Essay on plate tectonics theory

Are there unseen worlds just beyond our reach, beyond the normal laws of physics?

Essay on plate tectonics theory

History of geology In pre-Christian times, fossils found on land were thought by Greek philosophers, including XenophanesXanthus and Aristotleto be evidence that the sea had in past ages covered the land.

Their concept of vast time periods in an eternal cosmos was rejected by early Christian writers as incompatible with their belief in Creation by God. Among the church fathers, Tertullian spoke of fossils demonstrating that mountains had been overrun by water without explicitly saying when.

Essay on plate tectonics theory

Chrysostom and Augustine believed that fossils were the remains of animals that were killed and buried during the brief duration of the Biblical Genesis Floodand later Martin Luther viewed fossils as having resulted from the Flood. In Bernard Palissy speculated that fossils had formed in lakes, and natural historians subsequently disputed the alternatives.

In Nicolas Steno showed how chemical processes changed organic remains into stone fossils. His fundamental principles of stratigraphy published in established that rock strata formed horizontally and were later broken and tilted, though he assumed these processes would occur within 6, years including a worldwide Flood.

This natural philosophy was recast in Biblical terms by the theologian Thomas Burnetwhose Sacred Theory of the Earth published in the s proposed complex explanations based on natural laws, and explicitly rejected the simpler approach of invoking miracles as incompatible with the methodology of natural philosophy the precursor to science.

Burnet maintained that less than 6, years ago the Earth had emerged from chaos as a perfect sphere, with paradise on land over a watery abyss.

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This crust had dried out and cracked, and its collapse caused the Biblical Deluge, forming mountains as well as underground caverns where the water retreated. He made no mention of fossils, but inspired other diluvial theories that did. When it was pointed out that lower layers were often less dense and forces that shattered rock would destroy organic remains, he resorted to the explanation that a divine miracle had temporarily suspended gravity.

A skeleton found in a quarry was described by him in as Homo diluvii testisa giant human testifying to the Flood. This was accepted for some time, but in it was shown to be a prehistoric salamander.

Essay on plate tectonics theory

In his publication he identified 30 different layers in this category which he attributed to the action of the Genesis Deluge, possibly including debris from the older mountains.

Others including Giovanni Arduino attributed secondary strata to natural causes: The idea of a young Earth was further undermined in by Nicolas Desmarestwhose studies of a succession of extinct volcanoes in Europe showed layers which would have taken long ages to build up.

The fact that these layers were still intact indicated that any later Flood had been local rather than universal. Against Neptunism, James Hutton proposed an indefinitely old cycle of eroded rocks being deposited in the sea, consolidated and heaved up by volcanic forces into mountains which in turn eroded, all in natural processes which continue to operate.

Most accepted a basic time scale classifying rocks as primitive, transition, secondaryor tertiary. Several researchers independently found that strata could be identified by characteristic fossils: Cuvier found that fossils identified rock formations as alternating between marine and terrestrial deposits, indicating "repeated irruptions and retreats of the sea" which he identified with a long series of sudden catastrophes which had caused extinctions.

His historical approach tested empirical claims in the Biblical text of Genesis against other ancient writings to pick out the "real facts" from "interested fictions". In his assessment, Moses had written the account around 3, years ago, long after the events described.

Cuvier only discussed the Genesis Flood in general terms, as the most recent example of "an event of an universal catastrophe, occasioned by an irruption of the waters" not set "much further back than five or six thousand years ago".

The historical texts could be loosely related to evidence such as overturned strata and "heaps of debris and rounded pebbles".

In he was visited by Cuvier, and in his inaugural speech in as the first professor of geology at the university he defended the subject against allegations that it undermined religion.

In their book on Outlines of the Geology of England and Wales Conybeare referred to the same features in an introduction about the relationship between geology and religion, describing how a deluge causing "the last great geological change to which the surface of our planet appears to have been exposed" left behind the debris which he named in Latin Diluvium as evidence for "that great and universal catastrophe to which it seems most properly assignable".

In Buckland published his detailed account of "Relics of the Flood", Reliquiae Diluvianae; or, Observations on the Organic Remains Contained in Caves, Fissures, and Diluvial Gravel and on Other Geological Phenomena Attesting the Action of an Universal Deluge, incorporating his research suggesting that animal fossils had been dragged into the Kirkdale Cave by hyenas then covered by a layer of red mud washed in by the Deluge.

Adam SedgwickWoodwardian Professor of Geology at Cambridge, presented two supportive papers in"On the origin of alluvial and diluvial deposits", and "On diluvial formations". At this time, most of what Sedgwick called "The English school of geologists" distinguished superficial deposits which were "diluvial", showing "great irregular masses of sand, loam, and coarse gravel, containing through its mass rounded blocks sometimes of enormous magnitude" and supposedly caused by "some great irregular inundation", from "alluvial" deposits of "comminuted gravel, silt, loam, and other materials" attributed to lesser events, the "propelling force" of rivers, or "successive partial inundations".

He said that "we must charge to moving waters the undulating appearance of stratified sand and gravel, often observed in many places, and very conspicuously in the plain of New Haven, and in other regions of Connecticut and New England", while both "bowlder stones" and sandy deserts across the world could be attributed to "diluvial agency".

He was critical of the assumption that fossils resembling modern tropical species had been swept north "by some violent means", which he regarded as absurd considering the "unbroken state" of fossil remains.

The Theory of Plate Tectonics

For example, fossil mammoths demonstrated adaptation to the same northern climates now prevalent where they were found. Moses does not record such an occurrence.

On the contrary, in his history of the dove and the olive-leaf plucked off, he furnishes a proof that the flood was not so violent in its motions as to disturb the soil, nor to overturn the trees which it supported.acquired trait: A phenotypic characteristic, acquired during growth and development, that is not genetically based and therefore cannot be passed on to the next generation (for example, the large.

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Plate tectonics The large scale motions of the earth’s lithosphere are describe by a scientific theory called plate tectonics which explains that Earth’s outer layer is made up of plates, which have moved throughout Earth’s history.

Home — Essay Samples — Science — Plate Tectonics — A Discussion on Various Theories of Plate Tectonics This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by professional essay writers. VoiceThread Universal lets you browse threads and hear comments in pages specially designed for screen readers.

Click here to go to VoiceThread Universal. Plate Tectonics - Topic Definition Plate Tectonics is a scientific theory which study how the Earth’s plates are driven and shaped by geological forces to keep them in constant movement.

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