This article is from
Journal of Creation 15(1):58–59, April 2001

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‘Nucha’ and plate tectonics

Michael J. Oard has previously revealed a personal bias against the plate tectonics hypothesis.1 It is small wonder then, that he fails to realize that the ‘Nucha’ find2 on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, far from posing a paleontological enigma, is proof positive that the east coast of Australia formerly butted hard up against the west coast of Canada! Possibly Oard’s faux pas stems from Dietz and Holden playing loose with the scientific method, as witnessed by their geological monstrosity, viz. the illustration on page 8 of the Journal.3

It really behoves Oard to take a world map, and a pair of scissors, and to begin to arrange the continents into a conglomeration that acknowledges ‘Pangaea’ and the paleontologist findings. Oard can waive the necessity of maintaining magnetic orientation of the continental fragments now that paleomagnetic reversals have reached authoritative scientific status.4 I have very likely misinterpreted the Scripture which says, ‘ … as for the world and the fullness thereof, thou hast founded them. The north and the south thou hast created them’.5 Now that continental drift and magnetic reversals are currently in vogue with the scientific community, it is evident that neither the world, nor north and south, were very well founded or created.

Meanwhile, let me say I really appreciated this issue’s ‘Perspectives’.6

William L. Tompkins
Toronto, Ontario


  1. Oard, M.J., Ariel attack: welcome weapon, CEN Tech. J. 13(1):28, 1999.
  2. Oard, M.J., How well do paleontologists know fossil distribution, CEN Tech. J. 14(1):7–8, 2000, describes a new find on Vancouver Island of the sponge, Nucha, which had previously only been found in eastern Australia.
  3. Oard, Ref. 2, p. 8.
  4. Snelling, A.A., Plate tectonics: have the continents really moved apart? CEN Tech. J. 9(1):14, 1995. Snelling references Humphreys as saying that he had no option but to accept that reversals of the earth’s magnetic field must have occurred.
  5. Psalm 89:11–12, KJV.
  6. Perspectives, CEN Tech. J. 14(1):3–13, 2000.

Michael Oard replies:

It is always difficult to know which uniformitarian data and interpretations to accept. Mr Tompkins is correct that I have a bias against the plate tectonics paradigm. This bias has developed after examining the paradigm for 25 years. I find many serious problems with it that I have recently catalogued.1 Newer geophysical data are touted as supporting plate tectonics when actually many aspects of the newer data are antagonistic to the paradigm. Uniformitarian scientists are constantly multiplying hypotheses to account for this newer, discrepant data.

For instance, DSDP (Deep Sea Drilling Program) bore holes and seismic data often show that convergent margins, regions where two plates are supposedly colliding with one subduction underneath the other, are areas of ubiquitous extensional tectonics.2 Also, the backarc basin and outer trench slopes are zones of extension. Sometimes the island arc itself shows extensional feature. Trenches show a graben profile—an extensional feature. The evidence for convergence is supposed to be at the forearc, the supposed accretion wedge. However, normal faults, an extensional feature, are now known to be common along these convergent margins:

‘Listric normal faulting is a common feature of passive margins, where fault movement contributes to crustal thinning and margin subsidence. Extension and normal faulting are also a fairly common phenomenon on convergent margins throughout the world … Discovery of these extensional structures requires a reevaluation of structures previously interpreted as folds and faults related to plate convergence [emphasis mine].’3

The folds and faults on the lower continental or arc slope could easily be large-scale slumps or mass wasting features. I am taking a fresh look at plate tectonics, as are others.4

It was the match between geology and fossils across the Atlantic Ocean that was early offered as proof of plate tectonics. Now we are finding geologic and fossil matches in quite a few different areas and, by the same logic, that also suggests a connection. The possibility that eastern Australia once abutted against western North America has been suggested by some geologists, but is not widely accepted. Fossils of the Alexander terrane of Alaska are strikingly similar to those in the northern Ural Mountains of Russia. It is now suggested that the Alexander terrane broke off from the ‘Uralian seaway’, instead of Australia.5 Geologist, Anita Harris (formerly Anita Epstein), wrote papers supporting plate tectonics by showing a conodont match across the North Atlantic, but she says it is meaningless now, since she has found the same conodonts in Nevada.6 She has become mildly skeptical of plate tectonics.

Much more can be said, but I suggest that the interested reader obtain Plate Tectonics: A Different View1 that will be published soon.

Michael J. Oard
Great Falls, Montana
United States of America


  1. Oard, M.J., Literature criticisms of plate tectonics; in: Reed, J. (Ed.), Plate Tectonics: A Different View, Creation Research Society Books, St. Joseph, 2000 (in press).
  2. Oard, M.J., Subduction unlikely—Plate tectonics improbable; in: Reed, J. (Ed.), Plate Tectonics: A Different View, Creation Research Society Books, St. Joseph, 2000 (in press).
  3. McNeill, L.C., Piper, K.A., Goldfinger, C., Kulm, L.D. and Yeats, R.S., Listric normal faulting on the Cascadia continental margin, J. Geophysical Res. 102(B6):12, 123, 1997.
  4. Reed, J. (Ed.), Plate Tectonics: A Different View, Creation Research Society Books, St. Joseph, 2000, (in press).
  5. Bergeron, L., Alaska’s ancient link to Urals, New Scientist 154(2086):17, 1997.
  6. McPhee, J., In Suspect Terrain, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, New York, p. 127, 1983.