Wegener’s thesis lacked an explanation for what force might drive the movement of continents and his idea was soundly rejected, sometimes ridiculed, by geologists and the scientific community at the time.
Wegener died on a polar expedition in 1930.
Quoting from Wikipedia:
In the early 1950s, the new science of paleomagnetism pioneered at the University of Cambridge by S. K. Runcorn and at Imperial College by P.M.S. Blackett was soon producing data in favour of Wegener's theory. By early 1953 samples taken from India showed that the country had previously been in the Southern hemisphere as predicted by Wegener. By 1959, the theory had enough supporting data that minds were starting to change, particularly in the United Kingdom where, in 1964, the Royal Society held a symposium on the subject.
The 1960s saw several relevant developments in geology, notably the discoveries of seafloor spreading and Wadati–Benioff zones, and this led to the rapid resurrection of the continental drift hypothesis in the form of its direct descendant, the theory of plate tectonics. Maps of the geomorphology of the ocean floors created by Marie Tharp in cooperation with Bruce Heezen were an important contribution to the paradigm shift that was starting. Wegener was then recognized as the founding father of one of the major scientific revolutions of the 20th century.
With the advent of the Global Positioning System (GPS), it became possible to measure continental drift directly.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 13-Sep-19 21:40 by Robert Jameson.