Set in Stone, the DVD on the evidence for geological catastrophism in Great Britain to which I contributed in 2012, has been reviewed by David Tyler in the latest edition of Origins, the journal of the Biblical Creation Society (No. 58, November 2013, p.20). Here’s the review in full:
This DVD provides a major challenge as it informs the understanding of viewers. The challenge is to deeply held convictions that we can reconstruct the geological history of our island by reference to modern-day processes. There are historical and intellectual roots to the consensus approach that prevails in school and university textbooks. These roots go back to social cultures and philosophical stances adopted by the Victorians. We see the world through their eyes to this day. By visiting various locations around the UK, and by looking at evidences found in the rocks, the presenters demonstrate that alternative perspectives are not only possible but are necessary to do justice to the data. My interest in these issues has led me to visit all the locations featured in the DVD – with the exception of Giant’s Causeway. However, I have seen similar basalt flows on Mull and on Skye. The presenters do a good job in pointing out relevant data and showing that the present is not the key to the past. Over the years, I have heard geological speakers at professional meetings bring out all the radical ideas that viewers encounter in the DVD. The difference is that these speakers consider geological history to be long periods of relative quiet punctuated by catastrophic events. In this, they follow Professor Derek Ager in thinking that earth history is like the life of a soldier: ‘Long periods of boredom and short periods of terror’. This DVD finds that the evidence is on the side of catastrophism. The publisher explains it this way: “Were the rocks around us formed slowly and gradually – or suddenly during catastrophic events? Did the history of the world unfold over vast eras of time or much shorter periods? And what do the rocks really tell us about the geological history of our world?” This DVD has evidence-based answers and has the potential to do much good in the world of education. Students find stimulus in questioning alternative explanations of the data. The extensive references to literature in the transcript booklet will be of considerable value with follow-up study – helping budding geologists feel more confident that they will not be asking stupid questions if they continue to examine evidences for the Earth’s catastrophic past.