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

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

By Oreskes, Naomi

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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, and today continental drift is accepted as a scientific fact. 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 book, 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 the first detailed historical account of the American geological community in the 1920s. It also challenges previous historical work on this episode, much of which ascribes the rejection of continental drift to the lack of an adequate causal mechanism. Instead, 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 science. In uncovering the historical roots of this debate, the author seeks to clarify the relationship between scientific practice and theory while also providing a test case for related philosophical questions.
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ISBN 9780195117332
Released AU 1 Apr 1999
Publisher Oxford University Press (S3)
Format Paperback
Alternate Format(s) View All (1 other possible title(s) available)
Available at publisher; ships 6-14 working days

Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9780195117332
Stock Available
Status Available at publisher; ships 6-14 working days
Publisher Oxford University Press (S3)
Imprint Oxford University Press, USA
Released 1 Apr 1999
Publication Country United States United States
Format Paperback
Author(s) By Oreskes, Naomi
Category Mathematics
Impact Of Science & Technology On Society
History Of Science
Historical Geology
Number of Pages 432
Dimensions Width: 154mm
Height: 234mm
Spine: 28mm
Dewey Code 551.13601
Weight 701g
Interest Age General Audience
Reading Age General Audience
Library of Congress Continental drift
NBS Text Science & Mathematics: Textbooks & Study Guides
ONIX Text Professional and scholarly