Sunday, February 24, 2013

#437: Neal Adams

Neal Adams is probably primarily known as a comic book and commercial artist, and was even inducted into Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1998. He is, however, also a wailingly insane crackpot. Adams, you see, rejects plate tectonics, particularly the theory of subduction –  which he dismisses as a desperate attempt by geologists to save their hypothesis. Instead, Adams advocates the ExpandingEarth theory (more here), claiming that the Earth is not merely expanding by increasing its volume, but growing by manufacturing new atomic mass in its core. Adams also rejects most contemporary physics in the process (for instance gravity(!) – everything is pressure, and it’s the constant expansion that creates the illusion of gravity) because if most of contemporary physics were right his theories would be rather obviously wrong.

This is actually a pretty good and thorough workthrough of his claims and arguments. In the course of a rather incoherent explanation of the way the Universe works, Adams does at least point out at least one thing in favor of his theory: “the math works”. Unfortunately he never attempts to actually show this, or indeed apply any math whatsoever. Instead he resorts to inference by random capitalization, Timecube style. Just as convincing as any attempt to work out the math, I suppose.

His view is explained in several wonderfully insane Youtube videos and a rather long graphic novel described by Wired as “Two table-pounding scientists – a radical theoretician and a strawman – work their way through a loooong conversation en route to a telegraphed conclusion: Everything we know is wrong. It's like ‘My Dinner With Andre’ costarring L. Ron Hubbard.”

Adams has appeared on Coast to Coast AM several times to discuss his claims, something cynical skeptics claim doesn’t quite equal peer reviewed publications. Of course, Adams, however, perceives himself as a modern day Galileo.

You can find a (probably Australian) website devoted to defending the Expanding Earth hypothesis here. The Skeptics Guide’s interview with Adams can be found here, and one Richard Guy attempts to defend Adams in the comments here.

Diagnosis: Batshit insane, purebred crackpot who wouldn’t recognize evidence if it rose up from the ground in front of him and devoured him. Probably harmless.


  1. That video link is bad. Try this YouTube instead.

  2. It's a real shame. He truly is one of the greatest comic book artists of all time.

  3. Indeed a great artist, but a complete friut loop with regards to science - never heard of the guy before, and spent 14 hours on and off with him raving from his ego platform at me and others on a possible (but scientific) rival website about he created this and that science. This guy might be harmless, but he is 'certifiable' when writing online.

  4. I agree with the above posters - Neal Adams was an excellent comic book artist, one of the all-time bast.
    But it is pretty sad that he's become consumed with a crackpot idea.