January 6, 1912-2012: 100 years of Continental Drift!

January 6, 1912 the German meteorologist Alfred Wegener presented in a lecture entitled “Die Heraushebung der Großformen der Erdrinde (Kontinente und Ozeane) auf geophysikalischer Grundlage” (The uprising of large features of earth’s curst (Continents and Oceans) on geophysical basis) for the first time his hypothesis of the ancient supercontinent Pangaea, from which all modern continents split apart.

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2 Responses to January 6, 1912-2012: 100 years of Continental Drift!

  1. darwinsbulldog says:

    I posted a link to this on my Facebook page, and Erik Conway commented about a book by Naomi Oreskes on continental drift. From the blurb to her book, which I have not read before: “Challenging previous historical work on this episode, Naomi Oreskes shows that continental drift was not rejected for the lack of a causal mechanism, but because it seemed to conflict with the basic standards of practice in American geology.”

  2. Thanks for the info – Must read the book, it´s “Plate Tectonics: An Insider’s History of the Modern Theory of the Earth”
    Many historic comments at the time deal with the lack of spurs left from the drifting continents in the oceans and the mechanism – however there was possibly also much denial of the hypothesis on the basis that Wegener was German, and the first world war was still fresh in memories (for example in Swiss it was discouraged to read German papers), this could maybe explain also why geologist of Africa were more open-minded to Wegener’s idea.

    However Wegener experienced opposition not only in the U.S. (to be honest, he was invited various times to present his idea there) but also from the prevailing school of geologists in Germany – in part this is understandable, Wegener questioned the basis of 50 years of tectonics.

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