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This is Archive 1 covering 2003 and earlier.

Diverse Topics

Geologically speaking, wouldn't the Earth have only six continents? Europe and Asia are actually one land mass; the are different 'continents' in a cultural sense only. - Stephen Gilbert

That depends on what you mean by continents. Usually it refers to a land-mass within a continental shelf, though by that definition some islands would be continents. Defining continents as being separate because of culture (and vice-versa) is error-prone, as Europeans live across swaves of Asia, there are Asiatic peoples in parts of Europe, and Arabs live on both Africa and Asia.

Geologically speaking, one might talk of the different tectonic plates the earth has. Geographically speaking, one might talk about continents. Thus, I would add "...geographically dividing it into five oceans and seven continents". --Grant

If an entity from another system within the known universe (or any other universe for that matter) were to read (assuming that was possible) the Earth page, ya gotta wonder what said entity might think! --Grant

The count of oceans is at least as arbitrary as that of continents; the Arctic Ocean is clearly distinct, but there's no obvious place to divide the Indian Ocean from the Pacific, or the Antarctic from the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans.

And the Southern Ocean?:)

Also, are imports and exports even meaningful concepts here? --Vicki Rosenzweig

I think the exports and imports part has some interesting information ($5.6 trillion a year in production; shows who produces it and where it goes). Is there some easier and immediately understood way to phrase it? --KQ

I added a note explaining that imports and exports were actually internal trade among the nations of Earth, and that no significant extraterrestrial commerce is occurring at this time. Bryan Derksen

At this point the wikipedia is a compendium of human knowlege if an alien were to read the wikipedia he/she/it mighe find that it did not reach an ideal NPOV, but who cares? I'd argue that we can't possibly do this without the input of the aliens themselvs, and anyway if aliens start reading and getting involved in the wikipedia, we'll have to change a lot of things anyway... MRC

Yeah, like the You were NOT abducted by aliens, you damn drunk page. --Stephen Gilbert

Consistency or no, I'm not going to move most of Earth to Earth (planet) right now. From an astronomy point of view that would be logical, but I suspect its orbital parameters and suchlike aren't what people first think of when they think Earth. However, there is a slight ambiguity problem with Earth-as-our-world, Earth-as-a-planet, and earth-as-soil. Is this best left as-is, or is there a better way to handle it? -- April

  • Sounds good to me, to leave as is. Earth for the kind of information already there, Earth (planet) for any astronomical type thingies (yup, being technical today) and soil as the topic for the Earth (soil) type thingies (if it's already done that way). Rgamble

Deleted the reference to "intelligent species, including humans, apes, dolphins and maybe a few others". Ranking other species as "intelligent" gets into a whole load of complex debates that it's really not worth getting into here - for instance, there's research currently claiming some extremely impressive cognitive abilities for parrots that I'd imagine others working in the area would dispute hotly. --Robert Merkel

From the main article:

There is evidence that these processes are not balanced. Historical measurements of the mean sea level indicate that the Earth's ocean level is falling at a rate of approximately one foot per century, even in the face of warmer weather that should melt ice from the poles. This may be due to a combination of subductive trapping of water, and ultraviolet cracking.

At this rate of ocean level drop, over the past five billion years the ocean level would have fallen approximately 9,500 miles. Does anyone know the real rate at which water is being lost? Bryan Derksen

Don't know the real rate, but that statement doesn't seem right to me. The author will first have to define "historical" and then have to explain away the fact that at the pre-dawn of human history much of the continental shelfs' were exposed as the last of the continental glaciers receeded. Since that time there has been a continued and long term increase in sea level with some of the fastest rates of increase occuring in the last 100 years. It has been estimated that there are probably hundreds and maybe thousands of submerged human archeaological sites in the world. Earthquakes and local subsidence can't explain them all. The author may have misread the fact that water in our oceans are continually cycled through subduction zones of the Earth and may have thought that this water was somehow lost. Far from it. It is recycled by becoming so super (and I mean super) critically hot that it melts surrounding rock and eventually escapes through volcanoes as steam (in fact without water we would have no plate tectonics to speak of). In addition to this is the fact that the earth is being bombarded with millions of tiny coments (well, smallish snowballs of ice and dirt) that I've read actually adds a non-insignificant amount of water to the oceans each year. --maveric149
As I recall, the millions-of-mini-comets theory is still considered to be pretty speculative. It's main proponent is one guy, and he hasn't yet gathered enough evidence to convince a lot of other astronomers to take him seriously. But irregardless of that, I'm going to remove the paragraph I quoted above for the time being; it's sufficiently fishy that it should be off of the main article until fixed IMO. Bryan Derksen


I added in the obligatory Mostly Harmless to pay homage to Douglas Adams' "The Hithchiker's Guide to the Galaxy", where the description of Earth in the Guide is simply the two words, "Mostly Harmless." Trust me, people will understand.


A lot of this stuff is from the CIA World Factbook. Don't let that scare you, it's entirely unclassified info, but there may be some copyright issues. The factbook is available for browsing at

The CIA World Factbook is in the public domain; there are no copyright issue because it is not copyrighted.
As for the "Mostly Harmless..." I doubt it's going to survive more than a few hours. Now, I admit, I like slipping an occasional subtle little joke into an encyclopedia article as much as the next guy, but the key is to make it subtle; slapstick humor sticks out like a sore thumb. Ideally, a Wikipedia joke is an easter egg that most people won't even notice. Bryan Derksen, Friday, June 14, 2002


I really feel it is remiss not to include the Mostly Harmless thing *somewhere* in the page. It's not a joke, it's something that deserves to be linked. How about at the "other names" area? Is that OK, or are you going to ban me again?

I wasn't the one who banned you, but I agreed with the sentiment. The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy may have been a fine book indeed, but look at the big picture; it was just a funny science fiction novel that happened to get a cult following in some parts of the world among certain groups. If "mostly harmless" goes in, then what about all the other hundreds or thousands of novels that have made up funny facts about Earth? Bear in mind that we're trying to create an actual encyclopedia here, something that students might use as a resource for serious assignments and such. Jokes are all well and good, but they shouldn't mislead or present irrelevant information. Bryan Derksen
I agree. The "mostly harmless" stuff is really only appropriate in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy article and maybe as a quick mention in the Douglas Adams one. --maveric149


Well let me further my point, then I'll put it to rest. There will be two types of people looking at the Planet Earth article: people who want statistics about the planet and people who just want to see the entry "mostly harmless," just like in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. This is already seen in, and a few other distributed encyclopedias like this one. What's the big deal? People expect it! I'm not the only one who has attempted that edit, according to your change history. With there being a demand and the likeliness that someone else will try it again, why not just put it in?--Anon

Because it is irrelevant to an article about the Earth and wikipedia is not everything2 or hhg. See above statements against this again. --maveric149

Whatever the CIA may think, it is false at present to speak of the Earth's economy as having imports and exports -- to say nothing of external debt! --FOo

Look a few lines farther down, where there's the following note: (Note: All exports, imports, debts and economic aid listed are between nations on Earth. There are currently no significant extraterrestrial imports or exports.). This is already taken care of. :) Bryan
  • Ha! The USA's Apollo program imported aproximately 381.7 kg of moon rock and dust. If you caught the story earlier this year of someone illegally trying to sell a one gram moon rock for $5million, you will see that the Earth has imported some $19085 Billion worth of moon! This far exceeds the millions of dollars of technological goods we have exported to the rest of the solar system in the form of satelites and probes. The Earth has a most favorable balance of trade indeed! ;-) --Infrogmation
I bet it's not so good when you total up the costs of all the space probes that we've sent out, never to return, over the past fifty years or so! NASA alone is spending $15 billion per year right now, and that was even higher back during Apollo times, and then there's inflation... add in an equivalent amount for the Soviets, and then some for ESA, and the Japanese and the Canadians and all the other countries with space programs, and you'll see that those 19 trillion dollars worth of moon rocks were hard-bought. And that doesn't even begin to consider the value of all the slave labor that aliens took from the Egyptians and Mayans thousands of years ago... :) Bryan
Yearly exports: $5.6 trillion (f.o.b., 1999 est.) - this begs the question, which planets are we exporting to? :) This should be marked as internal trade; interplanetary shipping isn't quite there yet ;)
it raises the question, it doesn't beg it. -- Tarquin 16:07 Mar 5, 2003 (UTC)

Describing Earth as the only planet known to be inhabited by living organisms is unacceptable and violates NPOV. There have been countless research teams claiming and disputing evidence from Mars meteorites and the Viking probes; some researchers still claim that the Viking probes successfully demonstrated the existence of life on Mars [1], [2]. To these researchers, the fact that there are microbes on Mars is "known", even if it is disputed by others. Referring to intelligent life lets us avoid the whole life on Mars controversy. --Eloquence 21:52 Apr 21, 2003 (UTC)

I strongly disagree, even if it's extremly probable that live exist elsewhere, Earth is the only place that we KNOW that live exist. Same for the microbes on Mars meteorites (although these are far from certain, the arguments are very tenous: strange form of crystallization which ressemble to what is sometimes formed by some bacteries), it is NOT certain. A remark concerning the possibility of microbes on Mars meteorites should be better. -- looxix 22:04 Apr 21, 2003 (UTC)
Knowledge and certainty are far less, well, certain concepts than you may think. To Gil Levin, it is certain that the Viking experiments have revealed evidence of microbial life on Mars. To some scientists who studied ALH84001 and other meteorites, it is also certain that these rocks contain evidence of microbial life -- certain enough for the news that "life on Mars" was discovered to make international headlines. For some time, it was "common knowledge", that there was microbial life on Mars, until another research team disputed the ALH findings. The point of NPOV is to reflect these different opinions about what is or is not true accurately. The Earth article is not the place for it, so we can nicely sidestep the issue by referring to intelligent life, with a link to life where the problem is discussed in more detail. --Eloquence 22:19 Apr 21, 2003 (UTC)

Now we agree more or less on the content but it doesn't look OK. I think something like this is better:

the only one in the universe known to harbour life although it is possible that life/microbial life exist or have existed on Mars (see ALH84001).

I think this is OK form the correctness of the information, NPOVness and the presentation. -- Looxix 02:30 May 11, 2003 (UTC)

"It is possible" is a different statement from "some people think that ..". From what we know, "it is possible" that intelligent life exists in the universe. To say that "it is possible" that life exists on Mars is to ignore the POV of those who think that evidence of life on Mars is already sufficient. Compare: "It is possible that God exists" vs. "There is a continuing philosophical controversy regarding the existence of God".
Sure, it's why I use it is possible (from ascientific point od view) vs some people think (like in "some people think that the moon is made of green cheese"). -- Looxix 03:08 May 11, 2003 (UTC)
It is simply a very weak statement. Even most of those who disagreed with the ALH findings would agree that "it is possible" that life exists/has existed on Mars. It does not reflect the degree of the controvery. --Eloquence 03:15 May 11, 2003 (UTC)
Furthermore, ALH84001 is not the only element of the Mars life controversy. A link to the article about Mars is completely sufficient. See, this is why I wanted to keep this out: Because it leads us into off-topic territoriy. --Eloquence 02:52 May 11, 2003 (UTC)

As a casual reader, this article seems to be very uneven. It's missing sections on:

  • ecology (vegetation, animals, fungi, bacteria etc, and subsuming the existing Environment and Natural Hazards sections)
  • prehistory and history (probable emergence from the sun, development of land/ocean mix, evolution of plants and animals, mass extinctions, emergence of humans, tribal stability, aggressive agriculture spreading worldwide from Iraq, Sumerians, Greeks, Romans, China, Mayans, Dark Ages, Ottoman Empire, Renaissance, technology, colonialism, violent 20th century)
  • culture (religions, justice systems, art and music, broadcast and narrowcast media)
  • politics (the current ideas of "nation states" and subordinate cities; democracies and republics, monarchies, dictatorships; the UN, current dominance of the US and EU).

I am not suggesting the article should become much longer to fit these in. They should be brief summaries with lots of links, with a slight bias towards those subjects which don't fit easily into obviously named articles. (E.g. the History section should lean slightly more towards those phenomena, like war, which aren't conveniently confined to an article on one modern-day country).

In addition, there's a lot of stuff here which doesn't seem nearly important enough to be in an article of this size on Earth in general. Some examples:

  • the composition sections are far too detailed (get thee to mantle, biosphere, etc!)
  • the Moon (is the existence of total eclipses really more important than the existence of Antarctica or broadcasting or bacteria?)
  • the list of land-locked countries (why not a land-locked article?)
  • the International Space Station (space exploration)
  • human age structure (human)
  • electricity production and consumption (electricity)
  • Internet service providers (Internet)
  • railways (railways).

Perhaps the items in the latter list could be moved to their own articles first, shrivelling the relevant sections in Earth as you go (and adding links if necessary), before any new sections are added. That would avoid the article getting too unwieldy.

-- mpt, May 1, 2003

This article is about the Earth, not human history. Thus the composition of the Earth, the distribution of land, climate and such is most appropriate while the biosphere should be taken as a whole - just a part of what the Earth is. The human stuff should be very minimal and what is there should concentrate on how humans have changed the Earth (its climate, amount of arable land, desertification, deforestation, etc). --mav
I'm unsurprised by that argument, but still very troubled by it, in three directions. (1) If, eventually, entries were made for other well-studied planets where social beings live, surely those entries would have sections on the history, culture, politics, and economics of those planets. Why not for Earth? (2) If you regard that as too hypothetical: Why do we already do what I'm proposing for Earth, for smaller areas? Why do the articles on Detroit, Connecticut, New Zealand, or Africa (for some differently-sized examples) have sections on history, demographics, economy, etc, while Earth as a whole can't? (You could argue that such areas differ from Earth in that they're human demarcations, but many if not most of them are heavily influenced by geography.) (3) If the sections I'm proposing don't belong in Earth, where do they belong? World History sends me into ever-finer specificity without providing a potted outline; there is no Politics of Earth to tell me about the current dominance of the nation state, the US and the UN; and so on. Perhaps these should be separate articles, like the infant Economy of Earth, linked from this article; but as soon as you start a new article, there will be implicit pressure to make it more detailed than a casual reader might want.
And yes, I am volunteering to write such sections if necessary, because making them both informative and extremely concise would be a challenge I'd enjoy. -- mpt, May 17, 2003
If and when these other intelligently inhabited planets are found and if and when human cultures coalesces into a world culture under a world government, then, and only then, would we have the same type of info in this article as we have for political and cultural geography entities. We have no world culture and no world government - therefore we deal with physical geography (which includes climate, geology and oceanography). Beyond that we need to cover the biosphere as well and how it interacts with the non-living parts of the earth. --mav 07:56 17 May 2003 (UTC)
I wish that was a convincing way to draw the line. But we don't have a single African government or European government either, and their entries still have History and Politics sections (albeit Europe's sections don't have headings). That also sounds rather biased against, say, Anarchism -- if there were several anarchistic states in the world, would that political system not be mentioned in their entries, because it was neither unusual nor a Government? ... And as for claiming we don't have a "world culture", that sounds as strange as claiming we don't have a world economy. -- mpt

Eloquence removed

  • "In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, an Earthman is affronted to find that his planet's entry in the Guide consists only of the single word "Harmless". The Guide researcher reassures him that the next edition will improve upon this. The new entry will read, "Mostly harmless." The Guide also tells of the creation of earth by inhabitants of the planet Magrathea.

Maybe it is too wordy, but I think it is beneficial to at least have links to creation stories written by contemporary writers. Mythological information is provided in the Earth article. So should popular fictitious references. Maybe we can find a compromise. Kingturtle 02:36 May 14, 2003 (UTC)

Yes. Move it to Earth in fiction and link to it (we already have Mars in fiction, which is linked from Mars (planet)). --Eloquence 02:52 May 14, 2003 (UTC)
did it. Kingturtle 03:03 May 14, 2003 (UTC)

Kingturtle's quote of what Eloquence removed is incomplete. The opening sentence was, "There is a long-running joke relating to the treatment of the Earth in encyclopaedias." This is true, and arguably relevant to a treatment of the Earth in an encyclopaedia. I added the explanation which followed, just to explain what the joke was. It was not intended as "DNA fandom stuff". (The bit about Magrathea wasn't me...) As well as being arguably relevant, it would quite likely (as a minor bonus) stop random passers-by from adding the "Mostly harmless" phrase themselves, in a less encyclopaedic way, as they quite often do. -- Oliver P. 16:40 May 14, 2003 (UTC)

The idea that somehow Douglas Adams' (certainly entertaining) fiction should receive preferential treatment in an article about our home planet seems quite bizarre to me. You know how many jokes, stories and tales about Earth there are? You could fill gigabytes of harddisk space with them. And certainly Earth in fiction will ultimately grow to become a quite impressive article. But this kind of material is completely off-topic in the main article itself. The argument that we should add the reference so people don't add the "Mostly harmless" joke is a weak one -- we do not accommodate undesirable behavior to get rid of it. See Wikipedia:Bad jokes and other deleted nonsense. Wikipedia is not H2G2. --Eloquence 21:32 May 14, 2003 (UTC)
I was not proposing any preferential treatment of the joke on the basis of who its author was. It's the only well-known joke, by any author, on the subject of the encyclopaedic treatment of the Earth. That was my point. It's not just that it's any old joke that happens to be about the Earth, of which there are obviously many. And I wasn't proposing accommodating undesirable behaviour; I merely stated that as a minor bonus the paragraph would help ward off undesirable behaviour. There is a difference. However, I withdraw my suggestion, as the paragraph did look out of place, and nobody seems to have understood its intent anyway... -- Oliver P. 09:59 May 15, 2003 (UTC)

I vote for including "Mostly Harmless" at the end of the Earth article. Yes, Wikipedia is meant to be a factual site, but one little humorous reference won't destroy its credibility. Lighten up. --Lee M
And I vote against it. It's hardly relevant to the Earth article, though it may be relevant to one on Douglas Adams. Koyaanis Qatsi

The following irrelevant material has been removed from the article. This entry is about the planet Earth. This article is not about all facts and information about the human race! This article also is not the Main Page of an encyclopedia. We do not just jam every topic in the world into one entry, because the entry is titled "Earth". Get a grip! RK

(Moved to Economy of Earth by Bryan)

I really think the discussion of human civiliation here is very overblown, amd totally of place. Everything we have here, including the data, should be summarized in a paragraph. And in all seriousness, it wouldn't hurt to mention the Douglas Adams bit, next to the link about the Earth in fiction. RK

Where should this go? David J. Stevenson, Professor of Planetary Science at Cornell University, has just published "A Modest Proposal: Mission to Earth's Core", a paper published in Nature (May 15, 2003) A Modest Proposal: A Mission to the Earth's Core

I removed this from the article, for now:

Some scientists believe that the moon may be essential to the existence of life on the Earth. Without the moon, the Earth would freeze to a solid crust, as Venus and Mars have. As a result, carbon rock would cease to be recycled, eventually causing life to fix all gaseous Carbon and then die. Without life, Oxygen would slowly combine with surface rocks, and the ozone layer would disappear. At this point, sublimated water vapor would begin to be cracked by solar ultraviolet, and the Earth's hydrogen would be eliminated by the solar wind. In less than a hundred million years, Earth would resemble Mars.

What do you mean by "some scientists"? To the best of my knowledge, this is not a mainstream idea anymore; my reading is that such ideas did exist in the 1960s and 1970s, but they are no longer considered viabl arguments. Are you claiming that some form of this argument has resurfaced in the mainstream? I would like to see some references on this point. It seems to me that much of this article was written as an argument to show that life can't possibily exist on any planet except Earth, and that life here is due to one random chance that can't be counted on to occur anyplace else. RK

RK, I don't agree with your removal of the Earth-related data. Think about it: You open up a page in the Encyclopedia Galactica for a populated planet -- what do you expect to find? Certainly more than just a summary of the planet's physical characteristics. We may have to reorganize this stuff, but the article Earth should certainly be an entry point to many related subjects. Removing all information about the global economy while retaining a link to Earth in fiction is also blatantly inconsistent. --Eloquence 02:15 May 15, 2003 (UTC)

I second you on this one :-) -- Looxix 02:30 May 15, 2003 (UTC)

How about moving that material to a more specific article, for example Economy of Earth (in the same pattern as the CIA factbook pages for countries), and then linking to it in the same way that Earth in fiction is linked to? I agree with RK that there was a great deal of stuff in this article which didn't fit well here. Bryan


I added a link to Chandler wobble - wasn't sure where else to put it! Planetary geology hasn't been done yet. - David Stewart 10:18 May 15, 2003 (UTC)

want to start polar motion? -- Looxix 21:09 May 15, 2003 (UTC)

Mostly Harmless

Please stop adding this to the earth article. It's getting really boring now and will just keep being removed. Secretlondon 12:10, Dec 3, 2003 (UTC)

Newbies wil keep on adding it forever unless some kind of filtering system is introduced to remove it. Anyway, "Mostly Harmless" is mostly harmless. --Werdle Sneng

"Nearly all humans live on the Earth." Indeed. Where do the rest live? Adam 10:47, 24 Dec 2003 (UTC)

The International Space Station. Bryan 19:34, 24 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Nobody "lives" on the Space Station. They live on Earth and spend tours of duty there. Adam
The definition of "lives" is quite debateable in this context. Perhaps simply mention in the article that this is where the off-Earth humans are located and leave it to the reader to decide whether they "live" there or not. Bryan 20:09, 26 Dec 2003 (UTC)
If someone spends a year on an oilrig, you'd say they're living there, wouldn't you? -- Tarquin 20:14, 26 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I would, personally, but others might not (such as Adam, above). Further complicating things is that I don't think anyone's spent a full year on the ISS, so it's even closer to the fuzzy borderline. I don't think the issue's big enough to worry about, myself. Bryan 20:31, 26 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I hate to be pedantic (!), but one "lives" in one's home. A work assignment, even a prolonged one, is not where one lives. There are naval personnel atm who have spent a year on an aircraft carrier - do they live there? They do not, they live at their homes. Ask them. The line is just someone being clever, which I don't mind, but it isn't encyclopaedic. Adam 01:32, 27 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Also: "Earth has one natural satellite, "the Moon", which revolves around the Earth." Is this not a rather geocentric view? In fact the Earth and the Moon revolve around each other, or rather around a point between them, closer to the Earth than to the Moon because of the Earth's greater mass. If we were living on the Moon, the Earth would appear to be revolving around us, no? Adam 10:53, 24 Dec 2003 (UTC)

The Earth-Moon barycenter is located well underneath the surface of Earth, so the Moon really can be said to be orbiting Earth. I see nothing overly "geocentric" about this, it's factual. Bryan 19:34, 24 Dec 2003 (UTC)

In contrast to the degree by which Luna orbits Terra; Terra's "orbit" of Luna is negligible. Lirath Q. Pynnor

This is Archive 2 covering 2004.

Missing info

How did the Earth form? What aspect of the Earth or its location do astrobiologists hypothesize as having been crucial to the development of its most idiosyncratic feature--life. How did life emerge and when. Have there been any noteworthy biological events since the appearance of the first cell? How does the emergence and history of life relate to geological and climate evolution? How often is Earth hit by asteroids? What have been the consequences? Do we expect more?

How did scientists determine the average density of the earth? - The average density is Mass divided by Volume. To find the volume you need the radius which you can find by measuring the curvature of the Earth like Eratostenes did about 230BC. Then you know the volume of the Earth (assuming it is sufficiently spherical). To measure the mass you need to know the gravitational constant which was measured sometime I believe sometime in the 18th century. You apply Newton's law for gravity (the one with inverse-square radius) and you have the mass.

How many human-made satellites are there and when did the first one (sputnik) go up? If you count every single piece of manmade debris - millions. Sputnik - October 4th 1957.

How do people study the Earth? What kind of scientists study it? What questions plague us, if any? What are predicted fates of the Earth? What about the ozone hole? What about the Kyoto protocol? What about geomagnetic reversals?168... 05:22, 17 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Humans living in orbit

Nearly all humans live on Earth: 6,327,152,352 inhabitants (November 1, 2003 est.)

Wow, that's an incredibly accurate "estimate"?? And what does it mean "nearly all humans live on Earth"?? Even those who are not on earth would not consider someplace outside earth their permanent residence. Certainly a more specific observation could be made (e.g. number of humans on average who are living in space at a given time). Revolver 01:19, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)
This issue has been raised in talk: before. Note that the very next line of the article explains what "nearly" means; "In orbit about Earth: 2 astronauts (November 28, 2003), on board the International Space Station." Whether being on board a permanently manned space station for a portion of a year counts as "living" there is apparently a matter of debate, but I believe it should count; scientists who spend the winter at the Antarctic research base are often described as "living" there for the winter, and the situation is quite analogous IMO. Bryan 01:50, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Largest terrestrial planet

User:Cantus has twice removed this statement from the intro paragraph: "the largest terrestrial planet in the solar system." I disagree with the reasons he's stated in the edit summaries (first that Jupiter's core might be larger, and then that it was "anecdotal"), and think it is a totally reasonable thing to say in the intro. Cantus, could you explain in greater detail why you think it should be removed? Bryan 04:27, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I don't think there's any credible evidence of any terrestrial planet our solar system that is larger than earth. Cantus' objections are absurd. I say if it gets removed in the future, that should be considered vandalism unless there's a damn good explanation. --Doradus 01:45, Sep 23, 2004 (UTC)

Personally I'd re-phrase it to be: "largest of the inner planets in the solar system" --- but I tend to dislike the phrase "terrestrial planet" as used here in any event. To me a "terrestrial planet" is a term of science fiction and describes a planet with a breathable atmosphere. They are using a non-intuitive interpretation of the Latin root terra to equate Earth with a silicate crust. That implies that the moon is "terrestrial" (though not a "terrestrial planet"). I consider that to be counter-intuitive and the confusion caused by it to be wholly unnecessary.
Many would disagree with you on that. The term "terrestrial planet" is a well-defined scientific term. --Doradus 01:49, Oct 1, 2004 (UTC)
I personally don't think Jupiter's core counts as a terrestial planet. The huge layer of gases around it, forming most of Jupiter's volume, makes the physical conditions on Jupiter's core completely different from those on real terrestial planets. The same goes, of course, for Saturn, Neptune and Uranus as well. 11:46, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Personal opinions don't enter into it. The term is well-defined, and Earth is the largest of the four terrestrial planets, period. --Doradus 16:16, August 6, 2005 (UTC)
Doradus is correct, except that NASA has a Terrestrial Planet Finder. Semantic questions should be settled by usage. Usage is determined by Doradus's link, or by Googling "terrestrial planet". A planet's core is not called a planet, terrestrial or otherwise. Art LaPella 16:19, August 7, 2005 (UTC)
Excellent point. At least our own article on Terrestrial planets is clear enough. Whatever definition we use at Wikipedia, we should be consistent. --Doradus 16:51, August 19, 2005 (UTC)


Bryan Derksen, where are you getting that mean temperature from? Averaging the min and max gives 258, not 282... If that average temp. was obtained thru a different method, care to mention the source? --Cantus 06:00, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I don't know the source offhand, but the mean temperature of a planet is not necessarily just the max temperature plus the min temperature divided by two; those two extreme temperatures occur under exceptional conditions at just two particular locations on Earth's surface. Averaging them and calling that the mean would be like trying to determine sea level by averaging the height of Mt. Everest and the depth of the Mariannas Trench, so I'm not surprised it differs. :) Bryan 06:21, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
[3] has the mean temperature as 287 K, which is pretty close to the figure that was in the article. Bryan 06:28, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

natural satellite

the moon is not the only "natural satellite". E.g. the earth has captured an asteroid named Cruithne.

about mentioning the moon in a short article about earth: it's important. On this level, the earth is nothing than a planet among 9 others. The number of moons is characteristic and has to be meantioned.

No, Cruithne is not a moon of Earth; it's a co-orbital body at best. Trojan asteroids are not counted as moons of Jupiter and they're generally much more tightly bound than Cruithne is. I'm not sure what you mean about the importance of mentioning of the Moon in this article, since there's already a section all about it in here. Bryan 02:58, 8 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Cruithne and the Trojan Asteroids are not "moons" but they are satellites.
You make it sound as though there were no controversy in that statement. --Doradus 01:54, Oct 1, 2004 (UTC)
They weren't put there by human effort ergo they are not artificial (hence, "natural"). Thus the original criticism seems valid; the Moon is not Earth's only natural satellite. One could argue that the Moon is Earth's only significant natural satellite; or that it's the only satellite visible to the naked eye from the Earth's surface.JimD 19:36, 2004 Sep 26 (UTC)
In the context of Cruithne, it is also worth mentioning the recently-discovered asteroid 2002 AA29. This is an asteroid that is co-orbital with the Earth. Occasionally, this asteroid is believed to enter into a quasi-satellite state, where it orbits the Earth and Sun in a period of 1 year. This asteroid is predicted to become a quasi-satellite in 2575.
More information on 2002 AA29: Earth’s New Travelling Companion: Quasi-Satellite Discovered --B.d.mills 10:57, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Year length ratio not right

I get 365.25636 / 365.2422 ≈ 1.00003877. Fredrik (talk) 19:25, 16 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Hmmm, that's a good point. Doing the calculation the other way around gives 365.25636 / 1.0000174 = 365.25 exactly. And likewise for the other planets: for Jupiter, 4330.595 days / 11.856523 years = 365.25 exactly.
It turns out that JPL is using a Julian year of exactly 365.25 days, which astronomers still use for ephemeris work because of the direct and simple conversion to the Julian date (which is really the fundamental way to mark a point in time in astronomy). So I edited Earth and the other planet pages to reflect this. -- Curps 20:08, 16 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Magnetic field

The planet is big enough to have the core differentiated into a liquid outer core, which gives rise to a weak magnetic field due to the convection of its electrically conductive material, and a solid inner core.

It is generally believed that the rotation of the inner core (which is primarily composed of iron) creates the Earth's magnetic field. It is not known, exactly, why this occurs.

I think this is confusing. What is causing the magnetic field - inner or outer core? Are there two components of the field? This needs to be clarified. Paranoid 11:02, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)

It is not only confusing, but it would also appear to be inaccurate since it is the rotation of the outer core that creates the magnetic field. The solid inner core has a stablizing effect, but is probably not strictly necessary to maintaining the geodynamo. I will try to correct this section. Dragons flight 16:49, Jun 23, 2004 (UTC)
Thanks. Paranoid 18:15, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)


Most of them have reported a heightened understanding of its value and importance, reverence for human life and amazement at its beauty, not usually achieved by those living on the surface.

Does this need to be in this article? Do we even have a source for it? Edward 10:01, 25 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I was unsure about where to place it, the Earth actually felt like the most relevant. We probably don't have a source for the "most" bit - that would be 200+ people and there wasn't a study about it, but so far I've read such things said by both space tourists, by Glenn and a couple other American astronauts and by several Russian cosmonauts as well. Some of them mentioned that these feelings are common among other spacefarers too. I think this is quite important fact, even if it sounds a bit silly and pompous. This can also be connected to the (missing?) article about Pale Blue Dot. Paranoid 12:55, 25 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Question about inclination

Inclination of Earth's orbit is given as 0.00005 degrees. Since this is the inclination to the Ecliptic, shouldn't this be 0 by definition? If the value given is related to some other plane, shouldn't that be made clear? Thanks. Amorim Parga 04:21, 17 Jul 2004 (UTC)

While I can't swear as to the origin of the particular number quoted, it is common to report orbital parameters with respect to either the J1950.0 or J2000.0 reference frames. In these reference frames the plane of the ecliptic and it's orientation is given by the orbit and position of the Earth at 12:00 AM, Jan 1, 1950 or 2000 respectively. So, at the moment that the plane is defined the inclination to the ecliptic is exactly 0, but because of perturbations from other planets, we will drift away from 0 (as measured in that frame) as time passes. Presumably this is the reason that the inclination is reported to be slightly non-zero, but I don't know at what time this was calculated or with respect to what reference frame. Dragons flight 04:41, Jul 17, 2004 (UTC)
(grumble about ascending node self-deleted.) If, as I've come to suspect, it means WRT the mean plane of the orbit, then 1) meanness should be spec'd in ecliptic 2) this article should have the associated epoch included, because as the intersection of two damn near parallel planes surely the values change rapidly. 06:31, 24 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Shouldn't the entry say "Mostly harmless." ?? Just drooling. ;-)

Torque Comparison

Someone attempted to add a comparison of the torques felt on the Earth by different astronomical objects in order to explain why the moon has a stabalizing effect on the axis of the Earth. For one thing, this is rather technical information and might not fit very well into this page, but worse than that, the numbers quoted were simply very wrong. It is clear from the scale of the numbers stated that the author was merely comparing the force exerted on the Earth from various astronomical objects. However the force is not the same as the torque. The torque depends not on the total force but on the difference in the force applied to one side of the equatorial bulge rather than the other. Because it is so close, the moon has the largest gravitational gradient across the Earth of any astronomical object (followed shortly thereafter by the sun). Hence, the Moon exerts the largest torque on the Earth and that is why the moon acts to stabilizes the Earth's axial tilt.

However, other factors are also important. For example, relatively constant torques, such as from the Moon and Sun tend to cause axial precession and not nutations or axial tilts. For other planets (e.g. Mars) the total torques exerted depend more significantly on where it is in its orbit with respect to its nearest neighbors (e.g. Earth and Jupiter). It is when such time varying torques are a significant component of the total torque that one tends to promote chaotic shifts in the planet's axis.

Dragons flight 18:56, Sep 11, 2004 (UTC)

I agree that I did not take into account the variability of the torques (only the Sun and Moon apply constant torque), but that is a minor quibble --it is the very variability of these "pulse torques" that drives rotation into an eventual chaotic regime. After thinking about it some, I must admit Dragons flight is right that it is the tidal forces I should have used. It is thus right and proper to remove the erroneous sentence. It was a tad too technical anyway, and did'nt fit well with the flow of the text.
Urhixidur 03:01, 2004 Sep 12 (UTC)

Seems that the complex and as stated controversial subject of chaotic instability of Earth's axial tilt under moon should be moved to another article, maybe to axial tilt, rather than in this long general article. -Vsmith 01:49, 17 Oct 2004 (UTC)


Cantus wrote: Encyclopedias are not written for aliens or animals.  So what's wrong with aliens (or animals) reading Wikipedia? — Monedula 11:55, 12 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Population Estimate

Can we remove the specific number and round to the nearest 10,000? I'm pretty sure we haven't been able to get even that accurate as it is. Oberiko 17:10, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Round to nearest 1,000,000 IMHO. — David Remahl 20:32, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)
It's the classic distinction between accuracy vs. precision. Saying that the human population of the earth is approximately 6 billion (10^9 -- Americal billions) is accurate. Specifying a number with 8 or 9 significant digits is more precise but less accurate (as it implies a precision that is inappropriate to its scale). The fact is that the daily fluctuation in Earth's population is several thousand per day. There are thousands of births and deaths every day. I'd guess that the best precision would be on the order of 100,000 (since it's about one order of magnitude above the daily fluctuations which tend to cancel out with a slightly increasing trend that may be well documented in World population.JimD 19:47, 2004 Sep 26 (UTC)

Surface area

An anonymous user changed the surface area very slightly. I haven't done any calculations, but the change may even be within the error margin. However, I feared that this was one of the slashdot-inspired changes designed to evaluate the efficiency of Wikipedia peer review, so I'd like to find a recent supporting source for one of the numbers. However, my efforts of googling something up have been unsuccessful. Help? — David Remahl 20:32, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I can contribute some calculations. Hopefully it's good enough to assume an oblate spheroid with polar radius 6356.78km and equatorial radius 6378.14km, which are taken from our own Earth page (but which are more precise than the values listed in NASA's planetary fact sheet).

First, the eccentricity is defined by:

Solving for eccentricity e:

Plugging into the formula for the area of an oblate spheroid:

This is evidently the calculation performed by the anonymous editor. However, carrying it to the nearest square kilometer is excessive, since (for instance) that implies that the radius figures are accurate to the nearest centimeter (!!), and is also far beyond the accuracy of the oblate spheroid approximation. Certainly 510,067,000km² is more than enough precision. --Doradus 02:48, Sep 23, 2004 (UTC)

An unimportant point regarding the surface area of the Earth: the actual surface area of the Earth is slightly smaller than the surface area as calculated from its radius. This is due to the Earth's gravitational warping of space-time, and the difference is about an acre (about half a hectare).--B.d.mills 11:06, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Uranium Core

I recently read a rather interesting article in Science News or in New Scientist about a theory that the Earth may have a Uranium core deep inside our Iron core. The main thesis of this theory is that it accounts for otherwise inexplicable levels of energy.

Unfortunately I don't have the citations at hand and I'd be reluctant to add references to this theory without some discussion of it's merits. (In any event it would be posed only as a short counterpoint paragraph to the comment about the core's putative lack of heavier elements, especially uranium.

Here's one older link: Discover, August, 2002. (Normally I wouldn't consider Discover to be a compellingly credible source --- but I'm sure I read this elsewhere and was impressed with the logic of the theory).

JimD 20:11, 2004 Sep 26 (UTC)

The first line may be incorrect: Aliens may view this article

Where it says on the first line "Earth, the planet on which we live", that may be incorrect if aliens from another planet grasp satelite signals from our planet. In that case, we may offend them and they could sue Wikipedia for irrelevant information. I therefore feel we should change it to "Earth, the planet on which humans live". It's important that our information be as relevant as possible, and that is why we should change the first line.

Nonsense. Wikipedia is not written for aliens. Wikipedia is written for humans. Aliens who don't understand that must be very stupid aliens. Gerritholl 14:29, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Someone's been watching too much SciFi ;) Tom 04:23, Oct 9, 2004 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not written for aliens. But why not? What's wrong with aliens? — Monedula 06:41, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Regardless of our knowing about aliens reading this article or not, it surely would be the most factual characterisation of our home planet. I'd vote strongly for Earth, the planet on which humans live, with a correct link to an article explaining what a human is. The same should be applied to the solar system, the sun, which all should be called "our solar system", "our sun" instead. In this particular article only, of course. At least to emphasize our ability to not look at the baseline facts from the human-centric POV only. Maybe some kind of poll, ideas, anyone? Oneliner 19:52, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps a separate entry may be made for aliens to read: "Mostly Harmless".
Perhaps you should just bear in mind that fact that there's currently no evidence for past or current intelligent life or, in fact, any type of life in the Universe besides life on Earth. Wikipedia is supposed to deal with facts and established truths, not mere suggestions and controversial interpretations of incomplete data. For people keen on sharing knowledge with potential extraterrestrials, consider working in SETI. Smartech 00:59, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
But the phrase Earth, the planet on which humans live conveys a fact and an established truth, isn't it? — Monedula 07:22, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
There is a moratorium on writing for extraterrestrials, which will be lifted simply by extraterrestrials participating in editing Wikipedia. (SEWilco 05:51, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC))
How do you know they are not already? Are you SURE none of the anons are aliens editing from Area 51? Of course, they and the govt would deny it. All your base are belong to us 13:52, 27 May 2005 (UTC)
If Aliens get Wikipedia off Satallite signals they must obviously be able to work out it is from another Planet, then they will find it is "Human Being", then they will realise by the time the signal got to them Earth will have exploded and 95% of Wikipedia will be irrelevant :) -Occono 15:46, July 25, 2005 (UTC)


I removed the word "billion" in the second most recent edit as of when this edit to the talk page was made, but then someone started to include both forms?? Any comments about whether the word "billion" should be kept?? 15:47, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Billion re-inserted along with scientific notation for clarity (for those who understand sci. not.). Billion is also used in several other places within the article and I inserted sci. not. with them also. May have missed some. Also did some more cleanup on this hodge-podge article at the same time. I'm the someone referred to in your note. Who are you? -Vsmith 16:40, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)


Earth is almost never called Sol III. Google hits:

4.650.000 (most indirectly related)

The latter is almost exclusively science-fiction. It is not enough to be featured in the first line in the article about Earth. An obscure SF-term is not notable enough for that! Gerritholl 09:47, 16 Oct 2004 (UTC)

How about "Dirt"? Google shows 654 hits for "Planet Dirt" :) -- Arwel 22:50, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Third rock from the Sun

(SEWilco 05:54, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC))

Human life outside earth

Does anyone have any opinions about whether permanent human life outside earth can become possible?? Where in the universe is this?? (This question was brought to my attention based on something that Louis Epstein wrote a while ago about people living thousands of years, which he says advanced technology makes possible, but which can't become useful with human life staying completely on earth because earth will become too crowded.) (Also, if you have any external links that talk about doing so, feel free to include them.) 14:49, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I'm sure that most of us have opinions on that. In a galaxy of at least 100 billion (1.0E9) stars it seems pretty darn likely that there are a more than a few that have terrestial sized planets at suitable distances around Sol type stars for liquid water to pool on the surface. There is even some evidence to suggest that the distinctive ratio and distance between the Earth and the Moon could be quite common. (Simulations show that a planet forming from primordial gas would naturally form another body near the La Grangian point between the planet and its star. That would be at the L4 or L5 regions between Earth and Sol in this case. The presence of a Jovian sized and situated planet would rock the other body out of its La Grangian point, where it would collide with the major body (Earth) and probably form a moon like ours. This theory does account for the relatively large iron core on Earth with the correspondingly low iron content on the Moon, since the impact would vaporize and melt most of the material of both bodies and the heaviest elements would tend to sink to the center of the larger mass whild the light silica, aluminum, etc, would coalesce into the crust and into the sattellite).
So, in short, there are opinions and more importantly there are theories that describe the mechanics of how a terrestrial Earth/Moon system could readily form around any star similar to Sol with a Jovian planet at the appropriate distance. There are simulations that support these theories. (The fact that the Moon is so close and relatiively large might be vital to the evolution of terrestrial life due to tidal effects at least, and possibly due to the way that the Moon "sweeps" our orbits and apparently significantly reduces the number of meteoric and other collisions with Earth). From a cosmological point of view Earth and Sol and our entire Solar system shouldn't be remarkable. There are millions of other stars in this galaxy that are similar in all the respects that we can observe from here, and many of the models suggest that nearly identical planetary formations could readily occur in many of them. We only know of our Solar system's remarkable capacity to support terrestrial life because we happen to be here; and we know of know way that we could detect terrestial-similar life even as close as Alpha Centauri, much less further out.
I would find it likely that there are other planets that already support carbon, nitrogen, oxygen life forms. There might be thousands of them. It's possible that we are the only "intelligent" life form in this galaxy at this time. However, there are many superclusters, each consisting of tens of thousands of galaxies, each of which having at least hundreds of spiral galaxies like ours, and each of those containing billions of stars like ours. It would be the epitomy of arrogance to assume that this little bump on a speck in one of them is the only place in the observed universe were "we" can be found. However, that's just my opinion and an inkling of the reasoning upon which I've formed it.JimD 13:17, 2004 Dec 4 (UTC)

Artificial Satellites

I've seen no mention of the number of artificial satellites orbiting Earth. I think it is definitely worth noting that our planet has thousands of bits of metal that we put up there ourselves orbiting it, even if only from an astronomical standpoint. --Jacius 22:30, 24 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I don't think it's possible to know how many "artificial satellites" there are, in the sense of separate objects in orbit which were put there by humans. Back in the 1960s there was an experiment which involved releasing millions of "needles" (or exploding a satellite into very small fragments, I forget which) into orbit to see how they behaved. This has polluted certain orbits ever since, and was a particularly stupid idea. -- Arwel 22:53, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC)

moon navigator

It would be good to link the various moon navigator's together, and provide a small page explaining them(it could be called Wikipedia:moon navigator). Right now, it's not obvious what purpose it serves. I don't have time to do it right now, but I'll do it if no one else gets to it. JesseW 13:39, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Infobox template

The template seems to have been corrupted. I don't know how to access it so I copied the infobox from before the template move (11-4) and pasted it back into the article. -Vsmith 01:00, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Looks like an anonymous user chopped off the last few lines of the template, which removed the table-termination code (as well as the "edit this template" link that would have made it easier to fix :). The entirety of the article wound up being engulfed by the table as a result. I've fixed it now. Bryan 02:04, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Thanks. I had figured that was the likely problem, just couldn't find the template file to fix it. I'm learning... -Vsmith 03:20, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Whenever you see something in curly brackets like {{this}}, you can usually find it at The exception is when it's explicitly in another namespace, such as {{Wikipedia:this}}, a trick that's used in many of the "voting" administrative pages to keep things tidy. That doesn't come up in regular articles, though. Bryan 03:48, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)

That Image of Earth is 5 MBs...

Rather large for an article don't you think?

Zen Master 05:15, 19 Nov 2004 (UTC)

The image that's actually displayed on Wikipedia is only 110kB, though, since it's been thumbnailed. You only download the 5MB version if you click through the thumbnail. Bryan 08:00, 19 Nov 2004 (UTC)
yeah but still too big, and links to too big of a file. I guess wikipedia gets their bandwidth for free. Zen Master 08:16, 19 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I think it's donated by Bomis. — David Remahl 08:21, 19 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Personally, I think it's good both for the reason that extra resolution is always better for free content when possible(makes reuse easier), and the impression that the earth is as big as it is is strengthend by having an image that can't easily be displayed on one screen. ;-) JesseW 08:43, 19 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I agree about the resolution, but what about modem or other slow users and if wikipedia's bandwidth really is free may I have some too? Zen Master 10:05, 19 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I just added a note to the caption.(On Template:Planet Infobox/Earth) Re: free bandwidth; you just did, and do everytime someone looks at your User page. ;-) JesseW 05:47, 20 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Hollow Earth?

