“Follies of the present day”: Scriptural Geology from 1817 to 1857

[Over eight years ago, I edited a series of facsimile editions of works written by scriptural geologists. The set was titled “Creationism and Scriptural Geology, 1814-1857” and was published by Thoemmes Press at a price that put it out of range for all except libraries. What follows below is the introduction from the series. I have added some hyperlinks and done some light editing.]

“Follies of the present day”: Scriptural Geology from 1817 to 1857

“There is a prejudice against the speculations of the geologist, which I am anxious to remove. It has been said that they nurture infidel propensities. It has been alleged that geology, by referring the origin of the globe to a higher antiquity than is assigned to it by the writings of Moses, undermines our faith in the inspiration of the Bible, and in all the animating prospects of the immortality which it unfolds. This is a false alarm. The writings of Moses do not fix the antiquity of the globe.” [1]

So spoke the Scottish theologian, Thomas Chalmers in 1804. During the winter of 1803-’04, Chalmers presented a series of lectures at St. Andrews during which he outlined a reconciliation of the apparent incompatibility between the Genesis account of creation and the findings of the developing science of geology. He argued that the language of scripture allowed for an indefinite gap between the first and second verses of chapter I. This in turn allowed for a time in which geological formation could occur before the traditional six-day creation which, in this view, represented a restoration of the whole Earth after aeons of activity and eventual devastation. Chalmers’ ideas – on geology, natural theology and revelation – would eventually be expanded into The Evidence and Authority of the Christian Revelation [2], and his “Gap theory”, as it became known, aimed to show that Genesis and geology could live side-by-side, once one was willing to interpret the scriptures to allow for the apparent age of the Earth. Thus Chalmers could argue that geology does not lead to “infidel propensities” for the very reason that the text of Genesis never explicitly set the time of creation, unlike specific chronologies from such individuals as Archbishop James Ussher of Armagh.

Contrary to popular opinion, Christians prior to the early nineteenth century were not doctrinally bound to the idea of a young Earth in accordance with the calculations of Ussher. Michael Roberts has convincingly shown that few followed such a recent chronology even at the time Ussher was writing in 1658 [3]. Instead, many supported a “Chaos-Restitution” model in which an initial chaos of undefined duration was followed by a reordering in six days and a global Deluge [4]. While the Deluge was deemed to be responsible for the geological strata and humankind was a recent creation, few educated individuals believed in a literal six day creation, and as awareness of the vastness of geological time grew, the period of initial chaos was greatly extended. Thus, prior to 1800, while geology was giving scientific evidence for an ancient Earth – and natural philosophers were generating naturalistic theories to explain the origin and form of the Earth – theologians were already accepting a non-literal reading of Genesis. Chalmers was not original in his idea, representing as it did a new gloss on a widely accepted, and theologically safe, view.

Chalmers’ gap theory received explicit support from such geologists as William Buckland – who eventually recanted his previously held belief in a global Deluge – and William Conybeare, before being modified by John Pye Smith in 1839 [5]. Smith abandoned the idea of a worldwide Deluge in favor of a regional tranquil flood, and posited that six thousand years ago, God destroyed and flooded a portion of the Earth, subsequently restoring and repopulating it as the Biblical Eden. The original creation occurred prior to this point in time, and thus Chalmers’ worldwide re-creation became localized to a smaller geographical area. Denounced by the few remaining (but very vociferous) literalists, Smith’s theory received support from such respected “gentlemen of science” as William Whewell, Adam Sedgwick, Baden Powell & John Herschel, and theologically informed individuals as the future Archbishop of Canterbury, John Bird Sumner [6]. Yet this theory too would soon be replaced in the minds of Christian geologists.

