Download Bretz's Flood : The Remarkable Story of a Rebel Geologist by John Soennichsen PDF

By John Soennichsen

Traditional geologic pondering constantly stated that the panorama among Idaho and the Cascade Mountains — a distinct position characterised through gullies, coulees, and deserts — was once created over hundreds of thousands of years through rivers that had lengthy considering the fact that long gone dry. technology professor J Harlen Bretz (who made up his personal identify and deliberately didn’t use a interval after J), inspiration differently. in keeping with wide examine and willing commentary, he believed this zone were scoured in a digital fast via an important flood. simply because Bretz was once a gadfly within the clinical group and his suggestion appeared like an try and turn out the biblical flood, he used to be in my opinion and professionally attacked and humiliated. Undaunted, he utilized all of his talents to proving his thesis, yet he must look forward to affirmation until eventually satellite tv for pc images turned common years after his retirement. Bretz's Flood tells a thrilling tale of an epic secret of the western panorama, the way it got here to be solved, and the interesting scientist who did it.

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Additional resources for Bretz's Flood : The Remarkable Story of a Rebel Geologist and the World's Greatest Flood

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On one occasion, Bretz was bold enough to criticize Saunders’s techniques in the classroom after he had witnessed the distinguished professor holding up a small map for several seconds as the students squinted to see it from 15 or 20 feet away. Bretz’s later comment to Saunders was, “You tell them; 35 BRETZ’S FLOOD they get no closer inspection, they learn nothing except what you say. ” That there was a conflict between Bretz and the predominating instructional method at UW is clear. But did Bretz’s own instructional methods represent a major deviation from the teaching styles at the time?

This was not because the ice age was some newly discovered, twentieth-century phenomena. All the way back in 1837, Swiss scientist Louis Agassiz had first proposed that the earth had been subjected to past glacial advances. Earlier researchers had actively studied Alpine glaciers, and some had concluded that the jumble of rocks found along the slopes of some peaks had been carried there by ice. Agassiz himself made numerous trips to the Alpine regions and even built himself a small hut on one of the Aar glaciers so he could stay for extended periods of time to examine the structure and movement of the ice.

Says Bloss. Bretz had two favorite sayings he voiced on a regular basis that reflected his manner of research and the truths he felt were critical for his students to know in order to understand basic geologic principles. The first was “Study nature, not books,” which he attributed to Agassiz. Bretz’s belief in this tenet had clearly led to much consternation when he taught at the University of Washington. The other saying was “Time, time, we’ve got all the time in the world,” which former student Bloss recalls using to his own benefit during a class with Bretz.

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