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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2004
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Claim CD750:

Plate tectonics occurred, but catastrophically. Slabs of oceanic crust broke loose and subducted along continental margins. This lowered the viscosity of the mantle, leading to meters-per-second runaway subduction. The earth's magnetic field rapidly reversed several times. Steam caused a global rain. Flood basalts erupted. The lighter mantle material of the new ocean floors made them rise, causing the oceans to flood the continents. The flood carried and redistributed sediments. The process slowed almost to a stop when nearly all the old ocean floor had been subducted. Subsequent cooling of the ocean basins caused them to sink to where they are today.


Austin, S. A., J. R. Baumgardner, D. R. Humphreys, A. A. Snelling, L. Vardiman and K. P. Wise, 1994. Catastrophic plate tectonics: A global flood model of earth history. Proceedings of the third international conference on creationism. Pittsburgh, PA: Creation Science Fellowship, Inc., pp. 609-621.


  1. Much geological evidence is incompatible with catastrophic plate tectonics:
  2. Catastrophic plate tectonics has no plausible mechanism. In particular, the greatly lowered viscosity of the mantle, the rapid magnetic reversals, and the sudden cooling of the ocean floor afterwards cannot be explained under conventional physics.

  3. Conventional plate tectonics accounts for the evidence already and does a much better job of it. It explains innumerable details that catastrophic plate tectonics cannot, such as why there is gold in California, silver in Nevada, salt flats in Utah, and coal in Pennsylvania (McPhee 1998). It requires no extraordinary mechanisms to do so. Catastrophic plate tectonics would be a giant step backwards in the progress of science.


  1. McPhee, J., 1998. (See below)

Further Reading:

McPhee, John, 1998. Annals of the Former World. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
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created 2004-3-31