• JoeyO

What about “continental drift” and the age of the earth?

Continental drift refers to the movements of the earth’s continents relative to each other. It is part of a generally accepted theory of Plate Tectonics which explains how in the distant past, today’s continents actually formed a single landmass. The theory specifies that over millions of years, the landmass (known as Pangea) split apart and the ensuing continents formed, drifting incrementally to their current locations on the earth’s surface. The molten energy of the earth’s mantle exerts tremendous force, causing these enormous plates to compress, extend or burrow under (subduction) into each other. Plate tectonics also explains how the incredible build-up of energy is released in the form of earthquakes and volcanoes.

The evidence of continental drift has been used to support an ancient earth of millions of years. Obviously, if we assume that continents have drifted apart at the same rate they are drifting today, then we can roughly estimate that the continents formed one landmass 200 million years ago.

Creation scientists agree with evidence regarding the movement of continents. In fact they find biblical support that concurs that the crust of the earth is broken (Isaiah 24:19). There is even the possibility that there was one original landmass (Genesis 1:10). From their perspective, the breaking of the earth’s crust is thought to have occurred at the start of Noah’s flood, when the fountains of the great deep burst forth (Genesis 7:11), to unleash a global flood.

Creation scientists also associate the well-known mid-ocean ridges which form the boundaries for the tectonic plates in the earth’s crust with the bursting of the “fountains of the great deep”. They conjecture that the earth’s crust split into continental pieces on the day of the Flood, which released the energies required for the rapid and massive shift and division of the Pangean landmass.

John Baumgardner of the Los Alamos National Laboratory is recognized for having developed the world’s best computer program for plate tectonics. His model supports the creationist’s view that continents could have drifted at rates of meters per second rather than inches per year during a catastrophe of the magnitude of the biblical Flood. That means that the continents could have moved into their present locations during the year in which the flood waters covered the earth (cited in “Continental Drift” at christiananswers.net ).

The so-called proof of “continent drift” for an ancient earth is founded on a supposed uniform rate of expansion that may not be accurate. The creationist paradigm, based the catastrophic effects of the global Flood, fits the geological evidence and supports the young earth model that is consistent with the Bible.

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