I've heard talk about a hollow Earth theory.. and I've done little research on it with Google. I'm not sure if it's complete bogus or if it's true, but some people seem to believe the theory (and some claim to have traveled inside Earth). Shouldn't something about this theory about Earth be included? --Mike 07:43, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)

There's an article about it at Hollow Earth. Oddly enough, it's not linked to from this article; I'll fix that. Bryan 08:47, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)

This is Archive 3 covering March 25, 2006 - August, 8 2006.


Shouldn't we mention something about Tellus? [anon]

I noticed this after adding a short note to the intro. The OED attests Tellus from c. 1430. Its definition:
(tɛləs) [L. tellūs.]
In Roman mythology, the goddess of the earth; hence, the earth personified; the planet Earth, the terrestrial globe.
The Spring swell'd by some smoaking Shower, That teeming Clouds on Tellus surface poure.
Reason, like Sol to Tellus kind, Ripens the products of the mind.
There are some adjectival forms, such as Tellural, that the OED has only attested from other dictionaries. Telluric of course is ambiguous as to whether it refers to Tellus or Tellurium, but was used for the Earth (and generic earth) in the 19th century:
The equal periods that are marked for us by the celestial and telluric revolutions.
The great problem of telluric magnetism.
Epidemic influences..dependent in a great measure upon obscure atmospheric or telluric conditions.
A ‘telluric poison’ is generated in [the Campagna] by the energy of the soil.
The form Tellurian is unambiguous. The OED has:
(tɛˈl(j)ʊərɪən) [f. L. tellūr-em the earth + -IAN.]
A. adj. Of or pertaining to the earth; earthly, terrestrial. B. n. An inhabitant of the earth.
Examples, again, all from the 19th century:
The stratified cemetery of the ‘tellurian’ crust.
There, lunar...[and] tellurian..methods of accounting for a myth.
If any distant worlds..are so far ahead of us Tellurians in optical resources.
Our own case, the case of poor mediocre Tellurians.
kwami 2005 July 7 21:13 (UTC)

Social statistics in the infobox

Identifying Earth with the human race seems rather inaccurate to me. There must be a more appropriate article for those stats to go in. I would recommend human. Bonalaw 09:55, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I say they should stay here. You might split out Earth (planet) (which now redirects here, move info to that article instead) with information similar to that in Mercury (planet) and Venus (planet) and the like, leaving only a little of that here with link. Gene Nygaard 10:36, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I dislike that new info box with human social statistics. The rest of the article is mostly on the physical characteristics of the earth, it seems as though the social statistics are out of place.

Also I would like to point out that there are exactly two (2) refferences for this article when I am typing this. This number should be far far higher for an article as important as this one. Harley peters 20:40, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Yes, the social statistics definitely needs to go. I suggest moving it to human. Fredrik | talk 18:49, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

New illustrations available

For the Swedish article I've created an illustration of Earth's interior. If you like it you might want to add it here as well. Have a look at:

  1. commons:Image:jordens_inre_med_siffror.jpg
  2. commons:Image:jordens_inre.jpg

/ Mats Halldin 06:00, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I like the carbon cycle diagram --Smartech 07:04, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Mostly Harmless needs to be put somewhere at the top of the page, as it would deter vandalism

Anyone else in favor of wiping out the article and replacing it with the words "mostly harmless"? I thought I'd survey public opinion before doing it myself. Halidecyphon 20:41, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I just resisted the temptation, myself. - RJ Mar 2005

It's been done over and over and over and over and over and over (deep breath) and over and over again. It was barely funny the first time. :) Bryan 07:43, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Before you do it you must file proper paperwork for "Interstellar Topic Bypass" at the regional Vogon consulate. (SEWilco 17:16, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC))
It is highly reccomended that you attend a vogon poetry recital while there, preferably before filing Kim Bruning 17:33, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)
#REDIRECT H2G2 -- Solipsist 20:49, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I especially like the part of a recent valdalism stating GDP of $900 billion per capita, if inflation doesnt skyrocket as well :) Smartech 07:02, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I do think there should be "Listed as Mostly Harmless in The Hitchhickers Guide to the Galaxey" ;imWACC0
I put 'mostly harmless' in there at a lesser extreme. If you want to see it, go to the main page of this article. Nobody seems to mind, since it's not blanking. Well, before I did it, I got banninated for repeatedly blanking it. Hehehe. Flameviper12 13:13, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

List of people tempted to do this, who thought better of it after reading the note at the top of the page

I say we should do it, but perhaps there should first be a poll, perhaps on the main page. Tribute to the greatest writer who ever lived is always important.
Above unsigned comment by, a user who has done the "blank and Mostly Harmless" thing several times, despite several warnings (including a specific request not to do so by me on May 13 here). --Deathphoenix 21:14, 27 May 2005 (UTC)
iT MUST BE DONE, but whoops, I left my Caps Lock on. Hahaha! I have been banninated for this before, I learned. Hehe. Flameviper12 13:15, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

How about this. Next time someone replaces it with "mostly harmless", we slap a copyvio template on it? --SPUI (talk) 22:44, 27 May 2005 (UTC)

The irony is that anyone who tries to describe Earth as "mostly harmless" in an encyclopedia is missing the point of the joke anyway. --Bonalaw 11:40, 28 May 2005 (UTC)

I considered changing it. Should I? Go on, let me. It'll be funny.

And I didn't even know you could put comments in articles like that...Fantom 19:31, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Why don't we just add it as a quotation like in the Italian page: [4] I know that the joke is replacing everything Ford Prefect fellow wikipedia contributors wrote with "mostly harmless"... but it should be mentioned --Lou Crazy 05:59, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

How about an article for the Hitchhiker's entry on Earth? Article name: 'Earth: 'Mostly Harmless'' Let's see how long this lasts. oneismany 13:33, 25 January 2006 (UTC)


Recently added:

The earth is a very slightly oblate spheriod, with a average diameter of approximately 12,742 kilometers. Since the highest point on the earth, the summit of Mount Everest is only 8,850 meters, the earth is spherical within a tolerance of one part in 1,439, or 0.00069 percent. The mass of the earth is approximately 6 sextillion metric tons.

The tolerance part of this is nonsense. We quote in the article "Equatorial diameter 12,756.28 km, Polar diameter 12,713.56 km", giving a difference equator to pole of 43 km at sea level. As I recall the point farthest from the center is actually at the top of some mountain in South America near the equator. Though the calculation is apparently wrong, it might still be worth having these few sentences, assuming someone here who isn't about to go bed can figure out how to accurately describe the shape of the Earth. Dragons flight 08:57, Mar 22, 2005 (UTC)

Mount Chimborazo, to be specific. This needs to be addressed. Fredrik | talk 15:06, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Image vs Infobox

User:Dragons_flight said that Image:Earth-crust-cutaway-english.png being placed on the right causes problems: "On wide screens, placing it on the right creates a huge gap between Core and Mantle." Not on my browser, even when expanding to span two monitors. Placing the image on the left can produce the text below on a more common width. (I'll work on the monster Infobox some to reduce various problems). (SEWilco)

extends to
a depth of 2890 km. The pressure, at the bottom of the mantle, is

That looks better. I split the social box off, and moved it next to the Human section. Infoboxes tend to be at the top of an article, but that would widely separate the related text and box, with a lot of Earth_as_planet between. (SEWilco 05:33, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC))

What's Going on?

The first part of this article is total crap...I can't get rid of it cause I can't find it when I go to edit...something's wrong! Bremen 05:33, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)

editnote template listed for deletion

In case someone is interested, the editnote template used in the Mostly Harmless reminder has been suggested for deletion: Templates_for_deletion#Template:Editnote Template author: (SEWilco 18:11, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC))

there are other solar systems

I really think the beginning of this article should be more general. (not signed by submitter)

If that's the case, the article for Solar system needs to be updated. It implies there is only one system centred on Sol. Notinasnaid 19:26, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
No, as this is about a specific planet. The beginning does have a link to solar system, which promptly mentions that if you are interested in bodies around other stars you should look at planetary system. (SEWilco 19:29, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC))

Featured article?

This article is great! Has it been featured yet? If it's not, then it should definitely be put up! LeoDV 7 July 2005 20:27 (UTC)

Okay, I nominated it. Let's see what happens. Dragons flight July 7, 2005 21:43 (UTC)
Prediction: Even more people will think it's cool to replace the article's contents with "Mostly harmless". :-)
Atlant 7 July 2005 22:13 (UTC)

Human social statistics Languages % table accurate?

The percentages (with the possible exception of Mandarin Chinese) seem seem to be way off compared to List of languages by total speakers or List of the most spoken native languages. Am I missing something here? --Slark July 9, 2005 06:45 (UTC)

Blue marble photo

How did the current blue marble photo get reverted to the old overly red image again? I don't even see it in the history! The version that I uploaded in place of it [5] seems gone now. --Deglr6328 21:48, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

I don't know. The current image looks good to me: blue, white, and brown, just as it should. The one you just linked to comes out a horrible fluorescent green on my monitor. The problem with selecting colors that look good on one computer it that they won't look quite the same on anyone else's. kwami 22:46, 2005 July 10 (UTC)
I haven't tried to figure it out in the case of Earth, but based on the history of The Blue Marble, User:Reisio is clearly one person who had a problem with your version. You might go talk to him. Dragons flight 00:38, July 11, 2005 (UTC)
I guess what I want to know is how an image which was uploaded OVER antoher image can be reverted without anything in the history of that image's page....--Deglr6328 02:46, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
Are you sure it was? There seem to be two images involved Image:The Blue Marble.jpg and Image:The Earth seen from Apollo 17.jpg? Also, did you upload it at commons or here? Sometimes when things are moved to commons part of the image history gets lost (which is really a very big no-no, but still happens). Dragons flight 03:00, July 11, 2005 (UTC)
Well back in March it was Image:Earth-apollo17.jpg that was a FeaturedPicture [6] but that one seems to have disappeared without trace. In the process, the {{FeaturedPicture}} tags have also been lost. I vaguely recall spending some time retouching NASA's scanning blemishes on one of these versions, but that record also seems to have disappeared. What I don't understand, is that I can't find any trace of the deleted edit histories. -- Solipsist 07:38, 11 July 2005 (UTC)


I always thought it was an oblique spheroid, but this article calls it an oblate spheroid, how sure are you all about oblate? - (anon) 17:13, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

oh great, now someone's changed it to an ellipsoid )-: - (anon) 17:16, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
Oblate is correct and is found in geodesy literature. Oblique would be incorrect. See the definitions that you linked to. (Don't know if spheroid is more correct than ellipsoid.) -- Kbh3rd 16:27, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

5270 K

This article, and the geothermal (geology) article it refers to, say the center of the Earth is 5270 degrees K. Looking at other websites, 5270 is in the right range but nobody else claims accuracy to the nearest 10 degrees, or even 100. Note that geothermal (geology) also offers the more reasonable guess of 4000 C or higher. I'll let somebody smarter decide what number to use, but I'm pretty sure 5270 has an overstated accuracy. Art LaPella 04:11, July 29, 2005 (UTC)

Nobody smarter has yet arisen, so I shall sally forth alone. Art LaPella 21:47, August 5, 2005 (UTC)

It's really pretty simple. The 5,270 K figure is obviously a conversion from 5,000 °C, by someone smart enough to realize not only that the factions are not significant but also that it clearly isn't accurate to the nearest degree either. I agree that it's probably not accurate to the nearest 10 kelvins either, but give the person who made that conversion credit for having some sense—it it points out the importance of retaining the original measurements when conversions are made, because they often provide the best clues as to the precision of the measurement. Gene Nygaard 03:51, 6 August 2005 (UTC)
I suppose this is the justification for the ridiculous accuracy given for the area of the earth as well, (since the two areas given in the same article don't even match EACH OTHER), which at the time of this writing, is 510,065,284.702 sq. km! The monthly change in the tidal bulge ALONE would wipe out that "0.702" by a mile, heheheh! Can't we use our high school science classes for SOMEthing? Can we at least round off the numbers to what is actually known, as opposed to what can be calculated on a computer? It leads people to presume more knowledge than we actually have. By the way, was that "factions" above supposed to be "fractions"? Change anything you want. I'm just another idiot, anyway. Aspie 23:56, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
I also find accuracy to within a thousandth of a square kilometre pretty unlikely, considering how bumpy this planet is. Yes, we can all apply equations from grade 10 maths, but it doesn't reflect reality.Kai 06:01, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
Somebody smarter means somebody smarter than me. I hope it didn't sound like smarter than Mr. 5270. Art LaPella 05:05, August 6, 2005 (UTC)

Origin of word "earth"?

Obviously the planet's known as Terra in other languages, but how did the word "Earth" end up as the official title? What are its origins? When did it become widely accepted, rather than the mythological Roman name? --Marcg106 16:53, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

Only in the Romance languages. "Terra" is "Earth", as in "Terra incognita". The mythological Roman name was "Tellus". Although that article claims our planet was named after the goddess Terra, the opposite is actually the case: she was simply the goddess "Earth". We call our planet the Earth for the same reason we call our star the Sun, and our moon the Moon: it's the English name for it. It's too familiar for foreign mythological names to have taken over. This is different from the case of the Morning Star/Even Star, which no longer seems appropriate as a name once you realize that it's a body of rock like the one we live on; this gave the name "Venus" a chance to take over. Even in Latin, the mythological names for the Earth, Moon, and Sun were probably not used in normal conversation. In Russian our planet is "Земля", which means Land/Earth. As for the history of its use, I'd imagine that it's "the world on which we dwell", metaphorically extended: from "living on earth" meaning being on land rather than in the heavens, it's come to mean being on our body of rock rather than in space; the whole rock is therefore "the Earth". kwami 08:50, 2005 August 7 (UTC)
My guess is that the tradition goes back to the Bible. Remember that Genesis has the "Earth separated from the waters" at creation (something probably borrowed from Egyptian creation myths), so even geocentric diagrams of our planet, the Sun and planets would naturallt have had the "Earth" rather than anything else. It's plainly because we're land-dwellers, nothing else.
Urhixidur 00:56, 2005 September 3 (UTC)


I am challenging the neutrality of this article. It states that the earth formed billions of years ago, and this is contrary to the beliefs of billions of people, in order for this article to present and represent information in an unbiased manor it should represent other theories and opinions.

THE ORIGIN OF PLANET EARTH IS NOT A VIEWPOINT. REPEAT, "NOT A VIEW POINT"! An encyclopedic entry on Earth is to contain factual, empirical truth. If you want to read about creationism, or any other mythological "theory", search for pages specifically dealing with them. You can't keep attacking scientific knowlege simply because it doesn't conform to whatever prefered reality you wish to live in. Seriously, it is just not acceptable for you to slip religious propaganda into the hard earned scientific knowlege accumulated by some of the greatest minds in human history. For shame!

An atheist, we have? Flameviper12 13:10, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
This is an article about the scientific understanding of the Earth. The proportion of scientists arguing for anything other than an Earth with billions of years of history is too neglible to be worth mentioning. Dragons flight 04:10, August 19, 2005 (UTC)
Do you want some cheese to go with your whine? Get just one billion of those "billions of people" to sign your petition. Actually, the portion of all people, nonscientists as well as scientists, arguing for anything other than an Earth with billions of years of history is also too negligible to be worth mentioning. Gene Nygaard 04:26, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
Billions? Nonsense. Of the people who are educated enough to know that, for example, the Earth goes around the Sun, how many believe that the Earth is 6000 years old? It can't be more than a handful. --noösfractal 04:33, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
I'm sorry to report, but your HOPE that only a handful of people would believe such a thing is completely lacking any validity OR research on your part. I live in a tiny county, in a tiny town, full of tiny churches. I attended one tiny church until recently, and on one service alone, over 30 apparently rational adults burst out loud that they disagreed with the opinion of the adult school teacher that the creationist meaning of the Bible might not be 100% accurate. I live in a "liberal" state, not the Bible belt, so you can be sure, there are tens of thousands, if not millions, who ARE fervent believers. You MIGHT have to accomodate THEIR viewpoint
It is true that a large amount of people believe that the earth is less then a few thousand years old. However, more educated people do not believe in young earth ideas, because they are pseudoscience. It is important to note that 90% of Christian colleges believe and teach that the earth is 4.5 billion years old, dispite what the bible might suggest. -source 2 -- 19:27, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
Feel free to delete whatever you want. This is all pointless anyway. The reason I am even here is because I am trying to find "somewhat" accurate figures for the surface area of the earth. I am horrified to report that even such an "easy" number to calculate (given scientific capabilities) differs by over 1% in most sources, (eh, what's a measly million square kilometers, anyway?). Our own, vaunted article (which IS truly wonderful, by the way), fails to even agree internally with itself, one place advocating a different surface area than another place. If we can't even agree on lies consistently ("Lies, Damned Lies, & Statistics..."), then how are we EVER to figure out the truth? Aspie 23:52, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

I assume our anon. is concerned that I twice removed the following: (according to some theories) (hover over that and see where it really leads) which I saw as a deceptive edit, hiding origin beliefs link behind according to some theories is sneaky editing. It has nothing to do with origin beliefs - it is about well founded scientific evidence and continuing testing. Vsmith 15:53, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

I took it as a clear effort to slip in some creationist doubt as to the facts presented in the article. (I also reverted it once, but someone else beat me to it.)
Atlant 16:26, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

I totally agree, this article is NOT neutral neither is it factual. Science has not proven that the earth is old at all, to the contrary it has shown that it cannot be older than 6,000 years.
Science has not proven that the earth moves either (if anyone thinks that it has you might try collecting that $15,000 reward!)
NarrowPathPilgrim 08:36, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Sparing others the trouble of mistaking the above comment for dripping sarcasm—it's not, I'm afraid. Femto 13:36, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
You obviously don't understand relativity or occam's razor.-- 19:38, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
Yep, science has long since given up on special reference frames. It developed a consistent set of laws that hold true for any observer, and has proven that it is impossible to prove the Earth is 'moving'. Asking otherwise is claptrap and putting up an unattainable reward is malarkey. (how's that related to the age anyway?) Femto 20:49, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

question about *-spheres

In school, I was taught that there is pedosphere in addition to lithosphere, biosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere. There is also article on cryosphere. I wonder, these words are not referenced here, are they still used? Samohyl Jan 11:19, 27 August 2005 (UTC)

Neutrality, Part II

That the earth is round does go contrary to the beliefs of a few people. Now, they are a tiny minority, so I'm not asking that the article insert caveats. However, like someone mentioned above, this is about scientific knowledge of the aspects of the earth. As such, the warning I keep trying to assert is totally appropriate. I goes as follows -

This data in this article reflect the current scientific consensus on those aspects. For alternate, non-mainstream perspectives, see earth shape debate.

I don't think it's unreasonable at all to mention the scientific nature of this article before stating a bunch of things some people totally reject. NPOV, guys, NPOV. MrVoluntarist 00:03, 3 September 2005 (UTC)

From WP:NPOV: "If a viewpoint is held by an extremely small (or vastly limited) minority, it doesn't belong in Wikipedia (except perhaps in some ancillary article) regardless of whether it's true or not; and regardless of whether you can prove it or not (see Wikipedia:Flat earth problem)." The fact that the Earth is round is used by no less than Jimbo himself as the canonical example of a view that is opposed by so few a number of people that opponents do not even deserve mention in normal articles. Hence, the "earth shape debate" should not be mentioned here. Dragons flight 00:23, September 3, 2005 (UTC)
Where does he say that? (And please, don't provide a re-link of the Wikipedia:Flat earth problem. I read the link. He does not say in taht, or in the NPOV page that the flat earth is a prototypical example of something that should not be included.) Moreover, the note at the top does not say anything about a flat earth. It just mentions that the article is providing scientific facts. This is necessary, because even people that agree the earth is round have a hard time accepting, for example, the age of the earth. And there are a lot more than you think. Simply stating that this is a scientific article is not harmful at all, I don't see what the problem is. MrVoluntarist 01:13, 3 September 2005 (UTC)
The problem with a link to the Earth shape debate is that the latter is not a scientific argument. Most of the "arguments" listed there fall under the category of sophistry, ad hominem arguments and the like.
Urhixidur 00:48, 2005 September 3 (UTC)
Really? "The earth appears flat" is a sophistical and/or ad hominem argument? That no roundness-skeptic has been allowed to examine the moon rocks is a sophistical and/or ad hominem argument? That no one has walked around the earth or dug through it is a sophistical and/or ad hominem argument? Please, use proper terminology. MrVoluntarist 01:13, 3 September 2005 (UTC)

Either a bogus attempt to sneak creationist concepts upfront again in the article - or - someone just wanting to justify the existence of a poorly written debate article earth shape debate which is just flat earth nonsense trying to pose as a real rather than phoney debate. Is MrVoluntarist the anon who added Neutrality part I? Vsmith 01:55, 3 September 2005 (UTC)

I'm not that anonymous poster; I just read his/her comment. See here[7] and then scroll up and down to see me posting as 24.162... before posting under my current name. Now, I'm sorry if you don't like creationist views, but you need to keep in mind that Wikipedia is written from a neutral point of view, not a scientific point of view. As such, we need to provide links to alternate views. No one's asking that we insert "what round-earthers believe to be ..." everywhere. All I ask is that there be mention that this is a scientific article and include a link to a non-scientific article. And I don't get why you say it's poorly-written. It's short maybe, but it presents the facts very well, if I do say so myself. And there is a debate. That one side is regarded as very victorious does not deny that there has historically been a debate and people have used the arguments listed. MrVoluntarist 03:04, 3 September 2005 (UTC)
Hmm...OK, glad you're not that anon. Now - it seems odd that you would create a page about this so-called debate and then attempt to link to it from this page in such a prominent way - without even bothering to create a link from the flat Earth page. That makes me even more skeptical of your motives. As for the poorly written, it seems someone quickly slapped a cleanup tag to it, and I haven't seen any effort on your part to comply. Vsmith 03:27, 3 September 2005 (UTC)
I was going to put a link from Flat Earth, but since someone suggested it be merged, I figured it was going to eventually happen, so what's the point? I haven't made massive improvements during the eternal ~48 hours that passed since the notice was placed because I really don't see what standard the person who placed it was referring to. It's not poorly writtin per se, it's just short and without documentation, i.e., like the zillion other stubs that don't have the cleanup warning. In my opinion, it's more appropriate to say it's a stub than to say it's written to a low standard of quality. My reason for linking it from the Earth page is because, well, this article needs to have mentioned that this is all scientific data (and thus may conflict with religious views), so I figured I might as well put a link to an "alternate" perspective. Would there be a better non-mainstream article to link to? MrVoluntarist 03:45, 3 September 2005 (UTC)

The link doesn't belong and the new page either needs to reflect the fact that this is a historic debate which is now settled or go to VfD. There is no contemporary debate--arguments otherwise I wouldn't even call pseudoscience, but patent nonsense. I'm willing to leave it because it could become a placeholder for interesting points; Magellan's expedition finally proving the round Earth for example. Marskell 07:47, 3 September 2005 (UTC)

Scratch that. Flat Earth has this covered. I think the link should go to VfD. Marskell 09:45, 3 September 2005 (UTC)
You mean the article should go VfD? Links don't get VfD'd. I think the points should just be merged into the Flat earth page. MrVoluntarist 16:29, 3 September 2005 (UTC)
Okay, Marskell, I obviously don't believe in a flat earth, but Magellan's voyage most certainly did not prove the Earth is round. On the flat Earth model, you can travel the exact same path he did. So if you're going to use an example to show why the flat-earthers lost, you need to pick another one. MrVoluntarist 16:29, 3 September 2005 (UTC)
I must say I'm not familiar with the "flat-earth model" and I don't really want to get into it. The principle feature of pseudoscience is that it can't be falsified so debates are generally useless—i.e., I'm sure "the model" will have an answer for everything. How about the Global Flyer? The international space station? A hoax I suppose. Marskell 16:48, 3 September 2005 (UTC)
Pseudoscience is not excluded from Wikipedia. Not that "having an answer for everything" makes it pseudoscience anyway, or else science is pseudoscientific. For future reference, by the way, the main flat earth model is with the northpole at center and Antarctica forming the edge of the disc. Kind of like the United Nations flag. MrVoluntarist 22:30, 3 September 2005 (UTC)

Reverted move

I just reverted an undiscussed move of the article to Earth (planet). The move was made by User:Acid. I don't recall any discussion of such a proposed move. Vsmith 01:08, 4 September 2005 (UTC)

Descriptions of Earth in Science Fiction

There's already a Earth in fiction article. I say move this section there. --kop 01:01, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

Reverting NPOV?

Why do you people keep reverting my attempts to reveal that the information in the article is based on scientific study, rather than the Truth? MrVoluntarist 03:22, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

Is that a serious question? Most articles in Wikipedia are similar (except of course the few that claim to be the Truth), and it would be extremely tedious to add "scientists believe" at the beginning of every single statement. Better to put marginal or crackpot ideas like the flat Earth or hollow Earth in marginal locations, such as at the end of the article. kwami 03:44, 18 September 2005 (UTC)
I'm not asking that it be inserted at the beginning of every sentence. In fact, I tried to put a one-time notice at the top that this article is about scientific knowledge about the earth, but it got reverted. So I take it you'd be okay with a flat-earth link at the bottom? Because everyone else has objected even to this. MrVoluntarist 04:15, 18 September 2005 (UTC)
I didn't read the previous discussion until after I posted that answer. I personally think it's just as appropriate to mention the flat and hollow earth ideas as it is to mention the Earth in fiction. After all, a flat earth on the back of a turtle is a more enduring idea than our ephemeral sci-fi novels. (Okay, the Earth in Fiction section has been split off to its own article, but there are such sections in the articles for the other planets.) The mythology section might be expanded to include such things. It does, however, already link to the flat earch article. If I were to expand it, I would describe the conception of the earth in various religious/mythological traditions, rather than just the "modern" flat earth idea. It would be especially interesting if any of these agreed with what we now know, but that could invite further edit wars: a common argument for the veracity of the Koran, for example, is that it is heliocentric, when in fact it appears to be just as geocentric as the Jewish and Christian bibles. Maybe it would be better to have a separate "Conceptions of the Earth in mythology" article? kwami 04:39, 18 September 2005 (UTC)
Moving controversy into a separate article is not going to get rid of the controversey. I'd like to see some expansion, unless there's already another article that covers the topic. A 20,000 foot overview of the history of the notion/perception of the world. If it gets too big then it can be moved. --kop 07:22, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

Flat earthism is already there in the Descriptions of Earth section. Bogus attempts to insert the nonsense more prominently are simple trollisms. Truth trolls have been there and done that already. Enough is enough. Vsmith 04:59, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

Putting the mention of "flat earth" right in with mythology is not good enough. All I want is that somewhere upfront it be mentioned that the article is about scientific knowledge. Is that too much to ask? MrVoluntarist 20:54, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

At the risk of re-opening a can of worms, yes it is too much to ask. Wikipedia, like any resource of its sort, assumes the fundamental validaty of scientific consensus ahead of mythology or superstition (and thus does not demand a qualifier before any serious point of scientific import). Not that scientific debates or disagreements are not noted, but rather an idea regarding which the scientific method (read it carefully if you haven't) has been adhered to and for which scientific consensus is unanimous will be presented as "the Truth." The Earth is round. It is round and that is "the Truth." It is round according to any intuitive test or any serious epistemological test you want to apply. We don't need to qualify every statement in this article to note that. Marskell 22:56, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

Wrong. First of all, I never asked that every statement in this article be qualified. All I've asked is that somewhere at the top it be mentioned that this article is about the scientific data. Second, Wikipedia is not written from a scientific point of view, but from a neutral point of view (read it carefully if you haven't, which obviously seems to be the case). Third, belief in a flat earth does not count as mythology or superstition. Now that I have specifically replied directly to you regarding my actual position, you no longer have a convenient excuse for attributing to me positions that I do not hold. You are now (hopefully) capable of providing a justification why the article should nowhere mention that the information presented here is based on the scientific consensus. MrVoluntarist 00:21, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

I did not say it was written from a scientific point of view but that it assumes "the fundamental validity of scientific consensus" (there is a difference between the statements). Indeed, I have read NPOV and sir I would point you to the most important qualifier on the page, Undue Weight:

"If a viewpoint is held by an extremely small (or vastly limited) minority, it doesn't belong in Wikipedia (except perhaps in some ancillary article) regardless of whether it's true or not; and regardless of whether you can prove it or not (see Wikipedia:Flat earth problem)."

The ancillary article, Flat Earth, already exists; no qualifier is needed here. Marskell 09:17, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

Please point me to the place in Wikipedia policy where it says Wikipedia articles "assume the fundamental validty of scientific consensus". I would need to see the context because it's actually a rather vacuous statement. Is it saying that in Wikipedia, if scientists agree on something, no contrary view should be revealed? Surely not. Furthermore, it appears you are (surprise, surprise) attributing a position to me I don't hold. I am not saying that the flat earth position should also be asserted here, merely that somewhere the article should mention that the data are based on scientific consensus. This isn't a flat earth issue: it's also because of the Christian view that holds the earth is not 4.57 bajillion years old.
Now that I have specifically replied directly to you regarding my actual position, you no longer have a convenient excuse for attributing to me positions that I do not hold. You are now (hopefully) capable of providing a justification why the article should nowhere mention that the information presented here is based on the scientific consensus. MrVoluntarist 13:37, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

MrVoluntarist, we could preface every article (or even every statement) that focuses on scientific knowledge by writing "scientists believe", and it would be accurate (though often incomplete since many non-scientists believe the same thing). However, in most cases, including this one, it would also be entirely redundant. Can you imagine anyone (including young / flat Earthers) who would open up an encyclopedia article and expect it to focus on any perspective of Earth's history and shape other than the scientific one? After all, the vast majority of educated people, including many Christians, believe the Earth is old and round. Even those who hold the alternative viewpoints you are fond of defending must surely know they are in the minority and not expect to get much time in an encyclopedia article on the subject of Earth, right? I don't see any reason to add clauses like "scientists believe" unless there is some evidence that not having them is going to confuse people as to what the article is talking about. In this case, I can't imagine anyone reading this article would not realize it is focusing on the scientific perspective (as everyone ought to expect it to). Dragons flight 14:10, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

If people expect scientific opinions out of existing encyclopedias, it is because existing encyclopedias are written, and known to be written, from a scientific point of view. Wikipedia has decided to be different and instead be written from a neutral point of view. Thus, it must be held to a different standard. However, I believe I have thought of a way to satisfy both our wishes while adhering to Wikipedia standards. How about if at the bottom, we list "science" as a category to which this article belongs? Such a categorization should have probably been there in the first place. I think that change would be eminently fair. MrVoluntarist 23:44, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

While do I respect this is an attempt at a compromise, understand how the categories work: this article is already a "grand-daughter" of the Science cat. As it stands:

  • Science --> Earth Sciences --> Earth (as primary article in sub-cat).

It doesn't need to be re-classified. It's fine. Really.

"Held to a different standard?" Sure—it's absolutely more discursive and more in-depth than similar sources and should be held to that standard. But it almost seems you're suggesting that Wiki should buck what contemporary epistemological understanding is. You are truly misunderstanding NPOV—it does mean the door is open to every hypothetical criticism. I could start an article about a triangular Earth, swear by it, and try to get it included—it wouldn't and shouldn't be included. It, just like a Flat Earth, has no professional or public acceptance that is even marginally notable. And this is where I'm thumping my head with you. You want a guideline to prove that Wiki accepts the validity of scientific consensus? It's like asking for a guideline showing English Wiki must be written in English. Of course this article is written from a scientific perspective. Of course we don't need to state that. Marskell 00:08, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not supposed to endorse any specific epistemological standard (not that the one you desire to impose on all Wikipedia readers would lead straight to a round earth anyway). You are not allowed to insert triangular earth opinions because that would be original research: there is no independent account of triangular earth proponents (though, as I've tried to emphasize, there is a history of doubt on the roundness of the earth). Also, I don't see why it's at all obvious that Wikipedia accepts science as a standard for inclusion. If that were the case, we would have to litter all the religion articles with "This contradicts modern science." And, I suspect there is a guideline insisting that articles be writting in the Wikipedia's language.
Now, about my compromise: how about we expand the full hierarchy for categories for this article? At the bottom have "Science: Earth Sciences: Earth". I'm pretty sure I've seen that done in other articles, and if not, that's no argument against including it in one for clarity. MrVoluntarist 03:06, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Seeing no objections, I will make the change. MrVoluntarist 10:44, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

I'm sorry no one responded. Please look at the science category: the articles in there are sciences themselves or very general scientific concepts such as "mechanism" or "physical system." If we put Earth in there, we have to put Venus and Mars in, Ocean and Continent, and just about half of wiki. If you work backward from the Earth category you will arrive at Science—that is sufficient. Note, Earth science is there. Marskell 11:12, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
Show me how to trace from earth back to science. And why does mentioning "science" in the categories at the bottom of the article imply "earth" has to be on any other page? Plus, even if it were out of the ordinary to do so, it's clearly justified on such a controversial topic. MrVoluntarist 12:12, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

1. Science --> Earth Sciences --> Earth (as primary article in sub-cat). I mentioned this above.

I know you mentioned it above. You didn't explain there how to trace back, which is what I was asking. And you didn't do it here either. (Thanks for that.) Luckily, I figured it out. 13:30, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

2. Placing Science in the categories does not imply Earth has to be on any other page but rather that other pages should also be categorized in Science. Again, the articles in Science are sciences themselves or very general scientific concepts not specific objects or subjects.

Great, then the problem you alluded to with placing "science" at the bottom doesn't exist. Moving on. 13:30, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

3. This isn't a controversial topic. Marskell 12:29, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

Yes, it is. It contradicts most religions and every fundamentalist religion. Since Wikipedia is NPOV rather than SPOV, we have to label science as science where its conclusions are controversial. By the way, I made your numbering explicit rather than using Wikipedia code so I could reply at each point without messing up the numbering. 13:30, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

The above is from me. It logged me out for some reason in the middle of posting. MrVoluntarist 13:32, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

  1. I assumed you know how to click on links.
  2. You misunderstand the problem I asserted and are now side-stepping it: we allow this, we set a precedent for thousands of others in science and abrogate the purpose of sub-cats.
  3. None of the conclusions are controversial—the shape certainly isn't. Again, "If a viewpoint is held by an extremely small (or vastly limited) minority, it doesn't belong in Wikipedia." If there is some historical opinion that was once widely held or some pseudoscience opinion still widely held that isn't mentioned, a line or two in Descriptions at the bottom might accomodate it. Marskell 14:02, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
1. I assumed you knew how to answer a question.
2. No, I understand the problem just fine and I'm saying it's not a problem at all. We don't have to put earth or any of the others on the subcategory or category page, as you just realized. Also, I'm only asking that we do it on controversial issues so as to make sure people understand it's a scientific article. There's no slippery slope.
3. I told you this isn't just about the shape. It's about the age too. If you think it's okay to assert controversial scientific claims as fact, then you have to go through all of the religion articles and insert "This contradicts modern science" every other sentence. MrVoluntarist 14:25, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

"We don't have to put earth or any of the others on the subcategory or category page, as you just realized." Then what the hell are we debating? If you add the category at the bottom it automatically appears on the category page.

Further, I don't enjoy having my good faith sarcastically questioned ("You didn't explain there how to trace back, which is what I was asking. And you didn't do it here either. (Thanks for that.)", "I assumed you knew how to answer a question.")

Conversation over on this end. Add as you please and I will revert where I feel necessary. Marskell 14:37, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

Of those two quotes from me, the second was exactly parallel to one you made, and the first was clearly not a questioning of your good faith. You have been far more sarcastic and rude to me than I have ever been to you. I guess you can dish it out, but you can't take it, right? One rule for you, one rule for me. I think I get it now.
Regarding whether putting the category notice on the bottom of the page makes it appear on the subcategory page, I thought you were referring to the customized part of the science category page, where that point wouldn't apply. But even if it appears in a list, my point still holds: as a controversial topic that can confuse a reader what kind of article this is, it's eminently fair to put it on the list. Hell, if "Rebecca J. Nelson" can go on the science list, I think Earth can go there too. MrVoluntarist 14:46, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

If either of you feel the need to continue in this vein, please do so on your user talk pages. Your debate is focusing more on each other's debating style than on the content of the Earth page. --Doradus 21:25, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

Doradus, do you have a justification why an article with controversial information should not be labeled as science? MrVoluntarist 21:50, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
Anybody who believes the Earth is flat, or even believes that it is 6000 years old, is quite aware that they hold a minority opinion. They're hardly likely to be "confused" by not having a label warning them that this article claims the world is round, or old. Yes, MrVoluntarist, if you wish to continue your campaign to change the format of Wikipedia, please do it on your talk pages. kwami 00:26, 25 September 2005 (UTC)
Wikipedia is NPOV, not SPOV, so we have to make concessions to extremely significant minorities that hold alternate views. Putting "science" at the bottom is a pretty small thing to ask, all things considered. Or we could do it your way and fill every religion article with "science" that "corrects" it. MrVoluntarist 00:36, 25 September 2005 (UTC)
To clear up the category thing (Wikipedia guidelines stipulate redundant categorisations must be expunged from articles), here's the method: Click on the "Earth" that shows up at the very bottom of the page, right off of "Categories:". This'll take you to the Category:Earth page. At its bottom, you'll see it categorised in turn as "Planets of the Solar System" and "Earth sciences". Click on the latter. You'll see that the Earth sciences category is itself categorised under "Academic disciplines" and "Science". QED. (I've had to make a similar demonstration in the Talk:Astrology page)
Urhixidur 17:47, 28 September 2005 (UTC)

This debate is essentially about what can be stated unqualifiedly as fact. The consensus definition of fact is "something that can be demonstrated to be true", in other words, "something based on empirical evidence". I think that most dissenters would acknowledge that their views are not by this definition "fact", that is, they would not claim that their views are "built on empirical evidence". Frankly, the definition of fact is very much linked with the definition of science, as the goal of science is the establishment of fact. Thus, statements about which there is no fact-based debate, such as the roundness of the earth, can be stated as fact. Non-fact-based dissenting views can be stated as dissenting views, preferably in their own articles to avoid confusing the fact-seeking encyclopedia user. The alternative, as far as I can figure, is to not state anything at all as fact, which would make Wikipedia a useless hellish cauldron of boiling fat. As one who believes that Wikipedia is meant to be an encyclopedia, this isn't a very attractive prospect. If anyone can think of a different way to determine what can be stated as fact, go right on ahead. Kai 07:41, 29 January 2006 (UTC)


Nobody uses terameters; why the hell are we? --Robert Merkel 05:49, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Because we can? No, seriously, it is just to allow orbital circumferences to be compared (see the various other planetary infoboxes, such as Mercury (planet)), using a common yardstick. The explanation of what a terametre is is just a click away, after all.
Urhixidur 17:51, 28 September 2005 (UTC)
Why not, we use yottagrams Wow - what a yotta nonsense :-) The mass of the Earth is approximately 5,980 yottagrams.
On a related? note, the absurd values for surface area, etc. in the template do need attention: Surface area at 510,065,284.702 km²! Twelve significant figures - implies we know to within +or- one meter! Absurd (as pointed out by newly logged in User:Aspie above - hidden somewhere up there). Should probably be 5.1007 x 109 or some such. Let's see - a 200 acre (convert to sq. km if you like) farm here in the Ozarks has a lot more than 200 acres of surface area (think hills & valleys - some of that is vertical). Anyway the point is most of those numbers in the infobox are rather absurd, by contrast the volume and mass values are much more reasonable at only five significant figures. Vsmith 00:45, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

New image

1. Inner core (solid) 2. Outer core (liquid) 3. Mantle 4. Asthenosphere 5. Lithosphere (upper mantle) 6. Lithosphere (crust) 7. Lower atmosphere (troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere) 8. Thermosphere

Just made this. It's sort of better than the current cutaway image since it's (at least roughly) to scale, and shows a few more features. What do you think? - Fredrik | talk 20:06, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

Well, it much better looking than the original one. And it doesn't have the unneccessary 3-d effects that mar many illustrations.
But I think the atmosphere is way too thick in the slice image at the center. It is true that thermosphere reaches at very high altitudes, but on the other hand it is extremely thin. It is now way too pronounced and makes the atmosphere look much thicker than it is in reality. Maybe thermosphere looks better with much darker blue. Only troposphere and stratosphere with light blue.
Also, you should include continental and oceanic crust on the image at right. I don't think the boundaries are really that rough, either.
I'd like to see things like convective cells and plumes on the middle image and atmospheric phenomena on the image at right, but they probably make the image too crowded and belong to more specific illustrations.
Otherwise, I really like the image. It has nice colors and is illustrative. I hope this helps.--Jyril 23:22, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback! I have tweaked it to address most of your concerns, and uploaded a new version. Please let me know if I got the changes right, and if there's anything else that should be modified. If there are no major issues, adding it to the article seems like a good idea. Fredrik | talk 23:28, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
It looks much better now.--Jyril 08:15, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

How about splitting the infobox?

The planet infobox is too large; it interferes with the page layout and crams lots of unrelated data into one small space. It would be best if it was only about as tall as the table of contents. How about moving the orbit data to the section on "Earth in the Solar System", and the atmospheric data to the "Atmosphere" section? The article is already a bit inconsistent; for example, the table on the Earth's composition is inlined but the list of atmospheric constituents is in the infobox. I think it would make most sense to put only the most important and general data in the table at the top, and move the rest to sections (where the information can also be better referred to from the text). Of course, this change would cause inconsistency with the other planet artices, but that's not necessarily a problem. For one thing, the article's focus should be slightly different since Earth is not primarily the target of astronomers. Fredrik | talk 23:52, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

Agreed, infobox is way too large. If I could decide, I'd keep only the most important values on the infobox and move everything else to Earth fact sheet or whatever, which could include much more details than the infobox since its size wouldn't be limited. Same goes for other planets.
In my less humble opinion, this article should about Earth the planet only. There is already topic specific articles for Earth's atmosphere, geology and so on. I'd like to put all demographic and cultural stuff to the world article. There are humans only on one planet, after all.--Jyril 08:15, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
I have to admit that I found the infobox useful - I was able to find some stats very quickly because I assumed they'd be in there. As long as the box renders reasonably (and it did for me), then I like it.


Since huge parts of this article needs to be improved, I've put up talk:Earth/rewrite so people can do radical editing without worrying about breaking anything. This is based on a rewrite attempt I started a few months ago but never finished; some parts that were taken out are missing and others may need to be updated. Fredrik | talk 11:57, 9 October 2005 (UTC)


The adjective for Earth is "Earthling." Terrestrial is just our type of planet. — Hurricane Devon (Talk) 22:55, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

Earthling means an inhabitant of Earth. You and me are both Earthlings.--Jyril 19:03, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
Ling means child. We should be Terrians or something, I think. Flameviper12 13:08, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Age of the Earth

User:JQF wrote: It should be noted, however, that alternative theories regarding the date of formation do exist.

Before we start an edit war, could somebody describe the alternative scientific theories of Earth's age since I'm not aware of any.--Jyril 15:28, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

Since the age of the earth cannot be reasonably agreed upon, it admits and must presuppose the existence of a disagreement of terms. Therefore I suggest, wherefore one cannot speak with certainty, one should be silent. -- [[User_talk::]]

Ah, but the age can be reasonably agreed upon. Those who argue for something significantly shorter than 4 thousand million years base their argument on something other than reason. -- Kbh3rd 17:50, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

I base my belief in God solely on reason, I am a deist thank you, not one of these brainless Christians. Read the "Summa Theologica" Proofs for the Existence of God.

read a physics book -- 19:13, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Structure of the Earth

The following comment to editors was left in the article; I used HTML commenting it to hide it from non-editors. This kind of self-referential comment should not be visible in the main article. FreplySpang (talk) 18:18, 16 October 2005 (UTC)

< This section has been moved to the article Structure of the Earth. A new 30-line summary section must be written from this main article to this "Physical characteristics" section. Help is welcome. >

Infobox overwhelming article

On Firefox 1.0.6 (MacOS 10.4.2) the infobox is flooding the article, appearing before just about everything... what's going on here? Alphax τεχ 01:16, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

Well, looks like it's fixed now... Alphax τεχ 10:25, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Earth's core

Earth's core redirects to here, but there is virtually no information on Earth's core. Is this information anywhere else in Wikipedia? -Volfy 09:22, 3 November 2005 (UTC)

Nevermind, fixed Earth's core redirection to go to Structure of the Earth. -Volfy 09:26, 3 November 2005 (UTC)

Spheriod vs. Ellipsoid

(Moved to bottom of discussion page) 17:19, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

The Earth's shape is that of an oblate ellipsoid, with an average diameter of approximately 12,742 km.

I'm pretty sure the Earth is an oblate spheroid and not an oblate ellipsoid like the article says. Take a look at this.

Posted by User:
Moved to bottom of page. Vsmith 22:56, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

Earth (with a capital "E") is a formal noun in English... and it doesn't need an article (meaning, "the") preceding it. I have always been intrigued as to when we started calling this planet "Earth" and not "the earth." Interesting to note is that in other forms of our planet's name, we don't use "the" as in "Terra." You never see "the terra". Ditto for the names of the other planets in our solar system... (Mars, never referred to as "the mars".)

