Age of the Earth Creation/evolution Physics

Catastrophic Plate Tectonics

Many people are aware of the idea that the continents of the earth can be fitted together like a giant jigsaw puzzle. This idea is connected to the study of the mantle and crust of our planet in what is called plate tectonics. The earth’s continents are made of material that is lighter than the hot mantle material upon which they “float”. Evolutionary earth scientists suppose that the plates have been moving for billions of years at a very slow rate. The rate of the movement of these plates today may be of the order of centimetres per year. Modern uniformitarian geology posits that the “present is the key to the past”. Therefore they claim that one can extrapolate the very slow observed motion of the continents back over billions of years. Pangea1Recently I had the pleasure of spending some time with Dr John Baumgardner as we toured around Israel and taught Messianic congregations about Genesis creation which includes all aspects from the creation of the universe to the global flood in Noah’s day. John gave a presentation on his Catastrophic Plate Tectonics (CPT) model. In his model the motion of the continental plates was not cm/year but much much faster during the Genesis flood such that the continents separated from a single super continent (Pangea) into what we have today. John developed his CPT model using supercomputers and a complex simulation of the entire planet. The model involves a physical process whereby the Earth’s sea floor was rapidly subducted causing a spreading of the mid-Atlantic ridge resulting in the movement of the Earth’s continents. This process started the global flood about 4500 years ago and lasted for about one year.

Watch the following as John presents a lecture in 2 parts where he explains his CPT model.

Related Reading

  • John Baumgardner’s work related to the Genesis flood can be found at
  • Jane Albright, Noah’s Flood – The Bible, the Science & the Controversy, Part 3 – Catastrophic Plate Tectonics (PDF). A very nice summary of all aspects.
  • John Baumgardner, Catastrophic plate tectonics: the geophysical context of the Genesis Flood, Journal of Creation 16(1):58–63, April 2002
  • Steven A. Austin, John R. Baumgardner, D. Russell Humphreys, Andrew A. Snelling, Larry Vardiman and Kurt P. Wise, Catastrophic Plate Tectonics: A Global Flood Model of Earth History,, presented at the Third International Conference on Creationism, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, July 18–23, 1994. Published in: Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Creationism, R. E. Walsh (Ed.), pp. 609–621, 1994. PDF of peer-reviewed paper.
  • John R. Baumgardner, Catastrophic Plate Tectonics: The Physics Behind the Genesis Flood,, presented at the Fifth International Conference on Creationism, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, August 4–9, 2003. Published in: Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Creationism, R. L. Ivey Jr. (Ed.), pp. 113–126, 2003. PDF of peer-reviewed paper.

By John Gideon Hartnett

Dr John G. Hartnett is an Australian physicist and cosmologist, and a Christian with a biblical creationist worldview. He received a B.Sc. (Hons) and Ph.D. (with distinction) in Physics from The University of Western Australia, W.A., Australia. He was an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA) fellow at the University of Adelaide, with rank of Associate Professor. Now he is retired. He has published more than 200 papers in scientific journals, book chapters and conference proceedings.