Noah and the abundance of flood myths
Almost every ancient people known to man tell a similar story of a most ancient time: there was an apocalyptic flood and only a very few people survived it1. Now, granted, we are not to assume that all of the details of each story are to be accepted at face value. Such is the nature of all myths and stories. However, having said that, since this story is so prevalent we must accept that the foundation of the story, that of global flooding, is true as it is the only aspect of the story that is agreed upon.
I would like to point out that the focus of this lesson is not to bring proofs as to whether or not the flood actually happened or not. It is enough for me, based solely on the veracity of the Holy Torah that it did happen. If one would like to explore this venue, there is a plethora of information readily available on the internet to addresss this. The sole focus of this lesson is to show how the Torah’s depiction of the flood story and other aspects which transpired afterwards, all show and are in complete agreement with the scientific theory of plate tectonics and how these Earth-forces shaped the world in the past until the present-day.
The Torah, in the second of the years weekly readings, in the story of Noah, tells us that there came a point in time when the world was destroyed by means of a flood. The Torah tells us that there was only one means of escape for all land-dwelling creatures and that was by means of the Ark that Noah was commanded to build. The Ark is built, the world is destroyed, and all living things emerge from the Ark to repopulate the now vacant planet. If this happened it would imply that both man and beast, post flood, would then have proceeded to repopulate the land from a central point at which the ark landed. If they all just “got off the boat” at Mount Arrat, as the Torah clearly tells us, (wherever that might be), then their “point of departure” into the world also came from there. In short: all life emanates from one central point.
Noah and Continental Drift:
In my book Core Emmuna 1: Hello? G-d? (if you haven’t gotten it yet, what are you waiting for?) in the chapter entitles In the Beginning, I elaborated on how the Torah itself calls the original land the landmass. There was only one. This information, however, leads us to a number of questions:
Let’s address these issues one at a time:
Issue 1: When did things change?
Concerning the issue of continental drift not only do the scientists not disagree with this premise but, rather – just the opposite! – they embrace it wholeheartedly. Why? Because everyone agrees that the likelihood of actual life evolving, (or, rather, being created), in more than one place is … not! Yet despite that fact there is life at every corner of the globe. If all life were to have emanated from a central point – that solves this first very difficult issue. However, it leads us to a second question: If all life emanated from a single point on the globe – how is it that we find life everywhere? I mean “don’t ya know” that the continents have been separated for “millions” of years?
Well, if there was a single landmass once upon a time and life proliferated on it while it was unified and it then separated into the continents that we know today then that issue is solved, no? What about the “millions of years”? Be patient, we’ll get to it bubby2!
Interestingly enough, as Dawkins points out in his book The Greatest Show on Earth, if we say that there was, at one time, one central landmass then that solves another issue as well: the specialization of animal types in certain areas of the globe.
All3 organisms are adapted to their environment to a greater or lesser extent. If the abiotic and biotic factors within a habitat are capable of supporting a particular species in one geographic area, then one might assume that the same species would be found in a similar habitat in a similar geographic area, e.g. in Africa and South America. This is not the case. Plant and animal species are discontinuously distributed throughout the world:
Africa has Old World monkeys, apes, elephants, leopards, giraffes, and hornbills.
South America has New World monkeys, cougars, jaguars, sloths, llamas, and toucans.
Deserts in North and South America have native cacti, but deserts in Africa, Asia, and Australia have succulent native euphorbs that resemble cacti but are very different, even though in some cases cacti have done very well (for example in Australian deserts) when introduced by humans.