Yes, this is my pet peeve, too! I think the problem is (E/e)arth is used three different ways:
  • Earth--the specific planet (like "Mars");
  • the earth--generalizing Earth as a planet (like generalizing a planet's satellites as "moons": Our moon is named Luna, so we look up and point at either "Luna" or "the moon" (or, for emphasis, "The Moon"), not "the Luna" or "moon"), hence, the proper expression should be "the planet Earth";
  • (the) earth--ground/soil ("we dug up five tons of earth");
To answer the original question, a spheroid is an "ellipsoid of revolution", so all spheroids are ellipsoids, but not all ellipsoids are spheroids. To further complicate things, a spheroid can be subcatagorized, based on the degree of ellipticity. See: (Pollen) shape classes. ~Kaimbridge~ 17:19, 9 November 2005 (UTC)


Should Earth's population be added in the infobox? --Revolución (talk) 23:46, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

Orbital inclination

In the info box for this article it states that the orbital inclination of the earth is 0.00005° . Isnt the correct value for this is exactly 0° as the inclination of the Earths orbit is what the orbital inclinations of the other planets are measured relative to. Does anyone else know enough about this to be sure? --Timmywimmy 18:26, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

No History section?

History of the Earth would be a much needed addition. --Revolución (talk) 01:35, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

Land Use: Arable land?

I checked several teacher aids on google, most of which gave arable land as 1/32 of the earth's surface (e.g., 1/8th of land). Anyone know where the 10% comes from?

Question 2: Anyone know if all the "land use" refer *only* to land?

Learning to see your own POV/biases

The section I deleted said "Large areas are subject to overpopulation, industrial disasters such as pollution of the air and water, acid rain and toxic substances, loss of vegetation (overgrazing, deforestation, desertification), loss of wildlife, species extinction, soil degradation, soil depletion, erosion, and introduction of invasive species." It's asserting all of this as fact, when all of it is heavily disputed. If the claim is only that these things are possible, it's undue emphasis, a POV violation. Whoever put this in was trying to slip in a plug for an environmentalist, scaremongering POV. For example, the entire concept of "overpopulation" is heavily contested, especially by economists. Whether or not overpopulation is the cause of any current ill is still debated, and it's talking like the debate has been settled. The assertions of threats in other areas is the POV of some environmentalists, disputed by high-profile environmentalists like, I don't know, Bjørn Lomborg and Patrick Moore. There's no reason to cite the possibilities of all these things unless you want to list every possible thing that could go wrong, and at that point, it's unclear how that's relevant to someone who wants to learn about "the earth". What you first need to learn is that these claims are a POV, and many people actually dispute them. Wikipedia is not a place to promote environmentalism. See Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not. MrVoluntarist 04:14, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

There is no dispute as to whether introduction of invasive species, erosion, soil depletion, degradation, extinction, wildlife and habitat loss, desertification, deforestation, overgrazing, and manmade pollution are major concerns facing the Earth at this point. The line on overpopulation could be contested as POV, but I reccommend you start by finding a more authoritative source than "economists". How is their opinion on ecological mnatters relevant? - Randwicked 04:29, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
Our flat earth proponent seems to feel the following paragraphs are POV and is insisting on their removal:
Large areas are subject to overpopulation, industrial disasters such as pollution of the air and water, acid rain and toxic substances, loss of vegetation (overgrazing, deforestation, desertification), loss of wildlife, species extinction, soil degradation, soil depletion, erosion, and introduction of invasive species.
Long-term climate alteration due to enhancement of the greenhouse effect by human industrial carbon dioxide emissions is an increasing concern, the focus of intense study and debate.
Our local flat earth proponent seems to feel these statements are heaven forbid pro-environmentalism. However, the hazards listed above are real and backed by substantial scientific evidence. Pointing out real hazards should be acceptable to anyone living in the modern world :-) Vsmith 04:40, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
Whoa, flat-earther? Fo' real? - Randwicked 04:46, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
See the Neutrality, Part II and Reverting NPOV? sections above - you gotta have a sense of humor :-) Vsmith 04:53, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

VSmith, I can't but assume you're trying to personally insult me, but I'll hold off for a clarification. I never supported the flat earth position, and you know it. And "Randwicked" -- I didn't cite "economists" alone, I cited two prominent environmentalists. Ever heard of The Skeptical Environmentalist? Why don't we talk about what that portion is actually trying to say? Is it saying that overgrazing, deforestation, desertification, etc. are all possible? Okay, then fine, but lots of other things are possible -- genocide, war, famine, communism, etc. The list could go on for days, and you'd probably delete any chance to insert such balance. So what is it saying? Is it saying that all those things are likely? If so, then it is stating something as fact when there definitely is no consensus. The best science tells us that less than 1% of species will go extinct over the next 100 years. If you want to re-iterate the 50,000 species a year claim, you'll need to edit the biodiversity and extinction articles first, where such claims are roundly rejected. So no, you don't have science on your side for those claims. And insofar as those claims even have plausibility, they're definitely not worldwide problems (thus not meriting position in the "earth" article). There's just as much forest as there was in North America as there was 100 years ago. Would you care to give a mainstream source for any of those claims? Learning you have a bias is the first step toward being a productive Wikipedia contributor. MrVoluntarist 05:01, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

"MrVoluntarist", overgrazing, deforestation and desertification are not just possibilities, they are occuring all over the world on a daily basis. Marginal Australian rangelands, the Amazon and the Aral Sea basin are just respective examples of the above. The para you are complaining about is not talking about possibilites, it is talking about current events. And what claims have I made about actual numbers for extinction? Are you confusing me for someone else making a different comment on an unrelated article? - Randwicked 07:21, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
Obviously, they're not happening "all over the world", re my point about N. American forests. If you want to claim it's happening in specific places, then say so, and back it up with mainstream sources. But then, it just becomes a long diatribe that doesn't belong in an article about the earth. Regarding extinction claims, what numbers do you claim for extinction to justify the claims in the article? Does 0.7% over the next 100 years constitute a crisis?MrVoluntarist 14:25, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
The article doesn't say that these events are happening "all over the world". However, they are common, serious and undebatable enough that they have a rightful place in a section entitled "Natural and environmental hazards" within the larger section "Environment and Ecosystem" of an article on Earth. And what number of extinctions do YOU feel constitute a crisis? - Randwicked 14:53, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
If they're not happening "all over the world", they don't quite belong in an article about the earth, now, do they? And they're certainly not "undebatable". They are debated -- heavily. What extinction constitutes a crisis? Irrelevant. Give the hard numbers and let the reader decide. You fail to understand that Wikipedia is not here to promote issues of concern to you. If it's relevant and factual, add it. Otherwise, don't look for opportunities to insert your bias. MrVoluntarist 15:39, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes they do, these things are happening in places all over the world and are of local, regional, national and global import. And as you are disputing this section as POV, can you point to some of this debate and address which of the mentioned issues you have trouble with? You cite Lomborg. I am interested for example in what he has said about land degradation?
Also, please don't go telling me How It Is. It's impolite. - Randwicked 16:22, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
Don't tell you How It Is??? Excuse me? You're asserting all kinds of things without basis, and then calling me impolite for stating known facts? Well, let no one say you don't have ba guts. I'm sure you feel that your pet environmental issues are things everyone should be concerned about, but that doesn't make it so. And don't ask me for evidence -- you're the one advocating controversial statements be added as fact. You need to cite your sources, if there even are any. If you can't understand how "everything's going to hell" might be POV and maybe original research, I don't know what to tell you. MrVoluntarist 17:21, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
Dear oh dear, looks like I'll have to clarify. Please don't go telling me that I fail to understand what Wikipedia is here for, or that I am just looking for opportunities to insert my bias. I'm not advocating controversial statements be added, I'm calling for the continued inclusion of information on human impacts, a segment which if you will look was not added by me, but has been present largely unchanged since the creation of this article over four years ago. To me, that is a devastating argument for consensus for continued inclusion. If you want to fight such a precedent I suggest you start by citing some credible source to your claim that the given human impacts on the Earth are seriously debated or are POV. The burden rests on you, friend. - Randwicked 17:36, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
Wow, this is interesting. Because no one bothered to delete something for four years, it must be true. Can't be that the Wikipedia editors of the earth article have a bias in favor of believing it's true... naw, can't be that at all. I'd be glad to show sources, but not because any "burden" rests on me. I shouldn't have to cite my own sources every time some do-gooder that stumbled upon Wikipedia wants to use it to promote issues he's concerned about, but, just because I like watching people squirm, I will. But before I do so, I have to ask: is the claim that "everything's going downhill" what you regard as a NPOV statement? Is the whole concept of overpopulation undisputed? MrVoluntarist 18:11, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
Where does it say "everything's going downhill"? Hint: IT DOESN'T. That's the third or fourth time you've raised objections to things that aren't even in the article. Should I conclude you are trolling? Even if you're not you're not making any viable suggestions or indicating you're interested in providing any. If you want to call this section POV please provide evidence of some major debate over any of the issues. Also, please see my prior comments on overpopulation (and read the article again before commenting. Please). - Randwicked 00:13, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
It alleges, without citation (but with proponents of the passage refusing to reference even one work) that all of those things are global problems. That's extremely debatable. The article on The Skeptical Environmentalist shows why. And you, really, really have quite some nerve to claim I'm trolling. You're trying to hijack Wikipedia to promote environmental issues you like, and if I object and suggest an NPOV passage, I'm "trolling". Un. Believable. VSmith has already agreed with me that at the very least, overpopulation is debatable. Ergo, it should not be stated as fact. But then, if we suggest there's debate about it, it's harder to whip people into fervor and support policies you like, isn't it? Ay, there's the rub. MrVoluntarist 20:52, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
If the current rate of deforestation continues, the world's rain forests will vanish within 100 years-causing unknown effects on global climate and eliminating the majority of plant and animal species on the planet. - NASA Earth Observatory Tropical Deforestation Fact Sheet.
Desertification does not refer to the expansion of existing deserts. It occurs because dryland ecosystems, which cover over one third of the world‘s land area, are extremely vulnerable to over-exploitation and inappropriate land use. Poverty, political instability, deforestation, overgrazing and bad irrigation practices can all undermine the productivity of the land. Over 250 million people are directly affected by desertification, and about one billion people in over one hundred countries are at risk. These people include many of the world‘s poorest, most marginalized and politically weak citizens. - United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (PDF)
In 1996 it was revealed that one in eight birds (12%) and one in four mammals (23%) were threatened with extinction (falling into the Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable categories). This infamous line-up has now been joined by one in three amphibians (32%) and almost half (42%) of turtles and tortoises. With amphibians relying on freshwater, their catastrophic decline is a warning about the state of the planet’s water resources. Even though the situation in freshwater habitats is less well known than for terrestrial, early signs show it is equally serious. More than half (53%) of Madagascar’s freshwater fish are threatened with extinction. The vast ocean depths are providing little refuge to many marine species which are being over-exploited to the point of extinction. Nearly one in five (18%) of assessed sharks and rays are threatened. Many plants have also been assessed, but only conifers and cycads have been completely evaluated with 25% and 52% threatened respectively. [...] “Although 15,589 species are known to be threatened with extinction, this greatly underestimates the true number as only a fraction of known species have been assessed. There is still much to be discovered about key species-rich habitats, such as tropical forests, marine and freshwater systems or particular groups, such as invertebrates, plants and fungi, which make up the majority of biodiversity,” says Craig Hilton-Taylor, IUCN’s Red List Programme Officer. - World Conservation Union 2004 Red List press release
"You're trying to hijack Wikipedia to promote environmental issues you like, and if I object and suggest an NPOV passage"
Dude, if you want to suggest an NPOV passage, I suggest you start suggesting one instead of just raging against what you think my motives are.
"VSmith has already agreed with me that at the very least, overpopulation is debatable."
That was me. Please reread the talk page as well so you understand what exactly is being argued. - Randwicked 06:03, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Aw - no insult intended, just an attempt at humor re your previous stand in the sections above. As for Lomborg: he is maybe a statistician who wrote a tome about stuff beyond his expertise, hardly qualifies as a prominent environmentalist. No one is claiming the 50,000 bit - why would you think that? - reading stuff that isn't there? Is that your reason for deleting? And yeah we all have biases - kinda like a result of our life experiences. I know mine - do you know yours? Cheers Vsmith 05:30, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

He's just some dude who wrote a tome? He's not a "prominent environmentalist"? What are you disputing there? That's he's prominent or that he's an environmentalist? I can't see anyone making a case for either with a straight face. The book had ~2000 citations that documented every claim, any one of which I could cite to dispute the blatant assertions in the article. And re:50,000 species -- the sentence is claiming that loss of species is a problem. The figure is 0.7% over the next 100 years. If you want to cite that specific figure and let the reader decide for him/herself if that's a problem, go ahead, but I doubt you want to, as when people learn the facts they tend to start to see through the smokescreen. I deleted that sentence because it doesn't belong. A random sentence in the earth article about some problems we (debatably) face belongs, at best, in the human article. And more importantly, the claims aren't even true -- not to the same standard expected on the rest of Wikipedia. I can give you citation after citation mined from TSE if you want. It's obviously an attempt by someone to get a plug in for their pet causes and hope people won't delete it. And I'd love to leave it in and add balance, but like I said, it's largely irrelevant. Even if I balance it, it would be so bulky with so many caveats, people would wonder why it's even in there. Sure we should prefer improvement to deletion, but I don't see an alternative.
And contrary to the intellectually honest "Randwicked" I didn't remove the second sentence. I change it from saying "humans cause global warming and that's a problem" to "global warming and the extent to which it's caused by humans is debate" ... and of course, at that point, you begin to wonder what it's doing in the article, but that's never stopped you. MrVoluntarist 14:25, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
What one must remember is that stating that something is "bad for the earth" or "a problem for the earth" is making a value judgement, that the earth is somehow "better off" without these things. This can stem from two possible standpoints, as near as I can reckon: one, that the 'ideal earth' is one without any sort of human impact; and two, that the value of the earth is measured by its ability to sustain life. I personally tend to agree with the latter of those two, but it is POV nonetheless. So don't say "bad for the earth" or "a problem for the earth"; say "could harm the earth's ability to sustain life". Remember, on Venus it rains sulfuric acid -- is this a bad thing? No!Kai 06:51, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Kai Miller, well done! Excellent argument, and it seemed to stop this debate in its tracks. Is there an award that be be offered, like a Barnstar award, but an award for managing to put forward a good argument that diffuses debate? If not, I think one should be created for this purpose! :) --User:Rebroad 13:58, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Introduce a section on the fate of Earth?

Should a section on the fate of Earth be added? It is widely theorized that the Earth will either be consumed by the Sun or turned into a Venus or Mercury environment as the Sun expands into a red giant in a few billion years. Then, once the Sun releases it's outer layers as a planetary nebula, it may very well destroy Earth or at least severely damage it. --tomf688{talk} 16:45, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

Definetely! Actually, that's why I dropped by the article in the first place and I must say I was a bit disappointed when it didn't mention 'the end' at all. If I can remember my physics classes properly, the sun is approx halfway in its lifetime and will in some five billion years become a red giant, engulfing the earth.. I guess the question will be whether the article should discuss the probability of meteoroids hitting the earth, killing all life, stopping photosynthesis and the like. Superdix 00:03, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

I took physics, chemistry, and 2 biologies, and they never said anything about that. Maybe because they were in high school. Flameviper12 13:06, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Why are the north and south pole so cold?

Can anyone answer this? I've checked the articles on both poles and didn't see the answer if it was there. Initially I suspected that the colder areas at the poles were caused by less intense sun light in those regions. Is that what causes those areas to be so cold?

That's it. Sunlight strikes the poles at a much lower angle, so the same energy is spread over a wider area than at the equator. - Redwicked 23:09, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
No, it's because of capitalist exploitation. And because we didn't sign Kyoto. Right? Isn't that how it goes? MrVoluntarist 17:11, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
Now you're catching on. There's hope for you yet, comrade! - Redwicked

I think this is a funny statement

and the only planetary body that modern science confirms as harboring life.

so sceince has to confirm that there is life on earth. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .

Trivial though it is on Earth, the point of the sentence is, science has not confirmed life anywhere else. The really funny thing is, science indeed has objectively affirmed there is life on Earth. As a control experiment, the Galileo spacecraft confirmed in its 1990 fly-by that Earth meets the Sagan criteria for harboring life. Femto 14:42, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
I think what's tricky is deciding what counts as life. I bet there's an article somewhere on definitions of life, probably at life, but it's way too almost-two-in-the-morning for me to follow my own link. If memory serves, the Sagan criteria were for garden-variety life-as-we-know-it life? I'm going for the record in the hundred-meter excessive-unnecessary-hyphenation-style write-off. Kai 06:55, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Science isn't neutral?

To the flat Earth advocate,

Since when isn't science neutral? Scientific theories must be testable and falsifiable, and subjected to peer review. Sometimes science is faked, but fake science can be disproved by better science, and the process is neutral. If the scientific method is not neutral, then what basis do we have to discuss neutrality? The flat Earth is a well known theory, but it is widely regarded as an inferior theory to the spherical Earth (and related cosmos), because the modern theory makes better predictions. If your theory makes better predictions than the sidereal theory, then cite your sources. If your flat Earth theory makes no predictions, and accounts for nothing that the modern theory does not, then how is it relevant? Should we assume that you have equal objections to the human article, since it describes people as a species of animal, rather the descendents of deities? But science does not contradict any alternative theory of the cosmos, and it is neutral on the subject of religion, because untestable hypotheses are not the subject of science. Science is the activity of finding neutral grounds for which to debate the subjects of empirical inquiry. Wikipedia is not a source of the truth, it is a secondary source which reports the consensus of verifiable primary sources. Disagreements on a scientific basis would perhaps be relevant, but disagreements on a basis that is untestable are unwinnable arguments and do not form the subject of an encyclopedia article. oneismany 14:23, 25 January 2006 (UTC)


This article conforms nicely to NPOV as far as I can tell. The allegations of POV based on religious reasons are groundless. Just as pro-science editors do not slap NPOV tags on religious articles for stating the earth is 6000 years old in those articles, biblical literalist editors should reciprocate that courtesy.--JohnDO|Speak your mind 18:24, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Physical Characteristics

The bit which lists the geologic components and their depths seems to imply that the atmosphere is less a part of the earth than the solid bit, which varies from standard. Perhaps it should list all layers of the earth and their altitudes, with the sub-solid-surface layers in negative altitudes? I felt I ought to get feedback from more qualified parties before I made a rash change to a good article. Kai 07:06, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Location in the Universe

Just wondering if it would be a good idea to describe the location of the Earth within the universe as best we can. It seems like a major omission that the article doesn't even mention that the Earth is in the Milky Way galaxy. There is also no mention of nearby stars. Let's write the article in such a way that a reader who is not from Earth would be able to come visit.

I think this would be a good idea. Also sorely lacking is a "History" section which I plan to add as I work on History of Earth. — Knowledge Seeker 00:37, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

  • Just changed third planet form the sun to third planet of the sol system, I think its more specific, i.e. "Sun" is a relative term and could pretty much apply to any star. "Sol" the latin name for our sun is the generally accepted name.cros13 15:51, 3 April 2006


I notice that Albedo in the infobox seems to be the Geometric Albedo of the Earth, not the Bond Albedo. Should Bond Albedo be included as well? - Bill3000 16:53, 16 February 2006 (UTC)


(Practically) every article deserves a "history" section, in my opinion. I just added one, but it is not easy to condense 4.5 billion years into a single paragraph. Feel free to add or trim as necessary. — Knowledge Seeker 06:31, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Mostly harmless!

Flameviper12 12:59, 13 March 2006 (UTC)


This article starts out saying the scientific evidence indicates the Earth was formed 4.57 billion years ago and refers the reader to Age of the Earth, which lists the formation at 4.55 billion years ago. What is the source for this age? — Knowledge Seeker 17:57, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

4.53 to 4.58 billion years from Canyon Diablo section of Age of the Earth, if that helps. Vsmith
It comes from 4.56717 +/- 0.0007 Gyr which is a high precision date for the earliest CAI formation from Amelin, Krot, Hutcheon, and Ulyanov, "Lead Isotopic Ages of Chondrules and Calcium-Aluminum-Rich Inclusions", Science 297, Sept. 6, 2002. It technically provides an approximate bound for the age for solar ignition, but the bulk of the Earth coalesced not more than a few tens of millions of years after that. Dragons flight 21:29, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Population should be included in infobox

Don't you agree? --Revolución hablar ver 20:24, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

If I could decide, I'd devote this article only to the planet Earth. Demographics and other data not related directly to our planet as astronomical body should belong to other articles. The world article (after heavy improvement) is perhaps the most suitable for that.--Jyril 20:40, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't see anything wrong with the inclusion of world population in the infobox because yes this is a planet, but it is also OUR planet. Earth is different from Mars, from Venus, from Jupiter, from Pluto, because people actually live here. 6.5 billion humans live on this planet, so I think that's notable.
IMHO that's the very reason why mentioning the number of people is unnecessary. But this is just a matter of opinion.--Jyril 11:09, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
We have the whole Human geography subsection devoted to us. I wouldn't think people who don't know which planet they live on (I know some…) will have much use for some number in an infobox either. In this context the actual number is no more notable than the number of ants. Or the overall biomass; I'd rather see that than only the humans. Femto 11:33, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

This is Archive 4 covering August 8, 2006 - August, 23, 2006.

Known by Humans

Isn't it redundant to describe the earth as the only place known by humans to support life? Most readers assume that encyclopedia articles reflect human knowledge... Sceptre Seven 14:16, 8 August 2006 (UTC)


Te picture states that "Earth and Moon to scale." ,Distance included in the scale? if so ,it should be stated in the article...

After a quick ruler check, I've updated the caption to reflect that both the sizes and distances appear to be to scale. Specifically, on my display, an 8-mm Earth = 8,000 miles => 223 mm distance = 223,000 miles, which is about right for a rough check. A similarly rough check on sizes (8-mm Earth to 3-mm Moon) seems to have the Moon a bit bigger than it should be (0.273 Earth diameter, according to The Moon, instead of 0.38), but I'll assume the image creator was more accurate than my quick measurements for now. In any case, we should update the image description to confirm exactly what is to scale. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 15:52, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

The surface area of the Earth

Hey. Sorry, I'm not very good with editing page but I think this is what I'm suppposed to do when making a discussion...?

Anyhow, it says the surface area of the Earth is 510,065,284.702 km². How can this be measured to such a degree of accuracy? It is obviously not true because I could dig a hole in my back-garden and spread the soil evenly across my lawn. This would change the surface area...

Because the surface area = and the "surface area radius" is known as the authalic radius, which equals about 6371.005076123 km. Of course the precision/accuracy is theoretical——but since everything else is measured to .001 km, we might as well be consistent, especially as a reference source (in most cases the reader will probably round it to 510,000,000 km, but the theoretically-precise-to-the-meter value is given for the record). ~Kaimbridge~ 13:55, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
That's fantastically dumb. All of those numbers should be cropped down to something consistent with their uncertainty. Dragons flight 01:10, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
Well if that's the case, given the variation in terrain, why not just let a = 6380 and b = 6355? P=/
Because these specific values have been refined (via GPS and other means) to theoretically less than .001 km. If one is using a specific model (be it GRS-80/84, Hayford/International, Clarke or whatever) involving other data based on it (e.g., such as in dealing with the direct problem of geodesy), then that specific model should be used throughout. But this article is meant as a planetary overview——most planetary sources round a and b to only .01 km [8]: Given the extensive refinement over time made, I see no reason why the rounding shouldn't be extended to .005 km, which is real close to the most recent, established models, and provides the same general ellipticity of these established models (including IUGG's GRS-80/84):
               a,b          b/a
           (6380,6355 = 0.996081505)
           (6378,6357 = 0.996707432)
      6378.14,6356.75 = 0.996646358
  6378.2064,6356.5838 = 0.996609925
    6378.388,6356.912 = 0.996633005
     6378.16,6356.775 = 0.996647152
    6378.137,6356.752 = 0.996647140
    6378.136,6356.749 = 0.996646826
    6378.135,6356.750 = 0.996647139
    6378.134,6356.751 = 0.996647452
I have updated the physical characteristic section to reflect reference values and reasonable precision, which for the surface area came out to a few hundred km^2 rather than 0.001 km^2. Dragons flight 02:23, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
You seem to be arguing both ends: On one hand you're saying GRS-80/84 should be used since it is IUGG established (I think that is being too model specific, given the other models still in widespread use——.005 km is adequate for a general purpose, non-datum specific model for Earth, particularly since it is so close to the most recent established values), and on the other hand you are saying the subsequent values found (surface area, etc.) should be rounded to 100s of km2——let the READER round it! P=) I certainly have no problem, though, with a disclaimer pointing out uncertainties and precision practicality! P=) P=) P=) ~Kaimbridge~ 09:38, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Kaimbridge, it is basic error propogation. If A = a*b (obviously not the Earth, but a simple example), then the uncertainty in A is dA = ((b*da)^2)+(a*db)^2)^(1/2) where da and db are the uncertainties on a and b respectively. With an uncertainty of order 5 m in the edge length, the uncertainty in the area is magnified by the length scale (e.g. 6400 km) to give dA of order 50 km^2. Now this is just an approximation, working it out correctly (and keeping things like factors of 4 pi) gives an uncertainty in the area of a few hundred km2. Hence having more precision than that is simply false advertising. We shouldn't be feeding the reader meaningless digits. Dragons flight 15:55, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
PS. I'm not wedded to any particular set of reference values, but I used what I had at hand when updated. I am however committed to cropping measurements down to a level consistent with what is known rather than offering as many digits as a calculator will display. For the record, if f(a,b,c) is a function of independent variables a, b, and c with normally distributed uncorrelated errors da, db, and dc respectively, then the error in f is given by . Dragons flight 17:39, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

The poor quality animated GIF image

Look you all I'm not vandalizing the article....I'm just removeing an eyesore from it to improve its quality. How about this if I find a better one would that work? 00:36, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

  • Yes. Danny Lilithborne 00:40, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
  • User I have put a silghtly better image on the Earth page. DO NOT DELETE IT without discussing it is only fair Aeon 00:41, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
  • The old image definitely was sub-par, and I agree with its removal, 138. Aeon's image is better, but I still think the article would look better without it. Also, with an unknown copyright status, the image will likely be deleted soon anyway. — Knowledge Seeker 01:25, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Adding a caption to the rotating earth image

New satellite.

Hey how do I add a caption to that image? any help would be great Aeon 00:45, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Use something like [[Image:IAstronaut-EVA.jpg|thumb|right|200px|New satellite.]], which I used to display the image at right. Aeon, where did you get the animation of the rotating Earth? — Knowledge Seeker 01:28, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

I did a google search....I will find the site and get the copyright status of it....Aeon 02:24, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

I change the image found one that was not copyrighted and added a caption. Aeon 02:32, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Where did you get this image? Could you supply the URL? — Knowledge Seeker 02:35, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Need help correcting factual error re age of Earth

Article states: "Scientific evidence indicates that the Earth and the moon were formed around 7,000-10,000 years ago." Obviously, this is not true.

In fact, all scientific evidence points to an earth that is about 4.6 billion years old, along with the rest of the solar system. An earth younger than 10,000 years exists only in the belief system of certain religions, and is not based on scientific analysis. If someone experienced with Wikipedia could correct this, we would all appreciate it. Thanks. 21:13, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

You're correct; an anonymous user changed it and I didn't notice it until fifteen minutes later. It should be correct now. Thanks for pointing it out! — Knowledge Seeker 21:31, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

two hemispheres

(near the winter and summer solstices, which are on about December 21 and June 21, respectively).

With respect the Earth had two hemispheres last time I check and that this statement referrs only to the northern hemisphere, for the southern Hemisphere this is factually incorrect as summer solstice occurs about December 21 and the winter solstice occurs about June 21. Gnangarra 14:40, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Earth's future

In the chapter named "Earth's future" it says both "billion years" and "Gyr". I believe it should be corrected. Only one term should be used. --Idan Yelin 04:42, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

I tried to clarify the use of the term in the text. Repeatedly saying a "thousand million" seems excessively wordy. Thanks. — RJH 17:44, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

the use of "GYR" should be explained better. I followed the link to the page it refers me to and yet I cannot find any reference to the abbreviation used. I can only find "gaussian year" and "great year". the one that is in use is not specified. this seems a very strange measurement of time anyway. why not simply use the standard units of time? and add trillions or billions or whatever you need to. if this article is supposed to be for everyone it should use terms that normal people can understand. it should be standard. 17:08, 27 July 2006 (UTC)


The section of Pangaea, while well written, doesn't really belong in this article, in my opinion. It seems out of place and a bit arbitrary—why a section on Pangaea and none of the other continents or supercontinents? Perhaps a section on continental movements could be included instead, or perhaps relevant information discussed briefly in the Earth#History section. — Knowledge Seeker 08:36, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree. The subject is already covered at a higher level in the History section. I think the Pangaea section should be merged into the Pangaea page. — RJH 19:02, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
As it appears to be the introduction of that article, I removed the section. — Knowledge Seeker 21:40, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Moon and the Earth's Axial tilt

Perhaps somebody knows the answer to this question: If the Moon continues to recede from the Earth, at what point (time or distance) will it no longer exert a significant influence in stabilizing the axial tilt of our planet? Thank you. — RJH 03:01, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

~2 Gyr. [9]. Dragons flight 04:39, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Mostly Harmless.


Isn't the pressure 101.325 kPa? 11:31, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

How about removing the adverbs?

Is anybody but me struck by how silly it is to write Precipitation patterns vary widely ... or The Earth's terrain can vary greatly ...? Precipitation varies widely compared to what? Precipitation on Mars? Jupiter? My back yard? I could be wrong here but I bet Jupiter has a lot more variation in precipitation, just becuase it probably has a lot more precipitation overall. Things can only vary widely or greatly in comparison to something else. When you're talking about the whole Earth itself there really isn't much to compare against. Just making the sentences longer to make them look good buys us nothing.

I tried removing an adverb once, writing just Precipitation patterns vary ... but somebody put it back. Rather than start an edit war I figured I'd point out the sillyness here. --kop 05:57, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

I see what you're trying to say here. I agree with you that it's absolute rubbish to compare something with... absolutely nothing. People should rather stop writing BS on all the articles in order to express their ideologies. We want a Wikipedia with factuous information that can be and has already been proven. People should also be more careful when edititing articles because they never know what simple-minded person they might influence with this BS of them. --Scotteh 17:58, 15 June 2006 (UTC)


"The Earth was formed around 4.57 billion (4.57×109)[1] years ago (see Age of the Earth) and its largest natural satellite, the Moon, was orbiting it shortly thereafter, around 4.533 billion years ago."
This part is nonsense and cannot be proven. Therefore I have removed it. --Scotteh 17:49, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

Do not remove well sourced valid content. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 17:51, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Are you saying that because some fool wrote a book about how old the planets are that is enough reason to believe this nonsense? I believe you are ignorant, therefore you are ignorant. What's the logic within that? Stating the Earth is how many ever billion years old, is foolish because the author of this hypothesis has not beared in mind the factors of thermodynamics, to say the least. Also, stating that the Earth is so many billions of years old, is in contrast with the beliefs of Christians, and is therefore discriminating that specific group. Until someone climbed into a time machine and visited the time when the Earth began existing, and confirmed it's age, the "billions of years"-statement is bogus. Therefore such utter nonsense must be removed off this Wikipedia. I will not go on an immature edit war, so I'll leave ignorant Wikipedia articles to the ignorant Wikipedia community. Also, I do not understand who tagged that citing as well sourced and valid. Must be the author himself. --Scotteh 18:05, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
I would say, if you want to challange the scientific evidence, provide alternative scientific evidence that shows the page is incorrect. Just your assertion will not do. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 18:24, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
And who suddenly gave science so much authority? This planet is not inhabited solely by scientists. It seems Europeans always want to do away with what God says, nevermind their own contrasting so called evidence. Why, you know I'm just a kid and I don't have much knowledge about these stuff, but if you go ask other people who don't lurk around Wikipedia for their whole lives, you'd be surprised about what you'd found. Hereby I settle this. Wikipedia has proven itself unworthy of providing sourceful information, and it's only reason for existense is to be a message board for atheists to agree on nonsense. Unless this would change in any way, Wikipedia would remain a foolish resource, or dumpsite, for any reasarch done. --Scotteh 18:36, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, if that is your view of wikipedia, so be it. Because if we would base the entries in religeon, we will need a long discussion about which religeon, because mine gives a very different picture than yours for example. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 18:51, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Fair enough. --Scotteh 18:54, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
So, until that is settled in this world, I suggest to leave religeon out of the equation for articles like this. :-) -- Kim van der Linde at venus 19:00, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

Ok, you win. For now. --Scotteh 19:15, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

It is not about winning as far as I am concerned. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 20:15, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
And as far as I am concerned, it is. So then it is all about winning. Oh please, you know what I mean. --Scotteh 20:41, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Ok, if that is the way you want to see it. In my view, winning is with a loser, and I do not view you as the loser of our discussion. In this context, you might be interested in Age of the Earth page, especially under prescientific concepts. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 21:01, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Actually I was the loser. But thanks anyway. And thanks for the articles. --Scotteh 21:17, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

My troll detection unit is blinking. Should I be concerned? :-) — RJH (talk) 22:22, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Names for the planet Earth?

The Lexicography section gives cognates to "earth" which is interesting in its own right (although it might show the need for an article on earth - although this might be too similar to soil) but what I'd be interested in names other cultures use for "Earth". I assume most Indo-European languages also use their equivalent to "earth" but what about elsewhere? Some of it is touched on in the first paragraph of the Descriptions of Earth section but are there more? It may be that it is all as mundane as our own naming system but there may also be interesting information that could be drawn together. So would some kind of new section ("Names for the planet Earth" perhaps?) be worth considering? (Emperor 17:52, 17 July 2006 (UTC))

RV problem

For some reason, whenever I try to RV some edits, I get redirected to an edit conflict with Simon Harcourt, peculiar... 惑乱 分からん 10:00, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

Me too - anybody have any idea what's causing this? Bob 11:01, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
Right now, I even have trouble to view the page, if I don't check out the history. But it doesn't seem to be a user-related problem. (I think I even saw one user RV that religious edit, on one occasion, can't get back to that now, however...)
Might be some software conflict, where two pages have the same ID or something... (Uhhh, what am I saying?) 惑乱 分からん 11:36, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
Same problem on Age of the Earth - can't get edit to revert, methinks someone is playing Vsmith 12:17, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

comment in opening paragraph

"distance from the Sun, and the fifth in order of size. We are mostly harmless." what is that comment about? --Dan 20:42, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

It's a reference to the Earth's entry in the fictional book Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, although it's very out of place.


can we have some different measurements for mass? I spent AGES trying to figure out how many teratons the earth was..... I now know it to be roughly 5 billion teratons, but it took me a LOT of searching and a LOT of (what I consider) complex maths...

Should we add units in English/Imperial?

It's a great article, however it contains units of measure that are virtually meaningless to roughly 5% or so of the world's population. I propose to add English/Imperial measurements to all the figures given, using google calculator. Any objections? Supercam 21:25, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Given the number of units in the article, it will make it longer (particularly the infobox) and possibly harder to read. Who are the 5% who would find them meaningless? Perhaps a link to a page about the units would be better. I'm sure there's one here somewhere. Kevin 21:54, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
As an American who has difficulty with with metric/SI units, I still strongly support their use in scientific (and other) contexts. In my opinion, providing conversions for all the units would make the article needlessly bloated; readers who are unfamiliar with SI units may use Google Calculator or their method of choice to convert to their desired measurement system. — Knowledge Seeker 03:23, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Word for "Earth" in other languages

Added a brief paragraph on the word for "Earth" in other languages, since I was curious about this and couldn't find it in other articles, or via Wiktionary. The best that I could come up with is this, via Google search. The examples are therefore all transliterated into English. Anyone with more experience in these languages or with linguistics, please feel free to add or revise the paragraph. --Brasswatchman 22:23, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Earth's Equator

Am I at all correct or am I simply mistaken to think that the approximate mileage around the equator of the earth is something short of like 8000 miles in distance in the circle round the equator. I think (although I am not sure) that the actual mileage is something possibly close to 7,480 miles. I try to relate and to comprehend this number in such a way as to think as to how and to break it all down. Well ( i think to myself) if I drove 1000 miles then I would need to drive about another 6 and half times that distance around the earth to complete a full circle. And that is of course assuming my automobile could travel over the water and not sink to the bottom of the ocean. Maybe the Wikipedians out there could help to illuminate the precise expanse of the mileage and distance around the equator of the earth. I tend to comprehend the concept of actual miles better than I do kilometers or any other system of measurement. Is there a precise and a confident consensus for the number of miles starting from point A and either going west or east until you finally reach point B when you travel around the globe in a nice straight line. 02:16, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Not even close! P=)
The distance around the equator equals times the equatorial radius, a, which——for Earth——equals about 6378.135 km/3963.19 mi, so the equatorial circumference equals about 40,075.0 km/24,901.5 mi (if you're looking for the north-south, meridional circumference, that's an ellipse requiring the elliptic integral of the second kind, but works out for Earth to be about 40,007.9 km/24,859.7 mi——and the average circumference, as a whole, is about 40,041.5 km/ 24,880.6 mi!).  ~Kaimbridge~ 14:23, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Thank you Kaimbridge, therefore, is it correct to say of that the equator is 24,901.5 miles around ? 18:01, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

It depends whether you want the nominal distance around an imaginary flat surface around the equator at its average height (which is probably about what you said, but you gave it too many significant figures: I would write 24,900 miles), or the actual distance, which will be very difficult to measure accurately, because of going up and down hills. (Consider: it may be a mile in a straight line, but if you drive over a hill, even in a totally straight line on the ground, you will cover more than a mile on the road). Notinasnaid 18:14, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Actually I did round it to reflect a radius of between 6378.135 - 6378.137, which appears to be the most advanced and "accurate" value known. Of course it doesn't take into account local terrain——it is based on a smooth, "sea level" ellipsoid. So distances found, likewise, reflect a mathematically defined "smooth, sea level surface" (as opposed to the geoidal) surface, which takes into account gravity based, regional sea level variations). If the reference radius is good to .001, then the "reference distance" is also good to at least .001. Of course, once you calculate the distance, you can then round it to whatever precision serves your needs. Informally, if you want to include local terrain (Terr), find the "sea level distance" (DxE) and apply the Pythagorean theorem (making sure DxE and Terr are worked in the same measuring unit——i.e., meters, feet, km or miles):
Keep in mind, though, this equation is vertically loxodromical in nature, so it degrades as the length grows (but should be good enough for tens of miles P=).  ~Kaimbridge~ 15:07, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Name Terra

Shouldn't this page be titled Terra? Its the scientifically and politically correct term for Earth,same for the moon being called Luna. While some think it's just Latin, its also the proper scientific term.

There's nothing scientific correctness in the name Terra, as our planet does not happen to have an "official" name. Terra it is the Latin name for Earth, however this is the English Wikipedia and we should use English names if possible.--JyriL talk 21:34, 11 August 2006 (UTC)


This section has been returned to the main talk page[10]

Some changes

I change the whole layout, added hydrosphere, changed plate tectonics (which is theory) to facts about tectonic plates on Earth, added pedosphere and some other minor changes. To write article about Earth is quite though task. There's too much information taht should be included and many other articles on Wikipedia related. GeoW 16:55, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Time for another archive soon

I beleive that most current discussions are resolved. HighInBC 19:38, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Pop culture section

This entry needs a section called "Earth in popular culture", to keep it in line with every other wikipedia entry. Simbachu 20:32, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree it can consolidate some of the loose refences such as the Hitchhiker reference HighInBC 20:42, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

The section made by this request, "Earth in Modern Culture", seems to lack proper, accurate information of any kind that could provide a reader with proper greater knowledge about the Earth in said context, to be precise the conclusion that Earth implies "reason" or "life" is subject to discussion and more a matter of perspective that proper information, that is to say that up to now the section is not only a stub, but a piece of accumulated junk, unless something can be done about its content to be something more than meaningless I would say said article better deserves deletion.---GTB 6:29 am Lima Peru 20/10/2006

A Very Special Note from the Management

Q. Should I replace this article with the words "mostly harmless" or "harmless", as per The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?

A. No. Every other vandalism to this article is just that, and people who do this will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes. Share and enjoy!

I was thinking about doing this myself, but I had a feeling it would have been done before. Oh wells :-) Bennity 11:50, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Damn! Karlusss 22:21, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
Heh, I thought out it too, but couldn't bring myself to do it... great minds think alike apparently. 15:36, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Yet another archive

I have archived the talk page as it was getting long, please move any discussion still active back here. HighInBC 20:00, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

POV (evolution/age of earth)

Sorry for bringing this up again, but I was still going to ask something. --Scotteh 20:06, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

This article is pathetic - I'm sorry to say. Someone please change it. The whole article is written in the evolutionist's perspective and cites rubbish referances. Are we now forgetting that there exist other theories over the age of the earth, etc.? Howcome this article only contains the theories of the evolutionists? Half the world does not even support evolution! This is pathetic. With articles such as these, Wikipedia is only going to become more and more unreliable. --Scotteh 19:02, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

This article is written on the basis of science. Which other point of view are you trying to get into this article?? Please provide citations. HighInBC 20:38, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
You can't ignore that evolution is the only theory in existence. Have you ever heard of Creationism? Intelligent Design? I'm sure there are many more, but I'm just taking them for examples. --Scotteh 05:03, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
Technical topics are expected to reflect the views of experts in the field. You'd be hard pressed to find credible experts on the history of the Earth who believe in either creationism or intelligent design. While many people do accept those views as a matter of faith, from an evidentiary standpoint they are not credible alternatives to describing the history and evolution of the Earth. Though perhaps the article could benefit from a section on origin beliefs and other faith based views. Dragons flight 05:46, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
...Just so long as Turtles all the way down gets its fair share of attention! ;-)
Atlant 14:41, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

I don't see why they aren't credible. Whoever said that science was the only credible theory to the age of the earth? No one will ever prove the age of the earth and therefore it's idiotic to exclusively note science's opinion on this. It's situations like this that continue to make Wikipaedia further and further away from being an encyclopaedia, let alone a notable encyclopaedia. --Scotteh 14:09, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is part of the fact-based, not faith-based, community. In articles dealing with physical matters, we deal in actual scientific facts, not various religious mythologies. There are plenty of other articles where you can espouse your particular creation mythology all you like (may I suggest Religious cosmology and Cosmology (metaphysics)), but the Earth article will stay based on the facts as we know them
Atlant 14:37, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
Rubbish. How can you say these are facts? None of them has been proven, and if they were "proved" it's not the exact finding that comes out. Stop coming with your fucking mythology crap, I'm not a fucking retard. If you can't argue like a mature person I suggest you keep yourself to your job and stop lurking around Wikipaedia. Now, for anyone who wants to talk about this without fucking about bull shit, I am suggesting that the so-called facts in this article be preceded by "tests has shown" or "it is believed that", you know, stuff in that direction. --Scotteh 17:46, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
This is not personal. It is about reliable sources and verifyability. The information put forward is the most accurate information that can be demonstrated by observable events. There is nothing wrong with believing in any number of things, but that does not mean it is encyclopedic. As far as I know there are no actual experimental results that back up intellegent design. Simply beleiving something does not qualify it as encyclopedic.
This is not an attack on religeon, this is simply not a faith based venue. HighInBC 17:51, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
Sensible, but if it is the most accurate it doesn't mean it is completely accurate. Therefore, saying the earth is so and so many years old, is a lie. --Scotteh 18:14, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
Not a lie, just the best of our knowledge. From the official wikipedia policy WP:Verifiability:
The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. "Verifiable" in this context means that any reader must be able to check that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, because Wikipedia does not publish original thought or original research.
As you can see we are not seeking to know what cannot be known, we are demonstrating what the current published sources currently beleive. HighInBC 18:27, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
Lots of published sources believe otherwise. This is not good enough a reason. What qualifies as a reliable source? Something that rejects religion? Seems like it to me. Hmpf, that's pathetic. What a sad "encyclopaedia" Wikipaedia is then... --Scotteh 18:35, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Scotteh, please keep mindful of WP:CIV and WP:NPA. You're pretty far across the line on your reply to me. Meanwhile, you'll also want to keep mindful of WP:AWW. We don't need to qualify every value with "scientists believe that...".

Atlant 18:43, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Who the hell are you???? Do not remove comments that didn't disclose clasified information. --Scotteh 19:11, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
Scotteh, I understand that you are upset at having your post removed. Personally I think it is strange that Atlant (talk · contribs) removed this[11] edit, as it only verged on personal attack. This[12] edit is the one that he should have removed, as nobody has the right to use wikipedia for personal attacks. Please we are here to discuss the subject, not the editor. HighInBC 19:27, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
I realize now this removal of information was a mistake due to a bug. The edit in question[13] has been returned HighInBC 20:24, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
You are a bunch of religiousless people trying to force your ideologoies down the throats of the religious people. --Scotteh 19:33, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
No force, you can go to another website. Also you will find many articles do delve into religeon when it is on-topic. You are trying to call this some sort of personal campaign against your beliefs but this is just not so. Our refusal you beleive and proffess what you beleive is not an attack on your beliefs. This wiki has clearly defines standards that are made public and these are the standards we abide by. No amount of insisting will change our minds we need relaible citations that clearly illustrate your point of view. HighInBC 19:36, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

(FYI: I didn't deliberately remove anything. But there is some sort of bug in the Wikimedia software where it fails to flag "edit conflicts" on talk pages and so person A's contribution ends up replacing person B's contribution. I believe that is what happened here, but if an apology will help, then: "I apologize; I did not deliberately remove anyone's comments from this talk page."