Chalmers’ synthesis of Genesis and geological science had initially been accepted by the stonemason, editor and popularizer of science, Hugh Miller. While acknowledging that he “certainly did once believe …that the six days were simply natural days of twenty-four hours each …and that the latest of the geologic ages was separated by a great chaotic gap from our own”, this view had, in his mind, been “greatly outgrown by the progress of geological discovery, and is …adequate no longer” [7]. Unlike most of the “anti-geologists” (as he termed those who spoke against geological theories using scripture as their source of knowledge), Miller was an accomplished geologist who amassed an impressive amount of empirical knowledge during his annual field-trips. Such observations formed the basis for many of his most famous works, including Foot-prints of the Creator (1849) and Testimony of the Rocks (1857). In the latter, Miller equated the biblical ‘day’ with an indefinite period of time and identified specific geological era with the ‘days’ in Genesis such that Day Three was the Paleozoic, Day Five the Secondary, and Day Six the Tertiary. In what Miller termed the “Mosaic Vision of Creation”, Moses had not himself witnessed the events he described in Genesis, but had them revealed to him in a panoramic fashion. Miller was thus adopting a theory now known as ‘Day-Age’ which radically departed from Biblical literalism, yet preserved the Mosaic account as a framework [8]. Furthermore, Miller rejected the idea of a global flood, claiming instead that the Noachian Deluge was local and caused by a rapid depression of a restricted area of the Earth which lead to a rapid inundation of water (perhaps accompanied by heavy precipitation). Subsequent elevation of the land slowly returned the area to its previous state. Miller’s attempt at reconciliating his faith and his geological experience received strident denunciation from the few remaining literalists, a minority of individuals whom, starting in the early 1800’s, consistently opposed any attempts at such reconciliation. They argued instead that the evidence pointed to an Earth that was formed less than 10,000 years ago, the majority of whose geological formations (and the fossils therein) were a of product a massive, divinely caused, global flood [9]. Today, such individuals – for they still exist – are termed “Young Earth Creationists”, “Creation Scientists” or “Flood Geologists”, but in the past they became know as “scriptural geologists”. It is these individuals to whom we will now turn.

The scriptural geologists represented a backlash against geological developments in the early 1800’s [10]. As has been pointed out elsewhere, few of these critics had any first-hand experience in field geology, most showed little presence in the emerging professional societies, had comparatively few scientific publications, and would not have considered themselves to be “geologists” (though the term “scriptural geology” appears to have originated with the 1826 publication of George Bugg’s two volume work, Scriptural Geology). James Moore notes that these individuals were “largely preprofessionals or members of the older professions – classically educated and genteel laymen, versed in polite literature; clergymen, linguists, and antiquaries – those, in general, with vested interests in mediating the meaning of books, rather than rocks, in churches and classrooms” [11]. At a time when the emerging scientific profession was beginning its attempt to become the sole authority on interpretation of the natural world, the scriptural geologists harkened back to a day when the educated layman was seen as an equal partner in such discourse. It is clear that, as Martin Rudwick writes, the reaction of the scriptural geologists was “in part a cultural [one] to the social and cognitive exclusion of all but self-styled experts from an area of speculation that, in the heyday of theories of the earth, had been open to all” [12]. By the standards of the day, the scriptural geologists were largely dilettantes – educated men, in a few cases with some scientific background, but not by any means conversant with the ideas and methodologies being used by those who were attempting to professionalize geology. To modify a statement by John Hedley Brooke, one could be a reader of geology, one could think about the relations between geology and faith, one could be a patron of safe geology, one could be an author and a teacher of geology – without actually doing much geology [13]. Most of the scriptural geologists did not “do” any geology, and this, as much as anything else, seemed to irk the geologists.

Interestingly enough, the scriptural geologists themselves were not beyond modifying scripture to suit their exegesis. Andrew Ure allowed for an extra day of creation that occurred after the Deluge, and Miller noted that Granville Penn interpreted verses of Genesis that conflicted with his view as (in Miller’s words) “mere idle glosses, ignorantly or surreptitiously introduced into the text by the ancient copyists” [14]. This ability to pick and choose which parts of the text to treat literally lead Miller to exclaim:

“It need not surprise us that a writer who takes such strange liberties with a book which he professes to respect, and which he must have had many opportunities of knowing, should take still greater liberties with a science for which he entertains no respect whatever, and of whose first principles he is palpably ignorant.”

