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Why does the continental drift is not present anymore?
Question Date: 2017-01-23
Answer 1:

I'm glad you asked, Claritze. Continental drift was an explanation for how the continents moved across Earth's surface in the past. The person who proposed this idea was Alfred Wegener, a German atmospheric scientist. At the time, in 1915, Germany and the United States led the world in science, but they didn't personally get along. Scientists criticized Wegener's continental drift idea because he had little to no evidence for the mechanism, or how continental drift could happen. Sadly, on an expedition in Greenland, Alfred Wegener died in a snowstorm in 1930. In the next 20-30 years, scientists and the U.S. Navy would collect a lot of data about what the sea floor looks like, and how earthquakes behave -- enough evidence to reconsider explanations for how the continents moved across Earth's surface, like continental drift.

The most widely-accepted theory for how the continents move around the Earth is called Plate Tectonics, and it incorporates some of Alfred Wegener's original ideas with continental drift. So, although continental drift alone is not a good explanation for how Earth's continents have moved, it was a very important stepping stone for thinking about the nature of the Earth in the way that scientists think about it today.

Here's a silly song and video about Alfred Wegener, so you'll never forget his important contribution to Earth Science!


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