Atlant 19:39, 23 August 2006 (UTC))

I am beginning to wonder if Atlant is human. It sounds as if it is a computer. Also, this discussion isn't about beliefs. It's about what is right and what's not the truth. Also, if it were about beliefs, then it would include science, because the exclusive noting of evolutionistic beliefs is nothing more than the propagandanization of an unlisted religion trying to diliberately attack other religions through suggestion, and not straight to the face. --Scotteh 19:46, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

I am sorry Scotteh but this discussion has ceased to be productive. Please present new evidence or put this argument to bed. Simply repeating yourself and attacking your opponents will not change our minds. You are on the verge of being ignored. I would prefer to listen, but only if it is productive. HighInBC 19:51, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

In that case, I will be back soon (like a week or so) with some evidence and new argumentations. PS: Thanks High in bc for your tolerable and neutral argumentation. --Scotteh 19:54, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Excellent, also I will leave you with this helpful hint from WP:Reliable_sources:

An opinion is a view that someone holds, the content of which may or may not be verifiable. However, that a certain person or group expressed a certain opinion is a fact (that is, it is true that the person expressed the opinion) and it may be included in Wikipedia if it can be verified; that is, if you can cite a good source showing that the person or group expressed the opinion.

This means that while opinion itself is not welcome, facts about opinion are. HighInBC 19:57, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

So basically you are saying I can come on here and provide a cite, and say that these certain group of people believe that the earth is more than 6 000 years old? Or will evolution always be regarded more factuous than the rest of the beliefs? Ok, what I'm trying to say is, that if I provide a cite which states that there are people believing that the age of the earth is 6 000 years old, would this be mentioned in the article somewhere down below where no one ever reads, or would it get as much attention as the other beliefs, such as evolution, get? --Scotteh 20:06, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Ok, here is how it works. There is scientific evidence that directly supports evolution, so we can say that. Since, as far as I know, there is no scientific evidence for intellegent design you can only prove that people believe in it.

As for it's position in the article I am imagining something along the lines of Despite faith based beleifs that the earth is considerably younger(citation goes here), the majority of scientific evidence suggest that the Earth is approximatly 4.5 billions years old..

Notice I didn't put the 6000 years there? That is because different faith based groups give different estimates. This is of course just my opinion, others may has different views. HighInBC 20:14, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Ok then. PS: keep this here, I'm going to provide some stuff in the next few hours, maybe days, that could perhaps be included in the article. I also want to see what other users say when they comment on this. --Scotteh 20:22, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
Wow, this is like the first time I actually read the article, and it seems that several statements need the {{citation needed}} tag. I don't think it matters how important the statement is, but what about suggesting that someone cite all of these stuff? --Scotteh 20:25, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
On the to-do list is Implement suggestions from Featured Article review, which includes the need for more citations, this is a wonderful way to improve the article. Also, you may wish to find and place some of those citations there yourself. HighInBC 20:28, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
Just wanted to mention that evolution does not deal with the age of the Earth. -AlexJohnc3 My Talk Page 23:04, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

I wanted to point out, that this article is already very long and only briefly touches upon subjects that are covered more in depth in other related articles. Have you taken a look at the Age of the Earth article? Also, Dating Creation and Origin belief deal with this. HighInBC 14:34, 24 August 2006 (UTC)


Why do so many religionists (mainly), always screw up discussion pages with their holier than thou rants. Is it because they have no proof of their own beliefs and are frustrated that everyone doesn't arbitrarily accept the same faith system to which they were indoctrinated.

Is it because they intuitively know (correctly I might add) that there really is a power greater than mankind, and are so frustrated that the quantum nature of creator cannot be proven but only experienced?

Or is it that after reading scripture translated by those with an agenda, they feel so empty that they must verify their weak position by trying to convince others of its validity? Apparently they keep forgetting the part that suggests your relationship with your maker is a private one, not to be taken to the streets.

Are they wanting answers so desparately they are willing to look foolish as if an attempt to get the attention of someone who really knows something and can give them those answers?

Could it be all of the above? I cant believe I read all that. Scotteh: may I suggest reading more to increase your vocabulary? You had a beginning. You will have an end. The creature should know they were created. The proof is in the mirror. Or not there (a light is on, but no one is home). Alphaquad 14:04, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

This a bit off topic, this is the talk page for discussion the Earth. HighInBC 14:06, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
But relevant to "discussion style" perhaps? And "discussion the Earth" might include a wide range of subjects. Pedantry at its best. Now we've both stated the obvious and have something in common. Now I am thinking off-topic only makes sense in the case of articles. I emphasize the term discussion defined as clear communication unclouded by unstable emotion, that all can benefit, that young ones (and aliens) don't accidentally learn this is the way intelligent people of Earth interact. Understanding causes is critical to a solution. Alphaquad 16:27, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Evolution is just a theory and has very little if not no proof to back it up. This planet is incredible. The trees, the ocean, the sunset. There is no way this planet just appeared and everything just gradually formed. No, im going with intelligent design. Someone has got to change it. Crion Naxx

Perhaps Earth#Notes will interest you, it is full of, well not proof, but citations to the information in this article. Please know that the threshold of inclusion in this enclycopiedia is not truth, but verifiablity. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 04:03, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
You are free to edit the article to include any theory, so long as evidence is provided and the article remains NPOV. A theory in itself is not POV unless it explicitly demeans another point of view - stating the reasoning behind a theory DOES NOT demean another. Provide respectable evidence for your arguments and it deserves the airtime. --Danlibbo 03:48, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Opening paragraph

Going back to the previous discussion .... I don't like the opening paragraph:

"The Earth was created by God around 5,000 years ago[1] (see Age of the Earth) and its largest natural satellite, the Moon, was orbiting it shortly thereafter, around 5,000 years ago."

That is a way too biased religious statement. The earth is millions of years old, not 5000. Why can't we just state the age of the earth based on geological fact and add a section specifically for religious beliefs? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

You are of course right. And it has been reverted to the correct way, such edits are only there for a short time. HighInBC 17:51, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

Have another point, isn't Moon is Earth's ONLY natural satellite? If that's the case, why is the word largest is required? It implies that there is more than one natural satellite.... --Cyktsui 01:10, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Sarcasm can be highest or lowest form of humour, I think you pull it off though. Kris 10:58, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
Maybe I should have made it a bit clearer, the current sentence is "the Earth was formed around 4.57 billion years ago[1] and its largest natural satellite, the Moon, was orbiting it shortly thereafter, around 4.53 billion years ago."" so there is no 5000 years in there anymore. My point is whether it is more appropriate to remove the word largest. Please comment --Cyktsui 12:35, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
Oh yeah well that's been fixed anyway now. I thought you were referring to an isolated vandalism attempt ages ago, and making a joke out of a newbie's confusion over it, didn't realize it still said "largest natural satellite". Of course the Moon is Earth's only known true natural satellite, although there may be a little confusion over Cruithne and 2002 AA29. It should stay as is without "largest" being in there, you're right. Kris 13:13, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
Talking about the moon section now: On this page 3753 Cruithne is called a co-orbital satellite and on the quasi-satellite page it is listed as one of them. Are these both correct? Also the quasi-satellite page has some more bodies that could go with them. CaspianM
It's a good point and well spotted – I couldn't claim to be an expert, but it would seem there is conflicting information between some pages regarding Cruithne. It is in a horseshoe orbit, which the quasi-satellite article states would disqualify it from being a quasi-satellite. The same article lists Cruithne shortly after as a quasi-satellite, so perhaps it needs to be taken out of that list. By definition it is a co-orbital satellite, as I understand, since it orbits in the Earth's neighbourhood at a similar distance. Kris 19:24, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

Composition of the Earth

This is a relatively minor point, but the section on "Composition of the Earth" cannot be quite correct. The percent by mass of the earth that is iron, oxygen, etc. is given; if one adds the percentages of these seven major constituents, one gets 101.1%. Even if each of the percentages were rounded, that still would not be enough to make the real value <= 100%, and one would in fact expect these to add up to slightly LESS than 100%. I went to the referenced source, and the percentages that I found there did not agree with the ones on this page. But I was puzzled as to why someone would have mistranscribed them, and wasn't sure "bulk earth" was the correct category to be looking under. Perhaps someone can look into this and fix it?

Thank you for noticing that. I will look into it tommorow if nobody else does and I remember. HighInBC 18:54, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Has anyone looked at this problem yet? Another thought -- apparently much of earth's large density is due to compression; sources seem to say that the density of the inner core is 13 or even 15 gm/cm^3. This is surprising, since the density of iron is usually around 8 gm/cm^3. How does this work; does iron under extremely high pressures form an unusual crystalline structure or something? How high does the pressure have to be -- would a planet have to be approximately earth-sized for the pressure at the core to be high enough? It would be nice if someone knowledgeable wrote about this or looked into it. Kier07 22:54, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

It could just be a degree of error. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 19:53, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

Clearing the neighbourhood

Removed newly added Clearing the neighbourhood section which linked to planetologists squabbling (see: Clearing the neighbourhood). The article is long enough already without adding their trivial naming squabbles or whatever. Vsmith 00:45, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Mostly harmless

I'm starting to think people who pull that joke for the umpteenth time should be immediately blocked. Thoughts? Danny Lilithborne 06:01, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

I beleive they are... problem is.. its just random IP addresses most of the time, so unless they have an internet account with static IP, next time they connect they can get back to their old tricks -- Nbound 06:06, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
IPvandals usually aren't blocked for one incident, but you could always look over the history of this article to see if special beatings are applied to people who re-apply the over-worn joke. The few articles that will get you immediately whacked are usually labled as such in an easily-visible header.
Atlant 22:22, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
A 'fix' for this may be including a 'mostly harmless' paragraph, which included the HGTTG quote and some information about why the entire Earth entry is not simply 'mostly harmless' Tigger-oN 10:10, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Diameter of earth now vs. 4.5 BYA?

Hi, does anyone have any data or know of references regarding how the diameter of the earth has changes over its evolution? That is, has the diameter of the earth increased or decrease since its inception? I know, according to solar growth rates stored in fossil records, that it's rotation rate is slowing, e.g. at the 2.5 BYA mark the earth rotated once every ten hours, and that at the 4.5 BYA mark it would have been revolving faster than one rotation per hour (Source: Whitrow's What is Time (1972), pg. 63.) Thanks: --Sadi Carnot 12:55, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Id assume the diameter would have shrunk due to cooling -- Nbound 09:45, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

And if we're talking about diametric evolution, the planet will have been more markedly oblate in the past due to faster rotation coupled with lower density, so the polar and equatorial diameters are approaching each other (although they will never be equal). Kris 10:29, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Lunar age

Just a thought, in the first paragraph the Moon is said to be 4.533Ga old. Firstly, I would like to know where that figure came from, and secondly how come we seem to know it so accurately? I'm not questioning it – I'm sure whoever wrote it knows more about it than me, I would just like to know. Would it not be more correct to state the ages of Earth and the Moon to the same number of significant figures if possible? Kris 08:23, 8 September 2006 (UTC)


In the section surface it writes

  • If all of the land on Earth were spread evenly, then water would rise higher than the Statue of Liberty.

Which is obviously false: simple maths shows that the depth would be "average depth of the seas as they are now" x "percentage of land surface in water". Taking the figures from the article, this yields 3,794x0.708=2686.152. Something like this is noted in the footnote:

  • The average depth is, in fact, significantly greater than the statue of liberty. Letting the average depth be approximately equal to water volume divided by the Earth's surface area: the total volume of water is about 1.4 × 109 km3; the total area of Earth is about 5.1 × 108 km². So the average depth would be roughly 2.8 km, whereas the statue of liberty is only 0.093 km, including the pedestal.

I find this setup rather confusing - wouldn't it make more sense to leave out the Statue of Liberty altogether, because it is nowhere close to comparable? 00:05, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

  • I changed it include an approximate figure in the text directly, in place of the off-topic comparision with the SoL. The sentence still feels a bit awkward, though. 00:59, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Why is the Earth round?

Why is the Earth round? Ok. Get this. Think of a ball. You are on a ship going down the curve. Wouldn't you suddenly be upside down? But that isnt the case. Therefore, I will reword my question. Why don't ships go upside down when traversing down the curve of Earth if it were round? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

See Gravity. -- Arwel (talk) 00:22, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Gravitational attraction is always towards the center of mass of any object. For a round planet, that point is somewhere near the center of the planet, so gravitational attraction is always roughly towards the center of the planet as well (that is, "down" into the ground).
Atlant 00:30, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Yep... else id be floating off into space about now... (Im in Australia) -- Nbound
Given that this question is not completely dumb, how would you know you were upside-down, anyway? Danny Lilithborne 00:46, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Quite true... how do we know this isnt how it really is? :P -- Nbound 00:55, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
That map is as valid as any other.
Atlant 01:13, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

"often incorrectly referred to as Terra"

On what basis is "Tellus" to be considered "correct" and "Terra" incorrect?

This seems like yet another case of bringing in a lesser-known bit of knowledge (in this case that "Tellus" is also a name of the Latin earth goddess) and arbitrarily declaring that a particular interpretation based on it is "correct."

"Terra" is Latin for earth, as in soil, but also land in the sense of territory (e.g., the new world, "terra nova") and the earth as a whole (notably, "In principio creavit Deus caelum et terram."). English partly follows this very pattern. We talk about tilling the earth, or an earthy smell, but also of the earth as a whole. This sort of metaphoric extension is fundamental in language. Further, Terra is the earth goddess and by extension the earth itself. For example, from Bullfinch's Mythology: "A celebrated exploit of Hercules was his victory over Antaeus. Antaeus, the son of Terra, the Earth, was a mighty giant and wrestler [...]"

"Tellus" appears to be another name for the earth goddess. Bullfinch has (in the story of Medea and AEson) "To the stars she addressed her incantations, and to the moon; to Hecate, the goddess of the underworld, and to Tellus the goddess of the earth, by whose power plants potent for enchantment are produced."

It's not clear how to pick a "correct" choice between the two. "Terra" and "Tellus" appear to be simple alternations and are almost certainly cognate to begin with. Either that, or there were actually two earth goddesses, with suspiciously similar names and attributes, in which case on what basis do we decide that one is "correctly" considered as representing the planet as a whole?

Modern usage at least seems to strongly prefer "Terra", so if one is to be considered "correct" it should be "Terra". -Dmh 17:23, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

I see your point, I support removing any uncited material stating something is incorrect. A bold statement like that needs a citation. HighInBC 18:07, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
It appears someone has re-introduced a milder version of this statement, referencing the entry for Terra (mythology). This in turn flatly states that the disticntion is technically correct Classical Latin. I did a little digging and — bearing in mind that I'm no expert in Latin — found that Ovid tends to contradict this. I won't mess with the Earth article until this resolves, but it's not clear to me why it's important to note a technical distinction in Classical Latin here, even assuming it to be accurate. There's no end of English usage of Terra as earth, and as far as I can tell some Latin usage as well. -Dmh 06:12, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
Good catch, wikipedia does not use itself as a reference, so I have removed the reference in question. I attempted to use the citations from the Terra (mythology) article, but one was a dead link and the other provided next to no information. HighInBC 14:20, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
I've taken out the statement in Terra (mythology). There appears to be a grain of truth, in that the notion has been around for a while (e.g., Aquinas asserts that the Romans held such a distinction), but there doesn't seem to be much evidence that the Romans themselves cared that much, except perhaps in some limited context. In any case, it seems at best a rather technical point not worth mentioning here. I'm taking it back out -Dmh 21:27, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

global warming

humans love cars. stop it. think about global warming. lets all protest the stinking oil. ok? walk to work . just walk. forget cars. screw anything that involves mass greenhouse emissions. now if youre just addicted to cars, then screw you. you will get drowned by the oceans. (and wait im not talking nonsense) with more ice caps melting... the oceans will cool and then they will absorb more heat and technically there could be another ice age. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

not everyone lives within walking distance of work -- Nbound 04:01, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

And this has to do with the article at hand how? - 23:55, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

In any case, global warming is a myth, according to reliable scientific data. 04:54, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Rotating Earth animation

Sorry to be a bit pedantic, but this animation is incorrect: it does not take into account the Earth's axial tilt. Should it therefore be removed?

Martin.Budden 17:15, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

I don't think it's incorrect though- it shows the rotation of the Earth on a equinox.WolfKeeper 22:01, 24 September 2006 (UTC)
At equinox the sun is indeed directly above the equator, but the Earth's axis is still inclined to the orbital plane. In terms of the animation this means that one of the poles should be "nearer" the viewer and one of the poles "further away". Martin.Budden 21:11, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
I chose this camera angle for viewing as much detail as possible. Camera bearing spacecraft could theoretically be anywhere. We cannot call it an impossible view. Thanks for the comment Martin. At this point I am wondering if a Wiki Planetarium project is underway. I have collected all the data and matrix math needed for the project and put it in one place. Most of the data available is of our little corner, so a working Planetarium should be linked to Alpha_Quadrant and certainly to Planetarium. Even an Opengl applet is possible with certain browsers. What will we title the page and where should it be discussed? A picture[14] is worth 1000 words - Working version nearly complete. "Don't bite the newcomers!" Alphaquad 02:18, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
Sorry the delayed reply. I agree that the animation, strictly speaking, is not incorrect. However I assumed the "camera" would be in the Earth's orbital plane and I expect the average high school student would make the same assumption. I don't think you would loose any detail if the camera was moved into the Earth's orbital plane and the animation would then also illustrate the Earth's axial tilt - so in fact you would be showing more detail. Martin.Budden 23:41, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Fulfilled Request

As requested in the priority one to do list since September 4th 2006 regarding implementing suggestions from featured article review for this article I have taken action to implement on October 1st 2006. Only minor action was taken for a few examples of grammar, as well as changing the word simular to similar which appeared to have a meaning closer to its paragraph in context. Please read, discuss, and keep as the consensus of the group here sees fit. I now go to the next priority one to do list. Absolutely no worries at all. Neutralaccounting 05:45, 1 October 2006 (UTC)


I am from Earth, atleast I will be staying here a while, anybody want me to take some specific pictures while I am here? HighInBC 14:23, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Earth Infobox

Template:Planet Infobox/Earth was placed on TFD by someone who doesn't like the fact that it stands alone by itself. Please visit the TFD and express your opinion on this issue. Dragons flight 17:47, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

sure take pics of all the landmarks, i hear u have weird substances here on earth qantas goes to venus!

Words for Earth in other languages

I think it interesting that people have made the effort to write the word for Earth in other languages, but why is there no transliteration of the Sanskrit word? "Words for Earth in other languages include: पृथ्वी pr̥thvī (Sanskrit)".DDD DDD 01:54, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Hello, I am from another planet and was wondering if someone could tell me about life on Planet Earth?


This section needs some lengthening. That, or actually put some relevent information in the link to another article. This section states composition, but doesn't even state if this is composition by mass or by number of atoms. I recall this information used to be on wikipedia, however now it is on neither page. Harley peters 21:13, 24 October 2006 (UTC)


There should be more info. about which regions prefer "earthing", "earthing system", as compared to "ground", "grounding", "grounded", "grounding system"?

This does seem extremely dependent on dialect, region, neighborhood.






Then there is "earthling".

hopiakuta ; [[ <nowiki> </nowiki> { [[%c2%a1]] [[%c2%bf]] [[ %7e%7e%7e%7e ]] } ;]] 22:30, 24 October 2006 (UTC)


I was taking a quick scroll of the article and saw the section Pedosphere and thought it was vandalism so hit history to revert it but couldn't find the diff very quickly - so I clicked on the link for it and turns out there's such thing as a pedosphere lol. I wonder if anyone has incorrectly deleted this before. --WikiSlasher 11:40, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Image caption

An image caption currently reads:

A part of the earth as it looks in its round shape. This is not how it looks from space, however it is what the earth's shape is.

To which my reaction is basically "uhh... what?". This needs more explanation, as it is apparently self-contradictory; how can something have a different shape from what it appears to have? JulesH 07:29, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

There are several reasons that caption needs nuking and replacing:
" its round shape." – Why, what does it look like in its other shapes? I understood it had only one shape, an oblate spheroid.
"This is not how it looks from space..." – Well it isn't, unless Earth was experiencing its best ever weather, but this is a bad way to word it.
"...however it is what the earth's shape is." - Do I really need to break this down? Rubbish.
It's hard to say whether whoever wrote it is a subtle vandal or just a bit encyclopaedically green. Kris 10:59, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
I've re-written the caption but it could probably still use some fine-tuning. Kris 11:08, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Your Mom

Since when is Earth ever called 'Your Mom'? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 20:29, November 12, 2006

Hehe, that particular edit was there for less than a minute before being repaired, it was vandalism. You just happened to look during the short time it was like that. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 04:33, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
I thought as much. ^_^ A brief part of me thought it was maybe someone trying to describe the Earth as mother of us all, but got a bit confused. Ah well, no bother.


I feel that this article is racist and persecuted towards the members of the Flat Earth Society, as it insists that Earth is closed to sphere shaped. This is very one-sided and racist, lol.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 14:22, 21 April 2007.

That's not racist, that's shapist :p --Alf melmac 14:28, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

16 November 2006 archive

I have archived this rather long talk page. If I have accidently archived an active discussion please move that discussion back and accept my apologies. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 04:07, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

A Very Special Note from the Management -MOSTLY HARMLESS

Q. Should I replace this article with the words "mostly harmless" or "harmless", as per The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?

A. No. Every other vandalism to this article is just that, and people who do this will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes. Share and enjoy!

I was thinking about doing this myself, but I had a feeling it would have been done before. Oh wells :-) Bennity 11:50, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Damn! Karlusss 22:21, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
Heh, I thought about it too, but couldn't bring myself to do it... great minds think alike, apparently. 15:36, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
Seriously, given the frequently made comments on the similarity between Wikipedia and the Hitchhiker's Guide, I feel that the page does need SOME reference to "Mostly Harmless" - it is a good joke, and by being there "officially" it would disuade vandals from doing the "compelete replacement" Medconn 18:02, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Personally I'd say the joke really only works if "mostly harmless" is the entire content of the article -- at least, that was the original joke. Anyway, although I don't think this particular vandalism is the same as every other, it is the sort of thing better placed in the Uncyclopedia -- and it is there[15]. -- Andy ( 05:58, 10 December 2006 (UTC))
The Hitchhiker's Guide references are everywhere [16] Acererak 14:06, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Man! That's exactly what I came here to do today! Anyway, I still think it won't do any damage if the article starts with "Mostly Harmless."

          • Why doesn't Wikipedia make the search option such that when searching for "Earth" the real page and a great/hilarious page come up in the search results. That way, those who enjoy the humor can see that it turns up and those who are looking for information can find what they need, too. So please make that possible someone...

This is covered on the Earth in fiction page, which is linked via the "See also" section at the bottom of the article. — RJH (talk) 20:45, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Earth cut-away

I've uploaded a 3D rendered version of the Earth being cut to its core. It labels the areas numerically so as to be language-independent. It also includes the D-double-prime layer.

as a replacement for:

Thangalin 04:22, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

Future Needs Editing

The future section ignores the possibility of human action to either change the atmosphere or move the earth. Perhaps a new section, "Alternate Futures," or a new article linked to the Earth one would be of interest. Science fiction often becomes science fact.

--Dwise75 09:50, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

"it is the largest planet in the world"... take that out --Darrendeng 09:29, 30 November 2006 (UTC) It still needs to be taken out. --Ben 12/17/06

"space" should link to Outer space

Done. Vsmith 15:22, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

Astronauts now alternate in the space station more often than once every 6 months, the last mission only lasted for 2 weeks or so...

The future section mentions nothing of the stability of the orbits of solar system members, including Earth. Between now and the Sun's twilight years, orbits can reshape and become unstable - resulting in possible ejection out of the solar system. External influences such as close passes by other stars and the potential collision between the Milky Way and the Andromeda Galaxy may disrupt the orbits further. Earth's fate is speculation, but generally bleak by the looks of it - disregarding speculation on Humankind's safeguarding its cradle planet.

Paulsmith99 22:07, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Rotating Earth Animation

The animated rotating earth picture could be replaced with a better one from Wikimedia Commons: (from the large version at: ) 12:27, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

This arctical should be a featured arctical Da Man 2000

I believe "commoner" should be switched to "more common" in the minerals section.

The better image is this one. What makes you think any different? Alphaquad 06:43, 20 January 2007 (UTC)


What is the distance from the sun to earth? (in km) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 22:48, 7 December 2006 (UTC).

Approximately 1.4959787e+08 km. To answer similar questions yourself, use GNU Units

[17]. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 06:02, 10 December 2006 (UTC).:

Probably 150,000,000 km

Is carbon really so rare in the crust that it is not mentioned ? CaO exists in greater quantity than all the carbonate rocks ? Bob Armstrong 13:17, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Yes. Encyclopaedia Britannica lists Carbon as the 19th most abundant element in the crust by mass. Given that it is the fourth most abundant element in the Universe, it might be interesting to find out why the abundance is so low. — RJH (talk) 16:18, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Is Pluto still a planet?

This section wasn't relevant to this topic. I've removed it, and am putting it in my removed section on my account Ah2190 12:07, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

This article needs to be seperated

We need to seperate this article because "Earth" is a very broad subject. For example: Earth as a planet, Earth as the world, Earth meaning soil, Earth as in the ground, etc. etc. It would be wrong to assume that anyone who is searching for "Earth" is always searching for the planet :). So searching for "Earth" should only give you a disanbiguation page with all the subtopics on it.

Iron core?

So the center of the earth is made of hot iron? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by AnYoNe! (talkcontribs).

That's the current (fairly-well-supported) belief, yes. -- Atlant 01:04, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

This article

It has very large and meaty clustered chunks of great educative data to it, perhaps it could be broken down into smaller peices. Nevertheless it remains an excellent article worked on by many. Just one of several hundreds saved in my watch list. It is actually 17 pages long 16:42, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Is Earth the 5th largest planet or not?

The article states that Earth is the fifth largest planet in the solar system. However, as far as I can tell, it is only larger than Mercury, Venus and Mars. Is this a remnant from when Pluto was classified as a planet?

Thanks, 20:47, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Earth is smaller than Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. So it is the fifth largest planet.--JyriL talk 20:50, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Age of the Earth needs to be updated.

The article lists the Earth as being 4.57 aeons old, but in accordance with the most recent scientific data, this is completely illogical. Judging from the sun's current rate at which it loses mass, the sun would be large enough to pull the earth into it at that point in time (simple laws of gravitation have proven this.)

Furthermore, we are losing our moon at a rate of about 4 inches per year. At that rate, you would have to say that 1.2 aeons ago, the moon would have been on the surface of the Earth.

Please keep all archaic theories noted as such. If you must include the Earth being 4.57 aeons old, then you must also include the "facts" that the Earth is flat and that the Sun travels around it. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:50, 3 January 2007 (UTC).

How old do you suggest earth is? Acererak 14:16, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
It is impossible to determine an exact date, but the evidence clearly suggests less than ten thousand years. Also, in reference to the Moon, I thought that the limit was 1.2 billion.--MarioFanaticXV 04:51, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
lol 06:07, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps Age of the Earth would interest you? HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 04:54, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Has 4 inches per year always been the rate of departure? (SEWilco 05:44, 7 January 2007 (UTC))
There is no scientific data pertaining to the moon's recession from the Earth that is inconsistent with the scientific age of 4.567 billion years. There are impact craters on the earth that are too old to have been formed within the last 10,000 years. You are suggesting that the entire world formed after the stone age, cretaceous era, the cambrian era, and all other geological periods. At the rate the continents are drifting apart (South America and Africa are moving apart at an average of 5.7 cm per year because the seafloor is spreading along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge), the division must have began no less than 250 million years ago. Back to the moon issue, the rate of 4 inches per year is a lie. The real increase in the distance of the semi-major axis of the lunar orbit is in fact 3.82 centimeters/year. And we were not always losing the moon so quickly; as the gravitation between the moon and the earth was much greater billions of years ago, we were losing the moon much more slowly. Check your facts before you make such erroneous claims. BlytheG 12:25, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
The scientific evidence points the Universe being less than ten millenia... unless you wish to deny the existence of meteorites. Or perhaps the "F" rings of Saturn? Or the fact that we have fossils above water? Also, by factoring in that, you make your problem WORSE, not better. For this to be true, the Moon would have to be physically touching the Earth even LESS than 1.2 aeons ago. Furthermore, I used it as an upper limit, NOT an exact value.-- 17:52, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Young earth believers are biblical literalists who thought they might try and win some converts by speaking in (pseudo)scientific terms. Its not even worth debating with them. Brentt 21:37, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Of course. Why debate some one when you already know you're wrong?-- 17:52, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
They might also suppose cavemen lived along with dinosaurs and that the garden of eden was in fact the moon when she was just a few inches from earth...
In actuality, dinosaurs have lived with man throughout time. They simply used a now archaic term for them: dragon. In the Congo there have been reports of what seems to be a pterodactyl. Theories should be changed to fit the facts, not vice versa. Evolution is an archaic religion, surviving only in the minds of those who cannot bring themselves to face reality. The only reason people choose to believe it is because that would mean it has a creator, and therefore, rules. It is not my fault that your metaphysical research program of Evolutionism goes against a great number of scientific laws (the Two Laws of Thermodynamics, the Law Conservation of Angular Momentum, the Inverse Square Law AKA Gravitational Constant, among others too numerous to list.) It can be stated as a fact that nothing found in science has ever supported the religion of Evolutionism.-- 17:52, 22 January 2007 (UTC)\

I dont believe anyone who says "face reality". Evolution doesn't mean "theres no god". Theologians have no problem with it. Why do people? Mailrobot 20:57, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Evolution isn't a religion, and Evolutionism isn't a real word. And YES, many, many, many, many, many facts have been found in science that support the theory of evolution. Much more than evidence against it, and much, much, much more than evidence for creationism and the claims you're making. --...Wikiwøw 00:03, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Yup, I agree with the IP address. If the world really was millions of years old, everything would be dead and worn-out by now. I watched a documentary where they carbon dated trees in a lake near Mount Saint Helens that were swept there when the volcano erupted. The test found that the trees already turned to carbon and that it dated back millions of years. Also, because the trees sank to the bottom of the lake in different phases, it appeared as if it was a lot of forests on top of each other. But whatever. Adriaan90 ( TalkContribs ) ♪♫ 13:07, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

You do know you have no idea what you are saying, right? The tree outside your house hasn't been there for millions of years, that's why it isn't dead. Mailrobot 20:57, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

The age of the earth is so thoroughly theoretical; discussion of such things can only be meaningful to those with a hidden agenda. Alphaquad 06:52, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

It's been measured many, many many times via carbon-dating, half-life, and other liberal, evilutionally-biased agenda-driven sciences. Get over it. Craig3410 22:39, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Both differing theories from both points of view each contain evidence 'proving' itself true while contradicting the other. At the moment there is no way to determine the real age of the earth but perhaps both theories could be placed on the 'Age of the Earth' page so both points of view can be noted. 02:19, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Yawn. Stuff and nonsense. There is not a jot of evidence that the Earth is only 10 Ky old. For that to be true (and among many other things) our understanding of fundamental science would have to be wrong. And were that true, you wouldn't be able to sit there typing these pernicious fairy tales into a computer. Get over it already.
Furthermore, on a purely theological level, what's with this "both points of view" nonsense? Why is it that only one theological chronology for Earth history is correct? What about all those other theologies who posit different ages for the Earth? They have as much evidence going for them as the one being defended here (i.e. none), but I don't see anyone jumping in to defend (or savage) them.
More importantly, this page is for discussing improvements to the article. Given that we're discussing a scientific topic here (the age of the Earth), for the creationist ideas above to be considered in the article, they would need to be properly sourced. Let's see some proper, peer-reviewed references up front before we waste any more time discussing this. Oh wait, that's right, there's a vast conspiracy among scientists to keep creationism down. I forgot. --Plumbago 09:28, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia has articles for the above stuff and nonsense - see: Origin belief and Creation within belief systems for all the various mythologies. Vsmith 12:00, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Why is it stated that "Widely accepted scientific evidence indicates that the Earth was formed around 4.57 billion years ago"... What else do we use in an encyclopedia? The age of the Earth is that old, we dont say "widely accepted scientific evidence" for any other age on wikipedia, why here? i think this is just bending over backwards to young-earth religious zealots... Theres plenty of other articles to do with your viewpoint where you can spread this information. Just keep it out of here -- Nbound 05:19, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

As HighInBC has already noted, go look at Age of the Earth for all the rationale anyone might need, as well as a fair review of various viewpoints on the matter. Let's not waste any more time squabbling here. Kris 10:17, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Since the age of the Earth cannot be proved scientifically and it is not documented historically (other than in the Holy Bible), the age of the earth should not be written as if it is a fact. It should say "evidence suggests that the Earth is 4.57 billion years old" or "many scientists think the Earth is 7000 years old" Since it is not a fact, it should not be portrayed as such. And everyone please, stop bashing true Christians who believe in young earth creation. It is a perfectly valid belief and endorsed by many scientists. teemanbf04 17:57, 11 April 2007

There are no certain facts; there are only theories. Theories are mathematical descriptions of natural phenomena, that have been observed to be consistent with reality. As soon as a replicatable observation has been made that contradicts a theory, it is no longer a theory, but an approximation (this is what happened to Newton's theory of gravity). Young Earth Creationism is a childish regression used by people even more mentally unstable than the usual religionite, who need reality to fit perfectly with thier holy book. Observations come first, then hypothesis. Looking for evidence to support the Wholly Babble is the exact reverse of the scientific method. And a consistent theory is safe to be treated as fact in most cases. You wouldn't object to the statement "When I drop my coffee mug near the surface of the earth, it will fall" would you? FIND A PEER REVIEWED SOURCE FOR YOUR ASSERTIONS, AND THEY SHALL BE INCLUDED! DISCUSSION OVER! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Quantum Burrito (talkcontribs) 02:02, 13 April 2007 (UTC).

It is strongly advised that mature adults who are also critical thinkers simply ignore creationist trolls and their incessant flaming about "intelligent design."

A Day

How long exactly is a day on Earth, and would it help if I divided the orbital circumference by the orbital speed? Should it be in the article? Thanks. AstroHurricane001(Talk+Contribs+Ubx) 18:44, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't feel that time lapse should be added into the article, but that's just my opinion. --Soetermans 19:06, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
What kind of day are you talking about? The civil day on our clocks is exactly 86,400 seconds long. Although the words are sometimes used differently, the mean solar day is about 86,400.002 seconds. It must be measured, so is not exact. The apparent solar day, can be up to 29 seconds different from the 86,400 figure during the year, because of our non-circular orbit and tilted axis. The sidereal day, which refers to our rotation relative to the stars, is nearly four minutes less-about 86,164 seconds. Saros136 10:29, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, I meant to ask whether a day on Earth (one rotation of its axis) is longer or shorter than 24 h. Thanks. AstroHurricane001(Talk+Contribs+Ubx) 18:41, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, I would go for the solar day, which comes to more than 24 hours. That is the rotation of the Earth in relation to our sun, also known as Sol. Ah2190 12:28, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Declination and right ascension

Why are coordinates on the celestial sphere listed for Earth? Aren't they meaningless? Why should Earth be any more at the north pole of the celestial sphere than anywhere else? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 03:50, 26 January 2007 (UTC).

The 90° declination isn't meaningless. It means a line from the center of the earth through the north pole points to celestial north. On the other hand, the right ascension for matching a 90° dec is undefined. Since the lines of right ascension, which are the equivalent of the lines of longitude on the surface of the Earth, *all* go from the N to S poles of the celestial sphere; a pole can't be identified with just one of them and given a number. Saros136 05:47, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
I should point out that reference frame is critical here. The J2000 reference frame referred to Epoch (astronomy) in the article, makes use of the mean equinox and equator...meaning that nutation, the changing tilt of the Earth's axis, is averaged out or omitted. I was talking about that average North pole. The actual North pole of the Earth doesn't really point exactly to the the J2000 North, so it does does have a (changing) RA, using J2000 coordinates. Saros136 09:41, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Oh, the "of the north pole" applies to declination as well. Why doesn't it say so? That makes some more sense, at least. 01:59, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
It would be much easier to specify the coordinates of the Earth using alt-azimuth notation (j/k). SheffieldSteel 18:32, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Cosmic engineering

The last sentence of the article suggests "it might be possible to move the Earth's orbit outwards, and thus it would not suffer a runaway greenhouse effect." I think this is a straightforward violation of WP:CRYSTAL, especially given the casual, un-qualified phrasing of the sentence. Sure, it's cited, but if we cite everything that some sci-fi author manages to say on television, this will be a zoo. Ethan Mitchell 20:28, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

You're right. In a section describing the evolution of the Sun and its effect on the Earth, crazy speculation on moving the Earth has no place - even if said craziness is sourced to the Beeb. Anyway, I've copied the removed text here ...
However, it might be possible to move the Earth's orbit outwards, and thus it would not suffer a runaway greenhouse effect.[1]
Cheers, --Plumbago 15:35, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Picture needs rotating

The picture that says 'The first time an "Earth-rise" was seen from the moon.' needs rotating 90' to the left I think. I saw a documentary on TV about a year ago which had one of the astronaughts in it. He said it always bothered him how that photo was always displayed on its side. -OOPSIE- 09:13, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

What's with the weird template?

That odd looking box floating at the top of the article makes a weird space, and contains information that you'd hope the article would get to quickly anyway. It's not on mars, neptune, or pluto, (though I guess pluto isn't much of a planet anymore) and its pushing down on the introduction text. Homestarmy 22:14, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

First paragraph

I'd like to suggest that the first paragraph be modified to make it more engaging than a series of comparisons with the planets of the Solar System. Here's my first attempt:

Earth (IPA: [ˈɝθ], IPA: [ˈɜːθ]), also referred to as "the Earth", "Planet Earth", "Terra", or "the World", is the third planet from the Sun. It has a solid outer surface that is 71% covered in a layer of water, and has a dynamic atmosphere composed primarily of nitrogen and oxygen. The Earth orbits the Sun once for every 365.25 times it rotates about it's axis. The axial tilt of 23.4° produces seasonal variations on the surface. The interior consists of a viscous mantle, a liquid outer core and a solid inner core. Internal dynamics produce a magnetic field that deflects particles in the solar wind.

What do you think? I'm sure this can be much improved. Any suggestions? — RJH (talk) 22:54, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

I like your idea, as the article could use a more dynamic opening paragraph. However... I think perhaps you might wish to consider some more accessible information in the first few sentences. The rewrite above is long on facts and numbers. Science fans (I count myself in that group) would be comfortable with reading it, but it may not "hook" the casual reader. (It's comparable to introducing yourself by starting with your height, weight, etc - rather than what your interests are.) What about incorporating some more "human" ideas, such as Earth being the only planet we know of that supports life, or that has these particular environmental conditions? You could also mix in some "wow" facts, perhaps including something about the age and the way it was formed. Thoughts? --Ckatzchatspy 01:08, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Here's a re-write that eliminates most of the numerical factoids:
Earth (IPA: [ˈɝθ], IPA: [ˈɜːθ]), also referred to as "the Earth", "Planet Earth", "Terra", or "the World", is the third planet from the Sun and is the largest of the terrestrial planets. It is the only planet known to have liquid water on the surface and the only place in the universe found to harbor life. Earth has a magnetic field that, together with a primarily nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere, protects the surface from radiation that is harmful to life. The atmosphere also serves as a shield that causes smaller meteors to burn up before they strike the surface.
I left the age out as it is already part of the second paragraph. — RJH (talk) 23:12, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
You could add another name for it - Sol III. I saw that name on Nine Planets, a website I found. Ah2190 14:24, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Do you know somebody who would actually use that name, outside of a Sci-fi novel. ;-) — RJH (talk) 22:58, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
I feel that the opening paragraph should say "the largest of the terrestrial planets in the solar system." Acknowledging that there are other planets outside our solar system that are terrestrial planets as far as we know. Just a thought Cobaltghost 23:48, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Makes sense to me. — RJH (talk) 15:28, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Contents need a re-org.

After looking over this article it seems to me that there are entirely too many penny-packet sections with less than a paragraph of content. The overall structure also seems a little random. So I tried to put together an organizational structure by grouping common content into major headings:

  1. History — past, present and future.
  2. Structure — shape, composition, internal structure and tectonic plates.
  3. Surface — surface, extreme points, pedosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and climate.
  4. Habitability — natural resources, land use, natural and environmental hazards, and human geography.
  5. Outer space — solar system, phases, magnetic field, and moon.
  6. Human viewpoint — descriptions, lexicography, and earth day.

If these makes sense, it should be possible to consolidate a number of the sub-topics as well. Any thoughts? — RJH (talk) 21:00, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

I implemented something like this organization: hopefully it is acceptible. There sure is a lot of redundancy in this article—it needs a good edit. — RJH (talk) 22:57, 25 February 2007 (UTC)


We know that the earth isn't quite spherical. It would be great to have an exaggerated picture of the earth to show where the bulges are. This could include the mountain ranges, to get a sense of how much of the earth's nonsphericalness is due to mountains and how much is due to large-scale shape. Perhaps NASA has that dataset? —Ben FrantzDale 17:23, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

A good idea in principle, since the Himalayas reach about 9km higher than the geoid and Earth's oblateness yields an equatorial radius of about 20km more than at the poles, so mountain range effects on this are appreciable. The only problem I foresee (apart from actually finding such a diagram) is that it would have to be a video of a rotating Earth to account for all the significant mountain ranges. Kris 09:40, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
This page has some info: [18] —Ben FrantzDale 19:43, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Propose adding a new section that provides the actual earth radius (much like it is referenced in the facts box) and a footnote reference to the WGS84 standard. I'd also like to clean up some of the wording regarding the ellipsoid, geoid, oblate sphere, etc. Spaceman13 15:00, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Please note that this is a summary-style article, and it's already quite large. A more in-depth coverage of that nature would seem more appropriate for the Figure of the Earth "main article" page. — RJH (talk) 15:22, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Earth Day

I don't think there's a place for a paragraph on "Earth Day", at best it should be cross-referenced with a link in a "See Also" section. I propose we delete this bit. Kris 10:58, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree. —Ben FrantzDale 13:08, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
I disagree - it's a global event, well-established, it's not very long (five sentences) and fits well within the "Human viewpoint" section. --Ckatzchatspy 17:30, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

I can see why some editors would want to keep it in but I don't think it flows with the Human Viewpoint section that well. The two other subsections refer to development of thought and study, whereas the Earth Day part is just tacked on the end describing events that go on to promote environmental issues and concerns. The rest of the article is also about studies of Earth phenomena and associated theories and facts, so this bit just doesn't fit for me. There's no harm in wikilinking to the main article though. Kris 10:36, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

The brief Earth Day section was converted to a link in the "See also" table. — RJH (talk) 23:29, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Doubling Earth's radius?

"The moon formed soon afterwards, possibly as the result of a Mars-sized object, known as Theia, impacting the Earth in a glancing blow.[2] Most of this object's mass merged with the Earth, nearly doubling the planet's radius."

Doubling Earth's radius means quadrupling its volume, which a Mars-sized object cannot do since Mars has only a quarter of Earth's volume. --Bowlhover 21:25, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Before you make edits on the article regarding a point brought up on the discussion page, wait for some responses and a consensus. I could be wrong here, because I'm no maths whizz, but I think perhaps you'd octuple the volume of a perfect sphere (given the formula for the volume of a sphere (V) is V = (4/3)πr3) if you double its radius. This is by using: (4/3)*π(2r)3 = (4/3)*π8r3. Kris 23:08, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I completely agree with the point and thanks for bringing it up. The recent models only add about 10% to the Earth's mass,[19] so the radius increase should have been relatively small (~3%?). — RJH (talk) 23:40, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Can we have some confirmation of the change in Earth's radius or mass? Reference 2 & 3 don't mention any change (only the size of the likely impactor and proto-moon). --JamesHoadley 19:32, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
Yeah the various articles on this topic are pretty fuzzy about the details, and the mass accretion varies based on the model selected. I'll weaken the text so it's not an issue. — RJH (talk) 23:11, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
Good, fine. --JamesHoadley 08:51, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Wait, why would it increase the Earth's volume? Sure, some Ejecta would land on Earth, creating numerous craters, but don't forget that the asteroid would also destroy fragments of the Earth, not all of which would add to the Earth's volume, as some fragments would burn up in Earth's atmosphere, descend on the moon, or get blasted into space away from Earth's gravity. Thanks. AstroHurricane001(Talk+Contribs+Ubx) 00:15, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
Asteroid? This was a planet-sized body. Are you talking about the same topic? — RJH (talk) 19:30, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
LOL, do you know what burning up is? Burning something doesn't destroy it, the total mass of the reaction remains relatively unchanged, that's a law isn't it? It would make sense to assume that if a planet sized object collided with the earth and became the moon (Which is significantly smaller than a planet) the excess mass would have to go somewhere, and since the closest, and most applicable gravitational pull would be the earth, it is safe to assume that most of this mass was imparted onto the earth. Hence, the radius increased. Furthermore, I am quite distressed to think that mass could be destroyed, as it most definately cannot. It can be converted into enegry however, but the type of energy youre talking about, and the amount of it in question would probably be enough to blow a hole in the space time continuum. Therefore, I believe, (since no such hole exists at our current location) that the mass would be mostly conserved. thanks Glooper 08:29, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Metres and feet

I've noticed that in some places the text gives both metres (or km) and feet, while in others only the metric values are shown. Should the page be consistent one way or the other? I would have no heartburn over dumping the old-English units but others may disagree. — RJH (talk) 23:28, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Good point, I'm all for ditching the imperial units and introducing the more universal metric units consistently throughout. I doubt several million Americans would agree though, perhaps the traditional "m (ft)" format is the best way to go. The article definitely needs consistency in this regard though. Kris 09:26, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
Don't even ask how I managed to meander here, but for what it is worth to have a Canadian point of view, the "m (ft)" format is a good compromise, or go with "m" as being the 'scientific' preference. -- Kavri 23:53, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

NASA Worldbook

To be comprehensive, I think this page should cover most of the core topics described on the NASA World Book article. I don't think the page is quite there yet. For example, currently the Hydrosphere section doesn't cover the roles of the oceans as a heat and chemical reservoir. — RJH (talk) 15:55, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Okay I think the Earth article now covers most of what is on the NASA/World Book article, although the later goes into much more detail and takes a simpler approach. Since this is a summary-style article, the somewhat brief approach in the wikipedia article is probably not an issue. (Readers can always drill down for more information.) Probably what's left now are to finish up the citations and perform a thorough copy editing. — RJH (talk) 21:05, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

I think the following entry: "The mean height of land above sea level is 686 m (426 ft)." Should be corrected. Either the feet of the meters value is wrong.

