PANGAEA                                                                        SCROLL 2.pngSCROLL 2.pngSCROLL 2.png

 

It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of

kings is to search out a matter.  Proverbs 25:2

 

509px-Pangaea_continents_svgINTRODUCTION      In 1915, Alfred Wegener published the first edition of The Origin of Continents and Oceans in which he proposed a theory that at one time, all the Earth’s continents consisted of a single mass.  This single land mass he called Pangaea, a Greek word which means "all lands", or "all the Earth".  Moreover, Wegener posited that Pangaea had broken apart into the seven continents (which we have today) in a process which he called continental drift.  At the time, many scientists ridiculed this theory, for Wegener had few geological facts to support it. However, this was to change in the following decades.  The topic of Pangaea is of vital interest to the born-again believer, for it answers several key questions regarding the chronological timetable posited by a literal interpretation of the Bible.    

The Theory of Plate Tectonics    Subsequent to Wegener's published works, several scientists advanced theories that endeavored to explain the mechanism which might be responsible for the continental drift proposed by Wegener.  In 1958, Samuel Warren Carey, an Australian geologist, proposed this mechanism to be an expanding earth mechanism which consisted of continents  breaking off larger supercontinent(s) and set adrift with zones of new crust being generated in deep oceanic ridges, thus proposing an early theory of plate tectonics as being responsible for continent change.  Today there is general agreement that plate tectonics explains our underlying continent structure. These geological theories tend to support the idea of an original land mass which later came to be divided into our present continents.  The only question is, how and when did this take place?

Archeological Evidence   Archeologists have uncovered animal and plant fossils that suggest that the continent of Africa and that of South America at one time were one contiguous land mass.  Of course, everyone who has seen a global map has wondered about this possibility, for they both seem to conform to each other so well.  Here is some archeological evidence:

  • Cynognathus was a "genus of extinct advanced therapsids (mammals and their relatives) found as fossils in Lower Triassic deposits(about 240 to 250 million years ago) in South Africa and South America." (article from the Encyclopedia Britannica)
  • Mesosaurus was an "..early aquatic relative of reptiles, found as fossils from the early Permian Period (299 million to 271 million years ago) in South Africa and South America.  Continuing "Mesosaurus may have seldom, if ever, ventured onto land, because it is unlikely that the mesosaurs could have traversed broad stretches of saline open ocean, their geographic distribution provided paleontological evidence corroborating the hypothesis that the continents of the Southern Hemisphere were once joined.  The distribution of mesosaurs was thus some of the earliest proof of continental drift." (from the Encyclopedia Britannica (genus Mesosaurus))
  • Lystrosaurus..."was a genus of Late Permian and Early Triassic Period dicynodont therapsids, which lived around 250 million years ago  in what is now Antarctica, India, and South Africa." (from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
  • Glossopteris "is the largest and best-known genus of the extinct order of seed ferns known as Glossopteridales (or in some cases as Arberiales or Dicytyopteridiales .More than 70 fossil species of this genus have been recognized in India alone, with additional species from South America, Australia, Africa, Madagascar and Antarctica.  (from the Encyclopedia Britannica)

As plausible as the theory of Pangaea may sound, there is one very critical factor that one must address, and that is the time frame, or the time period, of Pangaea's possible existence. 

 

What does the Bible say?   The Bible is very explicit concerning the Earth's makeup at its beginning, for it declares

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 called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.  Genesis 1:9,10 

Therefore, by inference, we have that the dry land itself had to be gathered together into one place also.  There is no further mention regarding Earth's configuration until approximately one hundred years after the Great Flood

By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations. Genesis 10:5

After the flood into four generations we read

And unto Eber were born two sons:  the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother's name was Joktan. Genesis 10:24

After a longer listing of peoples descended from Noah's sons

These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood. Genesis 10:32

The Bible sets the Great Flood as having occurred in 2348 BC.  On this basis, we have that the days of Peleg were from 2247 to 2217 BC, according to Genesis 11:10,12,14,16 and 18.   Because of what follows, it is important to note that the Earth at the time of the Great Flood was still in one piece until at least one hundred and one years after the Great Flood.

