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Archive 1 Archive 5 Archive 6 Archive 7 Archive 8 Archive 9 Archive 10

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. [[1]] 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. [2]

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 [3].

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, /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.[4] (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.[5] 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.[1] Earth was first used as the name of the planet around 1400.[2] 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,[6] 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 [7], 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 ( t c ) 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 ( t c ) 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:
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
      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. http://www.crystalinks.com/emerald13bw.html</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

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:

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. {{cite news}}: Check date values in: |date= (help)) Nihiltres{t.l} 19:35, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
  1. ^ Random House Unabridged Dictionary. Random House. July 2005. ISBN 0-375-42599-3.
  2. ^ Harper, Douglas (November 2001). "Earth". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 2007-08-07.