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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index W > Alfred L. Wegener Quotes

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Alfred L. Wegener
(1 Nov 1880 - c. Nov 1930)

German geophysicist and meteorologist who presented the first complete statement of the continental drift hypothesis. He proposed that about 250 million years ago, all present-day continents existed combined in a single supercontinent which subsequently fragmented and drifted apart.


Science Quotes by Alfred L. Wegener (1 quote)

Scientists still do not appear to understand sufficiently that all earth sciences must contribute evidence toward unveiling the state of our planet in earlier times, and that the truth of the matter can only be reached by combing all this evidence. ... It is only by combing the information furnished by all the earth sciences that we can hope to determine 'truth' here, that is to say, to find the picture that sets out all the known facts in the best arrangement and that therefore has the highest degree of probability. Further, we have to be prepared always for the possibility that each new discovery, no matter what science furnishes it, may modify the conclusions we draw.
— Alfred L. Wegener
The Origins of Continents and Oceans
Science quotes on:  |  Geology (145)



Quotes by others about Alfred L. Wegener (1)

The Wegener hypothesis has been so stimulating and has such fundamental implications in geology as to merit respectful and sympathetic interest from every geologist. Some striking arguments in his favor have been advanced, and it would be foolhardy indeed to reject any concept that offers a possible key to the solution of profound problems in the Earth's history.
Published while geologists remained sceptical of Alfred Wegener's idea of Continental Drift, Though unconvinced, he published these thoughts suggesting that critics should be at least be open-minded. His patience was proven justified when two decades later, the theory of plate tectonics provided a mechanism for the motion of the continents.
Some Thoughts on the Evidence for Continental Drift (1944).
Science quotes on:  |  Plate Tectonics (12)


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Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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