Earth’s Deep History
By now, scientific consensus is that the earth is billions of years old, but scholars haven’t always been so sure. Earth’s Deep History tells the story, not of the earth itself – that can be found in modern textbooks – but rather, the story of how ‘natural philosophers’ developed the ideas of geology accepted today.
Early theologians of the seventeenth century, using the Bible as the most accurate text, tried to assign a time line to creation; others compared fossil stones with their living equivalents. Gradually, there was a realization that the earth developed and changed according to a grand timescale of its own. The development of geology, far from being antagonistic to theology, instead was seen as a support for religious belief in an omnipotent God; the author points out, however, that the modern-day “Young Earth” belief is a relatively new phenomenon unknown to early religious scholars. This book is exhaustive in its survey of past geological and paleontological scholarship, and very detailed, but eminently readable and engaging. It is filled with graphs and figures from early scientists, and written to be easily accessible to a non-specialist. This is a fascinating story of the development of this exciting branch of science.
|Author||Martin J. S. Rudwick|
|Page Count||392 pages|
|Publisher||University of Chicago Press|
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