tectonics and the monkey laws
Unlike all other scientific disciplines that are based on physical laws and mathematical verifications - there are no physical laws or mathematical verifications associated with tectonics.
The modern earth science controversy started c1925 when an (evolution vs biblical dispute) took John Thomas Scopes to court in what journalists dubbed the monkey trial. Later state laws (called the monkey laws) were instituted to prohibit teaching that man had evolved from a lower order
Later courts disallowed the teaching of evolution in public schools for lack scientific proof. To circumvent this scientists (in a two step plan to support Darwin) resurrected Alfred Wegeners defunct continental drift theory (from c1912), and changed the name to tectonics to serve as the teachable long term geological concept.
Under this plan:
Tectonics would be the long term geological concept to support evolution as the long term biological
Tectonics was then introduced in the schools (without scientific support c1960's) following a National Science Foundation funded program titled, "Biological Sciences Curriculum Study"
Evolution as the long term Biological concept, remained silent in public schools and was gradually introduced.