“Biblical-Type Floods Are Real, and They’re Absolutely Enormous”


The story of another scientist who was laughed at but whose truth eventually won.

Long before the discovery of the scablands, geologists dismissed the role of catastrophic floods in interpreting European geology. . . .

[J. Harlen] Bretz was a classic field geologist and a controversial figure throughout his career. In 1925 he presented the story of the region’s giant floods, seeing what others at first could not–and then would not–see. He spent his lifetime piecing together the story of how a raging wall of water hundreds of feet high roared across eastern Washington, carving deep channels before cascading down the Columbia River Gorge as a wall of water high enough to turn Oregon’s Willamette Valley into a vast backwater lake. . . .

Bretz was ridiculed until 1940 . . .

Craig Newmark

Associate Professor of Economics, North Carolina State Univ.

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