Even greater differences can be found if Australia is taken into consideration, though it occupies the same latitude as much of South America and Africa. Marsupials like kangaroos, bandicoots, and quolls make up about half of Australia’s indigenous mammal species. By contrast, marsupials are today totally absent from Africa and form a smaller portion of the mammalian fauna of South America, where opossums, shrew opossums, and the monito del monte occur. The only living representatives of primitive egg-laying mammals (monotremes) are the echidnas and the platypus. The short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) and its subspecies populate Australia, Tasmania, New Guinea, and Kangaroo Island while the long-beaked echidna (Zaglossus bruijni) lives only in New Guinea. The platypus lives in the waters of eastern Australia. They have been introduced to Tasmania, King Island, and Kangaroo Island. These Monotremes are totally absent in the rest of the world. On the other hand, Australia is missing many groups of placental mammals that are common on other continents (carnivorans, artiodactyls, shrews, squirrels, lagomorphs), although it does have indigenous bats and murine rodents; many other placentals, such as rabbits and foxes, have been introduced there by humans. Other animal distribution examples include bears, located on all continents excluding Africa, Australia and Antarctica, and the polar bear only located solely in the Arctic Circle and adjacent land masses. Penguins are located only around the South Pole despite similar weather conditions at the North Pole. Families of sirenians are distributed exclusively around the earth’s waters, where manatees are located in western Africa waters, northern South American waters, and West Indian waters only while the related family, the Dugongs, are located only in Oceanic waters north of Australia, and the coasts surrounding the Indian Ocean. Additionally, the now extinct Steller’s Sea Cow resided in the Bering Sea. The same kinds of fossils are found from areas known to be adjacent to one another in the past but which, through the process of continental drift, are now in widely divergent geographic locations. For example, fossils of the same types of ancient amphibians, arthropods and ferns are found in South America, Africa, India, Australia and Antarctica, which can be dated to the Paleozoic Era, at which time these regions were united as a single landmass called Gondwana. Sometimes the descendants of these organisms can be identified and show unmistakable similarity to each other, even though they now inhabit very different regions and climates.
In other words, this is supposed to “prove” the theory of evolution because…? Still not so clear on that point4. If we accept that the Torah holds that there was only one landmass at the beginning and that all of the animals diverged from the single point of the Ark after the flood, then there is no “proof” here at all! So why do evolutionists consider this to be a refutation of Creation? Because we say that Earth and all that is in it is relatively recent whereas they say that it’s positively ancient! How do they know that? Well, as we mentioned about the aforementioned chapters in CE volume 1, they know that based on the “dating” methods and there is a lot to say about the issues involved with them and just how “scientific” they really are. However, in addition to the method of potassium-argon dating, for example, here the scientists use the data gathered based on another method of dating, (continuing the same type of logic used to ascertain the “veracity” of the various atomic dating methods): the measurements of the “drift” of the tectonic plates of the earth. Considering that the plates move at a rate of only 0-100mm per year5 so make the math: distance of (say) the United States from Europe, (4000 km) say, divided by 100mm per year = a very very long time. The problem with this is that it assumes that the rate is constant. It also assumes that the initial rate of the tectonic movement was also the same constant. Neither of these is verifiable for more than the years of actual observational evidence hence they are, also, not scientific fact, but rather scientific conjecture. As to their fallacy see the quote from Mark Twain that I quoted concerning this issue in the chapter called In the Beginning. In addition, as there is no clear consensus as to what the mechanism is that powers the tectonic movement of the plates it makes it very difficult to truly try and make any real calculations until we actually can figure it out. More on that in a moment.
Second Issue: are there any Torah sources relating to the continental drift?
Answer: Of course! I can think of four very pertinent sources off the top of my head!
SOURCE 1: First of all, the verse describing the beginning of the flood, (Genesis 7:11)
בִּשְׁנַת שֵׁשׁ-מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה לְחַיֵּי-נֹחַ בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִי בְּשִׁבְעָה-עָשָׂר יוֹם לַחֹדֶשׁ בַּיּוֹם הַזֶּה נִבְקְעוּ כָּל-מַעְיְנֹת תְּהוֹם רַבָּה וַאֲרֻבֹּת הַשָּׁמַיִם נִפְתָּחוּ.
Meaning that in the 600th year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the 17th of that month, on this day all of the Ma’ayanot that resided in the great (sea) depths (תהום רבה) were torn asunder (נבקעו) and the passages (ארבת) of the Shamayim were opened.
