Editors Note: This article has been updated a bit to reflect some additional facts.
During one of my recent articles I mentioned the concept of Pangea. The has been promoted by evolutionary scholars as an explanation for why very similar species are found scattered throughout the earth. Some creationists, particularly those of the old earth variant, have also accepted the idea, since they also reject the literal interpretation of Genesis chapters one through seven. Did Pangea exist and if so, what are the implications for the origins debate? This article will discuss Pangea and the implications of this massive supercontinent.
Before going any further, let us define what Pangea means. Evolutionists define Pangea as a massive supercontinent containing all the land we see today. This supercontinent supposedly came into existence around 337 million years ago and broke apart approximately 175 million years ago. Evolutionists claim that other supercontinents existed prior to Pangea and broke apart prior to the formation of Pangea. The idea actually originated in 1859 with a creationist geologist. However, the concept quickly gained popularity in evolutionary circles and survives to this day.
Evolutionists have long cited fossils as the primary evidence for Pangea. They argue that since identical species fossils are found on continents that do not connect currently, they must have at one point, been connected. Evolutionists further argue that mountain range such as the Appalachian Mountains are continuous onto other continents across the ocean from them, proving the mountain ranges were once connected.
If the above paragraph is true, then the obvious question is why are the continents no longer connected? The answer, according to evolutionists, is plate tectonics. For anyone who may not be aware, plate tectonics is the proposed model to explain the microscopic movement of the continents. This is an updated model of the theory proposed by the same German scientist that proposed the Pangea idea. The theory predicts that the continents, along with the remainder of earth’s crust, rest on what are called tectonic plates. These plates move with the liquid core of the earth, mere inches per year. These plates constantly rub against one another and occasionally, one is pulled beneath the other. When this happens, earthquakes occur. Sometimes this rubbing pushes parts of the crust up or down as well. This forms ridges or trenches, particularly in the ocean floor. At the current rate of movement, these form very slowly, almost unobservably so. Evolutionists suggest that this slow rate of movement is proof that the earth is millions of years old.
Pangea, while an established concept in the mind of evolutionists does have some issues with it. The first issue is the established continental drift rate of a few centimeters a year. The distance between Africa and South America is 6122 miles. That is 9852.404 kilometers. Breaking that down to centimeters means that the distance between Africa and South America is 985,240,400 centimeters. At a generous rate of five centimeters per year, it would take nearly over 197 million years for these two continents to drift to their current locations. Yet evolutionists tell us that Pangea began breaking apart around 175 million years ago. This is impossible under current conditions, as the two continents are currently twenty million years ahead of schedule. This puts a rather large dent in the theory. Either the evolutionist must accept that conditions were different in the past, in which case their radiometric dating methods are unreliable, or their theory about Pangea must be wrong.
Fossils are another evidence frequently put forward to prove that Pangea existed. Finding identical fossils on continents the opposite side of the world from one another would be excellent evidence that they were once connected were there not another, far more plausible explanation. Because evolutionists reject the Bible, they reject the global flood. However, a global flood would provide an answer to the species across multiple continents problem. As flood waters swept across the earth, millions of animals would have drowned. Flood currents would have spread their corpses out throughout the earth, even taking siblings to different continents. The flood also would explain the continuous mountain ranges. As part of the geologic upheaval associated with the flood, the mountains were thrust upwards. There is no reason to doubt that these mountain chains may have been thrust upwards in such a way that they appeared continuously in two separate continents. Of course, this could equally apply to the continents themselves.
Pangea is an interesting concept because it can kind of cut both ways. The evidence can be viewed in both lights. It does answer some questions about how easily creatures made it to the ark, and it is unlikely the continents were in their current shape before the flood due to mass erosion. Some creationists have incorporated it into their models, postulating the continents moved at rapid, meters per second pace in the beginning stages of the Flood before slowing to their current snail’s pace. Other creationists reject it entirely. However, the truthfulness of Pangea does not impact the veracity of a creation worldview.
Evolutionists invocation of Pangea like other evolutionary ideas fails because it relies purely on mans opinion. In rejecting the Scripture, evolutionists forced the fossil problem on themselves and Pangea was their solution. Regardless of how one views Pangea, it is not the ultimate solution for evolution’s numerous problems and provides no obstacle to creation science