A frequently asked question at our seminars is, “Do you believe in continental drift?” This is the idea that all the land masses on our planet were originally one large continent which is referred to as Pangaea. Pangaea then supposedly broke up over millions of years to give the present distribution of our continents. What about this and what about the time frame?
In 1859, creationist Antonio Snider suggested the idea of a super continent based on a biblical passage. Gen 1: 9, 10 says, “And God said, ‘Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear:’ and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas: and God saw that it was good.”
Snider’s ideas were at first laughed at, then accepted much later by uniformitarian geologists (with the addition of millions of years) to give us the present configuration on earth. If the theory is correct, we would then suggest the millions of years are not needed for the break-up, especially considering the cataclysmic events during the year of Noah’s Flood.
There also seems to be geologic evidence for the theory. It appears that the continents fit together similar to a jigsaw puzzle (but not perfectly and the pieces fit other ways as well). Other indicators for continental drift are that geologic formations continue from one continent to another as well as mineral veins and deposits extending from one continent to another.
Dr. John Baumgardner, who has been considered one of the top geophysicists in the world, came up with a theory based on his research to explain not only the break-up of the supercontinent, but which also explains the Flood of Noah’s day. To get a grasp of this, realize that the oceanic crust is being slowly pushed (or subducted) under the lighter continental plates. The material of the oceanic plates are actually denser than the magma it rides upon. Dr. Baumgardner’s model suggests that the denser oceanic crust at one time began to quickly fall into the less dense mantle. When that began, the generated heat caused a very rapid subduction. This resulted in an even greater increase of heat and then even faster subduction. Baumgardner refers to this as runaway subduction. When that occurred, many events were set into motion.
With material being forced into the mantle, and new, less dense, oceanic crust replacing the subducted crust, a rapid rise in the sea level by thousands of feet would result. This rising of the sea level would certainly be a major factor in causing the earth to flood. Huge plumes of superheated steam would also condense causing torrential rain.
Baumgardner’s model shows that circulation patterns would be set up within the mantle which would not only create electrical and hence, magnetic disturbances, but would also exert tremendous pressure on the land mass causing it to break apart and set continental drift into motion.
So, how long would this process take? Dr. Baumgardner’s model and calculations show that once it begins, the runaway effect will not happen slowly, but in the span of merely the one year of the flood. This is certainly a major deviation in the current theory of continental drift involving millions of years.
I do not have a problem with continents moving, but I do have a problem with the current time frame. As an example, suppose a skier streaks down a mountain slope, but near the bottom he takes a major spill and plows into a huge snowbank. Also suppose you just happened to look up at the very last micro second as the skier grinds to a halt. Based upon the ultra-slow speed you actually observed as he was grinding to a halt and seeing the ski tracks coming down the mountain, you might calculate that it must have taken that skier millions of years to get down that mountain.
In a like manner, if we observe the almost imperceptible motion of the continents and do not take into consideration the rapid motion resulting from the runaway subduction, we will come up with a very wrong picture of the time frame expected for all of the drifting to take place. Instead of subducting slowly, I like to say, that the floating plates of the plate tectonics theory were more like flying saucers in the past.
Originally published in the May/June 2013 issue of Think & Believe newsletter. Please call our office or email us at email@example.com for additional resources on these subjects.
Originally published in the May/June 2013 issue of Think & Believe newsletter.
Please call our office or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional resources on these subjects.