Ma’ayanot are springs. Springs emanate from groundwater. Hence the Torah is telling us that at this point in time all of the under-groundwater was expressed to above the ground levels. How this is done… the Written Torah doesn’t say. However, it also adds in one descriptive word נבקעו, which translates as “torn asunder”. I say this based on my knowledge of the Hebrew language and also because of a very descriptive verse that we find in Zacharia (14:4). Here the prophets relate a prophecy concerning the end of days. The Navi tells us that it will be on that day He will stand on the Mount of Olives which faces Jerusalem on the East, and the Mount of Olives will be torn asunder (ונבקע) at its half point from (along) the East to the Sea (West), a very great valley (will be formed); And then (the Northern) half of the mountain will move (מש) to the North and it’s (other) half towards the Negev (South).
The word נבקע means “it was split”, so here, by Zacharia, as opposed to in the time of Noah, the split is one that goes from the East to the West. However, if it is not stated specifically in the Torah we can then assume that the split can go in any direction. This is especially true when we consider that the splitting here didn’t take place at only one location. It took place at many locations simultaneously, (all of the deep springs), which kind of sounds like the deep tectonic rifts that reside at the bottom of the oceans.
SOURCE 2: In addition, at the time of our great teacher, Moses, we find the following verse: (Deuteronomy 4:32)
“Please, ask concerning the days of old that were before you, (even) from the day that E-lohim created man on the land, and from one end of the sky to the far end of the sky. Was there ever something similar to this great thing (the giving of the Torah at Sinai) or has there been a similar claim heard?”
Why did Moses, at around 1500 years after the flood, tell the people of Israel that they should check out this issue from one end of the sky to the far end of the sky? Are there people who live in the sky? Obviously not! So why did he say this? Simple: he knew that there were people living in distant lands which were not part of the known landmass of Europe-Asia-Africa… but they are all under the same sky! Now if the tectonic movements of the continental landmasses were as slow as the scientific community claims then how did Moses, living so long before the discovery of the Americas and of Australia/New Zealand, know this? They should have been long scrubbed from memory! But Moses tells his people know that there are other peoples living across the seas, and even if you were to meet them and to ask them if among then there is any nation with a claim that matches the claim of the children of Israel: National Revelation and living to tell the tale (more on this in a later lesson) they will tell you “Nope! Never heard it… never will!”6
SOURCE 3: Proverbs 3:19-20
ה’ בחכמה יסד ארץ כונן שמים בתבונה: בדעתו תהומות נבקעו ושחקים ירעפו טל:
“(19) HaShem, with His wisdom, made the foundation of the land, arranged the heavens with understanding. (20) With His knowledge were the depths torn asunder (נבקעו, see the previous expansion) and the shachakim release dew”
SOURCE 4: Psalms 104:6-9
ו תְּהוֹם כַּלְּבוּשׁ כִּסִּיתוֹ עַל-הָרִים יַעַמְדוּ מָיִם. ז מִן-גַּעֲרָתְךָ יְנוּסוּן מִן-קוֹל רַעַמְךָ יֵחָפֵזוּן. ח יַעֲלוּ הָרִים יֵרְדוּ בְקָעוֹת אֶל-מְקוֹם זֶה יָסַדְתָּ לָהֶם. ט גְּבוּל-שַׂמְתָּ בַּל-יַעֲבֹרוּן בַּל-יְשֻׁבוּן לְכַסּוֹת הָאָרֶץ.
(6) The Deep waters covered it (the earth) like a garment, on top of the mountains stood the waters. (7) From Your rebuke they (the waters) flee, from the sound of Your thunders they tremble. (8) The mountains will rise up, the valleys will descend to this place, which You founded for them. (9) You placed a boundary so that they should not pass, so that they should not return to cover the land.
We will explore the deeper meaning of this verse in a moment.
In addition, there is also the words of our sages, ob”m, in the midrash that we will see later on.
Issue three: How does the Torah’s information “sync” with the data?
Concerning the issue of where the water of the planet came from in the first place please look in the book in the chapter In the Beginning.
Now let’s address the basic question concerning this issue. Is there, in fact, any evidence that the sea levels were once much higher than their present-day levels, i.e. those that we can see and measure today? If what the Torah tells us is true then this leads us, as well, to a few other questions. Just where did all of this water come from that raised the sea levels so drastically? Where did all of the water go? Lastly, what were the ramifications?
