Chapter 4 - Chapter 4 Plate Tectonics 1 Chapter 4 Plate...

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Chapter 4 Plate Tectonics 1 Chapter 4: Plate Tectonics This curious world we inhabit is more wonderful than convenient; more beautiful than it is useful; it is more to be admired and enjoyed then used. Henry David Thoreau, author. … when a discovery has finally won tardy recongnition it is usually found to have been anticipated, often with cogent reasons and in great detail. F. C.S. Schiller, philosopher.
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Chapter 4 Plate Tectonics 2 Chapter 4.1 Science and Santa Claus pg. 82 Key Points: A fundamental change in the way we think about something is called a paradigm shift. The surface of earth is different from the exterior of the other terrestrial planets. The theory of plate tectonics divides the outer portion of Earth into plates and explains the distribution of mountain ranges, earthquakes. A paradigm is a generally accepted view of how aspects of the world works. A paradigm shift occurs when we undergo a fundamental change in our view or rethink our understanding of a basic concept. A famous example of a scientific paradigm shifts the change from the geocentric to the heliocentric explanation of Earth’s relationship to the sun. Hey, Good Lookin’ On earth, the surface of the planet is clearly divided into two elevations. Most of the land surface lies within a few hundred meters of sea level, while much of the rest of the planet surface lies at the bottom of the oceans at a depth of approximately 4,000 meters. We can observe that much of the eastern half of the continent is relatively flat and ringed with sandy benches. The western half is experiencing a geologic party time as characterized by numerous snow – capped mountains, chains of active volcanoes, and many stretches of rugged, cliff – lined coast. Scientists debeloped the theory of plate tectonics, which is based on the observation that Earth’s surface is divided into a series of plates. The slow motion of those plates has opened and closed oceans and caused continents to migrate across the globe. The most destructive earth process, such as volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, are associated with the edges of the plates. Dynamic processes that shape the surface topography of other planets and moons share some common elements with plate tectonic processes on Earth. We need only look at our sister planet Venus to learn that the alternative to plate tectonics would be a cycle of cataclysmic events that would destroy everything on the surface of the planet. Plate tectonics grew out of a previous hypothesis known as continental drift that had been proposed by scientists about 50 years earlier. It took decades of careful observation and data analyses to provide sufficient evidence for plate tectonics to evolve as the dominant paradigm in earth science. The story of the journey from continental drift to plate tectonics provides us with a great opportunity to examine
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This note was uploaded on 06/14/2011 for the course PHSC 1001 taught by Professor Gabrielclay during the Fall '09 term at Walden University.

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Chapter 4 - Chapter 4 Plate Tectonics 1 Chapter 4 Plate...

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