So let us start our road to discovery using the article located here: New World Encyclopedia contributors, ‘Pangaea’, New World Encyclopedia, , 18 June 2013, 23:12 UTC, <http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/p/index.php?title=Pangaea&oldid=970073> [accessed 26 April 2014] ( I use it instead of Wikipedia because it is far less biased). Pangaea or Pangea (derived from Παγγαία, Greek meaning “all earth”) is the name given to the supercontinent that is thought to have existed during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras, before the process of plate tectonics separated each of the component continents into their current configuration.
The vast ocean that once surrounded the supercontinent of Pangaea has been named Panthalassa. Pangaea is believed to have broken up about 180 million years ago (mya) in the Jurassic period, first into two supercontinents (Gondwana to the south and Laurasia to the north), and thereafter into the continents as they are observed today.
Gondwana is an hypothesized ancient southern supercontinent comprising most of the landmasses in today’s southern hemisphere, including Antarctica, South America, Africa, Madagascar, Australia-New Guinea and New Zealand, as well as Arabia and the Indian subcontinent, which are in the Northern Hemisphere. Gondwana is thought to have formed roughly 510 million years ago and to have lasted until about 150 million years ago.
During its long span of existence, Gondwana, through movements that would have been imperceptibly slow to the unaided human senses (at least they are admitting that humans were there), merged with a northern hemispheric land mass, Laurasia (which is assumed to be the land masses in the northern hemisphere), to form the supercontinent Pangaea, until the two masses gradually parted again.
In configuration, Pangaea is believed to have been a C-shaped landmass that spread across the equator. The body of water that was believed to have been enclosed within the resulting crescent on the East side has been named the Tethys Se (see the top 2 pictures above). Owing to Pangaea’s massive size, the inland regions appear to have been very dry, due to the lack of precipitation (an assumption, but probably accurate if there were large mountain ranges inland from the coastal areas). The large supercontinent would potentially have allowed terrestrial animals to migrate freely all the way from the South Pole to the North Pole (as long as they didn’t cross into the arid inland region and the coastal areas were relatively flat- no animal would cross the Alps unless being chased by a predator-also there was no snowcaps on the Poles, I guess).
Plate tectonics is a theory of geology which was developed to explain the observed evidence for large scale motions within the Earth’s crust, such as the formation and breakup of Pangaea, leading to the current configuration of continents. Essentially, this theory recognizes a thin, solid crust, made up of several plates, that floats or rides on an inner layer of melted rock.
Specifically, the outermost part of the Earth’s interior is made up of two layers: Above is the lithosphere, comprising the crust and the rigid uppermost part of the Earth’s mantle. Below the lithosphere lies the asthenosphere, which is a more viscous zone of the mantle. Although solid, the asthenosphere has very low shear strength and can flow like a liquid on geological time scales. The deeper mantle below the asthenosphere is more rigid again.
The lithosphere essentially “floats” on the asthenosphere. The lithosphere has broken up into what are called “tectonic plates”—in the case of Earth, there are ten major and many minor plates. These plates move in relation to one another. The lateral movement of the plates is typically at speeds of several centimeters per year.
Now, the hard thing to get a grasp of, to understand and to comprehend is the difference in the time span. Evolutionist geologists recognize that all of this took place during a 450 million + time span while Biblical geologists believe it all took place within a year’s time span.
Think about it a bit. Don’t reject the concept outright. Both the evolutionary and the Biblical scientists are viewing the same scientific evidence and fitting that information into two entirely different theories. I mean it had to take millions of years for the Grand Canyon to be carved out of the stone canyons, right? It takes millions of years for wood to become petrified and for fossils to develop, right? Well….. we have been lead to believe that for the past 50 years or so. All the great ‘scientists’ have said that that is so. But they weren’t there to record it, so it is nothing more than suppositions and ‘best guesses’ that they even argue among themselves about the details. Which is all right! Even the Biblical scientists also have disagreements on interpreting the same data that the evolutionary geologists have. The link below shows one such debate. Each scientist presented their beliefs in a paper with supporting references, then the opposite person had a paper to rebut the others viewpoint and then each had a final paper to support their arguments and present a summation.
It is difficult reading, somewhat technical and it took me about 2 weeks to read through it and the references (most are online, some I had to get my county library to get another library to lend them a copy- a real nice feature for our tax dollars) and come to an understanding of the subject matter. I still can’t make a definitive statement one way or another but I am leaning more in one direction than I was before. And that is the purpose of this type of discussion.
The article in the New Encyclopedia goes on and describes many ideas as to how many ‘super-continents’ there were and when they may have or may not have broken up into the smaller continents we know today. A lot of guess-work, assumptions and theories based upon the scientists academic preferences. I hope to be able to offer a reasonable and rational and scientifically based alternative for you to peruse.
