Darwin, Wallace & Plate Tectonics

There are two virtues of scientific inquiry I admire most. First, good scientific theories usually receive independent, measurable confirmation from seemingly unrelated disciplines. Second, good scientific theories sometimes entail predictive consequences for other disciplines, and in exceptional cases can even become the bedrock of new scientific areas of research. This combination of independent confirmation and feedback allows scientists to produce a growing and ever more coherent network of hypotheses and general principles that aid in our understanding of the universe.

In a way, this is exactly how the biological theory of evolution provided some of the very early support for the geological theory that would eventually come to be known as plate tectonics, and Alfred Russell Wallace, to his credit, was one of the first men to boldly realize that his empirical experience of evolution and natural selection implied the necessity for questioning the previously unquestioned permanence of the very ground we stand upon.



Amazing, isn't it?
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