Does the Bible say that there was once a Pangea / Pangaea?
Question: "Is the theory of Pangea possible? Does the Bible say that there was once a Pangea / Pangaea?"
Answer: Pangea is the concept that all of the land masses of the earth were at one time connected as one giant super-continent. On a world map, some of the continents look like they could fit together like giant puzzle pieces (Africa and South America, for example). Does the Bible mention Pangea? Not explicitly, but possibly. Genesis 1:9 records, “And God said, ‘Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.’ And it was so.” Presumably, if all the water was “gathered to one place,” the dry ground would also be all “in one place.” Genesis 10:25 mentions, “…one was named Peleg, because in his time the earth was divided…” Some point to Genesis 10:25 as evidence that the earth was divided after the Flood of Noah.
While this view is possible, it is most definitely not universally held by Christians. Some view Genesis 10:25 as referring to the “division” that occurred at the Tower of Babel, not the division of the continents via “continental drift.” Some also dispute the post-Noahic Pangea separation due to the fact that, at the current rates of drift, the continents could not possibly have drifted so far apart in the time that has transpired since the Noahic Flood. However, it cannot be proven that the continents have always drifted at the same rate. Further, God is capable of expediting the continental-drift process to accomplish His goal of separating humanity (Genesis 11:8). Again, though, the Bible does not explicitly mention Pangea, or conclusively tell us when Pangea was broken apart.
The post-Noahic Pangea concept does possibly explain how the animals and humanity were able to migrate to the different continents. How did the kangaroos get to Australia after the Flood if the continents were already separated? Young-earth creationist alternatives to the standard continental drift theory include the Catastrophist Plate Tectonics Theory (see http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v16/i1/plate_tectonics.asp) and the Hydroplate Theory (see http://www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/HydroplateOverview2.html), both of which place accelerated continental drift within the cataclysmic context of Noah’s Flood.
However, there is another explanation offered by Christian scientists that does not require a post-Noahic Pangea. According to this view, intercontinental migration most likely began while sea levels were still low during and immediately following the post-Flood Ice Age when much of the water was still trapped in ice at the poles. Lower sea levels would have left the continental shelves exposed, connecting all of the major land masses through land bridges.
There are (or at least were) shallow underwater land bridges connecting all of the major continents. North America, Southeast Asia, and Australia are all attached to continental Asia. Britain is attached to continental Europe. In some places, these intercontinental bridges are only a few hundred feet below our current sea level. The theory can be summarized as follows: (1) After the Flood, an Ice Age occurred. (2) The vast amount of water that was frozen resulted in the oceans being much lower than they are today. (3) The low level of the oceans resulted in land bridges connecting the various continents. (4) Human beings and animals migrated to the different continents over these land bridges. (5) The Ice Age ended, the ice melted and the ocean levels rose, resulting in the land bridges being submerged.
So, while Pangea is not explicitly mentioned in the Bible, the Bible does present the possibility of a Pangea. Whatever the case, either view presented above presents a viable explanation for how humanity and animals were able to migrate to continents now separated by vast oceans.
Recommended Resource: The Genesis Flood: The Biblical Record and Its Scientific Implications, 50th Anniversary Edition by Morris & Whitcomb
More insights from your Bible study - Get Started with Logos Bible Software for Free!
عربى, 简体中文, 繁體中文, Español, Français, हिन्दी, Indonesia, Italiano, Kiswahili, Magyar, Português, Tagalog
What does the Bible say about uniformitarianism vs. catastrophism?
Was Noah's flood global or local?
Did the Bible copy the Flood account from other myths and legends?
In what way was the earth divided in Peleg’s time?
How long did it take Noah to build the ark? How long was Noah on the ark?
Questions about Creation
Is the theory of Pangea possible? Does the Bible say that there was once a Pangea / Pangaea?