Geology and Religion: A History of Harmony and Hostility
For thousands of years, religious ideas have shaped the thoughts and actions of human beings. Many of the early geological concepts were initially developed within this context. The long-standing relationship between geology and religious thought, which has been sometimes indifferent, sometimes fruitful and sometimes full of conflict, is discussed from a historical point of view. This relationship continues into the present. Although Christian fundamentalists attack evolution and related palaeontological findings as well as the geological evidence for the age of the Earth, mainstream theologians strive for a fruitful dialogue between science and religion. Much of what is written and discussed today can only be understood within the historical perspective.
This book considers the development of geology from mythological approaches towards the European Enlightenment, biblical or geological Flood and the age of the Earth, geology within ‘religious’ organizations, biographical case studies of geological clerics and religious geologists, religion and evolution, and historical aspects of creationism and its motives.
Biblical Flood and geological deluge: the amicable dissociation of geology and Genesis
Published:January 01, 2009
Martin J. S. Rudwick, 2009. "Biblical Flood and geological deluge: the amicable dissociation of geology and Genesis", Geology and Religion: A History of Harmony and Hostility, Martina Kölbl-Ebert
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This paper summarizes debates, among European geologists in the early nineteenth century, about the possible equivalence (or non-equivalence) between the biblical account of Noah's Flood, and new and cumulative evidence for an exceptional watery catastrophe or ‘geological deluge’ in very recent Earth history. The ‘diluvial theory’ deserves to be taken seriously as an attempted explanation of some extremely puzzling physical features (many of them reinterpreted later as traces of a glacial ‘catastrophe’ or Ice Age). The ‘geological deluge’ was eventually recognized as having been far earlier in Earth history than any event recorded by literate human societies. Among geologists,...