“And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters.”
The idea of plate tectonics is today such a deeply ingrained idea that many people assume the concept is completely proved and is the only obvious way to explain the Earth’s crust. Many creationists – and I include myself – would suggest that plate tectonics is indeed the best explanation, though we would not accept the evolutionary timescale, suggesting that tectonic movement must have been rapid and catastrophic in the early days of the Flood. However, the deep-time, evolutionary version of plate tectonics owes much to the work of Alfred Wegener, who published his ideas of continental drift in 1912, but whose ideas were not widely accepted until the 1950s.
However, Wegener was not the originator of the idea. The first published account of this concept was a book called La Création et ses mystères dévoilés (“The Creation and its Mysteries Unveiled”), by the French geologist Antonio Snider-Pellegrini. Pellegrini noticed two important facts. First, examining a map of the world, he realized that the continents of the world are similar to a jigsaw puzzle. It is possible to move the continents so that they appear to join together. Pellegrini hypothesized that the continents had originally been joined, but had moved apart. In support of this idea, he cited the similarity between plant fossils in Europe and North America.
It is possible that his theories did not catch on immediately because of his ideas on the mechanism for this continental drift. Pellegrini thought that the continents were forced to drift apart by the onset of the worldwide Flood reported in Genesis.