Continental Drift

Topics: Plate tectonics, Geology, Continental drift Pages: 4 (840 words) Published: May 26, 2014
Continental Drift
It takes a lot of courage to stand up for something you believe in, especially when faced with intense amounts of scrutiny and rejection from colleagues and peers alike. But this is exactly what Alfred Wegener experienced when he advanced the unthinkable thoughts that all continents were once upon a time, all part of one massive supercontinent. He battled through the adversity, and continued to collect sources and ideas that backed his thinking. The purpose of this paper is to provide a background of Wegener’s life, the research and criticism of being accepted and some of the objections he faced throughout the process. Wegener was well educated and even more so, well rounded. Although he didn’t receive the recognition he deserved at the time, once his theory of plate tectonics gained momentum with a mountain of evidence, it became widely accepted by the scientific community as a whole. Theorized Plate Tectonics

Alfred Wegener was born November 1, 1880 in Berlin, Germany. Wegener pursued his early interests of physical and Earth sciences and studied these at Universities in Germany and Austria, ultimately earning his Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Berlin in 1905. Shortly after he started teaching at the University of Marburg, he became fascinated by the history of the Earth’s continents after seeing that the eastern coast of South America and the northwestern coast of Africa looked as if they may have been connected at one point (Briney, 2009). This became the driving force behind his theory of continental drift and ultimately created the idea of Pangaea, a single supercontinent that existed millions of years ago.

When Alfred Wegener eventually stumbled upon scientific documents that showed identical fossils of plants and animals on each of the different continents, he started to put the pieces of the puzzle together. He used the mesosaurus, an aquatic freshwater reptile as a source to show fossils on different...

References: Briney, Amanda. (2009). Biography of Alfred Wegener. Retrieved from:
http://geography.about.com/od/historyofgeography/a/Biography-Of-Alfred-Wegener.htm
Conniff, Richard, Smithsonian. (June, 2012). When the Earth Moved.
00377333. Vol. 43, Issue 3
Healey, Christina. (2006). Alfred Wegener. Reading Level (Lexile): 1170, Database: History Reference Center
Lutgens, F.K., Tarbuck, E.J. (2014). Foundations of Earth Science.
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