 

Historical Mysteries     There are several mysteries that still puzzle scientists and archeologists, and one of the main ones is that of explaining how peoples migrated to the New World.   In a sense, they are admitting that people migrated from Asia through Alaska and down the coastline of North America and down to South America.  Then there is the idea that Europeans sailed across the Atlantic ocean (before Columbus) in some somewhat primitive boats and so on.  These theories are beset with many problems, and I am not going to try to explain them, because those theories are not mine to explain.  I simply believe what the Bible says - that all these peoples were scattered throughout Pangaea and then God formed the seven continents that we have today (Genesis 10:25). 

 

What about the Fossil Record?   I have given one account of the age of the Earth in  How Long is a Day?  But suppose that we had radiometric-dating techniques that were accurate right down to the very day of origin.  Secondly, suppose we had Adam's bones and we applied these super-accurate techniques to them.  Would Adam's bones record being measured from the day in which the Lord breathed the breath of life into him, or would it instead add the (supposed) birth to maturity years to him?  You see the problem.  Adam was created as a perfectly mature man, and so the super-accurate techniques would of necessity not reflect what the secular scientists would expect, since the growing-up years would not show up.

And the exact same concept applies to the Earth itself.  It does not matter what the fossil record shows - what is important is, what does the Bible say?  God created this Earth with enough fossil information that would confound disbelieving scientists, and thus offer man the choice of believing Him or believing that cockamamie evolution farce.  Faith has to have an opportunity to manifest itself, and so God has created the world so that faith can be freely expressed (see Hebrews 11:6).

 

Nimrod    Nimrod managed to marshal the whole world to his anti-God cause, yet he was only four generations removed from Noah himself!  God had destroyed the Antediluvians because violence filled the Earth (Genesis 6:11-13) and now just four generations after the Great Flood, the whole world had already fallen into gross idolatry.   We know this to be so because archeologists have unearthed a plethora of gods whom the Sumerians and Babylonians worshipped right after the Great Flood.

The Tower of Babel  was begun sometime between 2247 BC and 2217 BC (in the days of Peleg), and thus God divided Pangaea into our present-day seven continents sometime during this time span.  It is interesting to note that the Great Pyramid of Egypt was constructed before the Great Flood, if its (supposed) date of 2260 BC is accurate.  Date-setting of ancient civilizations is not a perfect science - that is why we have to depend on the perfect record(s) given to us in the Bible.  

 

Language    When Adam and Eve were created, God gave them the ability to speak to Him in a certain languageThis original language was the only language of all the Antediluvians.  So we can further conclude that the eight souls that repopulated the Earth after the Great Flood likewise spoke that same original language.  This is confirmed by God stating that at the time of the Tower of Babel, the whole Earth was of one language, and of one speech (Genesis 11:1). 

God confounded the language of the people at the Tower of Babel and then proceeded to scatter them throughout Pangaea (Genesis 11:7-9). Two years after the death of Noah, Abram (Abraham) was born, in whom all nations of the Earth were to be blessed.  Now, Abram was the son of Terah, who was the son of Nahor, who was the son of Serug, who was the son of Reu, who was the son of Peleg, who was the son of Eber, who was the son of Salah, who was the son of Arphaxad, who was the son of Shem, who was the son of Noah. Thus we have that same certain language being spoken by Abraham as that spoken by Noah - the original language which God gave Adam. 

The reason there is confusion as to what is the oldest written language is that some are unwilling to acknowledge that God may have had a hand in it.  Transparently, the original, certain language that God gave Adam was the language that continued until the Tower of Babel, and beyond for God's people.  Moses certainly understood the Ten Commandments that God wrote Himself in that same certain, original language.  Since Moses and the rest of the people could read what God had written, this confirms that the Israelites had knowledge of the written language of Hebrew.  And there is no compelling reason that one should not believe that that original, certain language was Hebrew.  In the process of time, the rest of the Bible came to be written.  Most scholars attribute the first five books of the Bible (the written Torah) as having been written by Moses sometime around 1500 BC, with the Book of Job antedating that somewhat.   Now, how do we know that Hebrew was the original language, and that it was retained at the Tower of Babel location?  Noah and his sons unto the fourth generation continued to speak that same original language, Hebrew.  But at the Tower of Babel, God scattered the people over all the Earth (Pangaea at the time) and gave them different languages so that they left off building the Tower.  However, some people who settled in the Mesopotamian Valley retained the Hebrew language, for we find Abram conversing with God in that same Hebrew language. 

