Geology Tells its Own History
By David R. Montgomery
W.W. Norton & Company, $26.95, 280 pages
In The Rocks Don’t Lie, geologist David Montgomery investigates the role that the story of Noah’s Flood has played in history, not only regarding theology but the development of the field of geology. He takes the reader from the Pacific Northwest to the Middle East, and other places in between to look at flood stories beyond the Biblical one; asking, Do all these flood stories relate to individual floods in history or do they all rehash the Noachian Deluge? Although showing convincingly that to say Noah’s Flood formed the world’s topography and laid down the fossil record less than ten thousand years ago is not a scientifically credible position to hold, Montgomery’s task here is not to belittle modern creationists. He provides an argument, and backs it up with evidence, respectfully. And that evidence is plenty of geology and plenty of history. As a geologist, Montgomery does a wonderful job of describing the history of his field. Most importantly, the author rightly emphasizes throughout that it is incorrect to assume that all Christians are young earth creationists. There are those who, while holding their faith close, accept what modern science has to say about the age of the earth, while others take Genesis as allegory over actual events. If anything, Montgomery shows that for a truthful account of the history of Earth, one should not look to an old book but to the rocks themselves.
Reviewed by Michael Barton