This raises an interesting point. Even in their theology – what should surely have been their strongpoint – the scriptural geologists were suspect. If anything, they were fighting a rearguard action against those mainstream theologians who sought, in the mind of the scriptural geologists at least, to compromise the divine word. They saw that if the Earth was populated prior to the Edenic creation, then there must have been death, and if there was death, then biblical themes of original sin and redemption through the sacrifice of Christ were called into question. At the heart of the matter was the historicity of Christ, his redemptive actions, and the future of humankind. Such extra-scientific concerns would lead James Mellor Brown to attack Buckland for his quasi-traitorous act – as a churchman – of denying the ubiquity of the Biblical Deluge:

“This affords another illustration of men who pull down the bulwark, but disclaim any intention of endangering the citadel. The Trojan Horse, drawn within the walls of the devoted city by friendly hands, is a standing emblem of men acting under the unsuspecting guidance of the Evil One.” [16]

While the likes of Buckland were allegedly acting unwittingly for the “Evil One”, Mellor Brown felt that no particular expertise was required when examining scientific matters. Rather the natural world could be understood by reasoning from the pages of Scripture. Thus, revelation was exalted over natural theology, and Mellor Brown was swimming against the stream of natural theology which was becoming particularly prevalent in British thought.

There is little space here to devote to detailed examination of the arguments put forward by even the representative scriptural geologists reprinted in this series. It is interesting to note that many (e.g., Mellor Brown, Granville Penn and George Fairholme) supported the idea that the universe was created with the appearence of age, an argument that remains popular with modern supporters of a young Earth [17]. Terry Mortenson lists five major objections that the scriptural geologists had against the idea of an old Earth: (i) observations of gradual transitions between different mineralogical formations, (ii) the presence of polystrate fossils, (iii) the inability of shells to be used to accurately date strata, (iv) the presence of human remains in “old” strata, and (v) the observation that geology was in its infancy and was thus prone to “over-theorizing” [18]. Whatever the value of these arguments in the 1820’s, these soundly disproven speculations are worthless today which makes it all the more surprising that a perusal of modern creationist literature reveals their perennial use.

The reaction of the geological community to these varied writings can probably best be summarized by a statement made by Charles Lyell in 1827:

“We cannot sufficiently depreciate the interference of a certain class of writers on this question …While they denounce as heterodox the current opinions of geologists, with respect to the high antiquity of the earth and of certain class of organic beings, they do no scruple to promulgate theories concerning the creation and the deluge, derived from their own expositions of the sacred text, in which they endeavour to point out the accordance of the Mosaic history with phenomena which they have never studied, and to judge of which every page of their writings proves their consummate incompetence” [19]

To the emerging scientific profession, scriptural geologists and their ilk threatened to present science as antithetical to Christian piety – a charge which the early geologists denied, and indeed given the roots of historical geology proves meaningless. This is particularly highlighted in the relationship between the scriptural geologists and the British Association for the Advancement of Science, which was founded in 1831 [20]. The scriptural geologists saw the BAAS as advocating theologically unsound – and even heretical – ideas, particularly in its members willingness to assign science and religion to separate spheres of knowledge. This view led the likes of Frederick Nolan, William Cockburn, and Henry Cole to attack the Association and prominent Broad Church scientists such as Adam Sedgwick. The Reverend Sedgwick – Woodwardian professor of geology at Cambridge, vocal opponent of transmutation, and leading figure in both the BAAS and the Geological Society of London – would, while addressing the latter society in 1830 excoriate Andrew Ure for his book, A New System of Geology, which he termed a “monument of folly” [21]. In this work, Ure (the only scriptural geologist, apart from John Murray, who was a member of the Society) explicitly claimed the utility of a young Earth interpretation of geology, while advocating a single Ice Age which was a natural consequence of a global Deluge. While Ure was a competent chemist, Sedgwick felt that his geological theorizing was worthless, and furthermore endangered the work of the GSL’s members:

“the goodly pile, gentlemen, which many of you have helped to rear, after years of labour, has been pulled down and reconstructed; but with such unskilful [sic] hands that its inscriptions are turned upside down; its sculptured figures have their heads to the ground, and their heels to the heavens; and the whole fabric, amid the fantastic ornaments by which it is degraded, has lost the beauty and the harmony of its old proportions.” [22]

The following year (also in a Presidential address to the GSL), Sedgwick famously recanted his belief in the ubiquity of the “philosophical heresy” of adopting “the diluvian theory, and [referring] all our superficial gravel to the action of the Mosaic Flood”. Sedgwick’s recantation occurred for simple evidential reasons; there was no evidence of “man, and the works of his hands” in these deposits. Thus, for Sedgwick, in this case at least, evidence took precedence over biblical exegesis. Sedgwick’s apostasy, at least as far as the scriptural geologists were concerned, was completed with his Discourse on the Studies of the University, in which he praised the attempts of Chalmers to reconcile science and religion, while noting that “to confound the ground-works of philosophy and religion is to ruin the superstructure of both” [23].

