Qms:Catastrophic Plate Tectonics: A Global Flood Model of Earth History

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See The EPIPHANY Project and What about continental drift?. Also GRISDA (Geoscience Research Institute SDA) Plate Tectonics.

For the scientific theory of Plate Tectonics and resulting "continental drift", see Plate Tectonics and Continental Drift at Wikipedia. The way that scientists resisted, questioned and eventually accepted the theory during the 20th Century is an example of scientific "paradigm shift" and a lesson in how science works — see Plate Tectonics Revolution for details.

The concept of "Catastrophic Plate Tectonics" came from a literal reading of Genesis 10:25.

Mainstream scientists reject it on account of Physics: physical calculations show that the heat released in the conjectured "catastrophe" would have boiled the oceans and destroyed life on Earth. See here for an example. This difficulty is acknowledged by Benjamin L. Clausen writing for GRISDA as one of "several scientific difficulties" of the Catastrophic Plate Tectonics model: the difficulty is overcome by an appeal to divine intervention:

Fourth, and perhaps most problematic, heat from all the magma must be dissipated quickly — again, about a billion times faster than at present. This difficulty has been noted from the standard scientific perspective, as well as by Baumgardner himself. His response is: “the Flood catastrophe cannot be understood or modeled in terms of time-invariant laws of nature. Intervention by God in the natural order during and after the catastrophe appears to be a logical necessity. Manifestations of the intervention appear to include … a loss of thermal energy afterward.”

Scientific evidence shows continental drift occurring over far longer periods of time: for example the fossil discoveries documented in this map of the break-up of ancient Gondwanaland from the Wikipedia page on Continental Drift:

Christadelphian Responses

John Morris, 1989

Division of the Continents

Once, a very long time ago (so it is said), the continental plates we now know and recognise were in very different locations; indeed, they appear to have started out locked together in one super-continental mass, ‘Pangea’.

For the Bible student, the only possible hint of this history of the earth’s crust is in connection with an enigmatic phrase in Genesis. We read that “Unto Heber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg; for in his days the earth was divided” (10:25). The word ‘divided’ occurs three times in Genesis 10: in verses 5 and 32 it is a translation of parad, meaning ‘to be separated’—referring, presumably, to the apportionment of the earth among the various tribes; in verse 32, the original word is palag (hence the name Peleg), ‘to be divided, cleaved, separated’—which it is possible (though we would not be dogmatic) to interpret in terms of the literal cataclysmic splitting apart of the continents.

Now the Genesis reference, even assuming it has to do with the separation of the continents, cannot be reconciled with orthodox ideas, which require that the continents drifted apart in an era long before Genesis 10. But why should not Genesis 10:25 refer to a contemporary catastrophic upheaval, subsequent to the creation of life! There appears to be reasonable geophysical evidence that the continents did once join together—the diagram shows how well their outlines fit—but we are not bound to accept that the fragmentation happened slowly over countless millions of years. Among other things, a more recent (possibly cataclysmic) separation of the continents would very satisfyingly explain the dispersion of land-based animals from continent to continent, a matter of some embarrassment to the uniformitarian scientist.

The Christadelphian, Vol 126, 1989

Christadelphians Origins Discussion, 2017

Christadelphians Origins Discussion argued briefly against the "Catastrophic Plate Tectonics" idea in a detailed post dealing with the older Vapour Canopy speculation:

Sometimes supporters of the vapour canopy theory will refer to ‘rapid plate tectonics’ to explain why the canopy only needed to be a few hundred metres thick, rather than a number of km thick, in order to explain where the flood water came from. The idea behind this is that prior to the flood, it is suggested that there were no mountains and that the world had much more smooth low-lying terrain and that therefore only a small amount of water was needed to flood the whole planet up to its maximum altitude. However, as mentioned previously, even a low thickness of water in the canopy would prevent most sunlight from penetrating through to the Earth’s surface. In addition, the energy generated by rapid tectonic plate movements would have been enormously devastating to the entire planet:
. . . more than enough to boil off all the oceans . . .
Once again, the problems caused by these facts are insurmountable. Having all the oceans boiled off and all life on Earth dying is not just a ‘minor problem’ for the theory, rather it is not unreasonable to state that they are entirely devastating to the entire theory and that the theory should therefore be abandoned.

—Christadelphians Origins Discussion, The “vapour canopy” doesn’t hold water