The Rocks Don't Lie: A Geologist Investigates Noah's Flood (Paperback)

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How the mystery of the Bible's greatest story shaped geology: a MacArthur Fellow presents a surprising perspective on Noah's Flood.

In Tibet, geologist David R. Montgomery heard a local story about a great flood that bore a striking similarity to Noah’s Flood. Intrigued, Montgomery began investigating the world’s flood stories and—drawing from historic works by theologians, natural philosophers, and scientists—discovered the counterintuitive role Noah’s Flood played in the development of both geology and creationism. Steno, the grandfather of geology, even invoked the Flood in laying geology’s founding principles based on his observations of northern Italian landscapes. Centuries later, the founders of modern creationism based their irrational view of a global flood on a perceptive critique of geology. With an explorer’s eye and a refreshing approach to both faith and science, Montgomery takes readers on a journey across landscapes and cultures. In the process we discover the illusive nature of truth, whether viewed through the lens of science or religion, and how it changed through history and continues changing, even today.

About the Author

David Montgomery?is a Professor of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington.? He studies the evolution of topography and the influence of geomorphological processes on ecological systems and human societies. He received his B.S. in geology at Stanford University (1984) and his Ph.D. in geomorphology from UC Berkeley (1991).? Current research includes field projects in the Philippines, eastern Tibet, and the Pacific Northwest of North America. In 2008 Montgomery received a?MacArthur Fellowship. His books,?Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations, King of Fish,?and?The Rocks Don’t Lie?have all won the?Washington State Book Award?in General Nonfiction.? Montgomery’s title,?Growing a Revolution, Bringing Our Soil Back to Life,?was a finalist for the Penn/E.O. Wilson award for Literary Science Writing.??His latest work with W. W. Norton, What Your Food Ate: How to Heal Our Land and Reclaim our Health, published in 2022.

Praise For…

An excellent example of how a serious, even sympathetic, engagement with religion need not threaten reason or compromise scientific integrity.
— Daily Beast

The Rocks Don’t Lie traces the history of the field of geology through the thinking that progressively debunked the great-flood myth and left behind, temporarily, what would be resurrected 150 years later as Creationism. . . . The Rocks Don’t Lie intertwines geologic history and the author’s own field trips in an engrossing way. . . . Montgomery also shows flashes of considerable wit. . . . That’s just a taste of what’s in store for readers of this delightful volume. I came away far more enriched than I had expected to be.

— American Scientist

“[Montgomery’s] arguments are spirited and compelling, but his most novel conceit is to frame this intellectual history of geology by giving special attention to Noah’s Flood.
— Wall Street Journal

We can only hope that [Montgomery’s] book will be received with the same open-mindedness with which it was written.
— Martin Rudwick - New Scientist

— Scientific American

Fascinating, exquisitely researched and comprehensive.
— Seattle Times

Examining a wide variety of flood and creation stories across centuries, Montgomery provides an enthusiastic and valuable recounting of the history of geology and how the advances in science have consistently faced opposition from the guardians of so-called religious authority, based on a literal reading of the Bible.
— Kirkus Reviews

Montgomery... offers a thorough critique of creationist worldviews... while treating his opponents with respect, reflecting on both ancient and modern debates and demonstrating that Christians have been arguing among themselves about these subjects for millennia. ...The combination of historical study and humility on behalf of geology makes for an extremely persuasive work. Highly recommended.
— John M. Kistler - Library Journal
Product Details
ISBN: 9780393346244
ISBN-10: 0393346242
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: April 22nd, 2013
Pages: 320
Language: English