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A Geologist Investigates Noah's Flood

OPB | Oct. 1, 2012 12:30 p.m. | Updated: Sept. 11, 2013 12:04 a.m.

Today there are two major theories on the formation of the planet:

  • The scientific community’s approximately 5 billion-year-old Earth that was shaped by erosion, plate tectonics, and the rise and fall of mountains
  • The creationist’s young Earth that was created several thousand years ago by God, based off of tracing the generations in the Bible back to Adam, and shaped by a catastrophic global flood.

These scientific and religious ideas about origin couldn’t be more opposed to each other these days, but that wasn’t always the case.

In University of Washington geology professor David Montgomery’s new book, The Rocks Don’t Lie: A Geologist Investigates Noah’s Flood, he looks into the development of our knowledge of the physical world, and finds a science that was in harmony with many of the religious beliefs of the time. In fact, many early geologists were trying to prove the reality of Noah’s flood.

It wasn’t until the modern era — where evidence for the older Earth became scientifically irrefutable, and a literal interpretation of the Bible became central for some religious communities that the two disciplines became irreconcilable.

What questions do you have for David Montgomery? What’s your experience with the relationship between science and religious beliefs?

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