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Old December 29th, 2017, 06:03 AM   #271
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To answer to both, the Program that that I teach to the students of the 5th grade follows the traditional subdivision and considers that the planet has 6 continents (Europe, Asia, Africa, America, Oceania, Antarctica) and 5 oceans. North America, Central America and South America are considered parts of the same continent.

As a side note, the Encyclopaedia Britannica, in its 1973 edition, considers also 6 continents (Eurasia, Africa, North America, South America, Oceania and Antarctica). So we can see that this is somewhat arbitrary. There are no laws here.
That is a conventional way to define the continents.
A reasoned way could be to look at one thing only. That could be continents are islands too big to be classified as such. Then incloding some that are almost entirely islands, only connected by a small strip of land.
If so then North America would include most or all of Meso America in one land mass, separated from South America. Europe and Asia would be seen as one continent, separated from Africa, only joined by the later at Sinai and Suez. Antarctica and Australia would continue as separate continents.
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Old December 29th, 2017, 07:23 AM   #272

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That is a conventional way to define the continents.
Which one? The first or the second?
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Old December 29th, 2017, 09:02 AM   #273
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That is a conventional way to define the continents.
A reasoned way could be to look at one thing only. That could be continents are islands too big to be classified as such. Then incloding some that are almost entirely islands, only connected by a small strip of land.
If so then North America would include most or all of Meso America in one land mass, separated from South America. Europe and Asia would be seen as one continent, separated from Africa, only joined by the later at Sinai and Suez. Antarctica and Australia would continue as separate continents.
But then you're stuck on the definition of 'small'. How narrow does an isthmus need to be to count as a continental boundary? As Tulius said, it's all pretty arbitrary (we learn 7 at school - North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australasia and Antartica).
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Old December 30th, 2017, 04:02 AM   #274
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But then you're stuck on the definition of 'small'. How narrow does an isthmus need to be to count as a continental boundary? As Tulius said, it's all pretty arbitrary (we learn 7 at school - North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australasia and Antartica).
OK, that depends much upon how big the landmasses on both sides are in comparison.
Compared to the size of Africa on the one side and Asia on the other, the Sinai peninsula and the Suez Canal seems to me extremely short. The same can be said about the lands of Panama and the distance there between the Oceans, compared to the size of the North American land mass further north and the South American to the South. On the other hand there is a pretty long distance between the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea. So to count Europe as separate and not a peninsula on the Asian land mass seems to me a less natural choice.
Then I would rather see Europe as a peninsula with many other peninsulae, like the place I live, and surrounded by some islands.
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