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How Do Scientists Know That?

A look at how hard-to-believe ideas become commonplace.

The theory of Plate Tectonics is used to illustrate the process of developing (sometimes startling) conclusions by building one observation on another. Although Plate Tectonics seems to have appeared from nowhere in the 1960s, it was, in fact, the culmination of a 350 year evolution fueled by a series of new technologies, held back by human incredulity.