The most prolific opponents of scriptural geology and supporters of non-literal readings of Genesis were in no way atheists or fellow travelers with the radicals who supported evolutionary thought. Chalmers began his life as a moderate in the Church of Scotland and an opponent of evangelicalism. By 1810 he had become an evangelical [24] and would eventually lead the Disruption of 1843 which would result in the formation of the Free Church of Scotland. While Miller (a highly orthodox Free Church member) referred to the scriptural geologists as “anti-geologists”, he equally felt that evolutionary ideas as presented by Robert Chambers in Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation were some of “the most insidious pieces of practical atheism that has appeared in Britain” [25]. Sedgwick’s opposition to transmutation, whether presented by Chambers or Darwin, is legendary and needs no expansion here. In fact many of the strongest critics of scriptural geology were themselves evangelicals who displayed a large number of what John Hedley Brook terms “archetypal” characteristics including holding a biblically informed philosophy of nature, viewing the world as a “theatre of redemption”, favoring induction as a scientific methodology, resisting attempts to exclude God’s sovereignty over nature, and insisting on harmony between science and religion [26]. And it was not just the scientists who felt this way; evangelical organs such as the Christian Observer consistently opposed the views of Bugg and his brethern [27]. In America, Edward Hitchcock (professor of geology and natural theology at Amherst College) supported the attempts of Smith, Buckland, Sedgwick and Miller to reconcile geology and scripture, while simultaneously condemning Penn, Fairholme, Young, and George Cole for resisting modern science [28]. In short, it was clear that one could retain strong evangelical credentials without supporting a literal reading of scriptures. While the scriptural geologists attempted to portray themselves as representing traditional and orthodox ways of interpreting nature and the scriptures, it is clear that, in both areas, they were a minority – not just in the early 1800’s, but stretching back further in time. As Miller noted:

“the follies of the present day are transcripts, unwittingly produced, and with of course a few variations, of follies which existed centuries ago; and it seems to be on this principle … that scarce an explanation of geologic phenomena has been given by the anti-geologists of our own times, that was not anticipated by writers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.” [29]

Modern Young Earth Creationism strengthens Miller’s point by recycling many of the same arguments that were put forward by the scriptural geologists. Whether this similarity is due to common descent or convergent evolution is a matter for debate. Creationists of the early Twentieth century often acknowledged the influence of the likes of Penn or Fairholme whereas the major works of later creationism conspicuously ignore any mention of the scriptural geologists [30]. Indeed, a number of current creationist theories are remarkably similar to earlier ideas that receive no mention in the modern literature. For example, the claim by Steve Austin of the Institute for Creation Research that coal was formed from mats of vegetation which floated during the Deluge had been put forward by John Williams in 1789, James Parkinson in 1804, Penn in 1825, Martyn Paine in 1856, and the Seventh Day Adventist prophetess, Ellen G White in 1864. Many of these individuals were mentioned by Byron Nelson in 1931. This is not to say that the modern American creationists are the direct descendants of the scriptural geologists, as current scholarship indicates that the genesis of the modern American movement is in fact with the Seventh Day Adventist church [31]. What it does indicate, however, is that many of the arguments for a young earth and global flood remain unchanged from when they were first developed in the first half of the nineteenth century. Most importantly, these arguments were developed before the development of Darwin’s ideas. Scriptural geology was not combatting an early form of evolutionary thinking. While the scriptural geologists saw geological theories as productions of the “unsuspecting guidance of the Evil One”, modern creationism sees evolutionary theory in a similar light. What has remained constant is that individuals who have attempted to deviate from literalism while remaining professing Christians have received the brunt of the attacks by a vocal minority who have resisted compromise. In many ways, “what has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

Update (2010): In 2007, Ralph O’Connor disagreed somewhat with my characterization of the scriptural geologists. His paper, “Young-earth creationists in early nineteenth-century Britain: Towards a reassessment of ‘scriptural geology'” is available online [pdf]. He seems to have also replayed this critique in his book, The Earth on Show: Fossils and the Poetics of Popular Science, 1802-1856 (which I will admit to owning but not yet having read). As I have moved on from looking at the scriptural geologists, I don’t know if I will ever respond to his paper.


