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USGS CMG InfoBank: Scientific Controversy Divided By Hemispheres

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Comment: 05:23 - 06:33 (01:10)
Source: Annenberg/CPB Resources - Earth Revealed - 5. The Birth of a Theory
Keywords: "Tanya L. Atwater", "Alfred Wegener", "continental drift", geologist, evolution, "South Africa", "South America", India, Antarctica, Europe, "North American Continent", continent

Our transcription: So Wegener really put together the story for all the continents and wrote it down and collected all the evidence that he could about it.
So that's partly why we hear so much about Wegener because he brought it all together.
Wegener's suggestion that the continents had once been joined and drifted apart to their present positions ignited a major controversy in the scientific community.
Acceptance of Wegener's Continental Drift Theory seemed to be divided roughly along hemispheric lines.
I think the geologists who were working in the southern continents never had any doubt because the evolution of species is so clearly parallel on them.
They have so many other geological events that are in common between the South Africans, and South America, and India, and Antarctica once we began to explore it.
There is just no doubt that they were all parts of one piece.
But most geologists weren't working in the southern continents, they were working in Europe and North America, and they just didn't catch on.

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