The vestiges

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“The vestiges of the rupture reveal themselves,” he continued, “if someone brings forward a map of the world and considers carefully the …p rojecting parts of Europe and Africa … along with the recesses of America.” In centuries that followed, various writers called attention to the suggestive shapes of landmasses, but almost no one else imagined that the landmasses had been driven apart, let alone by what mechanism. In 1838, the Scottish philosopher Thomas Dick, of zakelijke energie County Angus, published his Celestial Scenery; or, the Wonders of the Planetary System Displayed: Illustrating the Perfections of Deity and a Plurality of Worlds, in which he noted how neatly western Africa could lock itself tight around the horn of Brazil, “and Nova Scotia and Newfoundland would block up a portion of the Bay of Biscay and the English Channel, while Great Britain and Ireland would block up the entrance to Davis’s Straits.” Such an assembly would “form one compact continent.” And “a consideration of these circumstances renders it not altogether improbable that these continents were originally conjoined, and that, at some former physical revolution or catastrophe, they may have been rent asunder by some tremendous power, when the waters of the ocean rushed in between them, and left them separated as we now behold them.” I am indebted to Alan Goodacre, of the Geological Survey of Canada, for this high-assay nugget, and to James Romm, of Bard College, for the quotations from Ortelius, which they separately reported in the British journal Nature in 1991 and 1994, backdating by three centuries zakelijke energie vergelijken the continental-drift hypothesis attributed in textbooks to the meteorologist Alfred Wegener, of Graz in the Styrian Alps. Ortelius and Dick fared better than Wegener, for while their propositions achieved no significant attention, Wegener’ s won a considerable fame that rapidly decayed into notoriety.

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