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Thomas Burnet, Continental Drift, 1684

Thomas Burnet, Continental Drift, 1684


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Continental drift is the movement of the Earth's continents relative to each other, thus appearing to drift across the ocean bed. Thomas Burnet (1635-1715) was an English theologian and writer on cosmogony. His best known work is his Telluris Theoria Sacra, or Sacred Theory of the Earth. The first part was published in 1681 in Latin, and in 1684 in English translation, the second part appeared in 1689 (1690 in English). It was a speculative cosmogony, in which Burnet suggested a hollow earth with most of the water inside until Noah's Flood, at which time mountains and oceans appeared. He calculated the amount of water on Earth's surface, stating there was not enough to account for the Flood. Burnet believed that God created the Earth in such a way that its processes would play out according to physical laws without the need for constant divine intervention, a universal clockwork from creation to destruction.

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