not sure what the big fuss is here. I certainly didn't get the impression he was posting in support of the HET. I figured he was just thinking "Hmmm, I wonder how they know the earth isn't hollow?"

Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems it was just an innocent inquiry.
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Old 02-17-2003, 11:16 PM
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Jesus H. Christ, David B. Cool your freaking jets. Is it just possible that he's asking an honest question, and that he'd like to simply know the reasons the HET makes no sense?

Not all intellectually curious people are familiar with physics, or the ins and outs of the burden of proof.

He may very well not know what a "theory" consists of, and was using the term loosely, in which case his OP reads more like:

"I heard the earth may be hollow, but I'm skeptical. Can anyone tell me why this idea may or may not make any sense?"

He may, on the other hand, be a kook...but there's no reason to just assume so right off the bat.
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Old 02-17-2003, 11:20 PM
David B David B is offline
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Ogre said:
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Jesus H. Christ, David B. Cool your freaking jets. Is it just possible that he's asking an honest question, and that he'd like to simply know the reasons the HET makes no sense?
Sure it is. And then he could have said so when I asked him about it. Or (better yet) he could have said so in the OP. He did neither. Instead, he made a completely illogical comment in response to my question.
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Old 02-17-2003, 11:30 PM
Ogre Ogre is offline
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He may have been confused. People get that way sometimes.
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Old 02-17-2003, 11:31 PM
David B David B is offline
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Well, now is his big chance to come clean, then.
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Old 02-17-2003, 11:39 PM
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Besides, the HET is a pretty well known bit of lunacy. The preceding links were all found with a simple Google search on the term "Hollow Earth Theory." As I recall, it's an old nugget that rears it's ridiculous head now and then, only to be shot down.

Reads to me like Nocktober was asking a simple and honest question.
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Old 02-18-2003, 12:44 AM
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You know, this thread made me think of the Flat Earth Society. I mean, a flat earth makes as much sense as a hollow one (I'm not talking about Discworld. That makes perfect sense).

This seems like a fun website.

I don't think it's to be taken too seriously, myself, but I haven't read all of it, I've just skimmed. Including the disclaimer at the bottom of the front page.
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Old 02-18-2003, 03:29 AM
Nocktober Nocktober is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Trigonal Planar
Guys, I'm not sure what the big fuss is here. I certainly didn't get the impression he was posting in support of the HET. I figured he was just thinking "Hmmm, I wonder how they know the earth isn't hollow?"

Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems it was just an innocent inquiry.
Thank you, and Ogre as well. I'm interested in a concise rebuttal to this theory. I'm aware it sounds like a crackpot theory. There's an intelligent and seemingly level-headed person who spoke about this and I'm not sure if she is putting me on or if she really believes it.
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Old 02-18-2003, 03:34 AM
Nocktober Nocktober is offline
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Originally posted by scr4
You're missing the point. Science works by making observations and constructing theories to explain them. The so-called "hollow earth theory" does not attempt to explain any observed facts that I know of, so it's not a valid theory to begin with and does not merit disproof. If someone came up to you and say "My theory is that invisible pink unicorns exist," would you be obliged to disprove the existance? No, you'd first ask for evidence for the existance of invisible pink unicorns because otherwise there is nothing to prove or disprove.
That sounds reasonable to me.
But if there were, for example, photographs taken by satellite from directly above the poles, this would prove the theory can't possibly be true, right? I mean, we're not attempting to prove that something doesn't exist, just that it exist in one form and not the other.
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Old 02-18-2003, 04:18 AM
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A simple Socratic start for the mid-level conspiracy crowd.

Q. Is the hollow earth inhabitted?

Q. If it is, why did the U.S. government not have to issue a lot of material denying the Soviet claim to have found the people living in the Hollow Earth following a wonderfully Marxist way of life and living in perfect harmony?

A hollow Earth has to have people living in it, otherwise it's too boring to discuss, and I've never been able to get a good answer as to why the Russians didn't rat out the fake Lunar landings long before the "We never landed on the moon" people got ahold of all those "doctored" photos.

The Cold War, being full of real conspiracies and tending to polarize the fringe, makes a wonderful rhetorical tool.

It sometimes works when physics doesn't.

Of course, it's always possible that I'm a disinformationist for the Derros or the Secret Masters, so stick a couple of grains of salt on the end of your tongue and put it firmly in your cheek.
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Old 02-18-2003, 05:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tangent
For instance, when there is an earthquack in Japan, some of the seismic waves will travel to, say, New York, by traveling along the surface of the earth, along the crust.
Does it echo though?

