A university Geologist investigates the historical discussion between science and religion about one, global catastrophic flood.
David Montgomery encountered a local folktale while on an expedition in Tibet. The story told of a flood of such power and magnitude that it reshaped the landscape of the world's deepest river gorge. To his amazement, his investigation of the terrain around the Tsangpo River corroborated the legend. He began to wonder: Could there be proof behind other flood stories, including the most famous of them all, Noah's flood?
As a geologist, Montgomery initially approached the biblical tale with skepticism. Where creationists see a several-thousand-year-old planet resurfaced into modern topography by a single grand catastrophe, he saw the vast extent of geological time in which the worlds came and went in a grand cycle characterized by mountains rising continents eroding off into the sea.
However, digging into the historic works of theologians, natural philosophers, and scientists, Montgomery discovered a rich and long-running conversation between science and religion. The first geologists, he learned, were, in fact, clergymen. Their quest to explain signs of Noah's flood-how the shells of sea creatures could rest atop mountains-motivated Steno, the seventeenth century grandfather of geology. For centuries, biblical scholars and theologians eager to validate God's word relied on plain-sight evidence to support the creation stories of the Old Testament.
With an explorer's eye and a fresh approach to both faith and science, Montgomery takes readers on a journey across landscapes and cultures as he investigates this historical dialogue. He walks us through the miraculous topography of the Grand Canyon and the jagged coast of Siccar Point in Scotland, discerning millions of years of history embedded in the exposed layers of rock. He shares how geologists uncovered evidence for a series of massive deluges in the past.
The Rocks Don't Lie makes a powerful case for redefining the boundary between science and religion. Is seeing believing? Or, is believing seeing? Now more than ever, the distinctions between these two types of knowledge define contemporary issues of tremendous societal importance, from climate change to the way we teach science in public schools. At stake is how we interpret nature and what, if anything, we can learn from the world around us.
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Review 1 for The Rocks Don't Lie: A Geologist Investigates Noah's Flood
Not a Christian worldview at all.
Date:February 26, 2013
At first glance, this book attempts to use science to "teach" us about the world and its origins using observations of exposed layers of rock. But in effect, it attempts to interpret the past using what we see today with all of the same assumptions that many non-Christians use to debunk the Bible (uniformitarianism, slow fossil formation, recycled tales, etc.).
This book isn't really a scientific treatise. From the flyleaf..."The Rocks Don't Lie makes a powerful case for redefining the boundary between science and religion..."
I'll use the author's own words from page 13..."Whatever you may think about evolution, the creationist belief in a several-thousand-year-old Earth shaped by Noah's Flood is as scientifically illiterate as the idea that the Sun circles us. Both have been known to be wrong for centuries. And to embrace the creationist view of earth history is to deny Earth's autobiography inscribed on pages of stone."