Why did people disagree with the theory of plate tectonics?

At the time it was first studied, what assumptions about the earth were people stuck on that made it difficult to accept the theory of plate tectonics?

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  • Tara S
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Here's a really good article: http://www.aapg.org/explorer/special/tectonicsdeba...

    Mainly, the biggest thing that was against it was because people couldn't actually see plate tectonics in action. There were also a number of other theories out there that were more popular - such as contractionism. Geologists are highly fond of their initial theories, and getting them to think outside the box is incredibly difficult. You should read about the controversy regarding the Missoula Floods.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The biggest thing was that Continental Drift had no explanation. People couldn't see how a continent could just plow through rock, or even why it would want to do so.

    It was the discovery of individual plates and the demonstration of a system of areas of rock creation (divergent) and rock destructive (convergent) boundaries that allowed for the motion of plates (and therefore the movement of continents). Armed with this understanding, a discovery of the internal structure of the earth through seismic wave analysis, along with hot spot evidence in the form of island chains, helped the idea along to the point that today the theory is almost universally accepted.

    Source(s): Geologist.
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  • 1 decade ago

    Tectonic theory says it is constantly moving at the rate of about 50 to 100 mm per year.In that case is it leaving a gap on other side of the plate.

    Source(s): My research work.
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