German Geological Association

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In an address to the German Geological Association in 1912, and three years later in his essay Die Enstehung der Kontinente und Ozeane, Wegener based his concept not only on the jigsaw fit of Africa and the Americas but also on the likeness of certain rocks on the two sides of the ocean, and on comparisons of living and fossil creatures. He knew nothing of paleomagnetism, which was in its infancy and was many years away from yielding insight to the problem, but he was the promulgator of the hypothesis of continental drift. Unfortunately, he attempted to explain how the continents moved. He zakelijke energie envisioned tl1em plowing like icebreakers through solid basalt. Almost no one believed his hypothesis, any more than Benjamin Franklin had been believed when, in 1782, possibly after a visit to Edinburgh, he said he thought that the surface parts of the earth were floating about on a liquid interior. Wegener had received fame as a record-setting balloonist, an Arctic explorer, and now he was making an assertion for which his name would live in mockery for ahout fifty years. In life and in death, he was a target of scorn. His idea provoked gibes, jeers, sneers, derision, raillery, burlesque, mockery, irony, satire, and sarcasm, but it could not be ignored. In i928, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists published a symposium on zakelijke energie vergelijken continental drift. It included a paper called “Some of the Objections to Wegener’s Theory,” by Rollin T. Chamberlin, of the University of Chicago, who expressed what was then the prevailing attitude among geologists and would continue to be until the nineteenseventies, after which it would cease to prevail but not to survive:
Wegener’s hypothesis in general is of the foot-loose type, in that it takes considerable liberty with our globe, and is less bound by restrictions or tied down by awkward, ugly facts than most of its rival theories. Its appeal seems to lie in the fact that it plays a game in which there are few restrictive rules and no sharply drawn code of conduct. So a lot of things go easily. But taking the situation as it now is, we must either modify radically most of the present rules of the geological game or else pass the hypothesis by.

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