Good catch. I restored the correct value using the cited reference. Thanks. — RJH (talk) 15:18, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

A separate concern is the orbital and geologic table along the right edge. The earth's radius is listed as about 6 million KM. It should be 6 million METERS.

Alien race?

"Earth does not have a sovereign government with planet-wide authority. Independent sovereign nations claim all of the land surface except for some segments of Antarctica. There is a worldwide general international organization, the United Nations. The United Nations is primarily an international discussion forum with only limited ability to pass and enforce laws."

What the **edited out** is this? It sounds like it has been written for interplanetary space travellers. - Abscissa 18:57, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

How would you re-write that paragraph, sans the bar-room vernacular, so that the article is still comprehensive? — RJH (talk) 18:22, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
"All land on earth is divided into countries. Almost all countries are members of the United Nations." KEEP IT SIMPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!! - Abscissa 00:27, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
This isn't the simple English version of the article. Check the "In order languages" box to the left of the article page, then look for "simple English". I don't think there is any good reason to simplify this article's text to the extent you appear to prefer. — RJH (talk) 20:48, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

If that were true, the current article would be deleted and replaced with, "Mostly Harmless". Fephisto 17:25, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Abscissa, it is an overview of the political units and governmental structure on Earth. Please moderate your language. — Knowledge Seeker 18:49, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Question #2: who is it directed at? is it necessary? - Abscissa 00:27, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

The implication of saying "Earth does not have a sovereign government with planet-wide authority." is that there exists presently, or did exist at one time, intergalactic sovereign governments with planet-wide authority. You could also say, "Earth does not choose the leader of the planet by holding martian elections." This is, by the way, a true statement, but notice how this implies that there are other planets that choose a planetary leader through martian elections. - Abscissa 23:39, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
To extrapolate that statement into an implication concerning an intergalactic sovereign government is logically absurd. One could be comparing it to groups of nations, for example. E.g. the European Union, the British Empire or the Autran-Hungarian Empire. Also this article could be considered part of a series on the Solar System planets, so I don't think an outside perspective is necessarily a bad thing. The layout, for example, is similar to the FA'd articles for Mercury, Venus, & Jupiter. — RJH (talk) 14:44, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Absicca's change has been reverted - the text does not imply "intergalactic sovereign governments" (or anything even remotely similar). As mentioned above, this is not the Simple English edition. (No disrespect whatsoever to that version, but the English Wikipedia can presume a certain level of comprehension from its audience and the text should reflect that.) --Ckatzchatspy 00:33, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Is the goal then of the "non simple English" Wikipedia to be as convoluted and confusing as possible? - Abscissa 00:39, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
I guess, Abscissa, that the rest of us don't consider the text to be confusing. I personally think it's pretty clear. I don't see how any reasonable person could make any sort of inference about intergalactic governments from that; that's a ridiculously large jump. The version you proposed above does have merits, and it would fit the format of the Simple English Wikipedia. It's not easy to write in simple, clear terms, explaining the fundamentals, and perhaps you should consider contributing there. It might fit your goals better than this version does. — Knowledge Seeker 18:35, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

I've had to revert Abscissa's changes again, as they appear to be contrary to the preferences outlined above. However, in an attempt to address his/her concerns, I've reorganized and slightly reworded the text for clarity. Please take a look and let me know what you think. --Ckatzchatspy 20:26, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Rewrite of paragraph on sovereign nations

The following versions of this paragraph have appeared over the past couple of days:

  1. Original: There are 267 administrative divisions, including nations, dependent areas, other, and miscellaneous entries. Earth does not have a sovereign government with planet-wide authority. Independent sovereign nations claim all of the land surface except for some segments of Antarctica. There is a worldwide general international organization, the United Nations. The United Nations is primarily an international discussion forum with only limited ability to pass and enforce laws.
  2. Rewrite #1 by RJHall: There are 267 administrative divisions, including nations, dependent areas, other, and miscellaneous entries. Historically, Earth has never had a sovereign government with authority over the entire globe, although a number of nation-states have striven for world domination. Independent sovereign nations claim all of the land surface except for some segments of Antarctica. The United Nations is a worldwide general international organization, but it is primarily an international discussion forum with only limited ability to pass and enforce laws.
  3. Rewrite #2 by Abscissa : All land on Earth (with the exception of part of Antarctica) is divided into 267 nations or special regions. Almost every nation is a member of the United Nations. The United Nations is more of an official international forum for discussion, with no ability to enforce international law.
  4. Rewrite #3 by RJHall: All land on Earth (with the exception of part of Antarctica) is divided into 267 nations or special regions. Although there is no sovereign government with authority over the entire globe, most nations are signatories to treaties of International law that, to some degree, govern their relations. The United Nations is a worldwide general international organization, but it is primarily an international discussion forum with only limited ability to pass and enforce laws.
  5. Rewrite #4 by Ckatz: Independent sovereign nations claim all of the planet's land surface, with the exception of some parts of Antarctica. There are 267 distinct administrative divisions, including nations, dependent areas, and other entries. Historically, Earth has never had a sovereign government with authority over the entire globe, although a number of nation-states have striven for world domination. The United Nations is a worldwide intergovernmental organization, but it serves primarily as an international discussion forum, with a limited ability to pass and enforce laws. (this was based on RJHall's first rewrite, as I didn't notice RJ's second rewrite until it was posted here - Ckatz)

The paragraph was then reverted to Rewrite #1 by Ckatz. I've been attempting to compromise between the viewpoints expressed, but apparently not successfully. We need to reach a consensus on how to write this paragraph before this turns into an edit war. Please comment. Thanks. — RJH (talk) 21:58, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Rewrite #3 is perfectly fine. Ckatz seems to think that I have some hidden agenda to remove information, or I am trying to subert the article with simplicity. In fact, I am trying to improve the article. "Concise writing comes quickly to the point. It avoids wordiness—unnecessary and repetitious words that add nothing to the meaning." Ideas require clarity and distinctness to be communicated effectively. Let us take a look at what the paragraph is trying to communicate. There are three clear and distinct ideas: 1. There are 267 regions on Earth; 2. There is no international government; 3. The closest thing to international government is the United Nations.

Everything else is just wordy nonsense. Perhaps Ckatz would be kind enough to enlighten us as to what a general reader will reap from the first paragraph that he will sorely miss from a simpler, clearer version. - Abscissa 23:04, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Abscissa, please don't put words into my mouth, or presume my intentions. Remember, you're the one who went and changed the text despite opposition from other editors. As to RJHall's note above, I've amended it slightly to better reflect the path to the current version, which is actually a reworking version of his first rewrite - and not just a revert. Now that I see RJHall's second version, I think it gives a good starting point for continuing this process. (I'm more than willing to participate in refining the section to help alleviate Abscessa's concerns, provided it is not oversimplified to the degree of what he/she originally presented.) --Ckatzchatspy 02:46, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
Re-write #4 is even worse than what was there before. After I have asked serveral times (including on his talk page), Ckatz is unable or unwilling to tell me what the paragraph is trying to say, or the advantages of an unnecessarily complex paragraph. I am not sure that he is able to recognise the distinct ideas within the paragraph. If one cannot realise how absurdly stupid the paragraph is, it's his own loss. Maybe get a second opinion from an English or Philosophy teacher. - Abscissa 04:40, 23 March 2007 (UTC) And P.S., I am very curious to learn how the UN enforces international law at all. Perhaps you can tack it on to the paragraph.

RJHall, if you'd like input on the text, I'll be glad to work with you. However, I'm not willing to put up with what I feel is an unfair (and unduly aggressive) attitude from Abscissa. Thank you for your efforts with regards to the paragraph. --Ckatzchatspy 08:31, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

If you think I am going to take this apparent flamebait, you are sorely mistaken. Almost 5 years on Wikipedia and I have never seen such poor writing defended so passionately, especially since it is evident I have no bias nor am I trying to disrupt the article. Please be kind enough to solicit the peer-review of some of your real life colleagues. Mine had this to say: "That is the biggest piece of 5!@7 paragraph I've read in a while. So yes, I would say that needs re-writing." - Abscissa 16:32, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Ckatz. The paragraph encompasses five ideas, rather than three as Abscissa suggested. All are related to the important topics of nation-states and international government, and each is appropriate (at this high level) to a section on human geography. The page has undergone peer review and group collaboration, so it has been reviewed by multiple people. As long as the current elements are retained by the paragraph, I have absolutely no issue with having it rewritten into a better form. But I find it objectionable to have relevant information removed from the article, and I acted accordingly. — RJH (talk) 17:08, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
One particular user, who I will not name, has contributed to various anti-Semitic articles and his/her intentions are quite clear. Therefore I will abstain from further discussion, and therefore I will leave it amongst yourselves to decide what to do with that horrible paragraph. RJHall did very well, I thought. An example of an outstanding Wikipedia user who tries for a comprise between reality and consensus. - Abscissa 22:06, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
Anti-semitic? I'm not sure I follow... but no matter. Given your somewhat combative attitude earlier I'm not sure why you're being flattering now. Thanks though. — RJH (talk) 16:03, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

GA in zh.wikipedia

Please add {{Link GA|zh}} in interwiki section. Thanks! -- Givegains 13:32, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Picture size

Guys, I don't know whose bright idea it was to include the Earth lights picture (The Earth at night) in the article with the current resolution of 16384 by 8192! Do you want to see your own house or something?

Anyway if you are to include a picture SCALE IT DOWN FIRST. This is less then helpful and borders on stupidity. At the moment I am VERY tempted to delete it. Please scale it down or I will give it the chop. Cheers 15:11, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm just curious - what is the problem with the image as is? It is already scaled down for display on the page. In order to get the large version, you have to click on the image, and then click again to get to the full-res image. --Ckatzchatspy 17:59, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
Some Problems
  • Loading time (imagine trying to get that on dial-up) - excessively long
  • Browser Hang due to image size
  • System crash on weaker systems (can definitely happen on 9x systems or computers with lower hardware specifications)
  • Unnecessary use of system resources.
Think of the actual image size - it is as large as a wall, why is such a level of detail required? Besides it causes problems. 01:28, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm afraid you're not making any sense. The version displayed in the article is 380×190 pixels; it is only 5.53 kilobytes. That should not cause problems even on precarious systems. A user would have to click on the image to see the larger-resolution version (1280×640 pixels; 47 kilobytes). That is quite a reasonable size for the Internet and certainly not "as large as a wall". To see the full-sized version, the reader would again have to follow the link, which warns "Image in higher resolution (16384 × 8192 pixel, file size: 8.11 MB, MIME type: image/jpeg)". If readers have such unstable systems that they cannot display large images, or if they are on slow connections, they should not deliberately load the full-sized version. There is no need to restrict the size of images available just because there are users who lack the self-control to deliberately download files their systems cannot handle. If it causes problems for you, then don't access it in the first place. — Knowledge Seeker 02:35, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Fact - opening the file in your browser will most likely cause it to hang - try it, so don't give me the "self control" crap. In regards to the fact that there is warning on the page - my bad, as for some reason when I clicked on the image in the article I instantly stated to download the full resolution composite in my browser, which caused it to hang. The topic is resolved as I didn't get to see the pre-image screen.
Cheers 08:43, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
I can easily view the full-sized picture in my browser, both at home and at work. I'm sorry that it doesn't work on your system. — Knowledge Seeker 11:56, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
It works fine for me as well. I can understand why the large version of the image might cause issues, but this is apparently just the reduced-size version. Maybe this is the result of a misunderstanding? — RJH (talk) 16:17, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Guys, it's all good. Like I’ve stated before when I clicked on the image on the article I started to download the full resolution image without seeing the intermediate screen. This caused my browser to hang. I wasn't happy about it because I didn't see the screen in between the thumbnail and full sized picture which actually states that the size of the picture (over 8Mb) and a warning regarding opening the picture with the browser. Therefore I do not have a problem with the current picture. I'm checking wether that incident was a one of or there are other incidents in Wikipedia where clicking on a thumbnail causes the browser to download the full version picture without the intermediate screen.

This topic is resolved and I retract my initial message.

Keep up the good work on the article. 06:00, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Thanks; perhaps you initially encountered some glitch, but I'm glad it has worked out. Let me know if you encounter any other problems. — Knowledge Seeker 03:19, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Rotations and solar days

From the third paragraph, "At present the Earth orbits the Sun once for every roughly 365.26 times it rotates about its axis — a period known as the sidereal year".

Noting the sidereal frame of reference, shouldn't the Earth be considered to rotate about its axis once every sidereal day, or about 366.26 times a year? If that would be thought too confusing for such an early paragraph, perhaps it should be rephrased to explicitly refer to solar days instead of rotations.

RTBoyce 18:10, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

An excellent point. Perhaps, after the above correction, the value in solar days should then be included in parentheses for clarity? Something like this:
At present the Earth orbits the Sun once for every roughly 366.26 times it rotates about its axis (or 365.26 solar days)—a period known as the sidereal year.
But that is starting to look a little cluttered. — RJH (talk) 17:36, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Much better now. :) RTBoyce 18:27, 2 April 2007 (UTC)


Can we left align some of these images? The reader with a high resoltion computer screen is treated to no less than an eight inch blank gap in the early section of the text. Yeesh, talk about ugly. Quadzilla99 03:53, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

I attempted to address this. — RJH (talk) 15:57, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Persistent vandalism

I noticed that since the protection has been removed this page has already been subjected to a mass of vandalism. The wide scope of the topic probably makes it an attractive target, so it will always suffer an undue amount of these unhelpful "revisions". I'm expecting that whatever quality the page possessed will now start to slide, at least without a lot of constant monitoring. So I don't think the removal of the protection status will prove helpful. — RJH (talk) 16:29, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Question on Flat Earth Society paragraph

The following paragraph appears in the "Human viewpoint" section:

A 19th-century organization called the Flat Earth Society advocated the even-then discredited idea that the Earth was actually disc-shaped, with the North Pole at its center and a 50 m (150 ft) high wall of ice at the outer edge. It and similar organizations continued to promote this idea, based on religious beliefs and conspiracy theories, through the 1970s. Today, the subject is more frequently treated tongue-in-cheek or with mockery.

This doesn't seem a very notable entry in the wider context. It appears that at best this group had a few thousand followers and the particular views don't represent a wide-spread belief. The topic is also covered on the Flat Earth article page. So is there any objection to the removal of this paragraph from the Earth article? — RJH (talk) 17:19, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

No objection, so the paragraph was yanked. — RJH (talk) 22:34, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Why is it called Earth?

Wouldn't Terra match the other planets' names better? -Working for Him 02:29, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

"Earth" comes from words for the ground, land, etc. that predate Old English. ptkfgs 03:11, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
"Earth" is also common usage, and is the more likely search term. "Terra" is french/latin.[20]RJH (talk) 14:56, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
ooh I don't know, all my freinds refer to as "Terra" i'd say that is by far the most commen usage in fact I don't even thing Earth is in the dictionary.--Wiggstar69 11:21, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
As a matter of fact, it is. — Knowledge Seeker 20:06, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
Interesting that it is only listed as the 4th meaning. Personally I find Sol3 a better alternative as name for for Earth. After "Earth" of course. --Walter Do you have news? Report it to Wikizine 14:57, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Why not call it "Big blue/green place where we live, it looks round but it is really bumpy"? HighInBC(Need help? Ask me) 15:00, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
This does not appear to be a serious discussion. Good day. — RJH (talk) 15:21, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

What I'm saying is every other planet in the Solar System is named after a Roman god or goddess, so why is it called "earth" when the Roman goddess of earth is named Terra. -Working for Him 21:50, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

  • Obviously, this is not a discussion that can be resolved here. As well-reasoned as the argument may be, re-naming the planet would be a ridiculous endeavor, even for Wikipedia.
Well thank-you for the straight answer instead of making me feel like a moron like what these *Edited Out* did! -Working for Him 17:51, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
I apologize. My name probably makes me look rather hypocritical. I cause some rather unnecessary confrontation. -Working for Him 21:08, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia, is it not? I don't believe that it has the authority, nor the means to question the name of something as large as a planet. The planet should be reffered to as Earth on this wiki page, as that is the name by which the majority of modern (English speaking) society calls it. From this perspective, I believe that no further discussion is required. However, it may be interesting and/or useful to include a summary of where the name Earth came from in the first place, but since this would probably take effort, and since it is only a minor point, I shant be doing it. Glooper 09:31, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Future, reference?

The article says: "But even if the Sun were eternal and stable, the continued internal cooling of the Earth would have resulted in a loss of much of its atmosphere and oceans (due to lower volcanism).[91] More specifically, for Earth's oceans, the lower temperatures in the crust will permit water to leak more deeply into the planet than it does today. (At present, water evaporates at a sufficient depth due to increasing temperature.)"

This statement is highly intriguing, and I want to know more. However, the reference doesn't point to anything substantial. What I want to know, is where is this information from (reference)? Specifically, I am interested in how the cooling of the core would result in loss of the atmosphere and the oceans. I crawled the web and have found no information on this. Any insight would be helpful. Nja247 (talkcontribs) 23:46, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

This (PDF) article suggests that only a portion of the Earth's oceans will be subducted. The remainder will be outgassed in 1.3 Gyr due to solar luminosity increases. I'm not sure which of these two references is more accurate. But it should probably be reflected in the article. — RJH (talk) 20:16, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for the link. This is quite interesting. I agree, things could be clarified slightly in the article. Thanks again. Nja247 (talkcontribs) 21:48, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

It is theroised that the earth will end when the sun goes out in 5 Gyrs, but our galiaxy will collide with Andromida in about 3 Gyrs. the turmoil that will ensue may cause an ending of the solar system includung earth.

Yes, it's possible. There are a number of scenarios for how the world might end within that time frame, such as a gamma ray burst, a nearby supernova event, a grazing encounter with another star, &c. — RJH (talk) 17:12, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

Earth's satellites

The Earth's Satellites. Ambiguous?

I believe, and I could be wrong, but I believe that the moon is the Earth's only natural satellite (and that's if we're being fussy and not including Cruithne) but we have many man made satellites, so shouldn't that be included in the concise facts on the top right? Or at least changed to : Natural Satellites: 1. (The Moon)." As oppose to "Satellites: 1. (The Moon)".

I would agree with this (note that the same will have to be done to Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn!) Spaceman13 14:34, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

The Earth's Satellites.

I believe, and I could be wrong, but I believe that the moon is the Earth's only natural satellite (that is if we're being fussy and not including Cruithne) but we have many man made satellites, so shouldn't that be included in the concise fact on the top right? Or at least changed to: "Natural Satellites: 1. (The Moon)." —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Matthewhaworth (talkcontribs) 02:43, 13 April 2007 (UTC).

Personally I don't feel that this is the right place for a list of the Earth's artificial satellites. That could get unwieldy and I think the information is at too detailed a level for the scope of this article. (Just have a look at Category:Earth observation satellites, for example.) However, some (referenced) mention of artificial satellites would probably be appropriate for the Observation section. Would that make sense? — RJH (talk) 17:50, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
I hate to add the same comment twice to the talk page. Perhaps someone should delete the first paragraph of the talk page, since it covers the same as this paragraph? In any case, while I don't think we should list all the artificial satellites, for correctness the facts box should say "Natural Satellites" as the earth does have thousands of artificial satellites (or satellite/rocket parts). Spaceman13 14:44, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
Okay they have been merged into a single section. I didn't want to just blank out the comments. — RJH (talk) 15:25, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Shouldn't this article mention that earth is our home planet?

After all, some people may actually not be aware our planet is called Earth. I mean seriously, someone might not know that (not likely, sure). Like, they might come to this page and think we're talking about some planet made of dirt, hence the name earth, but where's home?

I just think it makes sense, even if it's obvious, to state early in the lead that Earth is the planet on which we/humans live. Just the same as how the article on Milky Way points out that it is the home of the solar system (even though most people know this). --Alfakim-- talk 02:46, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

The third sentence reads "The Earth is the first planet known to have liquid water on the surface and is the only place in the universe known to harbor life." Do you find this statement insufficient? — Knowledge Seeker 03:21, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Who exactly do you think is reading this article? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
    • Anyone, that's the idea. Yes, I do mean on earth, but like I said... it seems counter to intention to assume knowledge. --Alfakim-- talk 21:57, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
I added a very brief mention. But if the wording of that blurb starts to become an issue (due to a discussion of the space station for example), then it would be best just to lop it back out. — RJH (talk) 22:46, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
I've tweaked your note slightly, moving it to the first paragraph. (As it was, the preceding text said "...only place in the universe known to harbor life, including the human race." If it's the only place, it would have to include humanity.) Check out what I've done, and please modify if need be. Cheers. --Ckatzchatspy 09:36, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Ckatz, that works for me. Yes I was aware of the logical redundancy. — RJH (talk) 15:51, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Much better :) --Alfakim-- talk 21:57, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

LOL im sorry but if someone is logging on to an english wikipedia via the Internet im pretty sure they know the name of the planet they live on.-- 23:13, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Hill Sphere

"The Hill sphere (gravitational sphere of influence) of the Earth is about 1.5 Gm (930,000 miles) in radius.[62][63] This is maximum distance at which the Earth's gravitational influence becomes stronger than the more distant Sun and planets. Objects must orbit the Earth within this radius, or they can become unbound by the gravitational perturbation of the Sun."

This is wrong. The Sun's gravity becomes stronger around 258,000 km. G*Msun/150,000,000,000^2 =~ G*Mearth/258,000,000^2 (in meters). Also saying that "this is the maximum distance at which the Earth's gravitational influence becomes stronger" implies that there are lesser distances where the Earth's gravity becomes stronger. Perhaps rephrase to "This is the distance at which...". Also, the gravity of the other planets are insignificant when considering Earth's Hill Sphere. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tony873004 (talkcontribs)

I may be wrong, but I believe the Hill sphere is looking at gravitational perturbations rather than just the magnitude of the gravitational force. So it falls off as the cube-root of the masses rather than the square. This gives a different result than just looking at the net force. (It strikes me as being similar to the tidal force in that sense.) The influence of the planets can be significant at large distances from the Sun. (Neptune has the largest Hill radius, for example.) — RJH (talk) 19:31, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Improving Clarity

"The rotation of the Earth creates the equatorial bulge so that the equatorial diameter is 43 km (27 mi) larger than the pole to pole diameter."

Since earth circumference numbers are provided (Equatorial 40,075.02, Meridional 40,007.86 km), why not replace the above quote with "The rotation of the Earth creates the equatorial bulge so that the equatorial _circumference_ is 67km (xx mi) larger than the pole to pole circumference"? In this case, I find shifting from circumference to diameter less intuitive than sticking with circumference. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Slawek7 (talkcontribs) 04:28, 29 April 2007 (UTC).

Both radius and circumference are listed in the infobox. — RJH (talk) 17:54, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

earth has life and water and is knawn as the living world.

Serious Problem?

The Earth rotates 366.26 times but this equals 365.26 days? Can anyone explain? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 6 December 2007 15:56

  • Confused? I was: follow the link at the end of the sentence for the explanation. --Old Moonraker (talk) 16:06, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
  • This is the result of the observers (us) compensating for the position of the Sun each day, relative to the background stars, as the Earth moves along its orbital path. (The sidereal day; the time needed to turn until it faces toward the same set of stars, is actually 23h, 56m, 4s in length, rather than 24 hours. The difference, 3m, 56s, is ~1/366th of a day.) At the end of a year these little compensations add up to 360°, or the equivalent of a day's rotation.—RJH (talk) 20:16, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Protection symbol

Why can't we get the little lock protection symbol like on George W. Bush or Leet for aesthetic purposes? Aaron Bowen 22:54, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Anyone? Aaron Bowen 00:01, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
The page currently has a {{sprotected}} template. The GWB page uses the {{sprotected2}} template, which is apparently intended for longer-term protection. — RJH (talk) 14:41, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
Whatever the logic that applies is that template very ugly on the article --Walter Do you have news? Report it to Wikizine 10:34, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
Very true. — RJH (talk) 18:35, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Facts box

Shouldn't the fact box have reference notes? I think this is especially important since several of the numbers in the fact box do not show up in the main article. For instance, what is the source of the min/mean/max temperatures? They are not mentioned anywhere in the article and therefore there is no traceability. Spaceman13 15:07, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

I believe that most of the data came from the linked pages in the references section, so there would be a lot of repeated citations. — RJH (talk) 15:13, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree - we don't want repeated citations, and it is nice to have a clean fact box. Perhaps the answer is to slowly fold in the facts in the fact box into the main article, where they can have a reference, like any other fact. Using my example above, it sure would be nice to have references to the temperature in the atmosphere section (weather and climate). Perhaps I'll take a run at some of the numbersthat I'm most comfortable with. Spaceman13 00:27, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Thank you. — RJH (talk) 17:10, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Why isn't the longitude of the ascending node equal to zero (due to measurements of this for other planets are relative to the Earth's)? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Neodymion (talkcontribs)

Precession of the Equinoxes? — RJH (talk) 16:25, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

The atmosphere info on the Mars page is much more detailed than that available here. Also here, oxygen, is abbreviated as O2 while on Mars its spelled out. Nitrogen too. 05:48, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Consistency is definitely a problem on wikipedia. Everybody has their own unique style and preferences. I'm constantly surprised at some of the trivial variations that get imposed. But I usually just try to make sure the facts remain correct and don't sweat the minor style issues... unless I'm having an overdose of caffeine. %-) — RJH (talk) 21:34, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Earth needs to be changed (If you like, please join the dispute)

This article is based only on scientific believes, and has nothing in it involving any other belief. the article should be rewriten to follow the right of religion, the public isn't just into scientific believes, in fact, 80% of the public is christian, or pronounced christian. the article should be rewriten in this format:


{Basic infomation without religious or scientific believes}

-The Planet

{Deeper infomation without religious or scientific believes}



{christian belief}

Scientific believes

{Scientific belief}

{ Keep adding to the list }

{add on more religion and believes}

{ Finish article without religious or scintific believes }

this format or related formats could be useful for many other articles in the Solar System series.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 01:14, 14 May 2007
Your proposed format would violate neutrality principles by portraying only the philosophical viewpoint of a single religion. The topic of religious beliefs about the Earth is covered adequately elsewhere. I'm satisfied with the scientific focus of this article. — RJH (talk) 14:56, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
-Wikipedia should be for all people, not just the scientific believers. keeping this article the way it is is completing wrong. Wikipedia's is to provide "everyone" with the infomation they want, not just the scientific believers, it's defying wiki's goal! "Earth" should be open to the religious viewpoints and not just science. Religion hasn't be proven false let!
As I indicated, the information you seek is available on another page. Specifically see: creationism. You are welcome to add an appropriate link to the Earth (disambiguation) page. That page covers all topics related to the word "Earth". If your goal is to censor the scientific consensus on this page about the planet Earth, however, I will have to strongly disagree. If you are simply flame-baiting, then we have nothing further to discuss. — RJH (talk) 15:53, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Neutral point of view:
-None of the views should be given undue weight or asserted as being the truth, and all significant published points of view are to be presented, not just the most popular one. As said here, all significant points of view is to be presented, including Christianity, ect... not just the most popular one, AKA science! It should also not be asserted that the most popular view or some sort of intermediate view among the different views is the correct one. Science is the only beleaf, and is not beshown as the only truth, or the truth, by being the only one shown at all! Readers are left to form their own opinions. Thus give them all opinions, showing only one opinion is just the same as saying it's the only one!
As the name suggests, the neutral point of view is a point of view, not the absence or elimination of viewpoints. So don't elimate the other points of views! It is a point of view that is neutral – that is neither sympathetic nor in opposition to its subject.
And if Earth can't have something to do with other religion, then it shouldn't have anything to do with Scienticif beleaf, but mearly a Neutral Point Of View. no religion or anything, just basics without a belief like "The big bang." or "Evolution,"

If you want that, then go somewhere esle

-Big Bang
-The Missing Link
-and other related links, ect...ect...
—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 23:35, 2007 May 14 (UTC)
For starters, sign your comment with ~~~~ at the end and try to put it in a paragraph or two so people can keep track of what you're saying. As for your actual argument, it is incorrect. Only 33% of the world's population is Christian, and this is a global website (don't be American-centric in statistics). Of the 33%, a minority is probably actually fundamentalist and thus a broad "Christian viewpoint" argument won't work, either. The United States Constitution has no requirement of online encyclopedias to be neutral, so I don't know what you mean with the title of your complaint. Wikipedia also provides the commonly accepted beliefs, which in this case is scientific. If we must be neutral point of view, should Wikipedia provide equal space to people who think that the Earth is flat or hollow? Wikipedia would suddenly become unreliable if it tried not to offend anyone. — Pious7 00:27, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
The theory that volcanoes erupt because magma shifts beneath the surface of the Earth is correct. It has been measured, tested, and it is simply not rationally deniable. The theory that God causes volcanoes to erupt is interesting, unprovable either way by science, and outside the scope of this article. The theory that God causes volcanoes to erupt, and that is the only explanation for why they erupt, is demonstratably false, and thus should not be presented as somehow valid. Science is not inherently equal to religion, because science is based on reason, while religion is based on belief. Does that mean that religion is false? No, I'm religious myself actually. But that does mean, to paraphrase the Dalai Lama, that where science conflicts directly with religion, science wins. -Amarkov moo! 01:04, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
This discussion is unlikely to be fruitful. Those who eschew parsimony in favor of belief are unlikely to be happy on Wikipedia and should be gently dissuaded from participation in this project. --Tony Sidaway 01:15, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia is fact-based. Doubtless some folks who object to this would be happier at Conservapedia where they seem to be based on something else. --Atlant 16:51, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
I will say that some people will dispute whether or not the science presented in this article is all fact. It depends on your point of view. You say it's fact, another person says it's psuedoscience and not fact at all, but misrepresentations of the truth. Who is right? Both of you will argue till you're blue in the face and claim the other is misguided. I agree with the unsigned user when he says this article doesn't present all sides of the issue in a fair or neutral way. While I don't necessarily think these beliefs should get equal footing with science, right now they have no mention at all. Other creation myths and formation of the world beliefs should get a mention in this article, not the least because significant amounts of the world's population believe in them. You may consider them backwards idiots if you wish, but it doesn't make their beliefs any less relevant to the subject of this article. At the very least, links to pages where they are presented should be included. --Lendorien 14:16, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
Thank you Lendorien. and for Pious7, I'm talking about changing the english Earth article, not the Chinese, or Spanish, or any other. just the American version, AKA, English, which is 80% christian, or pronounced christian. and for you Tony Sidaway, I didn't understand any of that, but still. And for you Atlant, If religion should be on Conservapedia, then Scientific beliefs should be there to, and not on Earth, since it to is a religion as well, and if you go to the religion article, you'll see why, it says "Religion is a set of BELIEFS," and Scientific beliefs, is a belief/s. and if Wikipedia is fact-based then christianity should be on Earth as well, since there's alot of facts behined christianity, there's facts about the whole universe going pitch black, and there an entired museum with nothing but facts proving Christianity and Creationism, see for yourself, HERE, now say Creationism and Christianity isn't fact based! And for you Amarkov, acordding to creationism and christianity, God doesn't make the volcaoes erupt, science isn't completely false about the way earth works, According to religion, God made earth to work just as science says it's works, the volcanoes erupt because God made the earth in away that it naturally happens, but what i'm saying is that when science leaves the way earth works, and enters stuff like the past, that gitting into religious matters, and sciences can never prove anything in the past completely without some kind of time mechine. And science is not the only thing with reason, as I told Altant, There's reason and fact behind Christianity to, for prove, come HERE.

--The Unsigned User 21:25, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Strongly disagree with mixing superstitious BS with the main article. Put a link to creationism in here, but don't mix the science with BS.

Umm... hello... just a reminder that there actually are some people on this planet who speak English who (gasp!) aren't American! And that means that... wait for it... the English Wikipedia might actually be for people from around the globe! (Not just American Christians.) If you're trying to get your point across, you weaken your case by making statements that are just going to offend others. --Ckatzchatspy 22:03, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm not trying to offend anyone, but ENGLISH is the Main American language, and English is mostly the language in America. And I'm sorry to anyone I may have offended.

-- The Unsigned User 22:22, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

There are more english speakers outside of the United States than there are inside the United States. 14:08, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
No kidding. My God, Unsigned, whoever you are, you really need to get a grip of yourself. Just because Americans speak English, doesn't mean America is the only English-speaking country. I'm from America, but I understand that there are other people who speak English. I've read this thread (for lack of a better word) up to this point, and though it was obvious before, I can now conclusively say without a doubt: you are too narrow-minded to discuss this, or anything else for that matter. If you want people to consider your suggestions, you might want to start with being reasonable and knowledgeable. Now I wish I hadn't started to read this utterly distasteful piece of trash. -- 02:37, 15 June 2007 (UTC)


One thing, wikipedia stays neutral, so it has to go with the scientific theory, or it will no longer be neutral. If you want to find out a religeous theory, check out that religion, so if you want to know want christianity says, go to the article about Christianity, if you want to know what Buddhism has to say about the creation of earth, go to the article about Buddhism. But for the article on earth, it should stay with the scientific theory, so that it stays neutral. —Preceding unsigned comment added by WikiDragon295 (talkcontribs) 23:00, 16 May 2007

For those interested, please see: Origin belief and Creation within belief systems - two articles discussing at length a variety of religious and cultural mythologies where all the beliefs belong. Vsmith 00:10, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Dear Wikidragon295, As you said, if you want to find the religious side of something, go to that religion. So with Scientific beliefs, go to the scientific belief's article. Here, I'll lead you to some;

The Big Bang


The Missing Link


And what ever else religious about earth you want.

Neutral means not being on any side of a topic or despute, and scientific belief is a side, thus wikipedia, to be nuetral, must not have any religion, this also includes Scientific beliefs. And now for you Vsmith, Scientific beliefs, as it's name states, is in fact a belief, so it to should belong somewhere else, AKA, Big Bang, and any other scientific beliefs about the earth.

The article EARTH is about EARTH, not religion, so keep all religion out of the article, and if one religion (Scientific Belief) is allowed in the article, then wikipeida would no longer be neutral, but on a religious side. Scientific Belief is religion, religion is belief, and belief is bias. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 02:39, 17 May 2007

Um, I never thought I would say this (believe me), but science is not about belief. Stop calling it "scientific belief" because that's not true and you know it. JuJube 02:40, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Excuse me, but the phrase "Scientific Belief" is an oxymoron, an internal contradiction. One of the most basic tenets of science is that we ask our questions without preconceptions (ie, beliefs). Science is based on observation, and scientific conclusions are based on observable and demonstrable facts...belief has no part of it. Doc Tropics 02:43, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
Scientific... um...... Ideals....... um..... Scientific ideals, is still not completely proven, and even though, not everyone believes it, thus those whom do believe it, can go to it's article, but Earth isn't it's article, or it wouldn't be called Earth, It would be called Scientific ideals of the beginning of Earth or something. Those whom believe in the big bane theory about earth, can go to Big Bang. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nikro (talkcontribs) 03:03, 17 May 2007
The whole point of science is acknowledging that nothing can be proven completely. Try again, kid. JuJube 03:15, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
I no long stating that we need religion in EARTH, if you all you think that A christian who wants creation, should go to creationism. theen an evolutionist or someone who wants infomation on the scientific point of views, should go to Big bang or make an article for the subject, and people whom want infomation on earth, like how many ocean there is or something, should go to earth. Just because the creation of earth has it's on article, doesn't mean it shouldn't be on the article Earth, and if it shouldn't, then nether should the theory of 4.5 billion years, or Prehistoric times becuase they to have their own article, one that people can go to if they not the point of view. 11:46, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia uses scientific facts for things (except religon), and the creation of the earth goes with earth, and the creation theory is not considered a religion by law or by wikipedia. So so just quit. WikiDragon295 12:28, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

As you said, the creation of earth goes with earth, that means all religious theory that has some that of factual evidence should be in Earth. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nikro (talkcontribs)
Please read Wikipedia:Summary style. If we included every possible discussion of the planet Earth on this page, we would need an entire encyclopedia. But hey, guess what? ...we have other pages. This is the purpose of the disambiguation page at the top of the article. I'd like to keep this page on topic as a scientific discussion of the planet, irregardless of what this page is called. I definitely would object to see it violating WP:SOAP. But it appears clear now (as I had initially suspected) that this discussion is being pushed for evangelistic purposes, so it is straying into WP:SOAP. Further comments would appear to be pointless. — RJH (talk) 15:46, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
I concur with RJH; whether this is deliberate trolling or well-intentioned foolishness, the results of further discussion will not be productive. The article, as it stands now, complies with all appropriate policies and guidelines and has been rated FA (the highest rating an article can achieve). The suggestions made here would clearly be a dis-improvement to the article, reducing it's overall quality and readability. I suggest that further counter-productive comments simply be ignored, and this section should be archived to prevent further digression. Doc Tropics 16:05, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree. Let's keep this on-topic. There are places to talk about alternative stories, but this article is not one of those places. This page appeals to evidence, as it should. —Ben FrantzDale 16:09, 17 May 2007 (UTC)


Exactly. WikiDragon295 20:27, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Okey, but one more thing, Vandelism. If at least a bit of religion, not effecting the article Earth, but merely it's own headline, wouldn't harm it, but may stop vandelism ralated to religion. and one thing, christians can go to Creationism, but it wouldn't tell them about earth itself, but merely the creation of earth. christians who want to know about about earth itself, can't rely on Earth because it's all scientific belief, and how can a christian or Muslim or even a Budhist rely on some other belief, even a little headline about a religion on Earth could provide believers of the religion a bit of reliablity, and a christian or muslim might have a hard time coming to something that only has the scientific idealistic side of that something, and it could also push them to Vandelism. No one or so headline/s could harm the value of an article, it could only be nuetral or positive.

=Thank you, everyone, it was fun debating, I've never been able to do something that could do something big, and got this much attention because of it, noone took so much notice of me before.

If anyone wants to reply to this discussion, then please, please reply. all opinions are appreciated and valuable. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

The quote "...the American version, AKA, English, which is 80% christian" is one of the dumbest I've ever read. Are you trying to say 80% of English speakers are Christian? Let me tell you something. I'm from England (the people that invented your language if you were wondering), and I'd be willing to go as far as saying the majority of people in this country just don't give a shit about any religion let alone Christianity.

It is my "belief" that Christianity is all a load of bollocks from a fictional book. Andy86 16:20, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

This conversation is well off subject and suffers from an extreme lack of civility. If this continues, the best course of action may be to simply archive this discussion. — RJH (talk) 19:58, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Science is not a "religion". Science is a method for studying the universe and building usable models based on VERIFIABLE FACTS AND EVIDENCE. Religion is about myths and traditions. Religious principles only hold true for the people who believe in them. Scientific facts still hold true regardless of what your religion is.

A small mention of how various human cultures have related to the planet through myths and legends, including Creationism (which despite posing as one is not a scientific theory, but a religious belief, and for many a political agenda) is appropriate and important. This article should definitely briefly mention and then link to the various ways religious traditions - ALL OF THEM, NOT JUST CHRISTIANITY - have placed importance and symbolism on our planet.

But elevating mythical claims, like that the ancient Hebrew storm god Yahweh created the planet, or that the earth is six thousand years old, to the same level as reputable data is NOT neutrality. It does nothing less than make the article inaccurate, unscientific, biased and useless to anyone looking for accurate information. If I wanted to learn about Christian or Jewish creation mythology I would search for it in the appropriate articles concerned with their religions, belief systems and political agendas ("creationism", "Genesis", etc.)

Neutrality does NOT mean "all viewpoints get equal time, no matter how preposterous or lacking in evidence".Rglong 00:25, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Alternative proposal

While I personally harbour a strong dislike for dogma, the above user is correct in that the Creationism and Creation within belief systems articles are linked to only in the "See also" section, despite being related (People believe things about Earth, this topic). As this might constitute the article completely ignoring beliefs held (however mistakenly) by an unfortunately significant number of people, it might be relevant to add a sentence or two to the "Human viewpoint" section as regards the religious beliefs of some peoples. I must emphasize though - this should be a minor change, all we need is a sentence or two with a few links - adding a section or drastically altering the article are both changes which would violate NPOV. What do you think? What would such an addition look like? Nihiltres(t.c.s) 22:34, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
It would look like a really bad idea that will never gain consensus. Sorry. Doc Tropics 22:42, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
Is there any good reason that adding a referential sentence is a bad idea? I can't see how it would be different from mentioning the existing history of the flat Earth theory in the same section, which is obviously acceptable. Please explain your reasoning. Nihiltres(t.c.s) 02:06, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
Nihiltres is right, a sentence or 2 isn't harmful, and can provide more data on the subject, is a paragraph about the west more efficent if it only talks about the rich people, or when it includes the poor, the slaves, and every other or so types of people? Same goes for Earth, I say, the more the marrier. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs), that makes sense. Anything added should cover the idea of earth as a subject of creationism for all beliefs (not just Christianity), which is NPOV assuming that the truth of any of these beliefs is not asserted in any way. I suggest something along the general lines of "In many religions, accounts of creation of the earth exist, recalling a story involving the creation of the Earth by a supernatural deity or deities." The trick is, how would we integrate it into the "Human viewpoint" section well? Also,, I must remind you that this would be all we would add under this proposal - a mention of belief on the subject in general, and links to relevant articles. Is that acceptable? Nihiltres(t.c.s) 16:33, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
Hmmm, interesting. Nihiltres, I actually don't have any objection to the addition that you are suggesting, provided we use your text as-is. It is informational, NPOV, and doesn't give any undue weight to a specific religion. I'm actually rather imnpressed with your suggestion; well done! Doc Tropics 16:38, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
I just added your text into the "Human Viewpoint" section; I made it the third paragraph as it seemed to fit nicely there. If anyone has a strong objection to the new text they can discuss it here, but I think it works very well. Doc Tropics 16:43, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
Glad to help, it was my hope from the beginning that our coverage of human viewpoints on the Earth (even potentially wrong ones) could be improved while maintaining NPOV. Nihiltres(t.c.s) 16:48, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
Fine by me. — RJH (talk) 20:48, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

Bunny-trail chat

I guess my Earth needs changes discussion wasn't as uneffective as i thought, THank you Nihiltres and Doc Tropics —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
Thanks for helping us fully resolve this issue in case it comes up again in the future. — RJH (talk) 19:46, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

This and the article above are pretty much one discussion headline, would that make this the largest discussion in wikipedia? :) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nikro (talkcontribs)

Not quite. The biggest one I currenly can think of is active, at Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/Policies/Wikipedia:Spoiler_warning, especially when you count the multiple archives. Nihiltres(t.c.s) 19:00, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

well, at least Earth needs changes is the largest on Talk:Earth, even without this discussion right here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nikro (talkcontribs)

Please read the following:
Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines
Also could this discussion of the longest talk topic please be moved elsewhere? It is seriously off topic for this article. Thank you. — RJH (talk) 20:46, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
No, it is not off topic. Did you read any of it? It's specifically about the content of the article. --Lendorien 01:26, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Yes I did... but apparently you did not. The current discussion was veering onto a bunny trail chat about the length of this topic relative to other discussions. I added a new sub-section for clarity. — RJH (talk) 17:23, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

i don't know how to use this discussion or anything so someone will have to fix/delete this but isn't "continental drift" involving the tectonic plates just a Theory, while the article implies it to be fact. i believe it myself but it would be wrong to state it as a fact —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 08:13, August 22, 2007 (UTC)

Yet another religious troll? A fact is "something that can be verified according to an established standard of evaluation". Continental drift theory appears to sufficiently satisfy that criteria, according to current scientific consensus. You, of course, are free to believe whatever other conjectural "facts" you want, just as long as you don't claim they are scientifically-based. — RJH (talk) 15:35, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Just say that the Earth was created by the Flying Spaghetti Monster and be done with it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:05, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Or how about we keep idiotic parodies to their respective idiotic parody pages? JuJube 09:07, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Please be so good as to read WP:Civility. — RJH (talk) 17:57, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

If you want the Earth article to include christian beliefs then for neutralitys sake you must also add the beliefs of every single religion on earth which would result in a size with which you can fill an entire book. And these beliefs would also include scientology and the belief that earth is a computer-simulated object in a computer-simulated Universe and the belief that earth was created by extraterrestrial aliens. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:55, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

I have no problem adding Christian beliefs to this article... As long as you also add the other fun FACTS about the Earth in the Christianity section, such as how the Earth is the center of the universe, is flat, and the FACT (seen as one user put it in the MUSEUM OF FACTS!!! (i.e. the Creation Museum)) that it is only 6000-something years old. On a serious note now, and I say this before I have read the rest of the article, just put a link somewhere to other beliefs about the way the Earth formed.... However if I could just go back tothe person who said "there's a whole museum of FACTS, the Creation Museum... now try and say they're not facts!!" than Mr whoever you are please stop reading if you believe in things such as that, then reason will never reach you. Also other people make valid points... For example, whoever said this is English wikipedia and should therefore show American statistics on Christians.... It's called ENGLISH as in ENGLAND not AMERICANISH as in AMERICA. Whoever it was that said if Christianty and its beliefs goes in here than every single other religion goes in here... That is also true. I believe (I'm probably wrong) but aren't there more Muslims than there are Christians? And finally if ever Christian beliefs do go in here, for the sake of neutrality please remember to include my beliefs as a pastafarian. It wouldn't be fair otherwise.~~ Healyhatman. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:07, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Not sure if this has been said already, but I've been following this discussion for ages, I love it, everyone's so passionate... anyway, I think it's important to note the use of “Scientific evidence indicates” and similar phrases. No-one is trying to impose their school of thought onto anyone. This standard seems to be upheld throughout most of Wikipedia, save some areas that need cleaning up. Don't get me wrong it's really interesting to know about all the viewpoints in the world, but that's why we have Style and Sectioning etc, is it not? The stance taken by people wanting every article to drive home a religious viewpoint (particularly in the article's lead paragraph) is inflammatory and IMHO petulant. On another ragga tip, my favourite thing about Wikipedia is that its never a finished product, so don't immediately get hot-headed if what you think should be included isn't: we're all responsible for what makes it in to here and there are reliable people keeping it all in check. Wikipedia does not exist to propagate singular or hand-picked agendas.--HeyImDan (Talk) 19:33, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Note that "Scientific evidence indicates..." could be added to just about every sentence in the article. The only reason it is attached to sentence about the Earth's age is because of the conflict with the literal biblical interpretation. I don't think we need to bloat the article with a series of conditional clauses. — RJH (talk) 16:02, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

25000x30000 (or so) image of earth

I seem to recall a rectangular map of the earth posted on wiki, of approximately those dimensions. Does anybody have a link to it they can share? 18:00, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

scratch that, found it. [[21]] 19:15, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
nice picture Knucktwo 20:47, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

Viewpoint change

Human Viewpoint needs a change of name. Human Viewpoint makes me imagine a View of earth, not beliefs and religious point of views. A suitable name should be choosen, something like Other Beliefs, or Human Beliefs, something that sounds more like a headline on the religious side of EARTH. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nikro (talkcontribs)

Object — The section is not specifically about religion, since it also covers philosophy, environmentalism and cartography. "Human viewpoint" seems quite appropriate to me, while "Other beliefs" and "Human beliefs" most definitely do not. See viewpoint on wiktionary for alternate definitions. — RJH (talk) 17:35, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

"Earth" vs "the Earth"?

