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The rejection of continental drift and consensus science


Hard on the heels of the Atlantic noting the resistance to valid new ideas in science, we hear from Inside Science that :

Scientific Consensus Is Almost Never Wrong – Almost

The man who shifted the geology paradigm was Alfred Wegener and he was never mentioned in my Geology 101 class. How this happened was discussed at a meeting of the Geology Society of America in Baltimore earlier this month.

No one knows how it happened, but likely one day Wegener simply looked at a globe and noted that you could slide South America right up against Africa. The bulge in Brazil near the city of Natal, would fit snugly into the bight of Africa near Cameroon. There are other places in the world like that. The bottom of the Arabian Peninsula, fits right into East Africa around Somalia.

Wegener’s study was interrupted by World War I. Wounded twice, he spent time in hospitals and thought about the continents again from his bed. When he was released, he wrote a book, The Origin of Continents and Oceans, which was to geology as Darwin’s Origin of Species was to biology. Unlike Darwin, who was an instant phenomenon, Wegener was rejected. More.

Of course. Because, as ought now to be a commonplace among thinking persons, Darwinism was accepted because it provided a “scientific” basis for an existing social agenda of eugenics, racism, and naturalist atheism. It also spawned an academic industry of Christian Darwinism, to get Christians to accommodate the demands of that agenda.

As Darwinian philosopher Michael Ruse puts it,

Evolution after Darwin had set itself up to be something more than science. It was a popular science, the science of the marketplace and the museum, and it was a religion—whether this be purely secular or blended in with a form of liberal Christianity.

By sharp contrast, continental drift theory  did not advance social and political goals.

Wegener was ostracized and lost several teaching appointments because of his unconventional theory. The eminent British geologist Sir Harold Jeffreys wrote that his theory of drifting continents “is a theory which explains nothing we wish to explain.”

Ironically, of course, Darwinism (natural selection acting on random mutations explains everything) may end up as the province of process theologians huffing at Huffpo, retirement age academics, “aren’t I good?” girls, and Bimbette and her ardent fans.

And the continents can still be fitted together clearly – which explains a fair bit of Earth’s history.

See also: Will Dawkins’ selfish gene concept die as its proponents retire?

If everyone tries to do “consensus science,” there is no science


Why Darwinism is failing II

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Where Darwin differed was that he proposed a mechanism that explained the observations.
And he has been proven wrong as natural selection has proven to be impotent. Virgil Cain
You can't compare Wegener to Darwin. Wegener had the theory that the continents drifted, based on the compatibility of the shorelines of different continents. Other than that, he really had no more evidence, and no mechanism as to how it could occur. Wegener's theory, revolutionary for its time, is analogous to the idea of evolution. Not Darwin's theory, but the observation that animal forms have changed over time. What Wegener was not able to do was propose a mechanism that could explain the movement of the continents; plate tectonics. Where Darwin differed was that he proposed a mechanism that explained the observations. Something awe genre could not do. And although it has been significantly modified, the foundation of Darwin's theory is still sound. joehalfgallon
Vonbraun was killing our people and deserved difficulties and no reward. Later he became a Evangelical Christian and vocal creationist but that doesn't change anything. Anyways. In origin science whether right or wrong its hard tp prove or disprove some idea. Bretz with his megaflood idea and this guy all show they need committees to agree they are right. consensus in science only matters if its based on evideence that can be investigated. Continental drift is case in point, I don't agree it was drift but rather redeye, of how wrong ideas resist right ones. So evolutionism resists right ideas of ID/YEC. lots of cases and in fact most ofb the big ones. YES. Evolution was accepted right away because they loved to overthrow the christian doctrines and sincerely thought there must be another answer. in fact wrong ideas easily do better at first. Right ideas over time as people get smarter. I don't think evolutionism, as is, will last 15 years. Robert Byers
#Robert Sheldon You raise a good general point about how "science is the same everywhere, unlike religion" is a convenient myth. Whole national schools of science can get forgotten for political, or even linguistic reasons. Sadly, the English speaking western world is the most parochial, not caring what (for example) Russian academics think about evolution. Jon Garvey
Wegener was accepted in Europe a half-century before he was accepted in America. Perhaps WWII had something to do with it. I'll not forget attending a lecture about the space program in Huntsville AL, and hearing some of the difficulties Werner vonBraun encountered. In discussion after the talk, an elderly white-haired man touched my elbow, and in heavily accented English, he told me he had come from Germany to teach at Huntsville, only to discover that they did not accept Wegener's plate tectonics. "Can you belief that?" he said to me, "For fifty years we knew about Wegener already." Robert Sheldon

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