Recent data can give us answers to all of these questions:
In the not-too-distant past, (2009)7, evidence was discovered in the Bermuda Islands showing emphatically that sea levels in the more distant past were higher than they are today. According to the data some 400,000 years ago, (again, dates I don’t take literally), the sea levels were some 21 meters (70 feet) higher than they are today.
In 20078 scientists conducting a geological survey of the earth’s deep mantle were amazed to discover the equivalent of another entire ocean underneath the surface of East Asia. If this water (roughly the size of the Arctic Ocean) would be added to the oceans visible on the surface of the Earth, just how much would the waters then rise? Well if we take Antarctica and its ice as a measure it can give us some idea of what we are talking about. Antarctica is covered with ice an average of 2,133 meters (7,000 feet) thick. If all of the Antarctic ice melted, sea levels around the world would rise about 61 meters (200 feet)9. SO, if we take into account that the waters of the Arctic ocean cover about 5,440,000 sq mi (14,090,000 sq km) and reaches a maximum depth of about 18,050 ft (5,502 m)10. That is a grand total of 77,523,180,000 cubic meters of water sitting under East Asia alone. Who knows how much more we’ll find? That would seem to imply that there is room yet for the waters of the oceans to gain another couple, (2-3), of hundred meters in height at least! More if we include the ice! Sounds to me like quite a bit of water down there in the deep Earth mantle!
This issue is not new to the Torah. In fact, it’s an explicit verse in Psalms (136:6) לְרֹקַע הָאָרֶץ, עַל-הַמָּיִם: כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ., meaning “To (The One who) Layers the land on top of the waters, because His kindness is forever”. Oceans under the land? Glad you finally caught up science!
In addition to the aforementioned findings a quick search for “how much water is there under the earth’s crust” also reveals to us interesting information, such as the following11:
“In fact, we don’t really know how much water there is on Earth,” said Gary Egbert, also a professor of oceanography at OSU and co-author on the study. “There is some evidence that there is many times more water below the ocean floor than there is in all the oceans of the world combined. Our results may shed some light on this question.” …
The study being discussed there is about how, in all probability, water underneath the earth’s crust itself is responsible for plate tectonics.
The Torah tells us in Genesis 8 that after the deep springs were “dammed up”, (verse 2, the Hebrew word is ויסכרו, the word סכר meaning a dam) and the funnels of Heaven were closed, (i.e. it stopped raining) the waters then proceeded to … become lower. Now, where did all of the water go? Underground, of course!
Well first I will remind the reader of the verse in Psalms quoted above: mountains were raised, and valleys were lowered. This means that plate tectonics were involved. More specifically Divergent and Convergent tectonics. The divergent tectonics opened up great chasms (i.e. valleys) in the earth by pushing, (or is it pulling?), apart plates, simultaneously pushing said plates against other plates, subducting and inducting… and forming mountains. Quite literally mountains were raised, and valleys were lowered. The end result was that there were changes in the elevation of the ground levels and water always seeks lower ground.
In addition to said topographical changes, the waters that had been forced – for whatever reason and by whatever machination – out of the ground, now were allowed to recede back from whence they came. I did mention that there were underground oceans, didn’t I? Recent study seems to point out that one of the main driving forces of plate tectonics is water and if massive amounts of water were absorbed into the earth’s strata it makes a lot of sense to say that the plate tectonics were affected on a massive scale.
In addition, the Torah also tells us clearly that the force of the waters of the Flood were so great that “All of the Yakum, (literally “that upon which we stand”), which is on the face of the planet were liquefied (ימח)”. This would have a clear and important effect on two things relevant to the field of archaeology. First this means that certain strata of the earth were restructured and second the amount of pressure created by the waters were increased significantly. If the height of Mount Everest today is 8850 meters above sea level (which certainly wasn’t the case back then). If we can imagine the sea levels rising by that height, then the amount of pressure being exerted on the lowest levels of the sea would more than double. Obviously, the pressure on the face of the landmass would also be great! I mean if we consider that for every 10 meters of depth the pressure per square inch12 (PSI) increases by one atmosphere so if we increase the ocean depth by 8850 meters that’s a total of 850 atmospheres per square inch over the land masses only, over the deep-sea beds we would add that to the existing pressures!
