Which looks more likely?

I’ve been debating a climate sceptic (also a 7 day Creationist) who thinks old maps show that Antarctica was once ice-free. He’s been taken in by a fringe historian, Hapgood, who bases his speculative arguments on the slight similarity of and old Orontius Finaeus map with Antarctica.

But, as Bad Archaeology points out, there’s a problem with scale (that my creationist friend just brushes aside as problem with latitude!) Check it out… the modern map of Antarctica inside the massive Terra Australis (Great Southern Land).

antarcticaNot only that, but Orontius Finaneus drew on all sorts of sources including the results coming back in from explorers. The big thing the Hapgood-ians draw on is the massive bay Orontius plotted looks like the Ross Sea. It even has 2 little islands. But here’s the challenge, does the Orontius bay look more like the Gulf of Carpentaria (mapped by explorers) or the Ross Sea? Are the islands in the right place for Carpentaria or Antarctica? Take a look below.

This map of Antarctica is upside down so you can compare the Ross Sea islands with Orontius (below) and then the Gulf of Carpentaria.


To me, the Gulf of Carpentaria wins. The Ross sea right hand island is simply too high, up near the opening of the bay. But the Gulf of Carpentaria right hand island is down the bottom right, where it should be according to old Orontius. What silliness overtakes the minds of these people that they will defend bad science, bad history, and bad logic?



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