Scientific breakthroughs do not happen overnight. Sometimes, the missing piece of the scientific puzzle takes years to discover. In 1915, Alfred Wegner proposed the theory of continental drift to explain the past and present location of the continents; however, his ideas were met with resistance because he could not provide a mechanism for such movement.

Assignment

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Write 4–5 pages (not including the title and reference pages) that respond to the following:

  • Describe geographic evidence collected in the last part of the 20th century to support the theory of continental drift.
  • Why do scientists today accept the movement of continents but did not accept this theory back in Wegner’s time?
  • Describe the process of the scientific method and theory development.
  • How does the scientific method help us understand the natural world?
  • Describe how plate tectonics provides the mechanism for continental drift.
  • How do plate tectonics explain the process of continental drift?
  • How do plate tectonics explain natural landforms like the Himalayas and the Ring of Fire in the Pacific Ocean?

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