Question of the week: Was there just one continent before Noah’s flood?
My answer: Long before Noah’s flood, yes, there was just one continent. Geologists have a name for it, Pangea. Before Pangea, there were at least five other episodes when virtually all Earth’s landmasses were gathered together to form a single supercontinent.
Earth’s powerful and enduring plate tectonics drives the supercontinent cycle. In each cycle it takes about a quarter billion years for the supercontinent to fully break apart into separate smaller continents. It takes about another quarter billion years for these separated continents to come together to form a single supercontinent. The last time there was a single supercontinent was a quarter-billion years ago. The next time there will be a supercontinent is about a quarter-billion years into the future.
The continents definitely were not gathered together as one at the time of Noah’s flood. From a few million years before Noah’s flood through the present, continental plate movement has never exceeded 6 centimeters per year.
The Bible states multiple times that the laws of physics have not changed. One example is described in Jeremiah 33. Therefore, based on the Bible alone, independent of any scientific measurements, continental plate movement of thousands of miles per year is ruled out. However, Genesis 7–8 informs us that it took nearly a year for the waters of Noah’s flood to recede into Earth’s oceans. For this recession to take that long there had to be a huge quantity of melting ice and snow. This enormous quantity implies that Noah’s flood must have occurred during the last ice age. During the last ice age, the sea level was 200–390 feet lower than it is today. That is low enough that Alaska and eastern Siberia were connected by a land bridge as were Britain and France.