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Comment: 07:13 - 08:04 (00:51)
Source: Annenberg/CPB Resources - Earth Revealed - 5. The Birth of a Theory
Keywords: "Gary Ernst", "Alfred Wegener", "continental drift", "centrifugal force", "Earth's rotation", tide, Moon, Sun, geophysicist
Our transcription: According to Wegener, the mechanism behind continental drift was the centrifugal force of Earth's rotation and the tidal drag of the moon and sun.
Geophysicists quickly and correctly exposed the flaws in this reasoning.
In fact, the most difficult aspect of this theory was that he alluded to a centrifugal force as explaining why, in fact, the continents drifted.
It was shown quite conclusively that the forces were too small; the rocks were far too strong for this to have been the case.
So people were able to reject his hypothesis completely at the time based on a mechanism which, in fact, was shown to be incorrect.
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