It’s 1859. The world just went through a massive scientific upheaval. Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of the Species had just come out and it was immediately the topic of almost every discussion—scientific and otherwise.
In all the hubbub, one creation scientist’s work was overlooked, and yet his ideas paved the way for one of the most universally accepted scientific theories about the earth and its continents: plate tectonics.
A recent article on New Science would lead you to believe that the idea of moving plates under the earth’s surface started in 1912 with Alfred Wegener, a German meteorologist who argued that “Earth’s landmasses might be on the move.”
Wegener’s ideas weren’t taken seriously at the time because scientists believed that, according to the concept of uniformitarianism, landmasses couldn’t move.
In fact, it took decades before irrefutable evidence was found that supported plate tectonics, causing the scientific theory to become widely accepted.
The Creationist Who First Thought of Plate Tectonics
But the author of that article overlooked another scientist who thought of plate tectonics even before Wegener did, says Ken Ham.
His name was Antonio Snider-Pellegrini, and in 1859—the same year Darwin’s Origin of Species came out—he suggested that the continents have broken apart from a single landmass.
If you’re wondering where Snider-Pellegrini got his idea, you don’t have to look any further than the Bible.
Pellegrini recognized the significance of Genesis 1:9-10, which says, “And God said, ‘Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.’ And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.”
Snider-Pellegrini realized that if all the water was gathered into one place, that meant all the land was in one place, too. In other words, there used to be a single landmass and a single ocean. He also realized that the landmasses we have today seem to fit together like a puzzle.
So what happened to that landmass?
To Snider Pellegrini, the only explanation for how one landmass split into several was, again, in the Bible. He realized that Noah’s Flood must have split the landmass apart, sending the continents racing in opposite directions.
Snider-Pellegrini tried to publish his work, but because of all the hype around Darwin’s new theory, no English-language publisher would take him. So creationist published his work in French. As a result, his ideas weren’t well known, at least not at first.
Thankfully, his ideas have stood the test of time. And it’s no surprise—they were founded on the Word of God!
How Plate Tectonics Point to the Flood
Evolutionists assume that because the continents are moving at a slow rate today (about 2 to 10 cm per year), then they must have always moved at that rate. With this line of thinking, the continents must have taken billions of years to move to where they are today.
But creationists who believe in God’s Word have a different theory. The Flood of Noah’s day broke apart the landmass with incredible force, causing the plates to move at a much faster rate at first.
As the earth began to settle down after the global catastrophe, the rate of their movement also slowed down tremendously.
Think of it like pushing a book across a table. At first, it moves very quickly, but soon it begins to slow down until it stops. The continents haven’t stopped, but they’ve certainly slowed down since the Flood.
God’s Word Will Always Get It Right First
It’s interesting how a creationist used God’s Word to think of plate tectonics. And even though many didn’t believe him at first, about 100 years later, it became a widely accepted theory.
This is simply one example of how God’s Word is always trustworthy. We can trust in the Bible as our first and final authority—not just on matters of spirituality, but of science and history, too.