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pangaea

Since it’s early beginnings some 4.6 billion years ago, the earth has been constantly changing its face. Oceans have become deserts and what was once mountainous terrain has found itself submerged in salt water oceans. Underwater volcanoes create new surfaces daily which one day may host a new species of life. It is this metamorphic nature of the earth that interests geologists and paleontologists the world over. What was the appearance of the primitive earth? What changes must have taken place that resulted in the earth we know today? These are some of the questions that scientists have been addressing for years. There has been much speculation about the structural origins of the earth. The most thought-provoking being the idea that at one stage in the earth’s history all the continents were joined together to form a single mass of land. Francis Bacon first hypothesized the idea in the 1620’s, focusing on the parallel shores of South America and Africa. But it wasn’t until 1910 when Alfred Wegener scientifically considered the matter of a “supercontinent” which he called Pangea (Stokes, 1973). Since this time, scientists have argued for and against Wegener’s explanation of Pangea. Today skeptics still argue the idea even in the face of overwhelming scientific data. Fossil, geologic and paleomagnetic data clearly validate Wegener’s hypothesis- proving the existence of the super continent. Wegener first envisioned that the landmass of Pangea split apart and assumed the current continental positions. The driving force behind this magnificent change was what Wegener called continental drift. As geological evidence to support the idea of continental drift he used the good “fit” of South America and Africa (Stokes, 1973), which suggests that the two continents used to be joined or were in close proximity to one another. Opponents to continental drift believed that there was no mechanical mechanism capable ...

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pangaea. (1969, December 31). In DirectEssays.com. Retrieved 04:35, November 28, 2014, from http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/33102.html