Saturday, June 17, 2006

Eurasia > Europe + Asia

The old methods of dividing the continent of Europe and Asia should go the way of the dodo. In its place should be the super continent of Eurasia. My argument for this is based on the inability to delineate the boundaries between these two regions, especially when it comes to the Caucasus region.

Before I proceed with my argument, I would like to emphasize that my arguments have nothing to do with the people who live in these boundary regions, or how similar their cultures are with different peoples. Engaging in this form of argument could lead to arguments that the United States is a part of Europe because a vast majority of its people are of "European" ancestry.

Rather, the only way to deal with the Europe-Asia continental divide is to look at it from a strictly geographic perspective.

Ultimately, if one looks at this giant land mass, one should look at it through the most scientific means possible today. That would be plate tectonics. If one looks at the plate tectonics of Europe and Asia, one will see that two plates do not exist demarcating Europe and Asia, but rather, there is a continuous plate that connects the region from the mid-Atlantic to Japan.

Ultimately, this new continental definition (Eurasia) is more coherent than using arbitrary and capricious lines separating Europe and Asia.

In the past, one separated the different parts of modern-day Turkey into Europe and Asia because of the convenient location of the Bosphorous straits, where this body of water was a clear separation of Europe and Asia.

However, there is no body of water separating the Caucasus region, but rather a vast mountainous expanse known as the Caucasus region, forming the northern part of the Armenian plateau (which extends all the way down to Lake Urmiah (Iran) and Lake Van (historic Armenia).

So how could one divide Europe from Asia in the Caucasus region? One could do so by extending Europe all the way down to the Araxes river. However, extending the line south to the Araxes has no real coherent reasoning, other then the fact that it is the current boundary Iran shares with Armenia, Nagarno-Karabagh and Azerbaijan; ultimately arbitrary man made lines demarcating jurisdictions.

If one uses this definition, one must further use geographic reasoning in explaining why Europe does not extend further south to incorporate lake Van and lake Urmiah.

The current demarcation uses an arbitrary line along the north Caucasus mountain range. Once again, this delineation also lacks any coherent justification why Asia does not extend further north to envelope the entire area that separates the Black Sea from the Caspian Sea.

Using any line in between the conventional or current definition, or any line outside of these two areas, will also lacks any coherent justification.

Thus, to avoid any arbitrary and capricious line-drawing, and to be scientifically coherent, the old methods of dividing the continent of Europe and Asia should go the way of the stegasoraus, and in its place should be the super continent of Eurasia.