Alfred Wegner And Continental Drift Essay

575 words - 2 pages

Alfred WegenerAlfred Wegener and Continental DriftChristian Colby5th period9/17/14AbstractThis paper explains how society affected Alfred Wegener's theory of continental drift. The theory was greatly criticized by society and the scientific community. Later in 1960 Harry H. Hess proposed the theory of sea floor spreading proving continental drift. I believe and it's commonly believed today that Wegener's theory is true.In 1912, German scientist Alfred Wegener proposed a theory known as continental drift. Continental drift stated that the continents were once all one huge land mass and slowly drifted apart over time. A similar theory was published two years earlier but was basically ignored by scientists. The theory raised rage and rancor in the scientific community and society, "If we are to believe this hypothesis, we must forget everything we have learned in the last 70 years and start all over again," said one American Scientist. Many of the attacks were directed towards Wegener himself, who was an outsider that seemed to be attacking the very foundation of geology. The reason continental drift was not accepted by society was because even though Wegener had a lot of evidence, the evidence was so radical, people could not accept it. In 1926 Wegener was invited to an International symposium called to discuss his theory. Some supporters spoke positively, but most of the speakers ridiculed his theory to the point of insult. Wegener didn't speak much himself. His attitude seems to have mirrored that of Galileo who, forced to recant Copernicus' theory that the Earth moves around the sun, is said to have murmured, "Nevertheless, it moves!" The only difference is that Wegener's case was not as solid as Galileo's, which was based on mathematics. One flaw to Wegener's work was that he had no driving force, or forces, to explain why the continents "plowed around in the mantle," as...

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