LC: I watched one of your talks about King of Fish and at the end you said that the limiting resource in engendering change is not research, it’s the “human dimension.” I guess it’s obvious there’s a big disconnect between the research we have and the policies that are implemented. Can you talk about how that’s played out in your career and where you see a solution?
LC: Now you've written about the need to change farming techniques and practice worldwide. It seems like a pretty big challenge to change worldwide or even national standards for farming.
So I think back to these two aspects to the sciences of geology and biology that you've brought up, the historical aspect (ie how the Earth has changed, how organisms evolved) and the modern (ie mineralogy, seismology, biotechnology). It seems you're making an argument for using the historical aspect of our knowledge of farming. Do you think the modern aspects of this science, agricultural technology, GMOs, etc..., are going to be an easier solution?
LC: Can you tell me about the writing of The Rocks Don’t Lie: A Geologist Investigates Noah’s Flood and how you got into this project?
DM: Yeah, it was a fun book to write. It took me a lot longer to do than I thought because I had to learn some theology. I kind of thought I knew the story of the history of science and religion, and it turned out I knew the cartoon version. If you rotate and look at the books over your right shoulder, that shelf on the left is all sixteenth seventeenth century, and if you look at all the writing from the first two hundred years of geology, which I started to do when I started collecting old books, every single one of them is about Noah’s Flood.
Professor David Mongomery grew up in California, where he loved to spend time outside and go hiking in the Sierras. As a kid, he spent much time looking at landscapes and loved maps. He was always the navigator on family trips, displaying an early talent for reading the land, but his path to becoming an award-winning author and professor at the University of Washington involved getting very, very lost.