If Earth is the name of the planet, why does the article use the colloquial name "the Earth" throughout? The articles on Mars and Venus don't talk about "the Mars" and "the Venus". In fact, the articles on Mars and Venus refer to Earth (and this article) as "Earth", not "the Earth". — Runtime 20:00, 25 May 25 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps to distinguish it from earth? (Especially vocally where case may not be apparent.) — RJH (talk) 20:08, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
Very good question, in fact, to me, an article not talking about earth would say The Earth where as an article talking about earth would just say Earth, it's just sounds more appropriate to me.

§→Nikro 15:16, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

I requested some help from the Grammar WikiProject. Hopefully they can clear this up. — RJH (talk) 16:06, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Ah this age-old debate...we've had it before. The conclusion that we eventually reached was that 'The Earth' is the correct usage for this partiuclar context. (It goes against my own grammatical judgement, but that doesn't matter.) You can consult the Wikipedia Manual of Style where the final rule that we reached is clarified. Tanzeel 16:54, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Thank you. — RJH (talk) 17:11, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Fact box: erroneous entry "escape velocity"?

CalRis 16:52, 30 May 2007 (UTC): In the fact box it says that Earth's "escape velocity" is 11.186 km/s or 39,600 km/h. The last value seems to be wrong as 11.186 km/s x 60 seconds x 60 minutes equals 40,269.6 km/h, or am I wrong? Bye, CalRis.

You are correct. 39,600/3600 = 11.00, so somebody must have rounded off. Yoder (1995) gives the escape velocity as 11.186 km/s, so that's likely the correct value. — RJH (talk) 17:18, 30 May 2007 (UTC)


Should other possibilities of the Earth's future be added? I mean, other than the Sun becoming a Red Giant? Like, an asteroid collision thing? Or just the Ice Age that scientists are predicting in a few thousand years? Spark Moon 04:39, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

The main article page, "Risks to civilization, humans and planet Earth", covers other possibilities in more detail. This page is written summary style, so I don't think it would be helpful to go into too much detail or to describe very uncertain possibilities. — RJH (talk) 16:56, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
But a new iceage, for example, is not very uncertain. We may not be able to give the year and day of the week it starts, but it is certain it will happen some day. Also, maybe we should mention tectonic movement. - Redmess 13:19, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

American English

Why is this in American English, and not British English. Just wondering... Juckum 12:05, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Most likely because the original version was created by people versed in the former dialect, rather than the later. See WP:MoS#National_varieties_of_English. Personally I wish wikipedia would support some type of XML tags that allowed "regionalisms". — RJH (talk) 15:09, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Actually, the article appears to be inconsistent in spelling convention. American spellings are used for many words (aluminum, stablized, etc), but the unit of length is spelled "metre" throughout. I think it makes sense to follow one convention or the other, but I hesitate to change it because people are strangely prickly about spelling changes. Rracecarr 18:18, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
I've done a quick pass to standardize the spellings, using British English. That seems to reflect the majority of the spelling - I got significantly fewer "hits" using a BrE spell check than with an AmE one. Please adjust any that I've missed - thanks. --Ckatzchatspy 22:27, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
I reverted your changes per WP:MoS#National_varieties_of_English. Sorry. "metre" is an international standard, rather than strictly American/British and therefore seems acceptible to most people. — RJH (talk) 21:18, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Nevertheless, the spelling 'metre' is not found in American English. I have altered the spellings accordingly. — Saaber 12:03, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
It's a never-ending debate, and I'm sure it'll be switched back and forth many times in the future. — RJH (talk) 21:18, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

<De-indent> I really think that where international standards exist we should use them, regardless of the dialect used in the rest of the article. For example, look at all the trouble that has been saved at Aluminium (not Aluminum), Caesium (not Cesium) and Sulfur (not Sulphur) by many editors agreeing to use the IUPAC's recommended spellings. The Bureau International des Poids et Mesures is the relevant organisation here, and they use metre (as does Wikipedia's article). Apart from that, I think the policy is to use the spelling of the oldest consistent, non-stub version of the article. I had a quick look through some of the older versions, and could not see any words which are different in different dialects. I don't know whether anyone else wants to track some down...? Bistromathic 14:12, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Future section

The future section which talks about the destruction and inhabitability of Earth talks about time frames such as 9,000,000 years and 5,000,000,000 years until Earth could become, well, not livable and destroyed. One of the fundamental reasons for thinking about the destruction of the Earth is that humans need it to live and %100 of the people reading it will be human, so the ability for humans to live on Earth when it's destruction comes seems paramount to the future of the Earth section and relates to %100 percent of the readers of this article. The problem is that it talks about these massive numbers, 900 million years and 5 billion years until the Sun will blow up and such, but it doesn't give a contrast on what that could mean to the dominant species of the planet, us humans. I thought it would be a good idea to add that the destruction of the Earth in 5 billion years will have little bearing on humans as we know them today, because humans will in all probability not exist in 5 billion years time. Humans and human forms as we know them have only been around for about 130,000 years, so it is inconceivable that humans will not be extinct or have evolved into something else completely in 5 billion years time. Humans being the dominant species on Earth and humanity being of primary interest to this articles human readers, it makes absolute sense to add this to the end of the Future section. There are many scientific journals and articles out there that can source the claims about the fate of human (h. sapian) kind in 5 billion years time, so sourcing isn't a problem, I just want to know if anyone has a good idea of how to word this. JayKeaton 16:54, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

The article risks to civilization, humans and planet Earth covers the possible effects on humanity in detail, and is the appropriate place for this topic. The information in the "Future" section doesn't require probabilistic speculation because it is based upon known and inevitable physical processes. I don't think that a lengthy and speculative essay on the future of humanity is needed here, or appropriate (per WP:Crystal_Ball#Wikipedia_is_not_a_crystal_ball). Sorry. What may be missing from that section, though, is a discussion of the internal cooling of the Earth, and the consequent loss of tectonic activity and the planet's magnetic field. It'd be good to know the time frame for that to occur. — RJH (talk) 20:17, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
I wasn't proposing a lengthy essay at all, just a single sentence to summerise that as far as consequences from a human perspective goes, the speculation of the Earths doom in 5 billion years time is meaningless. JayKeaton 17:31, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. For a scientific value, it should be possible to compare the duration to the average survival time for a species. (I.e. average time between when a species first formed and when it became extinct.) That would at least put it into some type of perspective. But I don't know that you really can claim that a human-derived intelligence won't be around in 5 Gyr. — RJH (talk) 15:11, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Faux numbers

The orbital distance under the Orbit and rotation head, last paragraph are off a factor 100. The numbers in the fact box are correct: Earth orbits at 150Gm, not 1.5Gm.

Yup. This page attracts a lot of edits, and some of them are well-meaning but invalid changes. Thanks for the catch. — RJH (talk) 20:11, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

Oh, of course the distance in miles needs the same revision, sorry for not explicitly noting this. I assumed it logical.

Sorry I goofed on that one; I should have re-read the paragraph before modifying the number. No the 1.5 Gm value is correct for the Hill radius, per footnote 72. It is supposed to be one hundredth of an A.U., not the mean distance of the Earth from the Sun. My bad. — RJH (talk) 15:15, 18 June 2007 (UTC)


I came to this page looking for the age of the earth and information about how it was created. Am I missing it? Religious theories are mentioned and linked, but not actual ones? ~ Strathmeyer 16:46, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

It's covered in the Earth#History section on the main article page. — RJH (talk) 17:07, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Origin and history of the name Earth

Where does the name "Earth" come from? --Antonio.sierra 04:14, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

'Earth' is Germanic in origin. It's just an old Germanic word meaning land, just like 'terra' in Romance/Latinate languages. Hence, 'earth' is cognate with the German word for earth ('erd') and it's probably something similar in other Germanic languages, like Dutch or Norwegian or whatever. What has always interested me is the similarity between the semitic words for earth (Arabic: 'Ard', Hebrew: 'Ertz') and the Germanic words for earth- it's very odd, as there's no known historical connection between semitic and germanic languages. I've never received an answer for this. Anybody know? Tanzeel 13:17, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
The OED mentions the "plausible" Aryan root *ar — plough — as the ultimate source of the Germanic, but only to dismiss it as "being open to serious objection". Not useful, I'm afraid, except to show that Tanzeel is in good company. --Old Moonraker 15:23, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
It amuses me to think that people referring to the dirt beneath their feet has, due to linguistic laziness, led to a common name for the entire planet :) ~ Raerth is today known as 12:09, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Natural and Environmental Hazards

I have a suggestion with regards to this snippet.

Many localized areas are subject to human-made pollution of the air and water, acid rain and toxic substances, loss of vegetation (overgrazing, deforestation, desertification), loss of wildlife, species extinction, soil degradation, soil depletion, erosion, and introduction of invasive species. Human activities are also producing long-term climate alteration due to industrial carbon dioxide emissions. This is expected to produce changes such as the melting of glaciers and Arctic ice, more extreme temperatures, significant changes in weather conditions and a global rise in average sea levels. [22]

I understand that Global Warming is a hot topic at the moment, but why does it need to take up 2/3 of the human-caused hazards part in a brief summary of Hazards? In my opinion you wouldn't need more than a blurb about GW in the list of other destruction humans cause, in fact, it would really be a subcategory of pollution of the air and water. Alternatively, since the first sentence is talking about localized hazards, we could make a jump to global hazards like so:

Many localized areas are subject to human-made pollution of the air and water, acid rain and toxic substances, loss of vegetation (overgrazing, deforestation, desertification), loss of wildlife, species extinction, soil degradation, soil depletion, erosion, and introduction of invasive species. On a global level, human activity has been linked to an overall warming of the earth's climate [23].

What are your thoughts? And Please, I don't want to get involved in a discussion about Global Warming.

--Popoi 21:31, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

Hmm, a three paragraph argument about the elimination of a single sentence. Eliminating that sentence is not going to significantly reduce the dimensions of the article. You make no claims regarding the accuracy of the sentence. All else being equal, global changes are clearly more impacting than local changes, so a greater weight seems apropos. Sorry to say it, but I don't think this change would be beneficial. So I would have to object to your proposal. — RJH (talk) 16:45, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Emphasis of Terra in the lead

The first paragraph of the lead was changed to the following:

"Earth" (Latin: Terra, English pronunciation: /ɝθ/) is the third planet from the Sun and is the largest of the terrestrial planets in the Solar System, in both diameter and mass. Home to a myriad of species including the dominant animal, humans; it is also referred to as "the Earth", "Planet Earth", "Gaia", "the World" and its official scientific name is the Latin: Terra, after the Roman goddess "Terra"; it is the only planet in the Solar system which is known commonly by an english translation of its actual Latin name.

However the assertions about an official IAU name are unsourced, so it needs a valid citation. Otherwise I'm not sure I see a valid need to place such an emphasis on the latin name of the planet. (See WP:MoS#Foreign_terms.) — RJH (talk) 14:39, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

  • I did a search for an IAU naming standard for Terra, and it appears to be used as a standard nomenclature for an extensive land mass.[24] (For example, Ishtar Terra on Venus.) By convention, Earth is the only planet in the Solar System that does not use the name from Greek or Roman mythology.[25] So I'd have to say that the above revision falls under WP:OR and should be excluded. — RJH (talk) 17:28, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Myriad; Adjective or Noun?

From the opening:

Home to myriad species including humans

How is the word "myriad" being used here? If it's an adjective then this is the correct usage. If it's being used as a noun then it should be:

Home to a myriad of species including humans. --Philip Stevens 13:47, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
Good suggestion. Thanks. — RJH (talk) 17:00, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
Or is it a numeral, like million, in which case proper usage would be:
Home to a myriad species including humans
Woodstone 08:59, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
Both, check the Oxford Dictionary. T saston 23:00, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

"You" Time Person of the Year

The addition of the template showing "Earth" as the "Person of the Year" seems to be an invalid addition. The TIME magazine gives the meaning of you as people:

And for seizing the reins of the global media, for founding and framing the new digital democracy, for working for nothing and beating the pros at their own game, TIME's Person of the Year for 2006 is you.

BBC gives the interpretation as:

...growth and influence of user-generated content on the internet.

That has absolutely nothing to do with the planet Earth; it is about people, as is appropriate to the award name. So the template appears inappropriate and I have reverted it. — RJH (talk) 19:46, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

"You" is the 2006 "Person of the Year". The template, quite correctly, stated Earth as the 1988 "Person of the Year". -- Jao 20:00, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
My bad then. Sorry. — RJH (talk) 20:02, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Here's a link to the cover of the issue in question: the 1988 "Planet of the Year" designation. --Ckatzchatspy 20:04, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. Just what we need, another template. :-) — RJH (talk) 20:15, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

unprotected - email request for fix

I received this email request and decided to unprotect the article 4 days ahead of the expiry to allow this person to edit:

I saw you had edited the EARTH entry in Wikipedia and thought that you could fix a glaring transposition in the summary data displayed on the right margin.
Volume </wiki/Volume> : 1.083 207 3×1012 km³ </wiki/Cubic_kilometre> Mass </wiki/Mass> : 5.9736×1024 kg </wiki/Kilogram> Mean density </wiki/Density> : 5,515.3 kg/m³ </wiki/Kilogram_per_cubic_metre>
Should be:
Volume </wiki/Volume> : 1.083 207 3×1021 km³ </wiki/Cubic_kilometre> Mass </wiki/Mass> : 5.9736×1024 kg </wiki/Kilogram> Mean density </wiki/Density> : 5,515.3 kg/m³ </wiki/Kilogram_per_cubic_metre>
If the volume number was correct, the Mean Density of Earth would be a billion times higher. I suspect that would have dramatic :consequences.
Let me know.
Dan Aramini

My astronomy is sufficiently rusty that I didn't want to make the edit myself. Martin 10:32, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Back of the envelop calculation:
REarth = 6.4 × 103 km.
Volume ~ 4/3 π REarth3 = 1.33 × 3.14 × (6.4 × 103)3 = 1.094 × 1012 km3.
So I don't think the change would be appropriate. The 1021 would be correct for units of m3 rather than km3, which probably explains the difference. For a reference, see Yoder (1995) p. 12. — RJH (talk) 14:51, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Names, name Etymology

Shouldn’t the article on Earth explain why its named Earth? Like where that name came from and other names for it. --DB Explorer 01:42, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

New sections goes in the bottom, not in the top ;^)
Well, it is named Earth because earth means ground, soil, land. Isn't it obvious? wildie·wilđ di¢e.wilł die 13:06, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
I took the liberty of moving this discussion to the bottom, per tradition. Yes, personally I think a verifyably-referenced discussion of the etymology might be of interest to a few readers. The topic has arisen on several occasions and there is etymology in the Culture sections for the other planet wiki-articles in the Solar System. Thanks. — RJH (talk) 15:05, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
There's a somewhat inconclusive discussion on this above. The etymology seems a bit vague; perhaps editors felt that it needed firming up a bit to go in. --Old Moonraker 15:37, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
That discussion was about the roots of the word, "earth"; why does the planet is named "Earth" and not "Azeroth" is another thing. wildie·wilđ di¢e.wilł die 15:47, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Would the following serve?
The name of the planet originated from the 8th century Anglo-Saxon word erda, which means ground or soil. In Old English the word became eorthe, then erthe in Middle English.[2] Earth was first used as the name of the planet around 1400.[3] It is the only planet whose name in English is not derived from greco-roman mythology.
RJH (talk) 22:03, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Looks good. Old Moonraker 22:33, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Reference for orbital elements?

I'm growing a little dubious about the supposed accuracy of the orbital elements on this page. For example, Bretagnon (1974) gives a=1.000000968 A.U. (See Tableau 1.) Yoder (1995) only gives a=1.00000011; the same value as on NASA's "Earth fact sheet".

Does anybody know where the orbital elements on this page came from? I'd like to cite them with the "orbit_ref" parameter in the infobox. Even if we have a reference, they vary over time,[26] so I'm not sure they should be listed to such a degree of accuracy. — RJH (talk) 17:05, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Also the following entries seem excessive, as they can be derived from the other values and don't appear to add anything:
  • Semi-minor axis
  • Orbital circumference
  • Orbital area
Is there any reason to retain them? — RJH (talk) 17:37, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Surface Area Error ?

Surface area: 510,065,600 km²
Land area: 148,939,100 km² (29.2 %)
Water area: 361,126,400 km² (70.8 %)

My poor maths skills tell me those numbers don't add up? I call massive worldwide governmental conspiricy coverup for that missing 100 km² :)

Seriously though, they don't add up, so which number is wrong?

Probably somebody just made a typo. But it'd be good to get that entire table cited properly with the best available sources. — RJH (talk) 22:42, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

I also noticed this error...I did some internet research and fixed the problem...and properly referenced it. The table breaks down the areas of each of the oceans, so it makes a bit more sense as to where the numbers are coming from. — Kevin K 26 November 2007

new earth and old material ???

I would like to know if it is possible that the earth formed Thousands of years ago by material that was billions of years old —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 19:38, August 21, 2007 (UTC)

If you mean by purely natural processes, then it seems all but impossible. The accretion process would leave a still-molten surface and an inhospitable atmosphere. But it is always possible to conjecture suitable scenarios once you start ignoring Occam's razor. (Giant armies of space aliens arrive to assemble a planet, &c.) — RJH (talk)

Axial tilt

Jorge Ianis 03:25, 30 August 2007 (UTC) This very important article is for ilustration not for religous preaching, there are other places for theological discussions, please let people who loves knowledge alone.

My edition is at the following sentence:

"The Earth's axis of rotation is tilted 23.5°[8] away from the perpendicular to its orbital plane, "

it should be: 23.4393º[8]

Reference: 8: SOME ASTRONOMICAL AND PHYSICAL DATA, at Observer's Handbook 1999; The Royal Astronomical Society. And many others.

Jorge Jorge Ianis 03:25, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

If you look in the info box, the more precise figure is given there. I suspect ( though I'll leave it to the regular editors ) that the rounded up figure of 23.5, is given in the body of the article for the sake of not overburdening the reader with details they may not necessarily be interested in. ornis (t) 03:43, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I think that is correct. The difference of 3.6 minutes of arc between the two values is well below the limit of resolution (12') for the unaided human eye. I don't think the text would need to be so pedantic that it includes every decimal. =) — RJH (talk)
Well when I went to school and did maths, 23.4393º does not round up to 23.5° it would round down to 23.4° YMMV --Whisper555 00:49, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
True, in which case the difference is even smaller. =) — RJH (talk) 15:51, 10 September 2007 (UTC)


I recently took a test asking how many planets are named after a Greek or Roman God, after reading through this I am still not sure. Can someone clarify?

Mercury is Roman, as are Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto (if your test was old). This article says that Earth is referred to as both Terra and Gaia. · AndonicO Talk 20:36, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

I think we should have a name section listing the various names earth is known by in my opinion. Anyone else's thoughts? Cryo921 02:32, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
Uranus is actually Greek. The rest are Roman, though. Kairos 10:01, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Water leaking into cooler crust? Citation needed

I have removed the following sentence since it is not supported by a relevant citation: "Specifically, for Earth's oceans, the lower temperatures in the crust will permit water to leak more deeply into the planet than it does today." The citation that follows it is to a seven-year-old BBC news article [27], and it refers only to evaporation, not leakage into the crust. GrahamN 14:22, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, I agree. Unfortunately that paragraph no longer seems a very satisfactory discussion of the topic of atmospheric loss. I think it needs more work. — RJH (talk) 16:26, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Earth age

"The planet formed about 4.57 billion years" - This takes the scientific opinion as fact, thus giving Bias to the scientific view, when alternate views exist.
Consider "Scientists estimate that the Earth was formed about 4.57 billion years". StuartDD ( tc ) 15:23, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

I've rewritten it to "The planet is estimated to have been formed about 4.57 billion years ago. StuartDD ( tc ) 16:06, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Replaced weasely is estimated to have been formed about... bit w/ Current scientific evidence indicates... It is not scientific opinion, rather it is scientific fact based on current research and evidence. Vsmith 00:27, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
I've tweaked the above slightly to remove "Current" - Wikipedia is considered to be current, and use of the word is discouraged. --Ckatzchatspy 03:10, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
"Scientific evidence indicates that" could be inserted into this article (and many others) in dozens of places. I think it's pretty superfluous. Rracecarr 18:23, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
An age range might be appropriate. This USGS source lists 4.53–4.58 Gyr, for example, then references Dalrymple (1991). The Age of the Earth article lists 4.54 Gyr using the same source. Listing 4.57 Gyr could give the illusory appearance of higher accuracy. — RJH (talk) 18:53, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
Scientific evidence indicates concerning the age of the planet is sketchy, if you ask me. Estimated would be a better word to use, as I for one personally don't believe the Earth is millions of years old and the evidence I've seen actually suggests it's much younger than a million years old. Estimated is A: less likely to get people riled up (I personally won't get riled up about it, but others would) and B: less biased. And, despite claims that it's scientific "fact", it's actually theory, so estimate would better fit. You can believe what you want about the age of the earth, but surely you see how estimate is more unbiased. Anakinjmt 03:28, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
I'll take your viewpoint as religiously biased, and therefore unscientific. This page is based on scientific evidence rather than religious dogma. I don't think that yet another debate on the topic would be beneficial for this purpose. Try Age_of_the_Earth#Religious_concepts. — RJH (talk) 16:59, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
My faith doesn't have anything to do with wording of something. And the fact is that it is still theory that is accepted as fact, hence why estimate would be better. I don't want to get into a religious debate here, I just think estimate would be the best unbiased word to use, because stating it as fact IS a bias. Anakinjmt 16:47, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
All measurements are estimates, and there will always be some slight uncertaintly in the value. Stating "estimate" for every measured value is redundant, however, and I usually only see it employed when the error is close to the same order of magnitude as the value. In this case the value is listed (I believe) by at least one source as 4.54±0.03 Gyr. Another lists the error range as on the order of 1%. — RJH (talk) 17:22, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
That makes some sense. I still think estimate would be a better word, but your reasoning makes sense, from a non-faith point of view, so I guess I can deal with it. Anakinjmt 13:27, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

No one can prove, using the Scientific Method, that the earth is 4.5 billion years old. No one was around to see it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:51, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

...said the anonymous Troll from beneath the bridge. — RJH (talk) 17:28, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Detailed information on formation of the atmosphere in the intro

I just moved a couple of sentences from the intro to Earth#Atmosphere. Here's the stuff I moved:

Since then, Earth's biosphere has significantly altered the atmosphere and other abiotic conditions on the planet. Oxygenic photosynthesis evolved 2.7 billion years ago, forming the primarily nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere that exists today. This change enabled the proliferation of aerobic organisms as well as the formation of the ozone layer which, together with Earth's magnetic field, blocks harmful radiation, permitting life on land.

I deleted one thing: and other abiotic conditions on the planet. It wasn't referenced. User:RJHall put the material back in the intro, saying the intro needs to stand alone. I don't think the intro is bad as it is now, it just seems that the level of detail in the part I moved is a little excessive. I also think some stuff from later in the intro should be moved or deleted. For example, Later, asteroid impacts caused significant changes to the surface environment seems out of place, and it is not referenced.

I won't remove anything else from the intro without discussion. So?Rracecarr 19:15, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

My concern was that after the (above) paragraph was removed, the lead scarcely had any coverage of the Atmosphere or Habitability sections at all. But I'm sure the current text could be condensed and/or improved in that regard.
Possibly the last three sentences of the lead could be combined into a single summary sentence. That is a tad on the bloated size compared to the main article content. Perhaps reference re-use may be helpful? — RJH (talk) 22:23, 17 September 2007 (UTC)


the earth is not round but ovil and is the center of the univers —Preceding unsigned comment added by Zoobe (talkcontribs) 17:26, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Ovals aren't round? -- SamSim 15:52, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
Earth is not the center of the universe, to be more precise America is the center of the universe ;) Hehehe. Nah, just in case you were serious it is now known that Earth is not the center of our galaxy, let alone the universe. JayKeaton 13:38, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Technicaly, if the universe is infinately big, then the earth would be the center because it is at an equal distance away from every edge of the infinately large universe! lol :P But yeah, it'd be silly to write that. Also, that sign bot doesn't give you a second does it! I realised I forgot to sign and then as I was saving it, it said that someon has edited the page after me. so I checked and the sign bot had been signing for me! lol, well it's good to have (just incase I totaly forgot to sign!) --Stikman 14:36, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Mean radius

Two values have recently been here for the mean radius.

  • Previously, the value given was 6,371.01 km
  • Now we have 6,372.797 km, with an explanation (thanks go to Kaimbridge for providing this! :) ):
This is the average (3D) radius: 
avg meridional radius ≈ 6367.447 ≈ [.5*(a^2+b^2)]^.5;
equatorial radius = 6378.137 = [.5*(a^2+a^2)]^.5;
avg 3D radius/arcradius ≈ 6372.797 ≈ [.25*(3a^2+b^2)]^.5;
("6,371.01" is the approximate "authalic" (surface) area radius) 
  • I have to confess that I don't understand the reasoning behind this (why was it calculated in this particular way? why three a^2 + one b^2?)
  • Furthermore, a simple calculation using the given polar and equatorial radii gives the volumetric radius as 6,371.00 km, in agreement with the old value. This comes about as follows: volume of an ellipsoid is where a,b,c are the three-axis radii, while a sphere has volume . Equating these, the average volumetric (what I would call the "3D") radius is . For an oblate spheroid like the Earth, two radii are equal to the equatorial value: a=b=6378.137, and we have r=( 6378.137 ² x 6,356.752)^(1/3) = 6,371.00.
  • For backup, the Earth fact sheet at NASA also gives 6371.0 km as the volumetric mean radius.

Can we get a more verbose explanation of the new value, please? I am sorely tempted to restore the old value unless there are some compelling arguments for the new one. Deuar 11:35, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Okay, let's first consider the concept of graticule perspective:
Graticule Perspectives.PNG
When we look at a typical globe with latitude-longitude "webbing", we are viewing the common graticule perspective, where the meridians radiate from their polar vertices, creating a sphere composed of equi-sized circles. This graticule is defined by horizontal rings of latitude, , and vertical great circles of longitude, . If the graticule is "pulled down" so that the meridional vertex is now on the equator and the latitude rings are now vertical and concentric, it is now the transverse graticule, where the equatorially vertexed meridians are now transverse meridians or "arc paths", , measured as the azimuth, , of the transverse meridian ("great circle") at the equator, and the vertical rings are transverse colatitudes, , the primary quadrant being measured from 0 at the transverse meridional vertex to 90°, at the (common) meridian 90° away from the vertex——i.e., the facing ellipse or perimeter of the ellipsoid, or, keeping with the "pulled" graticule concept, it is the transverse equator. Any graticule where the meridional vertex is between the pole and equator is an oblique graticule. In geodetic formulation, the globoidal/spherical values are converted to "auxiliary" elliptical values:
The only critical relationships to understand in this discussion is between and with and :

The only other element needed for this discussion is a generalized integrand for circumference, which we will call Circ'(B,A,D), where B is the graticule base (0 for the common, 90° for the transverse); A is the angle (the graticule meridian); D is the distance from the graticule's meridional vertex to its equator (i.e., the graticule's colatitude).
If one asked what the mean radius of a meridian, Mr, on Earth is, the answer would be 6367.449 (rounded to the nearest meter)——no dispute, as it equals the average radius of an ellipse, found via the complete elliptic integral of 2nd kind, where D is the common graticule's colatitude, :
If one is dealing with a scalene ellipsoid (where the equatorial radius varies), then A (here, ) must also be included, as each meridian of the quadrant will have its own value:
That is the true, mean north-south radius and radius of arc/curvature (since they are the same value, for the complete, north-south case), which is approximately ——the elliptical quadratic mean. Thus, standing on the equator, the average radius of the north-south circumference is about 6367.449: But what about the average east-west radius along the equator? For a given point on the equator, the east-west circumference carries as much significance as the north-south circumference. Triaxially there are two equatorial radii, defined here as , for the X-axis, and for the Y-axis:
Like north-south, the east-west radii/arcradii are one and the same. Those are the circumference boundaries.
Okay, for , the average radius equals Mr (here, 6367.449) and for , a (6378.137). But how about all of the intermediary 's?
For this, the transverse graticule is used to find the average transverse meridional radius value, Tr, where A becomes and D, :
For the intermediary circumferences, things are more complicated, as not only are the mean radii and arcradii different, but due to the fluid nature of geodetics (the ellipsoidal shifts towards the pole as the length grows), there are different ways to differentiate a given circumference, each providing a slightly different mean value. Likewise, when differentiating and integrating the different geodetically defined circumferences, the circumferences can be differentiated either by or (though even in the case of , geodetically it is actually rather than ). Since it requires no other explanation, let's look at differentiation by second latitude: Where the first latitude is set to 0 and the longitude difference to 90° (i.e., from the transverse meridional vertex out to its equator, providing the circumferential length of a quadrant: At the transverse equator, ), by varying the second latitude from 90°->0 (meaning from 0->90°) in 22.5° increments, you get the following mean geodetic arcradii:
Averaging them together we get:
So, differentiating by second latitude provides a mean radius of circumference of about 6372.80140. If, on the other hand, you differentiate by ellipsoidal , the average circumferential radius is only about 6372.79245: No matter how you average the two——simple, quadratic or geometric mean——the result is about 6372.796925. This means the mean geodetic circumferential radius is about 6372.797. If you globoidally(i.e., spherically) delineate the arc paths, then calculate the simple elliptic (rather than the ellipsoidally fluid, geodetic) values of these great circles/arc paths (i.e., is differentially composed from , not ), the average circumferential radius is about 6372.80365——this would probably be considered the mean "great-ellipse" (i.e., equivalent great-circle) radius. If, instead, you change the integrand to that of the related radius of curvature, the average circumferential radius works out to about 6372.81262. These are the arc/curvature related values.
Just as the mean radius of arc/curvature of a given circumference will vary, the underlying radius, itself, will also vary, meaning each circumference will have a unique mean radius, different from the mean radii of arc/curvature described above (again, excluding the equator and meridians, where the circumferential mean axial and arc/curvature radii are one and the same). Each of the above arcradius values will have their own corresponding mean, axial (right word?) radius. But, for most purposes, what would probably be considered the "mean radius" would correspond to the above great-circle arcradius ("6372.80365"): Using the same averaging process as above, this mean radius works out to likely either 6372.79468, 6372.81037 or something in between (I'm not sure of the differentiation and coordinate conversion——for starters, if you tried calculating Mr using the radius integrand for instead of , you would get "6367.46694" rather than 6367.44899), so let's say it is 6372.80253.
Now compare the different possibilities:
  • 6372.80140: Geodetic ();
  • 6372.79245: Geodetic ();
  • 6372.80365: Great-circle;
  • 6372.81262: Radius of curvature;
  • 6372.80253: Radius;
  • 6372.80253: Simple average;
  • 6372.80253000323: Quadratic mean;
  • 6372.80252999677: Geometric mean;
(While the radius value of 6372.80253 appears to equal the average of the four arcradii values, further decimal display would show that this is just a close approximation of the four; also, this radius only represents that of the great-circle delineation, not the geodetics', which would probably provide lesser valuations)
So what is the base approximation structure of Tr?
Using the actual boundaries, we get the following approximations:
Now compare with the a/b approximations:
As shown here, is remarkably close to and to , with the squared version in the ballpark of all of the different values defined above, and to the meter of the average of the two geodetic values (6372.797478 vs. 6372.796925), which is what the typical Joe Sixpaque is probably interested in, anyways!
Further solidifying the ellipsoidal (rather than the meridional elliptical) quadratic mean radius, Qr, as the choice for Tr is its simplification from a double integral:
So then, what is the "authalic" ("surface area") radius, Ar?
In conventional theory, it is the fundamental equation of area——height×width. Using the two principal radii of arc/curvature, M and N, the geographical integrand for surface area is height ("M") times width ("cos(φ)N"), with the integration reducible to a closed form expression:
Thus, since it is found loxodromically——(north-south)×(east-west)——then Ar can be considered the planar/loxodromic mean radius, while Tr is the spherical/orthodromic mean radius.
In terms of calculating surface area and dealing with equal-area projections, then, yes, Ar is the proper choice:
But, in terms of circumference (both arc/curvature and the underlying "axial radius") and distance, the proper candidate would seem to be some form of Tr, with the ellipsoidal quadratic mean (Qr) being the best approximation——of course, making cleat that it is just an approximation.
If you still question the validity of "6372.8" being the ballpark mean radius, try this little UBASIC program, creating a running average:
   10 RF=#Pi/180:IO=10^100
  100 a=6378.137:b=6356.752:Oe=acos(b/a)
 1000 TN=0:AP_a=0:TL_a=0:VR=0:VO=0:VP=0
 1010 TN=TN+1:AP=90*RND*RF:TL=90*RND*RF:LT=.LT(AP,TL):Az=.Az(AP,TL)
 1020 TL_a=TL_a*(TN-1)/TN+TL/TN:AP_a=AP_a*(TN-1)/TN+AP/TN:VR=VR*(TN-1)/TN+.R(LT)/TN:VO=VO*(TN-1)/TN+.Oz(Az,LT)/TN:VP=VP*(TN-1)/TN+.P(Az,LT)/TN
 2000 If Int(TN/100000)=TN/100000 Then?TN;Using(,3),AP_a/RF;TL_a/RF,Using(,7),VR,VO,VP
 2010 GoTo 1010
 9999 End^2+(cos(LT)*sin(Oe))^2)^0.5)
      TN                    Radius         Arcradius     Rad. of Curv
     100  43.732 46.468     6372.1430086    6374.0377755    6374.0458938
    1000  43.490 44.864     6372.6288801    6372.4905336    6372.4992895
   10000  44.967 44.399     6372.8983554    6372.5030411    6372.5120728
  100000  45.040 44.853     6372.8362600    6372.7429106    6372.7518904 
 1000000  44.975 44.982     6372.8107809    6372.7897606    6372.7987262
25000000  44.998 45.005     6372.8089513    6372.8069121    6372.8158831
26000000  44.997 45.003     6372.8091890    6372.8057722    6372.8147439
27000000  44.997 45.002     6372.8093739    6372.8049196    6372.8138913
28000000  44.999 45.001     6372.8098107    6372.8048157    6372.8137876
29000000  45.001 45.001     6372.8100828    6372.8049950    6372.8139668
30000000  45.001 44.999     6372.8101686    6372.8047085    6372.8136806
35000000  45.003 44.998     6372.8106931    6372.8044417    6372.8134140
Or, find the average arcradius of random distances (both geodetic and great-ellipse) and average them together, randomized either directly by and or and , where:
      TN   Great-ellipse    Geodetic    | Great-ellipse    Geodetic
   -----   -------------   ------------   -------------   ------------
      10   6377.3552412    6377.3499023 | 6372.2393942    6372.2288356
      50   6371.1268091    6371.1240155 | 6369.2562518    6369.2348326
     100   6370.9095822    6370.9075567 | 6370.8787701    6370.8663407
     500   6372.3378461    6372.3356314 | 6372.3400535    6372.3197614
    1000   6372.2713239    6372.2688892 | 6372.6258601    6372.6055899
    5000   6372.2001029    6372.1975977 | 6372.8110708    6372.7899544
   10000   6372.2673216    6372.2647367 | 6372.9078181    6372.8867079
   20000   6372.1645898    6372.1618996 | 6372.8435400    6372.8225587
   30000   6372.1234538    6372.1207377 | 6372.8486510    6372.8288874
   40000   6372.0945988    6372.0919012 | 6372.8614164    6372.8421600
   50000   6372.1049516    6372.1022504 | 6372.8462601    6372.8265046
Wouldn't you agree that Qr seems more applicable than Ar? In fact, where Ar does belong would be with the surface area values——but I know you are trying to cut back on categories, not add more! P=)  ~Kaimbridge~19:36, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
Maintaining the accuracy to within a meter seems illogical when the Earth's terrain regularly varies on the scale of hundreds or thousands of meters. It reads like a mathematical model, rather than an accurate number reflecting reality. We ought to modify the MoS to limit excessive numbers of digits in measured dimensions (unless the number of digits itself is notable). — RJH (talk) 15:25, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
Indeed. Mind you, if we were to reflect the actual surface-to-surface distance, we would have to stop at tens of km, since elevation varies by several km. In this situation it is better to describe the reference ellipsoid, down to 100s of meters, and point out in a note exactly what the numbers refer to. Going down below 100s of meters would get into further subtleties again (do we want the ellipsoid, the geoid, which ellipsoid? etc.), and we should refrain from that. Deuar 10:41, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Does anyone have information on what the radius would be of sphere with the same surface (instead of volume) as the WGS84 reference ellipsoid? This would be most useful to calculate distances on the surface from their coordinates. −Woodstone 18:35, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Equate the surface area given in the infobox (it's for the EGS84 ellipsoid) to 4πr². Deuar 08:59, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. So, to the given accuracy, the mean radius by surface is equal to the mean radius by volume. −Woodstone 09:19, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
Yes. Using the detailed ellipsoid values on the WGS_84 page, I get that the mean radius by surface is about 6 meters larger. Deuar 15:37, 9 October 2007 (UTC)


Please change the spelling of Aluminum to the internationally accepted Aluminium (see spelling debate at that article). I can't make the change becuase this article has been SP for a stupidly long period. Thanks. 10:42, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Done. Thanks for bringing that to my attention. Why not get yourself a userid so you can fix things like that? Vsmith 13:24, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
This page has been "SP for a stupidly long period" because of the idiocy of anonymous vandals. Likely it will keep being placed on SP as it is a vandal magnet, and I hope it will become permanently protected. Tough nuggies. =) — RJH (talk) 15:20, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
I just changed it back to aluminum. The spelling debate here is "stupidly long" and it doesn't reach any consensus. This article uses American spelling (meter, etc), and should be kept consistent. Note that "aluminum" gets more google hits than "aluminium". Rracecarr 16:09, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
Number of Google hits? Totally irrelevant. 18:05, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
Yes, they did reach a consensus, to use Aluminium, as per the IUAPC preference. You might think that America owns the Earth, but it doesn't. The spelling of Aluminium should be consistent in Wikipedia as a whole, not just in a single article. RJHall:your comments are pathetic. If you thnk articles should be permanently protected you have no place at Wikipedia. 18:03, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
No, they didn't reach a consensus. It's a huge mess of everyone trumpeting his own opinion, with no clear majority tending either way. Anyway, the point is that the spelling should be consistent throughout the article. Spellings are not consistent across all of Wikipedia. Wikipedia has no preference between the national varieties of English spelling: there ARE spelling difference from article to article. But each individual article should be consistent. Rracecarr 18:36, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
OK, let's use the scientifically preferred variant of Aluminium - which is also the Wikipedia preferred variant (see the name of the article Aluminium - and if that requires a wholesale conversion of Earth from AmE to BrE to ensure consistency, then let's go with it. 18:53, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
I don't buy that it's the "scientifically preferred" variant. Google Scholar is a search engine for scientific publications. It comes up with 2,800,000 hits for "aluminum" and 867,000 for "aluminium". If "aluminium" is scientifically preferred, apparently the scientists don't know it. Rracecarr 19:04, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
As noted earlier, any search engine comparison result is totally irrelevant. AmE variants will always come ahead of BrE variants for all contentious words, simply because of the USA's much greater internet use than that of any other country. 19:11, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
Using google searches that you personally have specified is not a proper reference. It is original work and hence cannot be used in WP. Jim77742 05:23, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

The decision was reached back in '04-'05 to use IUPAC spelling of aluminium, sulfur and caesium to stop the seemingly unending spelling wars. Vsmith 01:53, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Where is this discussion? I can't find it in the archives. Searching a scientific database for "aluminum" and "aluminium" is not OR. It is just a quick way to get a census of reliable scientific sources that anyone can verify, and it clearly demonstrates the fallacy of the claim that the "scientific" spelling is aluminium. I think it is silly to use the British spelling in an article that otherwise adheres consistently to US usage. But who really cares, I guess. Rracecarr 03:11, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
See: Wikipedia:WikiProject_Science#IUPAC_Standard Vsmith 17:15, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
I want to challenge this statement: "Searching a scientific database for "aluminum" and "aluminium" is not OR". Whilst searching a published database is not OR you have applied some intelligence and data analysis skills in selection of your parameters. And those assumptions and data analysis are challengeable (as others have done). But the analysis is not in a published work. If Fred Smith had done the search and published it in a New Scientist article - no problems, go for your life. But you have done the search and data analysis to advance your position. And that is OR. Jim77742 05:23, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
What is more important - ensuring a consistent use of an English language variant within an article, or the consistent use of IUPAC spelling throughout Wikipedia? I suggest the latter. Maybe we have to take a vote on it for this article. While we're about it; kilometer and the like should also be changed to the international standard, although I prefer just to abbreviate the units to km etc. That way nobody is put out. 16:39, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

No one seems to agree with me, and it's not an important point, so I'm dropping it. I think the policy of using aluminium everywhere in deference to IUPAC is misguided, (see above--not even the scientific community follows this convention) and moreover it is certainly not applied consistently here on Wiki (hundreds of pages link to "aluminum"). Further, the spelling aluminium is incorrect in American English as far as I know (at least the spell checker in my version of Mozilla Firefox highlights it as a misspelling). But I'm shutting up now. Rracecarr 19:16, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Some things on wikipedia flip-flop back and forth so much that it gets decidedly silly at times. (E.g. linking dates or the use of units.) This may be one of those. But as long as the fundamental facts are straight and the reader can figure them out, we're probably okay. — RJH (talk) 22:11, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

"only place in the universe known to harbor life"

Would it be redundant or unnecessary to instead say "Earth is the only place in the universe known by humans to harbor life"? Giamgiam 00:46, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Both. --Ckatzchatspy 05:30, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

I think adding the 'by humans' would suggest that there are other species known which would have more knowledge. Seems a bit self-contradictory.

