What is the difference between continental drift and plate tectonics?

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Jun 4, 2017

Answer:

Major Difference.

Explanation:

Plate tectonics is a theory that explains that the earth is made up of a segmented crust, floating on molten magma with a super hot core at the centre. The segments of the crust have the ability to move and interacted with other parts of the crust slowly over time. The segments of the crust are called plates.

Continents of the earth can rest on plates even more than one at a time. From what we know from plate tectonics the plates can move overtime hence when they move the continents move along with them creating what is called continental drift.

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Jun 5, 2017

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Plate tectonic is newer form of Continental drift with more evidence and an proposed mechanism for the movement of the Continents.

Explanation:

Continental drift was rejected at the time it was proposed despite substantial evidence to support the theory. The rejection was based on several factors. Continental drift challenged the prevailing theories of uniform processes, and the geosyncline theory of mountain building. The evidence for Continental drift indicated that the Continents had separated at timeline that went against the proposed evolutionary timeline for the fossil record. Most telling there was no proposed mechanism for what force could move the massive continents.

Plate tectonics was developed after World War II. Studies of the Atlantic Sea floor due to submarine warfare revealed the existence of the midAtlantic ridge and seafloor spreading. The magnetic zones were symmetrical on both sides of the Mid Atlantic ridge indicating that the lava coming up from the ridge was creating new ocean floor and pushing the crust apart. This evidence lead to the theory of convection currents that provided a mechanism for the movement of the massive continents.

Studies of the spreading of the rift valley and discovery of subduction zones that absorb the extra crust created by the mid ocean ridges solidified the theory of plate tectonics.

Still some evolutionary scientists such as Gaylord Simpson resisted the theory up through the 1970's because of the disagreements between their theories of Darwinian evolution and the timeline of plate tectonics. Adjustments were made to both theories and plate tectonics is now a widely accepted scientific theory.

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