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Why didn't most geologists believe Alfred Wegener's theory?
Question Date: 2016-11-13
Answer 1:

This is a great question. Alfred Wegener was a German scientist who suggested the theory of continental drift. His theory suggested that Earth was a one big supercontinent called Pangaea. The Pangaea broke up and drifted to form all those continents you see today. He backed up his theory by many observations and similarities of fossils in different parts of the continents. However, his theory was rejected because of two reasons:

The first reason was that his theory of continental drift was just too weak for most geologists to accept. Even though he believed the supercontinent that broke up into different continents moved, he did not have a clear explanation to how the continents moved. The other reason is that some of his explanation clashed with ideas that were widely accepted in the science communities. He used similar fossils from different continents to back up his theory of continental drift. However, at that time, many scientists that had observed similarities in fossils in places like South America and Africa believed there were similar fossils in different continents because of a land bridge that were formed by two continents.

Many science communities believe that land bridges allowed migration of many different species and even people to one place to another by large bodies of water frozen by low temperature known as ice age.

Though many scientists today continue to reject Wegener’s explanation for continental drift, his statement of drifting continents has gained wide acceptance in the science community. This is because throughout many years, new information was found. For instance, in the 1950, evidence for sea floor spreading was discovered by the US Navy scientists. This led to the formation of plate tectonics, and part of its evidence suggests that continents do move, which supports Wegener’s statement about continents drifting apart from each other. Even though Wegener’s theory was rejected, his contribution led a base for future scientists to support or reject his theory of continental drift.

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