I was doing a Bible study with my family and we came across a question. When God made dry land appear in Genesis 1:9, was the land how it is now or was it like Pangea?

– Ted, 8th grade

It’s great that you are doing a Bible study with your family, Ted! Thanks for sending in this question. Genesis 1:9–10 reads, “Then God said, ‘Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into 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 He called Seas. And God saw that it was good.” These verses do suggest a single continent. At some point in history, this single continent broke apart. As a result, the earth looks very different today. The study of plate tectonics investigates the movement of the continents, both in the past and present.

Global investigations of the earth’s crust reveal that it has been divided by geologic processes into a mosaic of rigid blocks called “plates.” Observations indicate that these plates have moved large distances relative to one another in the past, and that they are still moving very slowly today. The word “tectonics” has to do with earth movements; so the study of the movements and interactions among these plates is called “plate tectonics.” Because almost all the plate motions responsible for the earth’s current configuration occurred in the past, plate tectonics is an interpretation or model of what geologists envisage happened to these plates through earth’s history. 1

– Dr. Andrew Snelling

Many creation geologists believe that the movement of plates occurred quickly, due to events surrounding Noah’s Flood (Genesis 7). Some of these geologists are developing a catastrophic plate tectonics model, which is a theory about how the original super-continent broke apart and how the pieces moved. You can read about this theory in these two articles: Can Catastrophic Plate Tectonics Explain Flood Geology? and A Catastrophic Breakup.

To learn more about plate tectonics and the existence of a super-continent, please see the following:

Kids, we love to hear from you! If you have any questions, please ask an adult to help you submit them using this page on our website. We’ll be looking forward to receiving more interesting questions!

1Andrew Snelling, “A Catastrophic Breakup,” Answers Magazine, v2 n2, http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v2/n2/A-catastrophic-breakup