If we assume that the growth rate of Mount Everest is constant (something I am loath to do, but I will for arguments sake) and that it grows every year, due to plate tectonics, by about 3 to 6 millimeters13 (we’ll say 4.5, the average) and the Flood having happened about 4500 years ago that means that we can lower this amount by 202.5 meters, but that’s just a drop in the proverbial bucket!
So, we either have to say that there is much more water under the earth’s surface than that which we are aware of, enough to raise sea levels 8.5 kilometers, or we must assume that even the highest mountain was significantly smaller at the time, (or both).
As I mentioned earlier, from the Torah it sounds like option c, both the mountains were “raised” (and the valleys lowered) and there is a very large amount of water under the earth’s crust, and it is capable of raising the sea levels until they are considerably higher. In addition, as we will soon describe, it makes much more sense to assume that the rate of plate movement is not constant, (or, at least, not the constant that we measure today), but rather started big and slowly lessened until today’s measurements.
There’s just one problem. Water is not really compressible. It is for this reason that hydraulics is employed in machinery. If I want to get a robotic arm to extend, for example, it is “easy” to achieve if I compress water from one compartment into the next thereby forcing the water (or other liquid) to “extend”. Because of this it is very difficult to say that there was enough water on earth at the time to facilitate a flood to the extent that it is described.
HOWEVER, in the Torah’s description of the flood we find that there was another source of water: something called Arubot (tunnels or chimneys) ha Shamayim. Just what, exactly, are they?
Listen to the words of the Midrash HaGadol on the reading of Noah:
And the Arubot of the shamayim were opened. In the beginning the wellsprings down under began flowing, as it says, “all of the wellsprings of the deep” and afterwards the Arubot of the Shamayim were opened. How was it? The Holy One blessed be He took two stars from Chimea (Messier M45, also called Pleiades) and opened up two Arubot and brought down the water, as it says, “and the Arubot (plural, singular is Arubah) of the shamayim were opened”.
Now the modern usage of the word Arubah is a chimney. Clearly that is not the meaning here. However, in all usages of the term it’s meaning is a tube-like structure used for transferring something from one place to another. In modern Hebrew it is the means to transfer of smoke from inside the house/structure to the outside. In the Torah the two arubot are, therefore, a means of transferring water from a distant source to the earth. They are what scientists today call a “wormhole”.
What the Torah is telling us is that in order to make the flood happen – HaShem brought more water to the planet via wormhole from a distant galaxy.
Fine. So, the flood happened. But if there was so much water on the face of the planet, more than ever before, where did it all go?
The answer: it was absorbed into the planet. However, as water cannot really be compressed, (as mentioned previously), how would this affect the world?
If we are to assume that then the planet absorbed all of this water, then clearly the result would be swelling. The planet, effectively, would grow “to big for its britches” forcing the outer crust to break apart, causing the areas between the plates to become deep valleys. The mountains first rise followed by the lowering of the valleys. This is the beginning of plate tectonics on earth.
In light of this explanation it becomes possible to “make peace” between two “warring” hypotheses: the “expanding/growing earth” hypothesis and the more accepted “static size earth” hypothesis. The “expanding earth” hypothesis holds that, due to sea-bed spreading, the size of the planet has been increasing over time. The “static earth” hypothesis holds that, due to the discovery of subduction, the earth has basically retained a static size throughout its history.
According to what we proposed above it could be that they are both right! For as a result of the addition of massive amounts of water (i.e. mass) to the planet and its subsequent absorption into the strata the planet did grow in diameter, which caused the initial rifts in the earth’s crust resulting in initial plate restructuring. Since that time, however, the size of the planet has remained a relative constant due to the process of subduction, which is what the data points to today.
More on this in a moment!
A direct result of the increased size of the earth would be a much greater gravitational pull, which would have a direct effect on all of the inhabitants of the planet. Perhaps, as a result, this had something to do with HaShem’s permitting the people to eat meat after the flood.
The time-frame for continental drift
SO far, we have seen that it is not only possible for there to have been a world-wide flood in which the mechanism of tectonics would have played a major part, but that there is actual evidence showing that sea levels were once considerably higher.
