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O'NIONS, R. K. & OX~URGH, E. R. 1983. Heat and helium in the Earth. Nature, 306, 429-431. OYARZU, R . , DOBLAS, M . , LOPEZ-RuIz, J. & CELERIA, J. M. 1997. Opening of the central Atlantic - - A THEORY OF THE EARTH 35 and asymmetric mantle upwelling phenomena: implications for long-lived magmatism in western North Africa and Europe. Geology, 25, 727-730. PATTERSON, C. & TATSUMOTO, M. 1964. The significance of lead isotopes in detrital feldspar. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 28, 1-22. POLET, J.

These unexpected and unpredicted observations would falsify a true scientific theory. The observations are consistent with a propagating crack or leaky transform fault model and with stress control of volcanism. There are other island chains that do not define a line, or track, or do not have an age progression (Galapagos, Azores, Cameroons, Musicians, Gulf of Alaska). By picking a few of the islands that do form a trend, and ignoring the others, or by invoking two or more plumes one can define ageprogressive volcanism and can immunize the plume hypothesis against falsification.

Selection is necessary given space limits and 200 years of experimental literature. Hutton and Hall Hutton's young colleague Hall (1761-1832) was slowly converted. He wrote (1805/1812): 'After three years of almost daily warfare with Dr. ' Hall also explained how he developed his experimental ideas, but did not pursue them through deference to the wishes of his older colleague, until after his death in 1797. , established in a direct manner by experiment, and I urged him to make the attempt; but he always rejected this proposal, on account of the immensity of the natural agents, whose operations he supposed to lie far beyond the reach of our imitation ...

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