Why was Alfred Wegener's theory of continental drift not accepted by other prominent scientists?In Meteorology and continental drift, Alfred Wegener was the German meteorologist who proposed a...

Why was Alfred Wegener's theory of continental drift not accepted by other prominent scientists?

In Meteorology and continental drift, Alfred Wegener was the German meteorologist who proposed a comprehensive model of continental drift and presented geological evidence it and for Pangaea and plate tectonics.

 

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ako6777 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Alfred Wegener, a German born scientist, proposed the theory of continental drift.  At the time his theory was presented, he was met with much opposition.  This was mainly due to his theory's lack of scientific data and concrete evidence.  Also scientists didn't believe that the continents were drifting because Wegener was unable to present a "mechanism" for the movement. 

During his research, Wegener noticed that the continents seemed to fit together like a puzzle.  He also noted that identical fossils were being found on opposite sides of oceans.  These were two key moments in his theory development.

Opponents to his theory suggested that land bridges were once available for animals to cross wide spans of ocean.  This would account for the fossils being found so far apart.  They also proposed that tidal forces strong enough to move the continents would be strong enough to stop the earth from rotating.  Some of Wegener's data was found to be flawed and this fueled the oppositional fire.

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