We have seen that both the Torah and science agree that once upon a time there was only one central landmass in the world from which all of humanity and all of the animal kingdom dispersed.
So that just leaves us with the question as to when the landmasses broke up and over what time period did they become so distant?
Earlier I quoted a verse from Deuteronomy that clearly refers to the existence of other landmasses under the skies other than the “known” lands of yesteryear. This means that by the time of Moses, our teacher, the landmasses had already separated and distanced themselves enough to have been forgotten. So obviously we already have an upper limit.
On the other hand, it cannot have happened until after Noah landed and deposited the animals on dry land because otherwise we will have to wonder how the various life-forms found their way to the four corners of the globe!
Interestingly enough there is a verse in Genesis which gives us a clue: the verse is in chapter 10 verse 25.
“And unto Ever were born two children: (the) name of the one (was) Peleg, for in his days the Eretz was divided (נפלגה הארץ) and the name of his brother (was) Yoktan”.
The interesting thing about this verse is that it is a play on words: the topic of the verse is Ever and who his main children were, however when it comes to the name of his firstborn, Peleg, the Torah gives a reason as to why he was called that name. However, there is one thing in the verse which is ambiguous: the word בימיו, “in his days”. Well, whose days are we talking about? Are we talking about the main topic, in which case it refers to Ever, or are we talking about the son, Peleg? In other words, was Peleg, which means “division”, called this name because of something that was or because of something that will be.
However, the simple understanding of the verse is that this was an event that already happened in the lifetime of Ever and that his son was given this name in the after-math of that event. Our sages, however, explain that really what happened is that the Divine-spirit directed Ever, who was a prophet, to call his son Peleg based on something that was yet to come to pass at the end of Peleg’s days, i.e. the dispersal (=division=peleg) of all people from Babel.
This is a classic example of what our sages call the “Pshat”, (simple understanding of the verse) and the “Derash” (the exegesis of the verse). They both are non-contradictory and are therefore correct interpretations of the verse.
Derash aside, from the simple understanding of the verse we see that the Torah, itself, gives us a time-frame for continental drift as having occurred in the lifetime of Ever. Ever was the son of Shelach, who was the son of Arpachshad, who was the son of Shem (who was the son of Noah)14. According to the time-line that the Torah lists clearly, this means that this event occurred around 100 years after the flood.
If we then calculate from that time until the time of Moses we find that a total of some 770 years has passed by the time Moses makes the aforementioned statement concerning distant places under the skies.
Now, obviously, the distance between – say – the Americas of today from the Europe of today was not then what it is today. But, then again, almost 3300 years have passed since that time.
As mentioned earlier today’s science has, for the past 30 years or so, been measuring various places on the planet and has arrived at the conclusion that the continents move at about 50mm, (that’s half a centimeter or about 1/5th of an inch), per year. Graphs have been made, seismic charts drafted, and much ink spilled. However, this is only 30 years’ worth of collected data. If we stretch it back to Wegner’s15 original hypothesis that’s still only 100 years of collected data. Modern-day science therefore takes these measurements and calculates backwards to see how long it may have taken at this rate for the continents to have drifted to their present positions and they come out with millions of years.
This is sheer absurdity! It’s like saying that if a car has been driving at a steady 50kmph for 1 year it has always driven only at this rate. In light of the fact that the scientific community still has yet to come to a real conclusion as to what it is that drives plate tectonics this is a ridiculous conclusion!
A more realistic approach would be to assume that the original rates of “travel” were much greater and that – over time – they have slowed to the current rates of travel. In all likelihood it wasn’t a constant at all due to relative strata density and varying degrees of tectonic forces. But because there is a significant desire among the scientific community to arrive at a conclusion of millions of years, and this fits the bill, therefore it has stuck.
Well if we consider that the average distance between various points of the Americas and the Europe-Africa continent is around 4000 kilometers (4,000,000 meters) therefore over a period of time spanning 4000 years16 that means that a “drift” of more than 1000 meters, or 1 kilometer, per year was necessary. If that’s the case all we need to do is calibrate our drift charts so that the end result is a drift of 50mm per year over the last 100 years that would mean that the mean drift at the time of Ever was about 2500 meters, or 2.5 kilometers, per year. Divide that by 365 solar days in a year and we come to a total of 6.3 meters of “travel” per day.
