Library Journal Review
Many recent books have sought to reconcile (or tear apart) the relationship between religion and science, usually written by scientists or Christian leaders. Usually, the scientists depricate religious views as myths and fairy tales, while the religious writers bash opponents as godless manipulators of the evidence. Montgomery (geomorphology, Univ. of Washington; Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations) offers a thorough critique of creationist worldviews (including Noah's flood) 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. He admits that geologists have often stifled dissent and stubbornly rejected the idea that massive floods could have ever occurred, discounting such ideas as myths though there have, in fact, been many throughout human history. These catastrophic events likely inspired the famous stories of floods found around the globe, Montgomery concedes. VERDICT The combination of historical study and humility on behalf of geology makes for an extremely persuasive work. Highly recommended.-John M. Kistler, Washington, PA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.