PELLEGRINI Pablo Ariel
capítulos de libros
PELLEGRINI, PABLO A.
The SAGE Encyclopedia of Theory in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
Año: 2022; p. 742 - 747
Plate tectonics is the major theory of Earth Science, but it is also an extraordinary case for those willing to understand the social acceptance of a theory, as its main postulates circulated for a long time but did not generate consensus. Plate tectonics theory considers that the Earth is composed of layers, and the rigid outer layer, known as the lithosphere, is broken up in several plates that are in movement. The theory emerged in the late 1960s anchored in two principles: seafloor spreading and continental drift. It explains how mountain ranges, earthquakes, volcanoes, continents to fracture and oceans to form shorelines, and other features. The impact of the theory of plate tectonics to geoscience has been compared to Darwin?s theory of evolution on biological sciences. It is said to have deployed a new paradigm that profoundly changed the dominant ideas about how the earth works. Alfred Wegener is usually recognized as the precursor of the theory, for his development of the continental drift theory in 1912. But it took 50 years until his ideas about the movement of the continents were vindicated. Plate tectonics theory is not only a major geoscience theory, but its history is also a controversial case where rationalist and constructivist approaches argues about why it turned so difficult for scientists to accept that the landmasses were actually moving.