I have always been fascinated by the fight between religion and science. In my mind, the two are not mutually exclusive as some would believe. I am a firm believer in scientific discoveries and scientific fact, but I can’t help believing that God could have been behind everything as well. There is no reason to say that there was no divine spark that started it all. We will never know for sure and I somehow think it is unscientific to dismiss something just because it can’t be proven or disproved. In my mind, science and faith coexist just fine. I think the Bible is a book written by men over a long period of time and as we all know men are not infallible. They can change things to fit the times or their own beliefs. Does this mean the Bible is wrong or shouldn’t be followed, of course not, but it does mean that a literal interpretation is not the best way to use it. If you use the Bible as a guide for your faith there is no reason to discount scientific discoveries; they can fit with biblical readings just fine.
Montgomery takes the story of Noah’s flood from Genesis and tries to find evidence of it in the geologic record. This book is part history of geology and part investigation of Noah’s flood and I think it works on both counts. It seems, from this book anyway, that geology came about because of biblical investigations specifically flood investigations. Biblical scholars wanted to prove Noah’s flood so they started looking at the rocks and the rivers and the geology of the earth to find their evidence. What they mostly found was proof that Noah’s flood didn’t work exactly like it says in the Bible. They found many flood stories throughout history and the world, and the found evidence of local catastrophic floods but not the world-wide flood from Noah’s story.
I like how Montgomery goes through the entire history of geologic research and how it has changed through the centuries. I also thought he did a great job showing how religious teachings and thought have progressed and digressed through the years as well. I especially found it interesting how modern Creationists are actually just recycling ideas from centuries ago that have since been disproved by both science and the religious community. I think his main conclusion was that science and religion can coexist as long as people are willing to let them. This was a well-thought out and interesting book; maybe a little dry at times but it was about geology so what do you expect.