The Rejection of Continental Drift

The Rejection of Continental Drift : Theory and Method in American Earth Science

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In the early 20th century, American earth scientists vociferously opposed the new, and highly radical, notion of continental drift. Yet 50 years later the same idea was heralded as a major scientific breakthrough, Why did American geologists reject so adamantly an idea that is now considered a cornerstone of the discipline? And why did they react so much more negatively than their European counterparts? This text, based primarily on archival resources, provides answers to these questions. It complements existing work on continental drift and the emergence of the theory of plate tectonics by providing a detailed historical account of the American geological community in the 1920s. The author shows that the rejection was largely based on the view that continental drift challenged the basic methodological principles and standards of practice in American earth more

Product details

  • Hardback | 432 pages
  • 160.02 x 236.22 x 33.02mm | 793.78g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 25 halftones, 57 line figures
  • 0195117328
  • 9780195117325

Review quote

Oreskes's book contains much pertinent information that will be useful to those interested in the history of tectonics in the twentieth century, and she presents it lucidly, in a well-organized manner. ISIS ... a monumental work of scholarship. For anyone, scientist or science historian, who is interested in the heretofore scantily documented history of the early twentieth century arguments against the continental drift theory by American earth scientists, I highly recommededshow more

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18 ratings
4.5 out of 5 stars
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4 39% (7)
3 6% (1)
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