The Rocks Don't Lie: A Geologist Investigates Noah's Flood  -     By: David R. Montgomery
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The Rocks Don't Lie: A Geologist Investigates Noah's Flood

W W Norton / 2012 / Hardcover

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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.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 288
Vendor: W W Norton
Publication Date: 2012
Dimensions: 9.30 X 6.20 (inches)
ISBN: 0393082393
ISBN-13: 9780393082395
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

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Publishers Weekly

Many theologians and scientists within the Christian tradition have long interpreted the biblical story of Noah’s flood as a worldwide event and a foundation for determining the geological age of the earth. In this rich, animated narrative, geologist Montgomery points out that theologians have often bent an amazing array of geological evidence to support a literal interpretation of Noah’s flood. But what does the Earth itself tell us? Using the evidence he finds in the various strata of rocks in a roadbed in Kentucky, Montgomery contends that the “440 million-year-old, trilobite-bearing limestone” is clearly not a chaotic, mixed-up product of an earth-churning flood. The rocks formed when an ancient “proto-Atlantic Ocean” led to the formation of a thick pile of sediment that gradually accumulated layer by later—stretching from Newfoundland to Alabama. Moreover, plate tectonics shatters the myth of a global flood by explaining the sequences, ages, and assemblages of rocks we find throughout the world, as well as the global distribution of topography. Brilliant and provocative, Montgomery’s exploration of scientific and theological understandings of Noah’s flood vibrantly opens our eyes to the marvels of ancient rocks that are far grander than ourselves. 20 illus., maps. Agent: Elizabeth Wales, Wales Literary Agency. (Aug.) 2012 Reed Business Information

Product Reviews

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  1. Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A real eye opener
    July 8, 2014
    Steve
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This book is well written and explains everything rather well. In the end became a real page turner.

    I found a lot of my questions answered, and would recommend this to anyone
  2. Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great Book on Real Science
    January 9, 2014
    Steve Davis
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This is the best book on science I think I've ever read. While not written (I believe) by a professing Christian, the author is not trying to get anyone to change their faith, just change the way they view the method of Creation. If you are interested in the current state of science, especially geology, and how God's two books--the Bible and Creation--can be read in harmony, this book could be a great place to start.
  3. Texas
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    1 Stars Out Of 5
    Not a Christian worldview at all.
    February 26, 2013
    kmiller
    Texas
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 1
    Value: 1
    Meets Expectations: 1
    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."
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