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Alfred Wegener's Continental Drift Essay

629 words - 3 pages

Alfred Wegener was a German born scientist who, one day while looking at a world map, noticed that the coastline of the continents, separated by the Atlantic Ocean seemed to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. This observation, later lead him to hypothesize that the continents were at one time connected. This hypothesis created a heated debate in the scientific world. I will use this essay to provide a brief overview of Wegener’s life, his hypothesis and the criticism he received within the scientific community.
Wegener was born in Berlin Germany in 1880. As a young man, Wegener was an adventurous outdoorsman who loved to hike and explore nature and the outside world. Wegener was an excellent snow skier and skilled mountain man. These skills, coupled with the love of the outdoors lead him to complete four polar expeditions to Greenland and also setting 52-hour hot air balloon record for longest flight.
Wegener was also very educated. He graduated from secondary school in 1899 and went on to study mathematics and natural sciences at the Friedrich Wilhelm University in Berlin where he majored in Astronomy. Wegener went on to earn his Doctorate in astronomy while serving in the Army While volunteering for the Army (Queen Elizabeth Guard-Grenadier) as a volunteer.
Wegener’s academic career started in 1908 when he began teaching astronomy and meteorology for the Marberg University. It was while teaching in 1910 that according to Healey, C. (2006), “While looking at a map of the world in 1910, he first noticed the correspondence between the coastlines of the continents separated by the Atlantic Ocean” and “Although he was struck by how opposing coastlines seemed to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle, he was not convinced at the time that continental drift was the probable explanation”. This simple observation would later become his hypothesis and would create long and heated battles throughout the scientific world.
Wegener’s hypothesis was based on a fit...

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