Therefore, all the languages of Earth other than Hebrew had their origin at the Tower of Babel, and any archeological record which purports to supplant this fact is in gross error.  The Sumerian language is often touted as being the earliest language by some archeologists, but there are vast differences of opinion as to any exact dates.  It is well-known that ancient civilization record dates are frequently altered to show a greater age so as to impress the reader with seemingly more important information.  Certainly kings tended to exaggerate their dynastic years of ruling their kingdoms to exalt their own personal importance. 

When God confounded the people's language at the Tower of Babel, He nevertheless granted to them languages other than Hebrew for the other six continents besides ASIA when He divided the Earth. We know that Hebrew continued to be spoken and written by God's people after the Tower of Babel. Please note that God gave these other languages as spoken languages, but might have left it up to them to construct their written counterpart

One writer has posited that the earliest alphabet-type written language was developed in Egypt around 2000 BC.  This would coincide very close to the time that the Israelites became slaves in Egypt.  Five hundred years later, more or less, we find Moses receiving the Ten Commandments by God on Mount Sinai.  From that time forward we have the writing of the Holy Bible in the Hebrew language. Bible skeptics will naturally disagree with the Bible chronological record of the Hebrew language.  And that is okay, for it merely serves to polarize mankind into outright believers and outright disbelievers.  God hates those that are lukewarm (professing but not possessing) believers, vowing to vomit them out of His mouth (Revelation 3:16). These are some of the same skeptics that will simply not accept the fact that God created the Earth and all of its creatures (including mankind) in six literal days (please see How Long is a Day?).  In Revelation 21:1 God promises believers that He is going to create a new Heaven and a new Earth, where there is no more sea.  I fully expect God to do this as quickly as He created the first Earth, and in less than six days at that. 

When Charles Darwin posited his evolution theory, people had an opportunity to accept his conclusions or to believe God.  Today, nothing has changed, except for the glaring facts that Darwin's transitional fossil forms have never been found and that none of the missing causal agents have ever been identified, which are necessary elements in any scientific theory. Thus, Darwin's speculations are not theory, nor are they fact, but merely the thoughts of a fool, whom God has declared: "The fool has said in his heart, There is no God" (Psalms 14:1).  If anything can be brought to bear to completely discredit the “theory” of evolution, it is the existence of the archeological remains of the “Cambrian Explosion”, that irrefutable evidence which shows that life of all species showed up at once on this planet, while there was virtually nothing in the strata below it.  Darwin knew about this but chose not to discredit himself by admitting the reality that what he was proposing was really utter nonsense.  Today, no scientific evidence has been advanced to refute the Cambrian Explosion, because there simply is none.

God broke up Nimrod's bid for world dictatorship by destroying The Tower of Babel, confounding the people's speech, and scattering them over all the face of Pangaea.  Then He proceeded to rip Pangaea apart into the seven continents that we have today.  With the same modesty He asserted when He said "he made the stars also" in Genesis 1:16, God asserts that He "divided the earth" in the days of Peleg  (Genesis 10:25; 2247 BC to 2217  BC).  God made the stars (a finite number), after He made the Earth, so that the Earth was not the result of a big bang which flung matter out that eventually cooled, etc., but the Earth was created according to God's Divine will and purpose.  God created the rest of the Universe according to what He wanted the Earth to have.  

 

Summary of Pangaea    This skeletal account of Pangaea has attempted to explain how

  • the variety of peoples and languages in all four corners of the Earth came to be
  • and why similar pyramid-like structures have been found throughout the Earth
  • the plethora of land wildlife found in all continents (especially in South America), came to be, given that their progenitors disembarked from Noah's ark just 4,358 years ago in the mountains of Ararat
  • kangaroos came to be in Australia (please consider  Genesis 8:4-19)

In the final analysis, any Christian who believes in a literal interpretation of the Bible must embrace Pangaea as a historical fact, and that it existed until at least 101 years after the Great Flood.  If not, then that Christian would be at a loss to explain the four points shown immediately above.  

 

 

References and Essay

 

King James Bible 1611 Authorized Translation

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pangaea

 

1958: The tectonic approach to continental drift. In: S. W. Carey (ed. : Continental Drift – A Symposium. University of Tasmania, Hobart, 177-363 (expanding Earth from p. 311 to p. 349)

 

                                                                               Questions/Comments?   Email me at  comment@thechristianlight.org   

 


     

 

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