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Darwin-L Message Log 3:25 (November 1993)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

Note: Additional publications on evolution and the historical sciences by the Darwin-L list owner are available on SSRN.


<3:25>From farrar@mistral.noo.navy.mil  Wed Nov  3 13:31:28 1993

Date: Wed, 3 Nov 93 13:36:36 CST
From: farrar@mistral.noo.navy.mil (Paul Farrar)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: J. Tuzo Wilson

One of Wilson's papers which I find most interesting is his 1954
"The Development and Structure of the Crust" in Kuiper's _The Earth as
a Planet_.  This paper is notable as a later example of PRE-plate-
tectonics geophysics.  I find it interesting as an example of a well
developed theory on the threshhold of a scientific revolution.  Wilson
finds the "shrinking earth" hypothesis the most plausible explanation
for the compression type features, such island arcs and trenches.  The
spreading centers in the mid-ocean ridges were not yet known for what
they are.  When plate tectonics became a viable option, Wilson moved into
the lead.  This makes him a counter-example to some Kuhnists' claim that
the existing scientific paradigmists must die or retire before the triumph
of the new paradigm.

Paul Farrar

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