Tag Archives: continental drift

Tectonic Plates at 913,000 Kilometres per Hour

The Earth’s plates move at the same blazing speed as fingernails grow. On average, 2 centimetres in a year. Blink and you won’t miss much. The ox may be slow, but the Earth is patient. In 650 million years, the … Continue reading

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Wegener’s Death and Drift’s Hiatus

Over the past few days, I’ve written about Alfred Wegener’s continental drift theory, which is celebrating its 100th year as a spunky idea that explains a lot of our geology. From mountains to earthquakes and deep sea rifts to island … Continue reading

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100 Years of Drift: Part 4

Today, we continue with Alfred Wegener and his continental drift theory. Today’s piece will not be pretty. At times, suppression of Wegener’s idea was ugly. There are a lot of reasons for the vilification. He was an outsider, a meteorologist … Continue reading

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100 Years of Drift: Part 2

It’s been 100 years since Alfred Wegener proposed his idea of continental drift. Today’s blog continues the story we began yesterday – the tale of Wegener’s life and the development of his grand idea of mobile continents. This time, we’ll … Continue reading

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100 Years of Drift: Part 1

Fifty years ago, we finally figured out why the Earth has mountains. But one hundred years ago, Alfred Wegener had already offered an explanation – it took those extra 50 years for his grand idea to catch on. The continents, … Continue reading

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50 Years Ago: How the Continents Fit Together

50 years ago, on October 28, 1965, an unlikely British geophysicist made a map that set the record straight on how the world’s tectonic plates fit together. As a child, Edward Bullard was such a slow learner that his family … Continue reading

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What do We Really Think about Plate Tectonics?

In mid-August, two experts on acid rain published a study. It’s about Wikipedia and how wiki edits reflect some of the social dynamics of the public’s view of science.  The researchers – Adam Wilson and Gene Likens – indicated that … Continue reading

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Created Last Thursday

It’s hard to argue with someone who says that the whole universe was created last Thursday.   Everything in its place, a stage built and actors entering. Is this the way you picture reality? I hope not – you would be … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, How Geophysics Works, Non-drift Theories, Plate Tectonics, Religion | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A Life Well-Lived

Two years ago this week, one of our greatest scientists quietly passed away. Although among the world’s unheralded heroes, the life of Lawrence Morley deserves our attention. He helped prove plate tectonics, but in a fluke too common in science … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, Geology, History, Plate Tectonics, Space, The Book | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Geoscientists’ Blind Spot

Originally posted on The Grumpy Geophysicist:
One advantage of looking back at the history of earth science is to recognize patterns that suggest certain biases. Consider, for instance, continental drift.  Now this is often portrayed as Wegener right, others stupid…

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