Reviewing David R. Montgomery's new book, The Rocks Don’t Lie:A Geologist Investigates Noah's Flood, Scott K. Johnson notes that creationism hasn't always held such sway:
Major figures in Christian history—including Origen, Clement, Augustine, Jerome, and Thomas Aquinas—considered literal readings of Genesis to be a sign that one was uneducated. Faced with evidence in nature that contradicted a certain reading of the Bible, all of them decided that the only sensible response was to adjust how they read the Bible. In their view, nature clearly showed the way things were, so any discrepancy had to lie with one’s understanding of scripture. It actually wasn’t until the Protestant Reformation in the 1500s that literalism became prominent.
The book doesn't hesitate to point out the "impossible wrongness of thinking a global flood is a plausible explanation for the complexities in Earth’s crust":
For example, the evaporite rocks of western Texas are so thick you’d have to evaporate a 450 mile deep ocean to precipitate them. At the maximum rate observed on the Earth, this would take at least 100,000 years.
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