[Coral-List] Darwin was WRONG about reef formation

Douglas Fenner douglasfennertassi at gmail.com
Fri Oct 16 22:51:51 UTC 2020

or so says a new article:

Popular piece:

Study: Darwin's theory about coral reef atolls is fatally flawed


Original review:

The origin of Modern Atolls: Challenging Darwin's Deeply Ingrained Theory


My thoughts, based on reading the popular article and the abstract for the

Yes, if you define an "atoll" as a ring of coral at the surface, and you
carefully ignore that it is on top of an accumulation of up to a mile of
coral reef carbonate, which is in turn on top of a two mile tall volcano
which all the evidence shows has indeed subsided with the ocean floor plate
as it moves across the ocean, then yes, sea level fluctuations with the
glaciation cycle are widely acknowledged to affect the coral reef
structure.  It appears that maybe the new thing in this review is that the
present ring is relatively young and built on top of the raised ring left
from low sea level stands when rainwater was dissolving the carbonate in
the center of the ring.  Actually, I don't think even that is new, though
their being a flat topped bank in between time may be new.  This is a
further embellishment on top of the Darwin theory, NOT a disproof of his
theory, which is heavily documented.  The argument back then was whether
there was a volcano under the carbonate, which drilling proved was correct
and is no longer in doubt.
     Perhaps by reading the entire review it will be clear that the review
isn't saying that Darwin was wrong about subsidence and a volcano being
under the carbonate, or that there was a sequence from fringing to barrier,
to atoll, but even the title of the review implies it is.  But of course
you attract a lot more attention saying that "Darwin was wrong."
      What do geologists think?
Cheers, Doug

Douglas Fenner
Lynker Technologies, LLC, Contractor
NOAA Fisheries Service
Pacific Islands Regional Office
Coral Reef Consulting
PO Box 7390
Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799  USA

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