If that is the case then after a paltry 770 years moving – on the average – 2300 meters per year the Americas continents would have already traveled 1,771,000 meters, (that’s nearly 2000 kilometers). Almost half of their present distance.
This leads us to the following question:
Is there any evidence in the geological record which could reflect a much larger rate of tectonic movement many years ago?
The answer is a resounding YES!
First “Pangea” broke in two (North-South split) into “Laurasia” and “Gondwana”;
Second “Laurasia” broke in two (West-East split) setting the foundation of future continents of the North Americas and Europe-Asia.
Third “Gondwana” split (also West-East) forming South America, Africa, parts of the Middle East and Australia.
Fourth: the aforementioned breaks widened until the present-day continents were formed.
Clearly you cannot have a uniform rate of movement under the circumstances.
There is no argument that in geology there are varying types of both strata composition and density, hence even if we were to assume that the force of the tectonic plate movement is constant (which no one has really ever proved!) their effect on different types of strata will be different: harder strata will “push back” more, thereby putting a relative “halt” to the rate of plate movement, whereas looser strata will pose less of an obstacle.
If we take into account that the force of plate tectonics itself may vary, (sometimes stronger and sometimes weaker), then the result is faster or slower plate movement.
Based on the satellite imaging, published on the site of the National Geophysical Data Center18 we can see clearly the varying rates of plate tectonic drift as having varying rates, not static rates. The most impressive of which appears in green (see illustration1 at right). It is impossible that such a large area of the sea-bed has such a uniform spread and thermal image unless it occurred quickly over very small expanse of time. Think about it!
We have seen in this lesson that there is both evidence and a logical foundation to back up the flood story. I have not even touched here on the evidence discussed by Christian scientists in the matter.
Furthermore, the presumption of the scientific community that “pangea” is in any way a refutation of the Biblical narration both in regard to the global flood and the time-frame of creation is based solely on conjecture regarding the reading of the (very incomplete) evidence, and – quite frankly – never really bothering to see the Biblical narrative for themselves.
To sum up:
Due to the massive amounts of water absorbed into the Earth’s crust in the aftermath of the flood the planet experienced massive swelling that began changing the “face” of the planet. Thus, began the breakup of the original “super-continent” that was created at “Genesis”. (Phase 1 of the breakup of Pangea).
Afterwards, due to the onset of plate tectonics, the entire “continent” was irrevocably split, resulting in the drifting apart of the continents (פלג), slowly but surely making them inaccessible one to the other. (Phase 2 the breakup of “Laurasia” and “Gondwana” into smaller sub-continents). During this phase the continents steadily drifted apart at a rate of about 6.5 meters daily.
Until we have the continental shelves and modern-day continents as we have them today.
By the way a major nafka mina (Aramaic for “ramification”) of the above explanation is that it explains to us, quite simply, why earth is the only known planet to have plate tectonics. For if the flood was facilitated by billions (?) of gallons of water being transferred to earth from a distant star, which were then absorbed into the planet, causing the earth’s crust to break apart into “plates” separated by “rifts” and these plates all are “floating” on top of the aforementioned water. Then everything falls into place, doesn’t it?
2Or read about it in CE1, in the chapter called The Universal Timeframe and Anything Homo
4Not to toot my own horn, but yes, if you DO want to really know why the “theory” of “evolution” is a total falacy, not based on statistics, but rather because of the logical fallacies and misunderstood “evidence” – please get my book and read the chapter The Emperor’s New Clothes.
6For more information concerning the revelation, prophecy and the biblical criticism leveled concerning them, please be patient as I discuss them at length in Core Emmuna 2: G-d & Me, which will, with HaShem’s help, be published in the next few months.
14See Genesis 11:10-26 for the full genealogical descendants of Shem along with the time frame of their lives.
16The time from the giving of the Torah 3300 years + the aforementioned 770 years until the time of Ever, when Peleg was born.