(sorry).
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Old 02-18-2003, 06:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nocktober
But if there were, for example, photographs taken by satellite from directly above the poles, this would prove the theory can't possibly be true, right? I mean, we're not attempting to prove that something doesn't exist, just that it exist in one form and not the other.
I started to talk about this exact point yesterday, but then I realized a hollow earth wouldn't necessarily have to have entry points at the poles or anywhere else, so I decided to shut up. As you may have noticed, they have rather tough standards for debate around here.

I'm not a geologist, but I'll give this my best shot. I know there are people who know more about this than I do. Please feel free to correct me. Locating the epicenter of earthquakes is based on the idea that shockwaves generated by the earthquake radiate from the epicenter and can be detected at various points on the earth's surface. If the earth were hollow, those measurements would be thrown off.

Actually, as I started to work this out, I realize that the term "hollow earth" leaves a lot out. Nocktober, I'd ask the friend who brought this up for more information about what exactly his or her vision of a hollow earth entails. Here are the questions that occurred to me:
  • Does the hollow earth consist of a sphere within a sphere, like a balloon blown up around another balloon, or is it just a single hollowed out layer?
  • What does the "hollow" area consist of? Vacuum? Gas? Some other substance?
    Finally, since I did touch on it earlier,
  • Are there entry points to it, and if so, where would they be? They don't necessarily have to be at the poles, you know. I think I remember coming across the idea that the caves at Delphi, Greece contained a possible entrance to a hollow earth.

Does this help at all?
CJ
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Old 02-18-2003, 08:37 AM
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Gravity tends to make a mess of this theory. Once you get a substantial amount of rock together it tends to form a solid ball. Everything tries to move to the centre. This is why stars, planets and the larger asteroids are all spherical. I can't imagine a simple process of planetary glass blowing that could form a hollow sphere.

Secondly sound travels through materials are differing speeds. The waves change speeds and reflect once they pass from 1 region of density A to a second region of density B. Global seismic stations record the arrival times of these waves and their reflections allowing the geophysicists to map the interior of the planet. It has become so refined that the old model of smooth transitions between regions (crust, mantel etc.) is out and newer models with specific locations of upwelling and down swellings of material are know.

If the centre was hollow there would be a region that the seismic waves would pass through that could not be modeled as expected i.e. the arrival times would be wildly out of whack.
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Old 02-18-2003, 10:38 AM
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Of course the Earth is hollow. I've been there.

There are scantily clad buxom babes down there to!
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Old 02-18-2003, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tangent:
For instance, when there is an earthquack in Japan, some of the seismic waves will travel...
Now I have this image of a colossal subterranean cosmic duck. Maybe the Hollow Earth is an egg...

Anyone ever read that science fantasy story And Lo! The Bird?
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Old 02-18-2003, 01:17 PM
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Originally posted by andymurph64
Of course the Earth is hollow. I've been there.

There are scantily clad buxom babes down there to!
And the entrance is where???
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Old 02-18-2003, 01:40 PM
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When I was little, the horizon always looked curved to me, so I thought we lived inside the Earth.

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Old 02-18-2003, 02:20 PM
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Originally posted by rsa
And the entrance is where???
Mount Sneffels, duh.
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Old 02-18-2003, 02:22 PM
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Proof that wacky pseudoscientific theories never die, they just move to the web.
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Old 02-18-2003, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nocktober
Thank you, and Ogre as well. I'm interested in a concise rebuttal to this theory. I'm aware it sounds like a crackpot theory. There's an intelligent and seemingly level-headed person who spoke about this and I'm not sure if she is putting me on or if she really believes it.
The problem with trying to address questions like this is similar to the creation / young earth theory. I mean it is hard to point to one single thing that speaks against the theory because there is simply so much science...physics and geology...that goes into understanding what the core of the earth is like. Basically, a huge body of science would have to be simply wrong and, some if it, like gravity, is so well understood that it is just ridiculous that this would be the case.

The point is that theories are seriously constrained by the plethora of observations we have made of the world around it. One can't just throw out a new theory and say "What about this idea?" It is basically a waste of everybody's time.
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Old 02-18-2003, 03:17 PM
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Oops. I didn't mean theories, I meant delusions.
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Old 02-18-2003, 03:31 PM
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I can't believe no one has mentioned Pellucidar, Edgar Rice Burroughs' land in the hollow earth with dinosaurs and scantily clad women. Tarzan even visited in one book.

IIRC, those who first claimed that the earth was hollow said that Admiral Byrd flew over the entrance on his flight over the poles. Of course that was before it became a heavily traveled route.
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Old 02-18-2003, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nocktober
There's an intelligent and seemingly level-headed person who spoke about this and I'm not sure if she is putting me on or if she really believes it.
Concise rebuttal: Point and laugh.
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Old 02-18-2003, 06:21 PM
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Vger: I can't believe no one has mentioned Pellucidar, Edgar Rice Burroughs' land in the hollow earth with dinosaurs and scantily clad women.

