David Montgomery — Reading the Rocks: Flood Stories and Deep Time
August 1, 2013

The push and pull between religion and science has shaped advances in geology from the beginning. David Montgomery set out to debunk Noah’s Flood; instead he discovered this biblical story was the plate tectonics of its day. He tells us how the evolution of landscapes and geological processes shape ecology and humanity. And, how we should read rocks for the stories they tell about who we are and where we came from.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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Comments

on what radio station might I find this show in the Bay Area of California? thanx

At the top of the page there is a"Stations" link that lists the stations by state.

Trent Gilliss's picture

Hi Sheila. Unfortunately, we are not on KQED in the Bay Area (we'd love to be!) but are on KAZU in Santa Cruz. Otherwise, the best way is to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes. Cheers.

Krista's conversation with David Montgomery reminded me of my childhood library search for information on the fascinating new idea of plate tectonics. Back in the early 1970's, books on plate tectonics were next to books on ghosts and ESP in the Dewey Decimal System. By the late 1970's, tectonics was taught in my college geology class, but our amazing, beloved elderly professor pointed out that the hot spots like Hawaii were not well-explained by the theory. Thank you for a great show!

Is the transcript for On Being interviews still available? They were in the past and transcripts are very helpful to clarify certain points in t he interview.

If transcripts are available, how may I access them?
Your assistance is appreciated. Thank you

Suggest any of Simon Winchester's work on geology/history/biography. In the Map That Changed the World he tells the story of William Smith, the true father of Geology. In Smith's England during the 1740's, collecting fossils was all the rage with the gentry - keeping them in China closets as "relics of the Flood." It helps to develop that perspective and think about how the Wesley brothers and others were opening new doors in the understanding of our relationship with God at about the same time and place.

Interestingly, Hindu epistemology posits time as cyclical, with each 4-stage age (progressing from an time of Truth / Social Order to a time of Depravity / Disorder) ending in a world-age ending flood...
...being a Hindu who attended Catholic schools growing up, I've always wondered about the links.
Might Mesopotamian geological history -- given Aryan / Middle Caucaus-originating migration patterns -- be the key?

I loved this show. Good information. Much wisdom and many insights, as usual.

Here's what is wrong with so-called "middle of the road" thiners as this gentleman claims to be. Nobody learns anything from your equivocation concerning factual information. The idea that the entire discussion is dominated by "creationists" on the one hand and a "screaming Richard Dawkins" on the other is absurd. Science is basd on facts, religion is based on indoctirnation. They two do not overlap. By the way, would you be so good as produce the videos of Richard Dawkins screaming? I have not seen them. I think this is your fabrication in order to present yourself as a great thinker.

Well said, Non Give. I'd like Krista and David to tell us how religion informs science without making bloody obvious observations that any field scientist could make. Further, I would characterize the question asked in "The Genesis Flood" as a simple rehashing of questions first asked in the 17th century and not insightful at all. Not only that, but these questions are being asked by grown men positing the answers to the then-problematic questions as a magical, invisible being. Anyway, disappointing ep.

I was hoping that you and David would talk more about specific flood stories and the evidence that explains them (or not). In some versions of the Noah's flood story I have noticed that seasons were restored after the flood implying that the seasons were messed up before the flood somehow. Also, people use to live over 400 years before Noah's flood and after it, they only lived 120 years at most. I wonder how they counted years if the seasons were messed up. Both details seem to hint that something big happened to the earths rotation and tilt of its axis. That could cause a flood. This all may be in his book but there are so many books and so little time..

I have followed the evolution/creation debate for over 30 years and always thought the creationists had the better argument, even though there are some gaps. It was very refreshing to hear some honest discussion of the evidence that poses serious problems for the "billions & billions of years" axiom that the evolutionists keep throwing up as an explanation for everything that doesn't fit their world view. I never expected to hear something like this on NPR though. Thank you so much.

I loved this show. The music of Wes Swing sounded great. I was surprised to hear lullaby on the production.

I am married to a geologist who opened me to a new set of eyes, seeing 'the story' of geology all around us. I am also a theologian, as interested in a renewed cosmology based on astro physics and geogolgy etc. What a fantastic interview you two put together. You, Krista, are very scary in your depth of insight and perspective. I approach each of your weekly programs with excitement, but a bit of fear, knowing that my 'deep perspectives' are a bit shallow compared to yours... humbling, to say the least, but also challenging me to stretch beyond my sometimes parochial opinions. And you do all that while conveying how warmily human you still are....

Good point, I was asking myself that very same question. Another point no one has touched on: It's interesting that Bindrich actually uses two arguments, a moral one (no one is supposed to interfere with my private matters) and a personal one (my professional future was threatened). I could (maybe) beliefe if he told me that he wouldn't agree to be searched based on principles OR based on the fact, that there was important data on the phone, but it's kind of strange to put these arguments together; that way it just seems he is scrambling for arguments in his defence. tv izle

Voices on the Radio

is Professor of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he leads the Geomorphological Research Group. He's the author of The Rocks Don't Lie: A Geologist Investigates Noah's Flood and Dirt.

Production Credits

Host/Executive Producer: Krista Tippett

Senior Editor: Trent Gilliss

Technical Director: Chris Heagle