Two remarkably similar volcanoes and philosophical consequences
by Franz L Kessler
Rated "G" by the Author.
edited: Sunday, May 06, 2012
Posted: Saturday, May 05, 2012
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There are two volcanoes, many thousands of kilometres apart, that look remarkably similar.
Are all living and natural things genuine (created) or are they reproducible? This question has been on the mind of many philosophers since classic times, and the debate has not ended yet. This question is far from trivial. It confronts uniqueness (often cited by creationists) versus non-uniqueness (evolution theorists), and has deep spiritual implications.
If evolution as such is a repeatable process it would apply that the entire universe is also repeatable, and in such ways non-unique. Emotionally such view is highly uncomfortable for many.
The reason why I write this comes from my job assembling training material for geology students. By doing so, I stumbled upon an interesting observation: Two distinct volcanoes, one in Italy, and another one roughly opposite in the Pacific Ocean look remarkably similar (picture attached, from Smithsonian and geology.com). The similarity does not end here. Both volcanoes are formed by a similar type of volcanic rock (shoshonitic High-Alkali rock), and also volcanic activity style Strombolian. The elevation above sea-level is also similar, and both volcanic islands have a large, almost identical scar indenting the volcanic edifices.
If a complex process is run with many but clearly distinct parameters (volcanic type of lava, lava pressure, lava temperature, sea floor architecture, water currents and many many others), it appears possible that over time it would produce results very similar both in substance and appearance. If controlled processes in a laboratory lead to predictable outcomes, we do accept this; industrial processes deliver identical outcomes from steel to hamburger. Repeatability is the root of scientific evidence, hence why should it not function on a bigger scale, in the ocean, and perhaps in the universe? Could the universe be a gigantic laboratory that shows whatever is possible in a time-projection?
© Franz L Kessler 2012