And don't miss Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth, also with dinosaurs as well as fossil remains of giant humans. Oooo. No chicks, though.
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Old 02-18-2003, 09:46 PM
David B David B is offline
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Nocktober said:
Quote:
I'm interested in a concise rebuttal to this theory. I'm aware it sounds like a crackpot theory. There's an intelligent and seemingly level-headed person who spoke about this and I'm not sure if she is putting me on or if she really believes it.
For the future, I would suggest that you should put information like this in the first post so people know exactly what it is you're talking about and why.
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Old 02-18-2003, 11:15 PM
Nocktober Nocktober is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by David B
Nocktober said:

For the future, I would suggest that you should put information like this in the first post so people know exactly what it is you're talking about and why.
And I would suggest you not violate the don't-be-a-jerk rule.
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Old 02-18-2003, 11:28 PM
Nocktober Nocktober is offline
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Okay, the person who was talking about this theory told me the following, which I've verified:

That Edmund Halley, the English astronomer for whom the comet is named, proposed a hollow-earth theory.

Leonhard Euler, the Swiss mathematician, the dude with the curve, also proposed a hollow earth theory.

Scottish mathematician Sir John Leslie did likewise.

So these names get thrown out as some heavyweights who can't be dismissed as cranks.

My feeling is that even heavyweight thinkers can have some crank ideas.

When I'm trying to rebut my friend's ideas, remember that ridicule, while fun, is not proof. And it's not good enough to say "the answer is obvious," because for long periods in our history, it was obvious that the sun and stars rotated around Earth.
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Old 02-18-2003, 11:40 PM
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Well, those guys are all a bit old now. Does she believe that science doesn't advance?

So, I suggest that you turn the question around. Tell her to explain to you how she can account for the mass of the earth (which, as has been pointed out, is known extremely well from it gravitational attraction...It's a freakin' 1st year physics calculation) can be accounted for with a hollow earth...i.e., how thick a shell is she claiming and what density in order to support this and then what materials it could then be made of.

Then have her explain how her theory can account for known geology, especially (as others have pointed out) measurements of seismic waves traveling through the earth.

I mean, anyone can have "a theory" about anything if they don't have to support it with logic, fact, and evidence. What makes scientific theories different is that they have to be able to explain observations and measurements.
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Old 02-18-2003, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nocktober
And I would suggest you not violate the don't-be-a-jerk rule.
And I would suggest you follow the same rule, as well as the "listen to what the moderators tell you" rule.
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Old 02-19-2003, 12:08 AM
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Originally posted by RM Mentock
Mount Sneffels, duh.
Arne Sarknussemm? Is that you?
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Old 02-19-2003, 12:09 AM
Nocktober Nocktober is offline
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and the mini-mods, of course.
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Old 02-19-2003, 12:21 AM
David B David B is offline
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Nocktober said:
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And I would suggest you not violate the don't-be-a-jerk rule.
You know, coming in here brand new, you just might want to consider listening to a guy who has "Moderator" under his name, rather than insulting him and trying to tell him what the rules are. Take that as a piece of friendly advice. Next time, it won't be nearly so friendly.
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Old 02-19-2003, 12:50 AM
Nocktober Nocktober is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by David B
Nocktober said:

You know, coming in here brand new, you just might want to consider listening to a guy who has "Moderator" under his name,
And coming in here brand new, to a moderate board, I'd hope the quality of moderating wouldn't be as rude as this.


Quote:
rather than insulting him and trying to tell him what the rules are. Take that as a piece of friendly advice. Next time, it won't be nearly so friendly. [/B]
You're a moderator?
(checks)
I'll be darned.
I thought there was some sort of rule that moderators weren't supposed to act like jerks.
Which you are, and which people have pointed out to you.
Don't bother banning me, David B. I will not be posting on this board again. "Next time," eh? Are we supposed to tremble before David Bs power to ban? Well, tremble, tremble, Davey. Take your "next time it won't be so friendly" insinuations and, well insinuate them.

Jerk.
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Old 02-19-2003, 03:43 AM
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It's a shame to see someone with such an inquisitive mind be ejected because he can't handle a little criticism. A pity.
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Old 02-19-2003, 04:08 AM
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Plate tectonics would not work with a hollow Earth, unless you start to have a hollow, hardened inner shell, a liquid layer, then the crust, which I don't think could form or persist naturally.

Anyway the burden of proof rests with the person asserting that the Earth is hollow; it's not up to us (or anyone) to be expected to accept every crackpot theory until it can be disproven.
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