Wild Wizard 08:22, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

A common guideline is to write for humans. The edits made by others will be considered when they are made. (SEWilco 16:03, 10 October 2007 (UTC))
When some aliens start editing Wikipedia, we'll simply edit that sentence to read "Earth is the only place in the universe known by humans or aliens to harbor life". -- SamSim (talk) 10:44, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
Of course we'll know when editors start using alien IP adresses, right? In fact, it's possible that some wikipedia users might in fact be non-human. Thanks. ~AH1(TCU) 16:59, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
In reply I would say that this speculation is getting off topic and should probably be discussed elsewhere. — RJH (talk) 17:42, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Wording in lede

Is it really true that Earth is the only place in the universe to harbor life? What about space stations? It seems like a minor point; but we might as well get it correct. -- Rmrfstar 01:39, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Yes I thought about the fact that we know bacteria may have been transported to Mars and elsewhere via spacecraft. But I took "harbor" to mean that it could exist natively on Earth without special environmental support. — RJH (talk) 05:22, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
It does not say there is no life elsewhere, but the only "known" place to have life. I would be for striking the sentence. First of all, although we are not sure there is life on other planets, it is very likely to exist according to current scientific status. Secondly, there are many other things that we only are sure of to exist on Earth. Why single out life? In my view it is a rather empty statement, not adding any value to the article. −Woodstone 12:44, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
You guys are missing the point. Space stations are not on Earth and yet harbor life. This is not about other planets. Harbor doesn't mean "exist natively". And there is nothing wrong with saying "known"; it is indeed very important that Earth is the only place known to harbor life (except space stations). -- Rmrfstar 16:11, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
No I'm not missing the point. I just don't think the lead should get bogged down in such pedantic details. You couldn't just say space stations; you also have to cover unmanned spacecraft and then explain why it is so. If the word "native" or "natively" can be inserted without disrupting the flow of the text, then perhaps that would cover it. — RJH (talk) 16:48, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Oh, OK. How about "Earth is the only place in the universe known to harbor native life"? -- Rmrfstar 20:12, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Yes I was thinking along those lines. Another would be "Earth is the only place in the universe where life is known to have originated." But that might be tested by the exogenesis hypothesis. — RJH (talk) 18:41, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
I think yours is better. That it could be proven wrong is fine, because "known" is included. I'm putting that in. -- Rmrfstar 22:42, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
That should work, I hope. Thanks. — RJH (talk) 01:33, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
RJH is right to flag up the exogeneis hypothesis; the wording is clearly incorrect. It is very likely that life originated on earth but it is not known to have done so. It may have originated on Mars when that planet had an atmosphere and surface water and subsequently reached earth. As unlikely as this seems, the other alternatives also seem unlikely (origin on earth prior to the ending of the early bombardment phase and survival during this period, or dramatically quick origin as soon as the bombardment phase ended). Clumsy as it seems, I would rather see "Earth and its inhabited artificial satellites are the only places in the universe where life is known to exist." -- Spiridens 19:34, 23 October 2007 (UTC)


Removed the following - appears to be simply a promotion of a "religious view". A simple one-liner would seem adequate in the cultural section, seems there is a ref to Gaia already. The article is already too long.

Numerous esoteric and psychic lore related sources affirm that the Earth is a living energy being: "... know ye that the Earth is living in body - as thou art alive in thine own formed form. - The Flower of Life is as thine own place of Spirit - and streams through the Earth - as thine flows through thy form; - giving of life to the Earth and its children, - renewing the Spirit from form unto form..." <ref>Emerald Tablets of Thoth. The Keys of Life and Death.</ref>.
Its supposed special energy relation to the other celestial bodies had become a basis of both Vedic and Western Astrologies. The system of Astrological Houses ('Bhavas' in Vedic Astrology) is calculated for a given nativity based on Earth's rotation around its axis. Adherents believe that other planets and celestial bodies influence the humans and other life forms on Earth via energy connection to the Earth as a mediator and mother-planet for its inhabitants. See more in Graha.

Please discuss here. Vsmith 01:18, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

I find it important to include into the article an idea of Earth being a living energy entity. This idea is obviously consonant with the mythological and religious views of most of the ancient cultures, providing a synthesis of their approaches, while being framed into a language compatible to esoteric and modern time ESP related viewpoints. It being not adequately verifiable by contemporary official science and/or not coinciding with the private views of Mr. Vsmith is not a reason enough for its demotion and dumping, IMHO.

I take the liberty to restore the first para, while having replaced the second one (Astrological Importance) with a single short reference. I'm also removing the individual sub-section (though personally I believe this info deserves such a sub-section) and include a single remaining para into the Cultural section, lest to make the article too long.

Regards, NazarK 10:35, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

"It being not verifiable by contemporary official science" might not be true, but being "verifiable" must be true for it to be in Wikipedia. I find the text unreadable, non-encyclopaedic and agree completely with Vsmith. Feel free to expand in Graha or elsewhere - it does not belong in a scientific article. Jim77742 12:58, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
The discussion of various mythologies etc. seems to be a random hodgepodge already, there's no need to add another one. On what basis are several ancient cultures out of hundreds being singled out anyway? In any case, if someone is interested in mythology or superstitions they will look at the relevant mythology or superstition article, not at Earth. Deuar 14:14, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
I just edited the section, taking out the recent additions, which, besides a quotation that didn't seem to fit it, seemed mostly to repeat information already included. I added "See also Graha." to an earlier paragraph.Rracecarr 14:25, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
I don't believe those specific cultures are being singled out so much as those are the ones that people have bothered to include. This is also true on many other pages about culturally-significant astronomical objects, and I don't really see an issue with it as long as the material is valid. What I am hoping is that somebody will build a more complete article page on the cultural viewpoints and we can just convert that section to summary style. Unfortunately the subject isn't really of interest to me. — RJH (talk) 15:54, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Oblateness vs flattening

Regarding recent renaming of the "oblateness" parameter in the infobox to "flattening" and back. If you have a look at flattening and oblate spheroid (which is linked to from the oblateness field), it becomes clear that the two terms "oblateness" and "flattening" are synonymous. As to which one should be used, there are at least two arguments that support "flattening":

  • It is a term that is easier to understand for a reader who is not familiar with planetary astronomy. "Oblateness" is quite jargony, although - sure - it sounds more "learned" if you're familiar with it.
  • It is commonly used in the professional literature (oblateness occurs as well). For example, NASA factsheets such as this one at NSSDC use "flattening".

On the basis of these, "flattening" is preferable on the whole. Deuar 10:56, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Hmm... seems flattening as used here is a bit of misleading jargon as 0.335% departure from spherical is nowhere near flat. As such oblateness is far more accurate for visualizing the small difference. But, yes, oblate sounds more jargony than flatness - so who needs accuracy in a statement ... won't change it back for now. At least I'm relieved that this wasn't an attack of the flat earthers. Cheers, Vsmith 01:15, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

second moon?

i was watching a old episode of the show QI the other day, and i heard that earth has a second moon that only appears every few hundred years, is this information correct? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Vanhalenrulesforever (talkcontribs) 18:00, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

No. Deuar 13:37, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
You're referring to Cruithne ~Kaimbridge~19:34, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Time's "planet of the year?"

This article is protected (argh!), but there appears to be some vandalism on it:

{{start box}} {{succession box| title=[[Person of the Year|Time's Planet of the Year (Endangered Earth)]]| before=[[Mikhail Gorbachev]]| after=Mikhail Gorbachev| years=1988| }} {{end box}}

really ought not to be at the bottom of the page as it's quite silly.

It isn't vandalism, it actually was designated as such by the magazine. Thanks for checking, however - it is appreciated. --Ckatzchatspy 06:46, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Yes the information in the infobox is correct, albeit silly. As to whether it belongs on this page, well... personally I certainly wouldn't object if there was a consensus to remove it. — RJH (talk) 18:45, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedian Timeians probably want a complete chain of Time People navboxes. This is way at the bottom with other navboxes, and that seems appropriate for several reasons. (SEWilco 19:14, 29 October 2007 (UTC))
Sigh. I consider it trivia, but whatever. — RJH (talk) 17:38, 18 November 2007 (UTC)


Out of curiosity, how many people have blanked the article and written "Harmless" or "Mostly harmless" in its place?--Tomoko4004 01:36, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

It seems to happen about once a week or so. The bots appear to do a decent job of flushing that type of vandalism. — RJH (talk) 16:00, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. ^^;--Tomoko4004 (talk) 18:10, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Removal of red giant image

Sun Red Giant.jpg

Apparently a couple of editors have taken offense to this image and have tried on a few occasions to have it removed. I don't have any particular preference in this regard, but I would like to know what the consensus is before it gets permanently removed. So what do you think: keep it or lose it? Thanks. — RJH (talk) 16:56, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Not factual: it's an interpretation by the contributor and, as far as I can see, original research. Supporting deletion. --Old Moonraker (talk) 17:01, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Regardless, I think we need some type of image in there to contrast the current Sun with its red giant stage. The following may do the job:

Sun Life.png

What does everybody think? — RJH (talk) 18:31, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

I see it as an artist's interpretation which, assuming it is factually correct, doesn't offer much information and can send the wrong message. The image of a star's life-cycle presents the same information and more, while maintaining a NPOV. Supporting deletion and replacement. --Lambyte (talk) 01:40, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

As there have been no objections after a week of discussion, I believe the consensus is to remove the artwork. Thank you. — RJH (talk) 16:07, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Indef semi protection

This article has been indef semi-protected per my request at Wikipedia:Requests for page protection. It has previously been protected (non-indef) many times before. If anyone feels that the article needs to be unprotected in the future please feel free to post on this talk page or over at RfPP. My rational for this protect was/will always be heavy IP vandalism, as this article is very high profile. Hope this gives everyone who watches this article a break. Cheers —Cronholm144 18:24, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Second Moon

The page states there is only one Moon, the Moon, for Earth. However, there is the second moon Curithne TTRP (talk) 19:09, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Actually, the Moon section specifically mentions Cruithne and another as co-orbital satellites: "Earth has at least two co-orbital satellites, the asteroids 3753 Cruithne and 2002 AA29." (with reference: Whitehouse, David (October 21, 2002). "Earth's little brother found". BBC News. Retrieved 2007-03-31.  Check date values in: |date= (help)) Nihiltres{t.l} 19:35, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Please Help Me Edit this Page

I have new content but I am not able to add it to this page as I am a new member. Will you please add it for me? Here it is... The word Earth comes to the English language from the Norse goddess known as Hertha or Nerthus. Roman consul and historian, Tacitus, wrote an account in the year 98, of a north German deity variously named Ertha, Hertha, Nerthus, or Mother Earth. The name also appears in the Viking sagas, written down about a thousand years after Tacitus (about the year 1190). The German name Bertha may owe its origin to this goddess of myth and fertility. Historically, we named planets after Roman or Greek gods. But the Earth is the only planet named from Norse mythology, Hertha, the goddess who ruled the very stuff the planet is made of. Hertha also was goddess of the home, and the legend goes that as smoke rose up from the fireplace it was said to be her spirit, thus the word hearth. In old Teutonic languages, the word hearth means "the ground beneath your feet." Hearth shares a common root in Old English with the word heart.

Eric Kasum Scubeesnax (talk) 15:15, 3 March 2008 (UTC) PS - This is much more accurate than the current info. I also to not yet know how to quote references, but just do a search on for "hertha" "Norse" "Saga" or "Tacitus" "Hertha"

Eric, the etymology of the word "Earth" in the Earth#Etymology section is sourced. It looks similar to your material, but it is not the same. You will need solid, scholarly references for your input. Otherwise it will not meet the necessary requirements. Random web links drawn from google will not necessarily serve. Thanks.—RJH (talk) 15:46, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

THE VERY WORD ERTHA comes from Lithuanian language and means the soil ('dirva'=a soil, 'arta'=to plough, and 'plugas'=a plough comes from 'plaukt'=to swim) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:12, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Can you prove that with a reference?—RJH (talk) 15:03, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Serious Problem?

The Earth rotates 366.26 times but this equals 365.26 days? Can anyone explain? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 6 December 2007 15:56

  • Confused? I was: follow the link at the end of the sentence for the explanation. --Old Moonraker (talk) 16:06, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
  • This is the result of the observers (us) compensating for the position of the Sun each day, relative to the background stars, as the Earth moves along its orbital path. (The sidereal day; the time needed to turn until it faces toward the same set of stars, is actually 23h, 56m, 4s in length, rather than 24 hours. The difference, 3m, 56s, is ~1/366th of a day.) At the end of a year these little compensations add up to 360°, or the equivalent of a day's rotation.—RJH (talk) 20:16, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
  • To rephrase what RJHall has said, the "366.26" is how many times the Earth rotates with respect to the Stars, but since we move around the sun one time in that year, we only experience 365.26 sunrises or days. To understand that "Subtract one" idea, imagine an observer standing on the moon looking at the earth. They would never see the earth rise or set as the moon revolved around it. They would experience zero "Days", if counting a Day as an Earth rise and set. Yet to achieve this feat the Moon needs to rotate exactly once with each trip around the earth. (talk) 06:05, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Water Vapor is listed as trace that varies with climate. As per this [28] article it ought to be 1% that varies with climate, as water vapor is the most abundant greenhouse gas.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
    • Fixed.—RJH (talk) 21:54, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Indef semi protection

This article has been indef semi-protected per my request at Wikipedia:Requests for page protection. It has previously been protected (non-indef) many times before. If anyone feels that the article needs to be unprotected in the future please feel free to post on this talk page or over at RfPP. My rational for this protect was/will always be heavy IP vandalism, as this article is very high profile. Hope this gives everyone who watches this article a break. Cheers —Cronholm144 18:24, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

I have unprotected the page, while retaining move protection. Superm401 - Talk 18:59, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
Okay, it's time to re-activate my indefinite revert practice.—RJH (talk) 20:01, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
Once again the vandalism is back to pre-protection levels, so I'm re-re-re-requesting semi-protection.—RJH (talk) 22:46, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Second Moon

The page states there is only one Moon, the Moon, for Earth. However, there is the second moon Curithne TTRP (talk) 19:09, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Actually, the Moon section specifically mentions Cruithne and another as co-orbital satellites: "Earth has at least two co-orbital satellites, the asteroids 3753 Cruithne and 2002 AA29." (with reference: Whitehouse, David (October 21, 2002). "Earth's little brother found". BBC News. Retrieved 2007-03-31.  Check date values in: |date= (help)) Nihiltres{t.l} 19:35, 16 December 2007 (UTC)


I went went round the Earth recently. It's a nice place for a holiday but I wouldn't want to live there. —Preceding unsigned comment added by SmokeyTheCat (talkcontribs) 14:25, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

I don't see how exactly Wikipedia of all places has an article on earth without once mentioning the phrase "Mostly Harmless"! --Xshare (talk) 07:35, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Please read Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines. Thank you.—RJH (talk) 16:34, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
If you look further in the archives and history you'll find "Mostly Harmless" is an old tired joke which is not relevant to the topic at hand. For that matter, you probably have better use of your time than to look in same archives and history. There's probably something notable near you waiting to be documented. -- SEWilco (talk) 16:46, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes, yes, it is an old and tired joke. It is probably the best-known old, tired joke about the planet and would take up about two lines of your precious, precious space. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:32, 28 December 2007 (UTC)


"Home to millions of species including humans, Earth is the only place in the universe where life is known to exist."

Surely it's merely the only place in the universe where humans know life exists? Or am I just being silly and pedantic? Martin (talk) 03:23, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree... it sounds rather weird to say "the only place in the universe where life is known to exist".Saimdusan 07:46, 1 January 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Saimdusan (talkcontribs)

That sentence has been discussed and re-worked several times. The current form is something of an imperfect consensus. I (and others) think the point is important enough to be worth mentioning in the lead, even though it is a bit pedantic.—RJH (talk) 17:09, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

I disagree... I also don't understand why it is so hard to... understand... what the sentence is saying. Only place in the universe where life is KNOWN to exist. I put the emphasis on the KNOWN for effect. Of course you could say "well, the aliens KNOW they exist, therefore humans are the ones who don't know therefore the sentence is wrong" which would be a bit on the stupid side. This is an english encyclopedia about the knowledge of HUMANS on earth. If you want to get into the topic of what aliens know about themselves it's probably time to start your own wiki. In summary you ARE being silly and pedantic. It's like the schrodengers (I know I spelt it wrong, meh) cat. We say it exists AND doesn't exist because WE don't know... But surely the cat knows? But of course the point is moot - the cat is just a cat, and if we don't know then it doesn't count so much. Which I always thought was stupid but there you have it. --Healyhatman (talk) 02:38, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Well bacterial life has likely been carried outside the Earth's atmosphere to Mars and elsewhere,[29][30][31] so it is not literally true. Hence the ongoing debate, and why I had favored using "originated" rather than "exist".—RJH (talk) 22:33, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Same units for both Sidereal rotation period values?

I find that the expression of the Sidereal rotation period values is a bit confusing because they are quite different values, with roughly 1 second offset between them. Since the units are also different, the reader may wrongly assume they're numerically equivalent despite the the footnote link for the second one. I can't tell which one is more realiable but it would be more clear if both values were expressed in the same units.

Peace for everyone on Earth. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:35, 29 December 2007 (UTC)


in this article it states that earth was formed 4.54 billion years ago and it states it as scientific fact but this has not been proved i think it should be changed to say that it is an oppinion and then should state the other oppinions about the forming of the earth like creationism and evolution and so on it shouldn't be a whole thing of creationism vs. evolution because that would belong in a seperate article it just shouldn't pass the big bang theory off as reasoned fact Charlieh7337 (talk) 06:17, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

This has been brought up many times before, if you're interested check the talk archives. The information in the article isn't merely one person's opinion... it's accepted scientific consensus. There are other articles about non-scientific (and fringe scientific) theories on the origins of the Earth. --Patteroast (talk) 07:02, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
"Scientific evidence indicates" is not stating that it is "scientific fact". In fact, it can never be anything but an approximate estimate—but a pretty good one at ±1% error. As has been discussed (and trolled) here on multiple occasions before, this is a scientific article on the Earth, so presenting the scientific data on the age is appropriate. Young Earth creationism, for example, presents an alternate perspective from one of the world's many religions. The "Cultural viewpoint" section has a link to creation myth for other alternatives. Thank you.—RJH (talk) 17:17, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Ha! I came here and I was worried when I saw all the changes that there wouldn't be some nutjob (sorry) banging on about Young Earth Creationisms "theories" and how this page is an evil atheist conspiracy to lie to the children. Okay the comment isn't that bad above but still here goes... This is an encyclopedia. As in knowledge and whatnot. SCIENTIFIC knowledge, which is the kind that can be tested, verified, falsified and whatnot, is the kind we should be dealing with. You say that creationism should get its day in the page - you're wrong. Creationism has its own section dealing with what they "think" happened. If you wanted to apply Christian dogmatic and religious views on the formation of the earth to this page you would have an instant horde of thousands upon thousands of religions clamouring for their beliefs to be added as well. The point is none of it matters - they have their own section where they have their myths detailed, it doesn't need to appear on the main page of our planet.

Also, you say "should state the other opinions about the forming of the earth like creationism and evolution". I'm not sure if you know what evolution is, maybe you should hit up the evolution page? Evolution is NOT (repeat NOT) a theory concerning the formation of the Earth. It's the theory of the origin of species and as such is independant of the planet or other environment on which it is applied. So putting the "evolution" point of view of the creation of the earth on this page is useless because evolution doesn't HAVE a point of view on the topic, save that 6000 years is nowhere near enough time for the species to have evolved to their current states.--Healyhatman (talk) 02:45, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

I have to agree with the previous comment, that SCIENTIFIC knowledge is that which can be "tested, verified, falsified and whatnot". Unfortunately, the theory that the Earth came into being some billions of years ago can NOT be "tested, verified" with any real accuracy, while they can be "falsified and whatnot". The "Scientific Consensus" mentioned earlier in this article in no way constitutes acceptable experimental proof that the Earth is billions of years old. As one Creationist put it, the phrase "billions of years ago" means essentially the same as "once upon a time...". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:30, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

"This article is about..." proposal

I'd like to propose changing the wording of the "This article is about..." lead sentence to the following:

This article is about the scientific understanding of the Earth as a planet. For the Earth's geography, see World. For other uses, see Earth (disambiguation).

This would have the benefit of making the purpose of the article clearer, so that it will not be confused with a particular cultural or religious bias (as seems to happen here). Does this make sense?—RJH (talk) 17:35, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Not a good idea. This weaseling out is unnecessary. If we go this way it would apply to many other articles as well. It should be self evident that an article is based on verifiable evidence, unless otherwise specified. −Woodstone (talk) 20:18, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
While I am a student of science and appreciate that viewpoint, this article should only focus on the scientific understanding of Earth as a planet to the extent that it allows scientific insight about the earth where it is appropriate - a scientific viewpoint that excludes or minimizes cultural or geographical details would be an incomplete article to the extent that Earth is not merely a mostly harmless hunk of rock. Nihiltres{t.l} 07:18, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
Geography forms part of the Social Sciences, so that is covered. Certainly cultural studies are an important part of Anthropology. So I'm not seeing anything in the current article that would need exclusion.—RJH (talk) 15:59, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
My point is rather that having the article [[Earth]] have a particular scientific focus doesn't quite seem NPOV. The article is most definitely about the planet, but Earth is a special case as a planet. This should be a general article about Earth, and although I respect that it's difficult to protect against "mostly harmless" pranks and Young Earth creationist POV-pushers without specially highlighting the scientific basis for most of the information in the article, I sincerely think that we should not change that initial sentence. That's it. :) Nihiltres{t.l} 21:54, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
Well... so the viewpoint here has been that presenting scientific information on the Earth is neutral. But apparently saying that the article is science-based is not neutral. LOL. Thanks.—RJH (talk) 15:50, 10 January 2008 (UTC)


The following addition has been inserted at the top:

"土" redirects here. For the classic element, see Earth (classical element).

I'm not sure this is really necessary. Earth (classical element) is already linked from Earth (disambiguation), so that part is redundant. Should the Han character "土" simply be redirected to Earth (classical element)?—RJH (talk) 17:14, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

I have removed it, because it is redundant and does not link back to the 土 article. Anyway, since this is an English encyclopedia, the article should be deleted. −Woodstone (talk) 17:48, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Scientific evidence

"Scientific evidence suggests that the earth is around 4.54billion years old" What evidence? It would be nice to have this in the article. Thanks George bennett —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:40, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

It's in the four references cited. Cheers Geologyguy (talk) 20:54, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Link suggestion

A while ago I wrote a 3D Earth program to show the day and night view of the Earth with animated latest 24 hours global cloud. It shows mountain shadows and 3D clouds to provide a better 3D effect. The day/night shading shows three different shadings, daylight, twilight and night so you can see clearly which part of the Earth is currently at sunset, sunrise etc... Different satellite views of the Earth are used for each month. The date/time can be changed to see the view of the Earth at different times. The country under the cursor is highlighted to show associated states and islands. Sunrise/sunset and first/last light times (and magnetic variation) are calculated for the cursor position. I'm currently adding location based timezone information so you can see local time at any place under your cursor.

I think this program shows a very nice view of the Earth, as it would be seen from outer space, while providing useful interactive features.

The program if free to use. It is written in Java (1.5+) so it can run on most platforms but it does require a 3D graphics card. It runs as an unsigned applet in a web page (even on iGoogle) as well as a desktop application.

You are free to link to it. I don't think it is appropriate to add the link myself, someone else should evaluate and decide whether the link should be added.


Regards, Sapphireman (talk) 02:56, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

How common are the names Terra and Gaia in English?

As far as I'm aware, Gaia has only become a synonym for Earth since Lovelock's Gaia hypothesis became popular in 1979, and that only really applies to the planet Earth in a very specific context. "Terra" is the name of the Earth in Latin, and obviously use of Latin in scientific writing post-dates the realization that Earth is a planet, but I've never heard it in common use outside certain science fiction contexts. Using "Terra" in English might be a bit misleading because "Terra" is the name of Earth in several Romance languages. Serendipodous 16:18, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Serendipodous. If this is in reference to the sentence in the lead, I might suggest the following: It is also referred to as the Earth, Planet Earth, and "the World", and in some contexts, Gaia and Terra[5]. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Geologyguy (talkcontribs) 16:29, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, that's what I meant; I should have been more specific. Serendipodous 19:28, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree. The suggested rewrite by Geologyguy makes sense.—RJH (talk) 18:37, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
I suppose I can call that a consensus. Serendipodous 19:46, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
Well somebody can always squawk if they consider it a problem and we can go from there. =) —RJH (talk) 18:42, 30 January 2008 (UTC)


While the sphere is beautiful no matter how you view it, does anyone prefer Image:Earth Eastern Hemisphere.jpg to the one we have now? It's centered on India, and it seems to more richly emphasize the blue. Our current (Image:The Earth seen from Apollo 17.jpg) seems to emphasize the white. I genuinely prefer the former. Marskell (talk) 20:37, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Agree. I prefer Image:Earth Eastern Hemisphere.jpg. (talk) 08:26, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes that's a nice image. It's a coin toss really; both are excellent images. The Apollo 17 image has a certain historical interest. But I suppose this is somewhat redundant with the image in the "Cultural viewpoint" section. So sure, I'll support the change.—RJH (talk) 20:21, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Ellliptical Orbit

Sun is on one of the focus of Earth's elliptical orbit. Is this mentioned in the article (i cannot find it, though I saw that Earth is at a barycenter of Moon's orbit) (talk) 08:33, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

It's mentioned on the elliptic orbit page. I'm not sure it's necessary to state this on every page about an orbiting body.—RJH (talk) 20:16, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
Article says, "Earth orbits the Sun at an average distance of about 150 million kilometers (93.2 million miles) every 365.2564 mean solar..." What is the minimum and maximum distance and what is the effect of this change in distance on the weather. I think adding this information will be useful. Ahirwav (talk) 05:48, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
The min/max distances are mentioned in the infobox as perihelion and aphelion. For the effect on wheather see some mention in season. −Woodstone (talk) 14:24, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
Thanks!Ahirwav (talk) 05:10, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Life enabling ozone?

Article says, " the formation of the ozone layer which, together with Earth's magnetic field, blocks harmful radiation, permitting life on land." What is the proof that ozone is necessary for life or life cannot sustain in presence of "harmful" radiation. Why wouldn't Life have sustained and evolved even in the absense of ozone or even oxygen. This statement should be removed or proper reference should be attributed. (talk) 12:22, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps it should say ", as we understand it, on land"? But I think the point is important, so I added a reference.—RJH (talk) 20:02, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

spam link?

I think the next link is spam:

    • Yes I think that could be considered spam, although I've seen more egregious offenders. ;-) Perhaps the NASA Visible Earth site would be more acceptible as a gallery-style link? Thanks.—RJH (talk) 15:35, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

what are the names given to the bumps and hollows of the earths surface—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Do you mean topology? Or perhaps geomorphology?—RJH (talk) 22:11, 12 February 2008 (UTC)


/ˈɜrθ/ and not /əːθ/ or /ɚːθ/? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:23, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

I just looked it up on, and they list "urth" as the spelled pronunciation (which seems to correspond to /ɚːθ/ and is how I pronounce it), but when you click to the IPA pronunciation, it lists /ɜrθ/. That's weird. (talk) 09:18, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
From what I've seen, the pronunciation entries on wikipedia, such as the one in the lead paragraph of this article, seem to flop around quite a bit and the symbolism employed is very unhelpful (at least to me). These pronunciation entries should be required to have both a reference for their source and a link to an explanatory page for the symbolism. (Most of them do include the latter.) The entry should still be subject to the same rigorous requirements as the remainder of this FA article.—RJH (talk) 16:25, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

See for example you may have to click the small "IPA" button to see it. −Woodstone (talk) 20:04, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

The pseudo-IPA used in the first entry on (presumably Unabridged (v1.1), a dictionary that numbers itself in versions and not editions?) seems to be ambiguous or has a pre-Unicode concession for browsers that don't display "ɚ". If you look up "earth" on, the first entry in IPA shows /ɜrθ/. If you look up "err" on the same, it shows /ɜr, ɛr/. "Earn" and "urn" are both /ɜrn/. It's fairly easy to deduce that Unabridged (v1.1) uses "/ɜr/" for what should really be /ɚː/. I think it's also reasonable to deduce that the source for saying earth is pronounced /ˈɜrθ/ must be a direct copy-and-paste from (talk) 00:33, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes, many of those pronunciation symbols are unreadable on my computer: I see them only as small rectangles. Hence it doesn't seem very helpful if I'm looking for the correct way to pronounce the word.—RJH (talk) 18:36, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
I added IPA templates to the symbols above. That makes them readable in most cases. The edit using "th" at the end (separate t + h) is definitely not IPA, so should not be used with this template. As you can see from another user, "" has the same transcription as WP. I think it's not useful to enter a reference for every tiny detail in an article and will remove the call for one. −Woodstone (talk) 19:20, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
Thank you. Yes I agree that "it's not useful to enter a reference for every tiny detail in an article". But I do not agree that the pronunciation doesn't need a reference. I see them flop around too much to put much reliance on faith that the editors got it right or that they didn't corrupt it. The notation of pronunciation doesn't belong in the category of "common sense knowledge" for 99% of the population.—RJH (talk) 19:18, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

For that reason a small group of editors with experience in IPA has setup the page help:pronunciation. As is clearly stated there it is on purpose a rather broad phonemic transcription ignoring minor differences between the various English dialects. It is based on the most common ways used in practice. The page Wikipedia:Manual of Style (pronunciation) referenced from WP:MOS states as guideline to use that transcription. It is a way to obtain reasonable consistency in the use of IPA for English in WP. Especially it uses /r/ after a vowel, even though in US it rhotacizes the vowel, and UK only lenghtens it. If you insist on a reference, you can use Said help page is especially for English. There is the page help:IPA for international use. −Woodstone (talk) 19:33, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Then it could suffice if that help:pronunciation page included the set of standard references that are used to derive the punctuation presented in WP (and if that help page is linked from the templates). That should satisfy both our interests.—RJH (talk) 19:56, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
The help file is already linked from template:IPAEng and template:pronEng (the latter was in the article lead). There is currently no reference in the help file. As a start the can be used, which is very close to the one used in WP. −Woodstone (talk) 20:27, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes I saw that.—RJH (talk) 20:49, 15 February 2008 (UTC)


Someone just deleted Blindlynx's addition of the information that Earth has about 3000 useful artificial satellites orbiting it, and about 6000 pieces of space junk. I agree that the infobox was not the appropriate place for the fact, but I think it belongs somewhere in the article. I also think that somewhere in the article (perhaps under Earth#Surface, Earth#Modern perspective, or Earth#Exploration and mapping), the point should be made that satellites provide lots of information about conditions on the planet's surface, its gravitational field, etc. Rracecarr (talk) 01:17, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

The end of the "Moon" section seems like it would be a good place for that type of information. The numbers need an update though: in 2008 there were over 12,000 monitored objects in orbit.[33] I agree about your second point as well.—RJH (talk) 20:24, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Plate Tectonics

The section on tectonic plates states that the aesthenosphere is the inner mantle and the lithosphere is the outermost mantle. Surely there should be some modifier explaining that both asthenosphere and lithosphere are characteristic of the upper mantle. The lower mantle is completely different. As a side note, semi-fluid or plastic seems more appropriate for describing the texture of the asthenosphere than viscous liquid. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:38, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for the suggested corrections. They have been applied to the article.—RJH (talk) 20:16, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Earthrise Picture

Hi, I would like to suggest replacing the B&W picture (option 1) with a coloured one (option 2. Also, the angle from where the picture was taken is wrong, if you check the original photo from NASA, you will notice that the spaceship was moving towards the left side of the Moon.

Original photo:

Therefore, I propose to vote for one of the pictures bellow:

Can anyone explain why Earth looks so small from Moon? Even smaller than Moon from Earth. Is it a fake or deliberately done to confuse people? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:21, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Current photo:

The first photograph ever taken of an "Earthrise," on Apollo 8.
Option 1

Proposed photo:

File:Earthrise Original.jpg
The first photograph ever taken of an "Earthrise," on Apollo 8.
Option 2 * Symbol support vote.svg Support - --Mhsb (talk) 04:43, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Cheers, --Mhsb (talk) 02:56, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

  • The two images don't match, so that would make the caption false.—RJH (talk) 23:32, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
  • If the first photo was taken with black and white film, that is the first photo. The first photo taken with color film is apparently not the first photo. I think the first view of Earth from that perspective is more historically significant than what kind of film was used to capture it. -- SEWilco (talk) 20:28, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
    • Alternatively, the caption could be modified slightly so that it is correct. The first "Earthrise" ever to be photographed, on Apollo 8.RJH (talk) 21:39, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
I wonder if "Earth rise" is an appropriate term for the Earth becoming visible from behind the Moon seen from an orbiting satellite. You realise of course that for an observer standing on the Moon, there would never be an Earth rise. So I find these descriptions misleading. −Woodstone (talk) 21:58, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Needs a citation

The following entry lacks a citation:

Because the deuterium/protium ratio of water in Outer Asteroid Belt asteroids compares favorably with oceanic water, it is thought much of the extraterestrial water on earth comes from them and not comets whose ratio does not correspond as well.

It was inserted in the lead, but belongs in the body.—RJH (talk) 23:30, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Only planet with known life

This phrase is highly subjective and should be removed.DvH. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:51, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

A statement of this type needs to be included as this is a vital distinguishing characteristic of the planet.—RJH (talk) 22:06, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

This should be changed, now. The planet is the only known planet with life known to /humans/. If there is life on another planet somewhere, they would certainly know it. I would change it but for some reason it's locked. (talk) 06:00, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

This has been discussed to death already. You can not scientifically demonstrate that life exists elsewhere. Therefore, to modify the phrase in such a manner would be inserting an unproven conjecture; that life does exist elsewhere that can observe itself. Hence I think it's quite satisfactory as it stands.—RJH (talk) 15:03, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
Nevertheless it is a silly statement. It sounds like there is some positive knowledge. If people insist on keeping this in, it would be better formulated as: "It is not known if there are any other planets that harbour life". −Woodstone (talk) 18:16, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
There are other possible locations where life may exist, so your statement wouldn't be complete.—RJH (talk) 18:28, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't follow your objection. The statement is about planets and life on them, not about life and the place where it is. You can object the same way against the current wording. −Woodstone (talk) 19:28, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
The current statement is about life everywhere the universe. Your statement, while technically true, is less inclusive. Life may form under other conditions, potentially including comets and the interior of dwarf planets. But if we have to spell out all of these conditions, including the fact that other hypothetical aliens may exist and know more than we, it will take a full paragraph or more. I think the current statement, while somewhat trivial, is also succinct and covers an important aspect of the planet Earth.—RJH (talk) 22:04, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
You still miss my point. The current formulation suggests positive knowledge, whereas in reality there is no knowledge. It would be better to state nothing at all or after the statemnet that there is life on Earth, to add that "... it is not known if there is life in other place than Earth". −Woodstone (talk) 22:26, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
Your proposed statement, is not known if there is life in other place than Earth could be critized because if there is intelligent life elsewhere, than it is known.
As SEWilco said, we write what humans know. It's understood that known in Wikipedia means known by humans. The sentence does not suggest anything else, and needs no revision. Saros136 (talk) 05:15, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
It has been discussed in several places that we write what humans know, we don't write for unknown non-terrestrial life forms. They are welcome to do their own editing. -- SEWilco (talk) 20:20, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

(Left adjusting) Perhaps I am missing your point. Here is the current wording and your proposed statement, slightly re-written for flow:

  • Earth is the only place in the universe where life is known to exist.
  • It is not known if there is life in places other than Earth.

They seem to be logically identical, assuming that by "other places" you mean the "universe".—RJH (talk) 14:51, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

If you write it is home to "humans", which is a neutral standpoint and is how I agree the article should be written then I believe you need to specify that "humans" are the ones that are not aware of life as we know it anywhere else. You speak of aliens knowing of life elsewhere and knowing of themselves, but what about animals on our planet? Are they to be expected to edit the article? The wording in that sentence assumes we are the only species capable of that type of knowledge and that is not neutral, whether or not I agree with that standpoint. Adding in "to whom" is an easy way to restore neutrality. On the other hand if the articles on wikipedia are to be written from the human point of view then please change "humans" to "us". Nicht Nein! (talk) 14:55, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
Sorry but I am not even slightly persuaded by your "arguments". Kindly point out a non-human animal who has read and understood this article.—RJH (talk)
There are biases I'm worried about and biases I'm not worried about. We all know that this is an encyclopedia written and read by humans on Earth. I think that wasting space and our readers' time in the intro of the Earth article (or even on the talk page) to account for this particular bias doesn't help anything. Ashill (talk) 15:17, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
Exactly, so you are pushing your point of view, which is also a conflict of interest. Two words that amount to less then six letters are not wasting anyones space or taking up much time at all, not having them brings that sentence out of neutrality. You have made it clear you want done what "you think" and have backed that up with some empty reasons. Wasting time? To read "to whom"? Wasting space? The six letters or seven "spaces" of "to whom", nine spaces to bring it into the sentence? I believe that is ridiculous. Anybody who reads this section of the talk page is interested. Articles are meant to be neutral that is why you write humans instead of us. The sentence in question needs to be changed, I proposed and edited in the best way to restore neutrality with out restructuring the sentence. Nicht Nein! (talk) 20:16, 27 March 2008 (UTC)


  • William Ortiz (talk · contribs) wants to add the name "Teegeeack" to the list of alternative names for Earth on the front paragraph. He says "some religions" use it, which is a bit sneaky considering the only belief system that calls it Teegeeack is, well, Scientology - which some would contest is a religion at all. When Ckatz removed it, he switched it back calling the edit "vandalism". I think that's uncalled for. I reverted it back and created this in hopes of getting a discussion going. JuJube (talk) 10:39, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
    • The edit is just forcing religious bias POV on Wikipedia then with bias against certain religons. There are also offshoots of Scientology, such as Avatar, as well. William Ortiz (talk) 10:47, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
  • I don't agree with this naming convention. If someone were to name Earth by every single existing variation, including different religions, languages, cultures, the whole article would be about the different names for Earth.

--Mhsb (talk) 10:56, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

I've now put in references to it. [34] It may seem that's too many references but people need that many references to make a dent in biases (e.g. biases against certain religions) people have on wikipedia. If you disagree with naming, then you should find as many referneces to Gaia and Terra as I put in for Teegeeack. William Ortiz (talk) 10:58, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Okay, that's just ridiculous. Listing every single page that mentions "Teegeeack" does not constitute references. JuJube (talk) 11:01, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Also, see WP:UNDUE. --NeilN talkcontribs 12:27, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree that this isn't the page for an extensive listing of all possible names for the Earth. But wouldn't the same argument apply to the name "Gaia"? It is based on a relatively obscure philosophy, and I'm not sure the concept of the Earth as a "living planet" is widely accepted in scientific circles.—RJH (talk) 14:40, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
I concur, so I'm deleting Gaia. (In fact, the relevant article, Gaia (mythology), doesn't even claim that Gaia is an English word for Earth.) If someone has a good, cited reason to keep Gaia, I wouldn't object. Ashill (talk) 00:22, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
Terra does mean Earth, according to Wiktionary, so I'll leave it, but I'm removing the wikilink because Terra is a disambiguation page and I see no article about the use of the word Terra in this context. Ashill (talk) 00:22, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Ice Ages.

It says in the last sentence of the intro to this article that Ice ages are caused by Earth's cosmic movements. I had heard that Ice Ages were caused by the changing chemical make-up of the atmosphere. Maybe it's both. Either way, it should mention this, shouldn't it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:29, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Yes, ice ages are believed to be caused by several factors (listed here: Ice_age#Causes_of_ice_ages). But the current sentence shouldn't even be in the lead as it is not covered in more detail within the article body. (The lead should be a summary of the body.) I think it should be changed to just mention that there have been ice ages that covered parts of the planet, without delving into the root causes. The Ice age article covers it in the necessary detail.—RJH (talk) 15:52, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Moving here for archival:

Long term periodic changes in the Earth's orbit, caused by the gravitational influence of other planets, are believed to have given rise to the ice ages that have intermittently covered significant portions of Earth's surface in glacial sheets.

RJH (talk) 15:10, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Changes to the article

I really question myself if it's really necessary to make significant changes to the article. The Earth article is already a featured article, do we need to make significant changes to it? --Mhsb (talk) 23:31, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

I think that further development should probably occur on the various "main article" sub-pages. The culture section could probably be expanded as a separate page.—RJH (talk) 17:04, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

co-orbitals are satellites?

The article says, correctly, that we have just one satellite, but then says that we have co-orbital satellites. Confusing. Saros136 (talk) 06:57, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps the text should say "one stable satellite"?—RJH (talk) 15:05, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
As far as I can remember, co-orbital satellites of Earth aren't true satellites of Earth but rather satellites of the Sun - they just happen to roughly approximate the Earth's orbit around the Sun for a while. PhySusie (talk) 15:27, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

This page is too large to be dial-up friendly

My browser loaded nearly 300 kilobytes of data (without images) for this page – an annoyance when using a dial-up connection.

Lots of interesting stuff, but the scope of the page seems excessive – more like a book than an article.

I suggest breaking it into multiple pages. I was looking for a quick reference for the size and weight of the earth. A 300 kb download wasn't a quick reference. I don't know why the history page says that the page size is less than 100 kb.

The page size seems excessive for a worldwide audience – everyone doesn't have a broadband connection. -Ac44ck (talk) 06:04, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

I copied it into Word, and found it's about 6,900 words (not counting references, tables, or captions), not too long for such a rich subject. The subject already is broken down, to a great degree. Each section leads to a speparate article, and many of the links go to articles just on the Earth subjects. Saros136 (talk) 11:14, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
And it didn't make the top 1,000 longest pages list, even though is is meatier than most of those by far. Saros136 (talk) 11:25, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
I saved the page to disk: 279 kilobytes.
How popular are the pages in the top 1,000 longest pages? It seems like a waste of Wikipedia's bandwidth to serve up 300 kb of data (plus pictures) when someone is looking for an answer that needs only 50 kb of data – and to repeat that excess countless times per month.
Agreed, it is a rich subject. And popular for many different reasons – but not popular for _all_ those reasons at the same time. Someone who is looking for the mass of the earth probably isn't caring (at the moment) about all the speculation (and it _is_ speculation) about how and when the earth formed or what might happen to it in the future (which no one now living will see). Who lives here, what the weather is like, ad nauseam, are all interesting topics – when I am looking for them.
An article with 126 references is screaming, "excessive scope."
Having this article on a watch list has to be an exercise in frustration. If my main area of interest is the "Cultural viewpoint" section, all the controversy in the "Future" section is going to be noise as far as I am concerned.
That separate articles exist on these topics elsewhere is all the more reason to make this page a launching point rather than an all-inclusive tome. Why duplicate the effort to maintain detailed discussions in separate articles? -Ac44ck (talk) 18:56, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
I concur that the article is written in a fairly terse summary style; I don't really see what could be trimmed without weakening the article substantially. This is a scientific encyclopedia article about the Earth, not a quick reference for the Earth's statistics. If you want quick reference for the mass of the Earth, I would suggest Googling "Earth mass"! ASHill (talk) 20:41, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
I submit that this opinion is influenced by the type of connection used to access the page. I suppose that broadband connections are the norm at UW–Madison. I note that this user has made five edits to this article in as many days. I suspect that the level of participation would be lower if each edit involved multiple downloads of a 270+ kb file via a dial-up connection.
Weakened for what purpose? The focus of this article seems pretty scattered to me. I submit that the associated, single-topic articles are weakened by this article's attempts to be all things to all people.
Disambiguation pages exist for good reason. This is an encyclopedia, but it is not a book. Having huge articles in a book can be useful in that it prevents a need to grab another volume from a shelf. Wikipedia has hyperlinks – clicking a link may be much more convenient than scrolling around in a huge page.
There is a point of diminishing returns in trying to cover a subject in one Wikipedia article. I submit that the existence of 126 footnotes in this article demonstrates that it is well past the point of diminishing returns.
Knowledgeable editors are likely to focus on one article to the exclusion of others. Contributions made on topics here probably aren't repeated where they are of specific interest in a more focused article. The overall quality of Wikipedia is diminished by the duplication and diffusion of effort that is represented by the level of detail in this article's wide range of topics.
I'll just have to be more careful in the future before clicking on a Wikepedia link that turns up in a search. If Google says that it is big as this article, some other destination will probably be my first choice. Driving users away with massive amounts of text unrelated to a search doesn't seem like good marketing to me. -Ac44ck (talk) 03:40, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
In answer to your question about the popularity of the 1,000 longest articles... #311 on the list is the sixth most visited page and second most visited article on Wikipedia right now.[35] --Bobblehead (rants) 04:01, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. I wasn't aware that this existed. -Ac44ck (talk) 23:11, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree that it is a problem that the same content is duplicated on umpteen articles. (I was driven to edit this page because the same particular fact about the Earth was recently added to numerous articles in a way that isn't fully consistent with the body of work out there, so I was correcting it all over the place—a good example of the problem you're talking about.)
However, I'm not sure the solution to that problem is to break this page into subpages. In fact, being realistic, I suspect that exactly the opposite approach would be most effective at minimizing duplication of effort: if we merge all the subpages into this article, there will be only one article to edit and it will be easier to edit duplication away. (I'm not advocating that policy, though!)
I submit that if a Google search for "Earth mass" leads you to this page, Google isn't leading you well, and I don't think that's Wikipedia's fault. However, at least for me, a Google search for Earth mass says, in a giant, bold-faced font at the top of the search results page: "1 earth mass = 5.9742 × 1024 kilograms." What more do you want?
I do have a fast internet connection, but I'll defer to SqueakBox on that point.
Anyway, I see no evidence of a consensus to shorten this page. ASHill (talk) 04:10, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Most of the size comes from the images. Right now this page is written summary style; it's a huge topic and a lot of the material has already been trimmed down to the bare minimum. So no I don't agree that the page should be cut down even further. Possibly wikipedia should have an image-free option for dial-up.—RJH (talk) 19:14, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
The copy of the page that I saved to disk did not include any images: 279 kilobytes in one file using Opera 8.54 with images and CSS turned off. Downloading a haystack via a dial-up connection to find a needle is annoying. - Ac44ck (talk) 19:38, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
With all due respect, then don't go to a haystack when you want the needle. If you put mass of earth or radius of earth into Google you would have gotten that information much faster than looking at a general purpose encyclopedia article on the Earth. It should be obvious that an encyclopedia article will cover a lot more ground than just the physical characteristics. Your complaint is that this article is not a "quick reference" for the physical characteristics. My question is why were you ever expecting it to be? Perhaps it should be pared down, but it is never going to efficient at the task your were performing. Dragons flight (talk) 20:45, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
Point taken. That said, this article is the second of 12,000,000 hits in the suggested Google search: mass of earth – making it a likely destination even when searching for that specific information. It also gives the page size as 276k. Had I noticed the page size (instead of going for the familiar by clicking a Wikipedia link) in whatever search I did at the time, I probably would have gone elsewhere. – Ac44ck (talk) 21:43, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
As someone with a third world 64kb connection at home I would say we should not be reducing article sizes because some people have a slow connection. The problem, as always in these cases, is the images not the text. It took about a minute to load for me, which is fine, and we have sections for easy editing, if there is an issue it is with people's slow connections and really that problem is disappearing and in the meantime of you only have dial-up expect all kinds of problems. I strongly oppose splitting the article into multiple aub-articles, this is simply nott he way we want to be going as an encyclopedia esp when a few years down the line dial-up won't exist and in the meantime if you can only pay for dial-up expect a lousy internet service and don't bl;ame wikipedia. Thanks, SqueakBox 03:48, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

The bandwidth usage of this page seems to be in the tens of gigabytes per month, which is the same order of magnitude as other pages of similar popularity.

