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Four Revolutions in the Earth SciencesFrom Heresy to Truth$
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James Powell

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231164481

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231164481.001.0001

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Dead on Arrival

Dead on Arrival

(p.81) Dead on Arrival
Four Revolutions in the Earth Sciences

James Lawrence Powell

Columbia University Press

This chapter focuses on the geologists' rejection of the theory of continental drift, first brought up by Alfred Wegener. World War I prevented English speakers from reading either of the first two editions of Wegener's The Origin of Continents and Oceans. The third edition appeared in German in 1922 and in 1924 in an English translation with an introduction by J. W. Evans, the president of the Geological Society of London. But alert British and American geologists could have learned of Wegener's theory in 1922 from two articles in English. The first was an unsigned review of the 1922 German third edition in the British scientific journal Nature. One who likely read the review was the Yale professor Charles Schuchert, who would launch a career-long crusade against continental drift. This chapter looks at other geologists who challenged continental drift, including Edward Berry, Frank Taylor, Philip Lake, and Reginald A. Daly.

Keywords:   geologists, continental drift, Alfred Wegener, The Origin of Continents and Oceans, Charles Schuchert, Edward Berry, Frank Taylor, Philip Lake, Reginald A. Daly, continents

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