About this book
Geodynamics is an old science. Most of the basic theories have been conceived in principle during the 19th century and not many fundamen tal ideas have been added since. Some progress has been made in the following-up of these concepts and, in some instances, in the deter mination of some important facts about the Earth. Nevertheless, geo dynamics has been a highly speculative subject for about a hundred years and it is not likely that this situation will change during the next hundred. It is also unlikely that many basic new ideas will be added in that time interval. The reason for this lies in the extreme difficulty of obtaining really relevant data about the mechanics of the Earth, partly due to the impossibility of probing into the depths of the Earth by direct means to any considerable extent and partly due to the fact that the time intervals in which . . something happens" are of the order of millions of years, which is much too long for any human being to wait and ex periment with. The situation in geodynamics is, therefore much akin to that which existed when the ancient Greek philosophers were speculating about the possibly atomic structure of matter: there was, at that time, absolutely no hope to either confirm or to reject the hypothesis.