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Held in Place By Practice

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Science  16 Apr 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5413, pp. 440-441
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5413.440

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The Rejection of Continental Drift Theory and Method in American Earth Science. Naomi Oreskes. Oxford University Press, New York, 1999. 432 pp. $55, £49.50. ISBN 0-19-511732-8. Paper, $29.95, £21.50. ISBN 0-19-511733-6.

Oreskes examines the history of geological theory and method in the United States to explain why American geologists were so slow to accept the idea of mobile continents. She concludes that drift was rejected not for want of a causal mechanism, but because it seemed to conflict with the accepted standards of practice.