The page rank for February was 156 in the list here: [36]. I made a table including the five pages above and below this article in that list. The page size data is from late March, so the tablulated values probably differ somewhat from the actual bandwidth numbers for each page. The local rank in this table was determined by sorting the bandwidth values.

Bandwidth consumption per page Most viewed articles in February
Month Page rank re: views Page views Size per Google, kb Bandwidth for month, kb Local rank re: bandwidth Article
151 343986 123 42310278 6 Super Bowl
152 342694 123 42151362 7 Anime
153 342455 105 35957775 8 Politics
154 341489 89 30392521 10 Tom Petty
155 340785 325 110755125 1 Peyton Manning
156 340029 276 93848004 3 Earth ***
157 338267 295 99788765 2 Vietnam War
158 337890 90 30410100 9 Family Guy
159 335570 80 26845600 11 Michelle Obama
160 335314 220 73769080 4 American Idol
161 333924 137 45747588 5 List of House episodes

The highest value for bandwidth is only about four times the lowest bandwidth value in this table. Not what I wanted to find as a dial-up user. Peace. -Ac44ck (talk) 18:57, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

I would suggest taking the discussion of dial-up issues to the Village Pump, as your problem seems more general. Perhaps a partial solution can be provided by using image-free pages and HTTP compression.—RJH (talk) 19:52, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Done. It is here. _Ac44ck (talk) 23:11, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Wikiproject Earth

Hello i have recently proposed the Wikiproject Earth. This Wikiproject`s scope includes this article. This wikiproject will overview the continents, oceans, atsmophere and global warming Please Voice your opinion by clicking anywhere on this comment except for my name. --IwilledituTalk :)Contributions —Preceding comment was added at 15:40, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Mostle harmless

Ne1 think of adding mostly harmless to the article? As a joke ^-^ 13:23, 14 April 2008 (UTC)13:23, 14 April 2008 (UTC)~~

Please do not vandalize articles on Wikipedia. Further vandalization will result in a block from an administrator. Prowikipedians (talk) 13:26, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps the following message box would be appropriate for the top of this talk page?—RJH (talk) 14:58, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Might be worth it... seems every time the last person suggesting it gets archived away, someone else pops up with it. :P Looking at Archive 1, people were suggesting it five years ago. --Patteroast (talk) 15:23, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
Okay, nobody objected so I'll try posting it in the header. Thanks.—RJH (talk) 15:50, 17 April 2008 (UTC)


I removed this addition from the article because (1) it is unsourced; (2) this is a summary-style article about the Earth, not the Moon; (3) the information is too tactical in nature and could be summarized in a single sentence; (4) the Earth article is already quite large, so the content needs to be kept tight. Sorry.

As of 2008, only 12 human beings have walked on the Moon; between 1969 and 1972, during the Apollo program. Another 12 have visited the Moon inasmuch as they have entered lunar orbit. These 24 people are the only humans to have left the Earth's orbit; and thus the only to have ventured into deep space. The first humans to leave Earth orbit and enter deep space were Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders, as NASA astronauts on the Apollo 8 mission. The first human to walk on the Moon was NASA astronaut Neil Armstrong, on July 20, 1969, as commander of Apollo 11; he along with crew member Buzz Aldrin were the first humans to land on the lunar surface. The last human to walk on the Moon (as of 2008) was Eugene Cernan, also a NASA astronaut, as commander of the last human lunar mission to date: Apollo 17.

Do others feel that this should have been included? The "Human geography" section already mentions that 12 people have walked on the Moon.—RJH (talk) 17:06, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

No, it should not be included here (sourced or not). It strays too far from the topic. ASHill (talk) 03:42, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

I do feel something about visits to the Moon should be included. Since the section on the moon is fairly short, then it should only be a sentence or two summarizing the visits to the moon. I believe it leaves the article incomplete if we're going to have a section about the Moon and not even one word about us visiting / landing on it. Cody-7 (talk) 19:23, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

See the last paragraph of the "Human geography" section.—RJH (talk) 15:35, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Hollow Earth

Please add SEE ALSO link to Hollow earth —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:56, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

This is a scientific article; only scientifically credible concepts are relevant. ASHill (talk) 18:32, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

I will not revert again today

This discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

But I believe that this article should if not explicitly mention creationism, at least indirectly mention that there are alternative beliefs regarding earths origin and age. From my sources, I have learned that most scientists believe intellegent design though they do not necessarily conflict this belief with a belief in evolution and a belief in an old earth. If nothing else I will add a POV tag.--Urban Rose 22:58, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

That material is covered in general in the article about creation myths and the specific belief you mention in intelligent design. As such ideas have no serious support in reliable sources dealing with this topic they are inappropriate for this article. Tim Vickers (talk) 23:05, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Basically what you're saying is that any sources that support creationism or a young earth are unreliable simply because of what they support.--Urban Rose 23:09, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
No, I'm saying that no publications in the scientific literature support these ideas. However, have you noticed that the article does cover religious beliefs about the origin of Earth "In many religions, creation myths exist, recalling a story involving the creation of the Earth by a supernatural deity or deities.". Since these ideas are mentioned, does this address your concern? Tim Vickers (talk) 23:11, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't see that a POV tag is necessary, nor is any reference to Creationism. Please feel free to list your "sources" here, but they are entirely incorrect if they make assertions like "...most scientists believe intellegent design...", which is utter nonsense. Doc Tropics 23:18, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Here are some examples of strong scientific evidence that I have that support alternate theories and/or prove that these theorys are more than just "fringe beliefs". Unfortunately I do not have links for these at the moment, and if they are nonsense I would like to know.

1. Most scientists believe in a creator, though they do not necessarily conflict this with evolution or an old earth theory.

2. Biological evidence has been found that suggests that humanity has originated from one man and one woman.

3. When astronauts landed on the moon for the first time, the level of dust found was only a fraction of what was predicted would have been found had the moon been billions of years old.

These are just a few examples. What I am afraid is happening is that while strong evidence has been found to support alternative beliefs regarding earth's age and origin, it is immediately being censored by the scientific community and by Wikipedia simply because of what it supports.--Urban Rose 23:38, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

I also briefly looked over a few of the sources supporting the earth's age as it is stated in this article, and just as I suspected at least one of them states that the age of the earth was calculated by radiometric dating, a dating method which is notorious for giving inaccurate measurements but favored by believers in an old earth because of the billion year old dates that it provides.--Urban Rose 23:49, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
As you need to find evidence on these topics I'd recommend PubMed for searching for articles about biology, and Google Scholar for more general searches. If you have problems accessing the text of articles PubMed Central allows you to search only within full-text articles. Good luck! Tim Vickers (talk) 23:50, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Well (1) the beliefs of most scientists in a creator does not as such constitute "scientific evidence" of a creator's existence, only that of a shared opinion. That falls under the realm of psychology or sociology, rather than cosmology. (2) Where is this evidence? There is evidence of a small lineage of human mitochondria, but that only covers the female side, and does not rule out the later extinction of some mitochondria lines. (3) Where is the evidence of this? My understanding is that the lunar dust is in a steady-state condition with the dust being created and fused at equal rates. So your statement has no meaning. (4)Your word "notorious" for radioactive dating seems highly PoV. Yes it has built in errors and these are understood. The likelihood of the radioactive dating being off by more than a few million years seems highly unlikely. So again, where is the evidence? This thread just looks like another creationism spam-fest, and as creationism is considered unscientific it can't be treated as such.—RJH (talk) 00:10, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
There's also the theory of "apparent age" which states that the earth may have come into existence with apparent age, so dating measurements conducted don't give an accurate estimate of the earth's real age, but including this in the article would just be original research. If the young earth theory and the theory that the earth was created as it is through supernatural means have recently been utterly disproved by science, this is fresh news to me. Though it's impossible for science to disprove intelligent design as even if it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the earth came in to existence through natural means over a period of billions of years, there is no way to prove that it did or didn't have a creator. But this is off-topic. The bottom line is that I believe that intelligent design and the young-earth theory are more than just fringe beliefs, and that they deserves mention of some form or another in the article; if nothing else, an external link to a site which explains these alternate beliefs is warrented, but even that has been removed. What this seems like to me is an attempt to censor any mention whatsoever to the existence of alternative theories.--Urban Rose 15:34, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
If you can provide no reliable sources that you wish to include in the article, then I will archive this discussion, since general discussion about personal opinions that are not supported by reliable sources is entirely unproductive and an abuse of this talkpage. Tim Vickers (talk) 17:02, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
I concur. The topic of "Creation science" is adequately described elsewhere, and the "age of the Earth" article covers the scientific dating issue in more detail than is needed here.—RJH (talk) 18:51, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree as well. Religous beliefs are quite thoroughly covered in their respective articles. Time to Archive this unproductive discussion. Doc Tropics 19:47, 27 April 2008 (UTC) link removed

How is adding a link to a site that explains that alternate views exist "acting disruptively" and "adding fringe beliefs to an article". And how is creating a thread expressing my views on this article "abuse of the talk page" to such an extent that even the thread is censored (and my bet is that this one will be also). It has become apparent that many of you aren't content with an article which reveals that there are alternative beliefs regarding earth's age and origin. You want an article that describes only won belief to the point that even mentioning in an entirely neutral way that other beliefs exist is censored from the article. Many, many people, and many in the scientific community hold these alternative views. They can't be described as "fringe beliefs" by anyone speaking of them in a neutral tone. They deserve a mention in some form or another but even so much as one external link isn't allowed apparently.--Urban Rose 23:19, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Per the banner on the article:
  • This article focuses on scientific information about the Earth. For religious beliefs about the Earth, see Creation myth.
See, they are mentioned right there at the top. Doc Tropics 23:24, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

There is also the "Religious beliefs" section. I've expanded that section a little. Tim Vickers (talk) 23:32, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Extremely well done Tim! Your expansion covers the topic succinctly and in a thoroughly neutral manner. Any mention beyond what you've made would probably be undue. The banner I added almost seems redundant now. Doc Tropics 04:33, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
That section is sufficient.--Urban Rose 12:41, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Excellent, I thought about adding the Pope's statement Truth Cannot Contradict Truth as a reference, but that's probably focusing a bit too much on one particular religion's opinion. Tim Vickers (talk) 16:42, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

From User:Kww's talk page

From the limited reading I've done (much of which has been young-earth creationist publishings) I have been at the conclusion that there are many holes in the big bang theory and old earth theory and that the belief in that the universe was created as is and the belief that it is only several thousand years old are equally valid theories. If I have been wrong and science has recently (or not so recently) proven otherwise, I apologize. And I also recognize that it is Wikipedia's duty to report strictly what has been accepted by the scientific community, not what many people simply choose to believe in spite of the facts. I personally do believe in the big bang theory and in evolution, and am not sure right now whether I believe in a creator or not, but I previously considered based on my limited knowledge young-earth creationism to be an equally valid scientific theory. So in conclusion, I've learned something new and won't continue to try to insert people's personal beliefs into a factual article. I think that the article's header, which now contains a link to creation myths is fine and makes it known sufficiently that there are other beliefs about the earth's age and origin without getting in the way of fact.--Urban Rose 12:38, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

World/Human geography

The header states that "For the Earth's geography, see World." However, the article includes a section called "Human geography" that includes a main article link to Human geography. To me it seems somewhat redundant to include the first message, as the two are interrelated. Should these be consolidated by instead adding World as a main article link under "Human geography" and removing the sentence from the lead?—RJH (talk) 17:38, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Earth is the only place where Humans know that life exists.

Humans do not know of life to exist on any other planet but Earth. The quote Earth is the only place where life is known to exist is not scientifically proven. How can you prove that extraterrestials do not know of some planet except for Earth in which life exists. Thus Humans only know life to exist on Earth, but other life in the Universe may no know life to exist elsewhere. Saying that life is only known to exist on Earth is faulty and erroneous because it is inductive reasoning. We cannot assume something without scientifically proving that there is no other planet that life is known to exist. Saying this automatically assumes that aliens do not exist and that has not yet been proven.Maldek (talk) 02:51, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

You know, in the past, I've opposed changing the wording of that sentence largely because the alternative wordings were awkward and read poorly, combined with the fact that I don't feel that the 'to humans' disambiguation is at all necessary given that this is an encyclopedia written by and for humans. However, as a matter of good writing, I actually prefer the new proposed wording ("Earth is the only place in the universe where humans have found life.") to ("Earth is the only place in the universe where life is known to exist"). For one thing, the new wording eliminates the passive voice, one of my pet peeves. ASHill (talk | contribs) 03:18, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree with the reasoning of Maldek (if my correction above reflects the intended meaning). Unfortunately someone reverted already. I will revert again to include the new wording. −Woodstone (talk) 07:31, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

From the earlier discussion here, about including human knowledge in the phrasing, there was a narrow preponderance for rejection:

After this new discussion the balance is tipped:

So I will consolidate this in the article. −Woodstone (talk) 13:39, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Consensus is not a vote, and I did not change my mind on the merits of the point about pro-human bias—if you read my comment above, my point was only about improving the writing. There's also no rush to implement any change anyway; let's give it some time and actually achieve a clear consensus before implementing this really, really minor change. See my pending comment. ASHill (talk | contribs) 13:51, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

What humans know is the underlying assumption of every statement in every article in the wiki. Do we really need to state this? Takarada (talk) 14:08, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

It's also relevant that this practice, of assuming that human knowledge is the subject, is near universal outside Wikipedia. Saros136 (talk) 18:59, 7 May 2008 (UTC)


I propose rewording the first two sentences of the second paragraph of the lead to say

I think this wording reads better than the current version

  • Home to millions of species, including humans, Earth is the only place in the universe where life is known to exist. Scientific evidence indicates that the planet formed 4.54 billion years ago, and life appeared on its surface within a billion years.

This should stay here for a bit before being implemented because of the edits advocating a concern for bias against extra terrestrials (or whatever). ASHill (talk | contribs) 13:53, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

I continue to be amazed by the amount of rehashing these two statements have undergone since this article turned FA. It is out of all proportion to their net worth. Personally I'm fine with the way it is now, but your wording would serve just as well. The second sentence (about scientific evidence for the age) was a consensus statement to placate the creationist diehards, so I think we need a strong agrement to have it changed. Otherwise it is just going to be rehashed again and again.—RJH (talk) 15:13, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
I carefully kept the word 'science' up front in some form to make it clear that this is a scientific article with no place for creationism (or unfounded conjecture about extraterrestrials, for that matter). I don't feel strongly either, and I too tire of this discussion; my naive hope is partly that this is un-awkward wording which will end the discussion once and for all. ASHill (talk | contribs) 15:41, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
The only oddity I see in the alternate wording is that it implies that Scientists discovered life on Earth. But otherwise it's fine.—RJH (talk) 15:47, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
It leaves open the possibility that non-scientists have found life elsewhere. kwami (talk) 20:42, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
That's always a remote possibility, but such unconfirmed results would be out of scope for this article.—RJH (talk) 21:17, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
At the risk of taking this whole discussion way too seriously, a) even if non-scientists have found life elsewhere, the statement would remain true, and b) I did mean 'scientist' in the broad sense of anyone who engages in scientific inquiry (i.e. not just people who do it for a living, but not any religious or other non-scientific discovery of life). However, if the phrase needs that much explanation, my intent in writing it failed. ASHill (talk | contribs) 21:25, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Why are we trying to fix something that isn't broken? It seems that most of the editors find the original wording fine - I don't see any need to re-write it again (and again and again).PhySusie (talk) 21:48, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Probably because it keeps coming up for discussion. Unfortunately it'll likely continue to arise because of the vested interests of certain groups (Creationists, UFOlogists, &c).—RJH (talk) 15:29, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
For the record, I am neither a creationist nor an UFOlogist, but on scientific grounds I do consider it very likely that there is life outside Earth. Therefore I like to avoid any suggestion that there are indications that there is no other life than on Earth. The only thing we can state with confidence is humans have never observed life outside Earth. If there is life elsewhere, it may well have observed itself. −Woodstone (talk) 20:03, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
The record notes your philosophical position and your repetition of your arguments. Personally I remain satisfied that the current statement (or that suggested by ASHill) is sufficient, and I also believe that you will not be dissuaded from your position. We agree to disagree.
That being said, if we absolutely have to get pedantic on this topic by including various provisos on whether space aliens exist, can we agree just to insert a note rather than embedding them into the text?—RJH (talk) 22:25, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
To apply this logic to other articles we would need to change:

Carbohydrates fill numerous roles in living things, such as the storage and transport of energy (starch, glycogen) and structural components (cellulose in plants, chitin in animals).

Into this:

Scientists have observed that carbohydrates fill numerous roles in living things, such as the storage and transport of energy (starch, glycogen) and structural components (cellulose in plants, chitin in animals).

This is an unnecessary change that tries to solve a problem that does not exist. Tim Vickers (talk) 21:25, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
That's a false dichotomy because I'm proposing replacing "life is known to exist" with "scientists have observed life" (i.e. switching from passive to active voice), not adding a purely superfluous "scientists have observed", but I take your point. If it weren't that this sentence has been the subject of endless philosophical debates, this is a minor writing change that I would make without discussion (with a 'minor edit' flag!) and probably without many editors noticing. Alas, that's not the case. ASHill (talk | contribs) 23:04, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Earth is the only place in the universe where Humans have found life

I don't understand why saying "Earth is the only place in the universe where Humans have found life" is such a big deal. It doesn't take up much space and it is more accurate. You say wikipedia is meant for humans only. That's not a good answer because where does it say that. All it says is Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. So is it then, because the person writing the article is a human so it is assumed that that it is from a human?

"Earth is the only known place where life exists" (Written by a human, therefore from a human perspective. Since humans do have proof of life elsewhere)

"Los Angeles is the only known place where life exists" (Written by an anonymous person who does not know of any life existing outside of Los Angeles. In theory this is okay to say to because it is assumed that when we say "Known" it means known by that person?

-What is consensus? Please explain this to me. What are the rules for edting? Why is it called Vandalsim for putting correct information? How do we know what is assumed? If I write something and say Los Angeles is the only known place where life exists is that okay, since it must be assumed that we are talking about me, since I edited it? How do we know? I am so confused as to these rules. How many people must agree with your revision for you to be able to edit? What are the rules? Are there any, or is it just that people will block you if they don't agree with you? If people don't agree with you and you are right is it fair to be blocked? Thank You.Maldek (talk) 02:07, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Are you suggesting that maybe non-humans are reading or editing Wikipedia? Or that other people might believe that? Saros136 (talk) 06:39, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
My point is, that everyone here is sure that all those who write and read Wikipedia are humans. Editors are trying to present what people have discovered or know, not what aliens have. We use a human language because we intend to communicate with other people, not anyone else. The information is put on the Internet, which is located on the Earth. It's certain that no others are involved. And it seems safe to count on people to take known to mean known by humans because that usage is so universal. Saros136 (talk) 08:26, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree that in a general article on earthly matters the fact of human observers can be left implicit. But this statement is about those hypothetical other observers, which makes the distinction relevant. −Woodstone (talk) 12:16, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
When a prior consensus has been reached on a topic after much debate, there is often resistance to having that consensus unilaterally overridden. In fact the change may be perceived by some as vandalism. For such cases, it is usually just better to peacefully resolve the dispute on the talk page.—RJH (talk) 16:26, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Proposed note

As another proposal to help resolve the dispute, I suggest attaching a note such as the following to the statement that, "Earth is the only place in the universe where life is known to exist":

<ref>This statement is based upon current scientific evidence available to humans. It has been conjectured that extraterrestrial life may exist, in which case the word "known" here would only apply to the scientific community on Earth.</ref>

The purpose of this is to avoid modifying the sentence to a pedantic form, while still satisfying the same goals that are driving the debate. Of course there is probably a better way to word it, but I just want to see if the community is open to this approach.—RJH (talk) 16:42, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

You could modify it to add "Of course, constructive and verifiable contributions from other intelligent species are welcome, but if your changes do not show a neutral point of view towards Earth and its inhabitants, this could lead to your planet being blocked from editing." Tim Vickers (talk) 17:04, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
Hold on, hold on, might want to run that by the Foundation first. Remember how much of an uproar it created when someone inadvertently blocked a neighbourhood, let alone a planet... --Ckatzchatspy 20:39, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
Other intelligent species? Are you implying that scientists have found an intelligent species? I'm not sure this discussion displays any evidence of that. But seriously folks, RJH's suggestion is fine with me, particularly if it will end this once and for all. I would say nix 'current'. ASHill (talk | contribs) 20:53, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
Are you implying that only scientists could label life intelligent? I think the note is a nice way to resolve an issue I thought was already resolved, being on the side of "known to humans" it seemed like "we write for humans and other species are free to make their own edits" was gospel. Still, that note is biased towards the "current" scientific community and rejects the possibility that known species on earth are some how knowledgeable of life on other planets or that any number of unknown species still to be discovered might have some knowledge. --< Nicht Nein! (talk) 01:04, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, after reading this message by "Nicht Nein!" I can only conclude that a note will just escalate the "debate" to new levels of the pedantic. But I did enjoy some of the humorous responses above.—RJH (talk) 14:43, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

It seems to me to be somewhat pedantic - if and when the public discovers alien life, sapient or not, I am sure Wikipedia will be updated within minutes.  :). Otherwise, it's quite safe to make the assumption that "is known" refers only to humans. Saying that we need to be explicit about such a triviality seems to me somewhat like saying "In the barrel of monkeys, the monkeys are made out of plastic. They're not real monkeys." Nihiltres{t.l} 01:40, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

I think it's much more pedantic, to have a footnote explaining this. Saros136 (talk) 07:36, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

Formation of Earth

Gweneral perception about formation of earth is that primarily it was a hot planet with no life forms and everything gradually started to happen in a phased manner. However if we see that this didnt happen in case of other planets. More then often scientists try to compare the features of earth with our other neigbhouring planets. However if we see there is a very formidable difference in case of our earth and other planets. If we observe the atmosphere of other planets most of them have a very violent form of atmospheric activity. Also apart from this they dont resemble much geological activities. The nature of storms on planets like jupiter shows how furious the weather conditions can be. In comparison to them our most fierce twisters seem to be like a babies breath. When earth was formed the conditions over here were also same. But how come the nature of our earth changed from such a furious form to a calm one? The answer lies in the form of abundant water present on the earth surface. This water was inintially responsible for changing our earths atmosphere as well as it also preserved the geological activity of our planet. The presence of constant water first of all helped in the cooling down of the earths tempearture as well as removal of excess particulate material and depositing the necessary minerals back into the surface. also constant discharge of electricity helped in the formation of various gases beneficial for the survival of life on earth. as regards the geological activity if we see the constant pressure of water on the surface of earth prevented it from gradual cooling of the crust at a fast pace. This water again helped in the formation of various life forms on land and in water both. the abundance of water also points in the direction that it was not by mistake that life appeared on earth and nowhwere else in our solar system.Asim786mrt (talk) 12:38, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

The arrival of ice comets undoubtedly had some impact on cooling the surface. But the comets also delivered kinetic energy to the Earth by their impact, and it is also not clear that it played a greater role than simple radiation of heat into space. Do you have a reference that says otherwise? Yes, water also played a role in the appearance of life on the Earth. However, we can not rule out that possibility that life exists elsewhere in the Solar System (such as on Europa), and it may take a form that we have not yet discovered. So your last statement would be based on disproveable conjecture.—RJH (talk) 17:05, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
We already have articles about the formation of Earth and they do mention that water was present early in the process. That's not surprising based on the amount of water in meteorites. For that matter, water was recently created in a simulated deep space environment so the universal distribution of hydrogen and oxygen implies some percentage of water as well; I don't know if that is in any articles nor if it should be. -- SEWilco (talk) 17:44, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Spinning globe

The new picture of a spinning globe is nice, but spinning way too fast. Now it's about one revolution per 2.5 seconds. Would look much better at once per 15 seconds (or more). −Woodstone (talk) 14:33, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Of these two images I actually prefer the original (left):
The background provides a stable context for the image. The globe at right seems disturbing to watch as it is less smooth.—RJH (talk) 14:56, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
Okay -- thanks for the feedback! Face-grin.svg
I was originally going to do one above the "dawn-line" (at equinox), with the dark-side using NASA's "night lights" images.
In any case, I'll see if I can slow it down, keep some sky, work on the aesthetic, etc...
Wikiscient 15:22, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
Slower please - I feel ill. Also, there may not be a simple and intuitive way of representing the dark and light faces of the globe in the same animation. Creating them separately might be an idea if it's easy enough to do. Cheers, --Plumbago (talk) 15:39, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
Good point. The globe at left also provides some depth by including part of the shadow. The one on the right looks flat.—RJH (talk) 15:41, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
BTW, it's just that the one on the left (the original) seems so lacking in detail -- blurry, too dark, too much glare off the Sahara, etc.
Considering the size/resolution of NASA's "Visual Earth" images (on which both are based), it just seemed a shame to have to lose so much information to make a smooth animation gif with a reasonable (ie."Photoshop-acceptable") overall size...
I hear ya, though! Wikiscient 15:45, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
There is also a consideration of trade-off between detail and size. If there is too much detail, people will have issues trying to download the page because of the huge file. So it's a question of just what we're trying to show. Right now it just gives a general impression of rotation direction, an overall shape and a high-level view of the continents. Yes the image at right does have some positives, including the southern ice cap. But I also see some odd light blue patches that I can't quite make out because it's rotating so fast.—RJH (talk) 22:07, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Just to be clear about the detail (eg. so that you can see that the light-blue areas represent shallower water) and so forth:

Globespin persec.gif

I've reduced the frame advance rate to one/sec (there are 24 frames, so that's "one hour/sec").
To get a "smooth" animation at a comparable spin rate, I'd need to have three or four times as many frames, so to keep the file size manageable I'd have to reduce the quality and/or dimensions down to that of the "original" (above).
But there does not seem to be much need for me to put much more work into this -- though I do think something incorporating a "lights at night" image would be neat, too!
Also btw the (unanimated & "flat") NASA images are available here.
Regards, Wikiscient 09:21, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Sorry then, but that just doesn't work for me. It just isn't sufficiently smooth compared to the original and it provides no sense of depth.—RJH (talk) 15:30, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes: no, of course I am not proposing it as a replacement anymore...
Just slowed the frame advance to show what would be nice, IF it could be both smoothly animated and as detailed...
Will let you know if I come up with some brilliant innovation that way, otherwise...
Wikiscient 05:07, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm with RJH about the smoothness, but I've another question too. The NASA links that you provided above seem to show a globe where the Antarctic Peninsula is clearly visible. On the globe above it seems to be obscured by seasonal sea-ice. Any chance of using a sea-ice-free globe at your next iteration? It's perhaps not as realistic (since there's always some sea-ice), but at the moment the globe appears to show a strange composite of seasons. And, given global warming, cutting out the sea-ice makes your globe future-proof!  ;-)
On another unrelated note, the light blue regions on the globe may not be denoting shallow water but might simply be recording actual ocean colour. In shallow water regions, chlorophyll (and sediments, etc.) can create a strong signal, and the deep water regions of the globe show a palette that is independent of their depth (c.f. the brighter regions of the Southern Ocean). Anyway, that shouldn't affect your (sterling and much appreciated) plotting efforts, but when you label up the resulting globe you might want to explain the brighter blues that way. Cheers, --Plumbago (talk) 07:46, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

It might sound absurd

I know it might sound absurd but the Infobox Planet for Earth should or, most probably, it must contain an information about the human population. I wanted to know what is the human population on earth and I thought I could find it at the Earth's infobox but I did not. I never thougt to look at the World population article. Only after, I found out where it is. But I think that some people that had the same question as me, have searched the info on the Earth article. Anyway, it's a good idea to do a new section at the infobox, maybe with all the three values:

  • 6,671,226,000 - 2007
  • 7 bilion - predicted for 2013
  • 9.2 billion - predicted for 2050

Tuloc (talk) 14:13, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

If there is interest in this, my suggestion is to use a separate infobox for the population, then place them both at the top and use {{FixBunching}}. If the box is displayed contracted, it could list multiple population stats for both past and future without impacting the page layout.—RJH (talk) 15:00, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Earth-related topics

Placing the "Earth-related topics" infobox at the bottom has resulted in several attempts to create a redundant "See also" section. Should we:

  1. Accept the redundancy between the two?
  2. Move the contents of the "Earth-related topics" infobox back under "See also" and scrap the infobox?
  3. Move the infobox back under the "See also" section header?
  4. Keep deleting attempts to create a redundant "See also" section?

Thanks.—RJH (talk) 20:21, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

How about leave an HTML note in the last section of the article telling people to make sure they check the infobox at the bottom of the article prior to creating a See also section? That will probably discourage many of the people wanting to create the section. --Bobblehead (rants) 20:32, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
That might work: perhaps a single link under a "See also" section that points to the "Earth-related topics" infobox. Thus: Earth-related topics.—RJH (talk) 23:58, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
I think having the infobox expanded by default would also help; I didn't even notice it until I saw the edit summaries mentioning it's existence. An HTML comment isn't a bad idea, but it doesn't help readers. ASHill (talk | contribs) 21:41, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
Unfortunately I think the standard is to have it contracted. Plus it is inevitable that somebody will come along and contract it again.—RJH (talk) 23:58, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Okay here's my thinking behind that section: I agree with the concerns about having a "See also" section too cluttered with too many links and making the navigation/info box at the bottom is a good idea. The problem with that is many users won't notice that navigation box and I'm sure many users find see also sections useful. The four links I added are all articles that contain a list of a lot more articles which is kind of like putting a navigation box (but more comprehensive) into one link. I think perhaps an article could be started titled "List of Earth-related topics" or "List of basic planet Earth topics" or something like that and all those topics in the navigation box could be listed in that article plus any other topics that are Earth-related. The only problem with that is it would share a lot of the same articles in the "List of Earth science topics" but that's not such a big deal. Then we could add that new link into the see also section and it would be like putting that navigation box there as you suggested. If people like this idea I could start making that article when I have the time or anyone else that's interested could. LonelyMarble (talk) 21:45, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Other uses statement

I know this has been discussed before, but I'd like to make sure this is a satisfactory consensus as the "other uses" section at the top is still undergoing occasional revisionism. Which of the following is preferred for the "other uses" statement?

This (1):

or (2): {{three other uses|scientific information on the Earth|the Earth's geography|World|religious beliefs|creation myth}} or (3):

Thanks.—RJH (talk) 22:12, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

I like the first one the best, you can see my reasons behind this choice in the section below. Or if people don't like the use of scientific information like had been discussed in an old archive then this statement is fine too: Note that this wording is what the article had for many months without complaint until only little over a month ago, and I much prefer it than the current one.LonelyMarble (talk) 22:17, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
I thought of another option. If you really think the creation myth link is helpful why don't we put it at the top of the History section as a see also. One of the things that bugs me with it being at the top is it seems really out of place but if it was under the history section at least it would be in a more appropriate spot. LonelyMarble (talk) 19:29, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
Okay this is what I think the hatnote should be: It is succinct, stardardized with the other planet hatnotes, and in the spirit of what a hatnote is, a navigation and clarification tool. If people insist on linking creation myth then it should be linked under the history section, it has no place in the top hatnote. LonelyMarble (talk) 23:32, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
I much prefer (2), as the topic of Earth's creation is a frequent subject for discussion on this talk page. I certainly don't see how it is out of place at the top, since the whole point of the note is to quickly redirect traffic. Hence, at present, we don't have a consensus. Does anybody else have an opinion on the matter? Thanks.—RJH (talk) 23:55, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
Hatnotes are for very specific things, they are primarily for navigation, which is why we link to Earth (disambiguation), and they are also for clarification which is why we link to World. Settling POV disputes and other stuff has abosolutely no places in hatnotes. No one searches for "Earth" if they want to know about creation myths or religious beliefs about Earth. It is also not necessary to mention anything about science in the hatnote. It is for navigation and clarification and nothing else. Including anything else would definitely be non-neutral in my opinion. LonelyMarble (talk) 00:02, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
Clearly the link is not going to settle anybody's opinion on the formation of the Earth, so I completely disagree with your conclusion. It is quite clear to me that the link is not going to change anybody's opinion on the formation of the Earth. To believe so is absurd. However, it is also clear that the religious aspects of the creation of the Earth is relevant to many visitors. So the link is appropriate.—RJH (talk) 00:21, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
I understand what you are saying but top hatnotes are for specific purposes. They are for people that search for "Earth" but don't want this article, which is why we are linking to Earth (disambiguation) and World. No one searches for "Earth" and expects to go to the "creation myths" article. You don't agree this link would be much more appropriate under the history section as a see also? This is the only section it would be relevant under other than the religious beliefs section where it's already linked, which is why I completely deleted it in the first place. This seems like clear case of WP:Undue weight to me. For a random example: why don't we mention "soil" at the top hatnote too because I assume people that search for "Earth" are far more likely to want the article "soil" than the article "creation myth", which is the sole purpose of the hatnote. LonelyMarble (talk) 00:31, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
Based upon Wikipedia:Hatnote, I accept your logic. I also believe that the statement, "For the Earth's geography, see World," falls under the category of "Linking to articles that are highly related to the topic", and so should be removed. In that case the note should approximately read, "This is about scientific information on the planet Earth. For other uses, see Earth (disambiguation)."—RJH (talk) 17:33, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
That's a good point. World does not need to be there either and it is linked in the first paragraph anyway. I will link "world" as a main article under human geography, which I'll do now, to help navigation. I agree that the top hatnote should be - {{about|scientific information on the planet Earth}} which will read When I was reading through recent archives I noticed this discussion: Talk:Earth/Archive 8#"This article is about..." proposal, where two people objected to the use of "science" in the hatnote but I agree with what you said, the whole article is about scientific information and clarifying that in the hatnote is one of the uses of a hatnote so I have no problem using it. My argument on this issue was pretty much just based on the policies at Wikipedia:Hatnote because hatnotes are not technically part of article content so they should be as succinct and neutral as possible. So if you are in agreement you can change the hatnote to the above one. LonelyMarble (talk) 15:32, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
I agree, and I made the change suggested by RJH. ASHill (talk | contribs) 16:15, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Scientific information wording

I feel that the "scientific information" wording is inappropriate. I, without having seen this discussion, changed the hatnote to read

In my opinion, we should not present more than this in the hatnote. If "scientific" refers to the natural sciences, then it is factually inaccurate as the "Cultural viewpoint" section and parts of the "Human geography" section refer not to natural sciences, but to social sciences. If "scientific" refers to the union of both hard and soft sciences, then it refers primarily to academic work and is redundant given that as Wikipedia is meant to be verifiable, the article should be using academic sources regardless.
I am similarly concerned that the wording is being used as a subtle disclaimer against creationists; while they are certainly annoying in multiple ways (the real concern being POV-pushing), this is not an excuse to include something in the article as a deterrent. Problematic additions can be reverted, and the authors of such additions educated about our neutral point of view. The neutral point of view issue is another problem that I have with the current wording of the hatnote. While I am agnostic and oppose dogma, it is equally important for the sake of NPOV that we not push our own views. It occurs to me that presenting the article as being composed of "scientific information" at very least implies a particular, science-favouring point of view – should not such implications be avoided? Nihiltres{t.l} 22:10, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

In a certain respect, the use of "scientific knowledge" in this case is being used as a disambiguation, so as to clarify the purpose of the article. Obviously the article does not cover all aspects of the planet (which is a massive subject incorporating art, religion, philosophy, etc.), and so a very broad statement like "This is about the planet" is, in fact, unhelpful. By clarifying the scope of the article, the "hat-note" serves its purpose. If the use of the term "scientific knowledge" is indeed the problem, then what may be considered non-scientific aspects of the article could be readily relocated. The article is fairly massive as is, so a little judicious relocation may be in order. I would have no issue with relocating the cultural section to another page, and I have been contemplating just that once the section grew sufficiently large.—RJH (talk) 22:27, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
I changed this myself a few days ago without realising there was a discussion going on about it (sorry, I thought it was a fairly minor change). I agree with Nihiltres' rationale, and I think the best solution would be to just remove the two words from the hatnote. After all, if people really wanted to know about art on Earth, I can't imagine they would waste their time looking up the Earth article, and similarly for the other topics you mentioned. We don't bother including a similar disambig for all other scientific articles, and I don't see why we should be making an exception here. I do think that moving the cultural stuff to a new article (and leaving a see also link at the bottom of the page) is a good idea, provided others agree, and would be sufficient to deal with such non-scientific information contradicting the hatnote .. but I'd still feel scientific information was unnecessary. Ben (talk) 05:39, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
In the case of the hatnote, I'm neutral right now about whether "scientific information" should be in it or not, I'm not sure what the best wording is. However, about the culture section, I think it should be kept in. It is not that long and seems to me an important enough topic about "Earth" that it should be summarized in the article for a full scope of the subject. It's not like that section is singled out to Earth either, other of the planets have culture sections as well. And the study of culture is absolutely a scientific discipline, there's nothing in the article that's not scientific as it's all facts, facts about different beliefs is part of cultural anthropology as RJHall has said. LonelyMarble (talk) 15:56, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
If it becomes the consensus to remove "scientific information" from the note, then I guess I'll accept it. However, a thought I had was to consider changing it to "physical properties", which would give the page a tighter focus and shrink the size down a bit. But that would mean moving the culture and geography sections to other pages.—RJH (talk) 14:57, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
physical properties sounds like we're stating the obvious don't you think? With the hatnote saying this is about the planet, a link to the disambiguation, the see also section at the bottom and even the table of contents to a degree, I think we're covered - at least to the point that scientific information and physical properties aren't going to clarify things or help anyone any more than what these things do. I don't feel that strongly about it though if you really want it to stay there. Ben (talk) 02:53, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
By the same token, it is also blindingly obvious to say that the article is about "the planet". If the reader has not yet read the article, then it is not obvious that it would be about the physical properties (as opposed to culture, geography, history, art, mythology, &c.).—RJH (talk) 17:50, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
Leading with "This article is about the planet." is just a very quick clarification of what this article is about for someone searching for "Earth" but who did not want this article. That person could have been searching for a book named Earth, a song named "Earth", or anything else as listed at the disambiguation page we direct them to, where the article title for it could legitimately be simply "Earth". The hatnote does not need to clarify what exactly the article is about except for the most basic terms; it should be the job of the lead paragraphs to summarize and clarify what this article is exactly about. The lead paragraphs should, and I think do, make it obvious this article is about scientific information, and a look at the table of contents should make it clear it's mostly about physical properties. I also don't think this article needs too narrow and specific a description or needs to cut out any sections at the moment, like the culture or human geography sections. The article is not overly large in size (it's 98 KB in total size but only about 44 KB of that is readable prose), so I don't think there is a big need to cut its length. To conclude: for a succinct and neutral hatnote which is just there for navigation, this is probably the best wording: "This article is about the planet. For other uses, see Earth (disambiguation). LonelyMarble (talk) 21:02, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
Fair enough; at three to one that seems to be close to a consensus and there are no other objecting voices. I remove my opposition, although, for the record, I don't think the change is necessary or beneficial.—RJH (talk) 22:14, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
But the argument can be made that having "scientific information" is not necessary because it is redundant as Nihiltres said in the first post. And it is beneficial to remove so as to be succinct and neutral. I think anyone searching for creationism should know enough to search for creationism and not Earth. Editors that put in creationist weasel words in this article can simply be reverted for adding non-veriable information and weasel words. And I think it's pretty obvious these editors already know this article is about scientific information; my guess is editors with that POV are going to make those kinds of edits whether the hatnote dissuades it or not. LonelyMarble (talk) 22:36, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
Well I disagree and I thought that was made clear. Enough said.—22:52, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I didn't mean to harp on it, and I know you disagree. I just didn't want you to be annoyed about the decision, but you're right, there's nothing more to say except for repeating ourselves. LonelyMarble (talk) 23:15, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Request for MPH addition

A little ORBITAL CHARACTERISTICS addition for us simple people ? We're also orbiting Sol at 66,622.17 mph . . . —Preceding unsigned comment added by PFSLAKES1 (talkcontribs) 01:28, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

I think we're following the convention on scientific articles from Wikipedia:MoS#Conversions just to use metric. But it'd be nice if there were a mouse-over feature for unit conversions.—RJH (talk) 17:42, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
Too bad the contributors, likely all very familiar with the subject and therefore also very familiar with metric units and therefore in less need to use imperial/US units, decided not to convert to the latter. The article about the convention states that if it's a scientific article, and this is, then the contributors may choose whether to convert or not. But if you think about it for just a bit, it's obvious very many people reading the article are not like the contributors, that is, very familiar with the subject and comfortable working solely with metric units. Just think of the many kids working on reports, or k-12 teachers trying to gather many facts, yet either not yet knowing how to convert, or too busy with all the work that must be done elsewhere to convert all the units in the article. Please, don't decide how to present the article to scientists, they wouldn't necessarily bother with wikipedia, certainly wouldn't cite it, and are definitely not the only users of it. BeyondBeyond (talk) 03:37, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Inconsistent density

Under Physical Characteristics the Earth's density is given as 5.5153 g/cm³. But right above it the mass is given as 5.9736 and the volume as 1.0832073 in the appropriate units. Given that 5.9736/1.0832073 = 5.5147, how was 5.5153 determined and why is it different? It's not a big difference, but I don't see why there should be any difference. --Vaughan Pratt (talk) 04:42, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

It looks like you've found one of the reasons that the infobox parameters should all be cited. Yoder (1995) gives:
  • mass = 5.9736 × 1024 kg
  • volume = 1.08321 × 1012 km
  • density = 5.515 g cm-3
These values are self-consistent, and they also match the "Earth Fact Sheet" values. I have no idea where the current values came from.—RJH (talk) 15:07, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Average elevation of land

The source for "The mean height of land above sea level is 686 m" is an 1892 article, which cites its source as an 1888 article. An estimate I've seen in various places is 840 m, anyone have a trustworthy (and relatively recent) source for this quantity? --Vaughan Pratt (talk) 05:04, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Do you have a source for the more recent estimate? it doesn't seem to be readily available.—RJH (talk) 14:57, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
I found this, but I have no idea how reliable it is (and it doesn't give any references). Ben (talk) 13:54, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Maybe this is better? Ben (talk) 14:03, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. From that I was able to back-track to an authoritative source:
On p. 19 it lists the mean land elevation of 840 m and the mean ocean depth of 3800 m. Those values come from an even older source: Kossina, Erwin (1921) "Die Tiefen des Weltmerres". So even this is pretty dated material. .—RJH (talk) 15:03, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

The end of life on Earth Contradictions 500 million years? 1 billion years? 1.9 Billion years?

I am a little confused as to what the information on this article and the Earth article says about the end of life on Earth. It says that in 900 million years all plants on Earth will die and in an additional 1 billion years all of the water on Earth will evaporate. Does this mean that in 1.9 billion years the Earth's ocean will evaporate? It is confusing because the sources say in 1 billion years