From http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Gondwana : Mapping the appearance, movement, transformation, and disappearance of continental land masses through the eons of earth history must be credited as one of the great achievements in the human quest for knowledge. That effort has taxed the full measure of human capacities requiring tremendous imagination just to visualize the spans of time involved. Substantiating that visualization has demanded uncountable hours and days of field studies and laboratory research around the world, including the study of rock formations, ocean sediments, fossil forms, mines, glaciation patterns, and climate patterns. Computers have played a major role in analyzing and assembling the diverse data. (And therein lies a big problem-I’ll have a special presentation on computer modeling and BIG-DATA soon).
So we have both sides agreeing about the same concept: at one point in time, all of the known landmass was in one giant continent that then split up and the pieces traveled to their current spot on the globe. Evolutionary geology claims it took several hundred million years, biblical geology claims it took approximately a year. Neither claim can be proved definitively, because none of us were there. Evolutionary geologists make a wide ranging assumptions to substantiate their claims of millions of years, biblical geologists use the Bible as a history book of the facts, and fit the evolutionary geologists time frame into the biblical history.
Both disciplines share a vast amount of knowledge and should spend more time working together to solve the problems that are common to their beliefs instead of putting down each other for their ultimate conclusions based upon different starting presuppositions. In reality, all age-dating methods, including those which point to a young earth, rely on unprovable assumptions.
Both biblical and secular scientists seem to agree that all the world’s landmasses were on one side of the globe clumped together from basically the North pole to the South Pole. The other two thirds of the Earth was water and my question is, didn’t that make the Earth lopsided. Would not the moons gravitational pull cause massive tides what would rise and fall on the east and the west coast of Pangaea? Wouldn’t the massive ocean current clockwise in the north hemisphere and counterclockwise in the south hemisphere have an effect on the earth’s rotation? Nobody seems to have a reliable explanation as to the effects of the forces that would be on the landmass. Would that lopsidedness have been the cause of changing the Earth’s axis to 23.4° off the perpendicular?
Secular geologists claim that the Pangaea landmass broke up and over millions of years traveled to where today’s continents now are. They have no distinctive force for the breakup of such a large landmass into the many continents. They also have no definitive ocean current circulation patterns that would have allowed the continents to drift into their existing positions. At this point, it is all speculation on the part of secular geologists and further research of the deep ocean may help solve some of the incongruities.
So, was Pangaea, a large island that broke up? Not likely. That would mean it would have been floating in the ocean and would’ve been pushed by the opposite currents from northern and southern Hemisphere. So then, it would have been aligned East and West instead of North and South, which is what the common belief is. So it had to be rooted to the Earth’s mantle.
So we’re left with the conclusion that Pangaea somehow, someway broke up into a bunch of large clumps of land that then shifted through what ever method to the current continental masses that we see on our globe. Did the sections break off completely through down to the ocean bedrock did they break off in some kind of angular manner down and then it chunk across horizontally so that it could them float away? If they floated are they still slowly floating away? Was under the ocean and nice bed of soft silt, and the island of Australia ran into it and got stuck in its current position. Did the continent of Asia bang into some large underwater mountain range and then it became attached in that area?
If they are large islands that are still drifting away from each other, but why can’t I get a submarine and travel under the continent through the various underwater caverns from one side to the other, or is that all solid rock?
I would wonder if the chunks of Pangaea were like icebergs with the land on top and long thick bedrock dragging along as the islands were moved about by the ocean currents and as such, dug large trenches in the silt of the ocean bottom. The only problem with that concept is that most of the trenches at the bottom of the ocean go North and South, somewhere along the line one of the continents had to go East and West and there’s no big trenches coming from a large North and South trench.
Biblical geologists use the great flood as the causation for the breakup of Pangaea and the floodwaters as they receded moved the continents to their current positions. A lot of speculation involved in accepting this theory, but it does provide answers to many questions that the secular geologists are struggling to explain within the confines of their existent theories.
And that is my signal to quit this article and urge you to read the next article ‘Flood Facts’ in which I will lay out the biblical scientists viewpoint on how the Great Flood changed the world as it was known (I was about to write ‘as we know it’ but we don’t really) at that time. It should be ready in a week. Discussions of similar fossils, plants and animals showing in diverse places around the world, will follow. Below is an image of how the current plate tectonic theory works and the link to it to see it in larger scale if needed- we will refer to it in future articles.
So were left still with a great number of questions in which we hope to be able to answer some of them than continuing series on Pangaea – this is the first of about five articles. The next article will deal specifically with Noah’s flood from the biblical account in Genesis. The remaining articles will then deal with reconciling the differences between secular and biblical scientists in geology, biology, paleontology, and several more ologies.