  1. Miller (1857), p. 141, emphasis in the original.
  2. For a very useful discussion of Chalmers’ views and the controversy over Evidences, see Topham.
  3. See Roberts (2002) in which he examines the writings of John Ray and contemporary theologians, poets and naturalists. See also Roberts (1998)
  4. Supporters of this model included such theologically orthodox individuals as the natural philosophers Edmund Halley, Thomas Burnet, William Whiston, and John Woodward, and the poets John Milton, Edmund Spenser, John Dryden and Alexander Pope.
  5. Buckland; Conybeare; J.P. Smith.
  6. Sumner. A minority of Anglican churchmen opposed these developments up until 1850, the most prominent being Dean Cockburn of York; see Morell & Thackray, pp. 229-245.
  7. Miller op. cit. p vii & 148
  8. Miller op. cit., pp. 175, 200-203, 179-210, 176. Miller’s revelatory theory originated from Kurtz while the interpretation of the Genesis days as long periods of time was similarly unoriginal (See, for example, Deluc).
  9. For example, see the writings of Davies, and J.A. Smith. “Day Age” interpretations are still being made and still being criticized by more conservative voices – see Young and Morris (1978). For further details on Miller’s life, geological investigations and firm evangelical faith, see Shortland.
  10. This set of facsimile editions presents solely British works of scriptural geology. For a discussion of American contributions to this genre see Stiling. Scriptural geology in general has received little historical examination, the sole recent major study appearing to be Mortenson (1996), which has not been published in any academic journal, but has partially appeared between 1997 and 2002 in the Young Earth Creationist magazine Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal (see here for links to those). My examination of the works of scriptural geologists and their predecessors contradicts his claims that (a) the scriptural geologists were (by the standard of their time) as scientifically competent as their critics, and (b) that strict literalism was theologically prevalent before 1800.
  11. Moore, p. 337. While it would be difficult to present an exhaustive list of members of this movement, the following are good exemplars; Granville Penn (1761-1844), George Bugg (1769-1851), Andrew Ure (1778-1857), Henry Cole (1792?-1858), Thomas Gisbourne (1758-1846), George Young (1777-1848), George Fairholme (1789-1846), William Rhind (1797-1874), William Cockburn (1773-1858), Frederick Nolan (1784-1864), William Martin (1772-1851), and John Murray (1786?-1851) in Britain; David Lord (1792-1880), Eleazar Lord (1788-1871), and Martyn Paine (1794-1877) in America. While not strictly a work of scriptural geology, the publication of Geological Essays in 1799 by the Irish mineralogist Richard Kirwan (1733-1812) forms an important foreshadow of future developments.
  12. Rudwick, p. 312.
  13. Brooke, p. 19.
  14. Roberts (1998). Miller (1857), pp. 412-413.
  15. Miller op. cit., p. 414.
  16. Brown, 24. Similar sentiments are expressed by modern creationists.
  17. Of course, such an argument no more supports a 6000 year-old Earth than it does one that was created while you, dear reader, were enjoying this essay!
  18. See note 10. These have been discussed by Michael Roberts (webpage no longer available unfortunately).
  19. Lyell.
  20. See Morell & Thackray, pp. 229-245.
  21. Clark & Hughes, vol. I, p. 362. Clark & Hughes describe Sedgwick’s criticism as being “as severe as anything [he] ever penned” – a comment that is particularly noteworthy considering his attack on Robert Chambers’ Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation in the late-1840’s which lead to his sprawling 5th edition of Discourse on the Studies of the University (1850).
  22. Woodward, p. 86. The Geological Society would appear to have felt that Sedgwick’s treatment was “appropriate”.
  23. Sedgwick, p. 104. Sedgwick’s attackers included Henry Cole (Popular Geology Subversive to Divine Revelation!, 1834), William Sewell, and the British Critic which also objected to Sedgwick’s willingness to admit Dissenters to Cambridge.
  24. While the term itself can be somewhat nebulous, many authors follow David Bebbington in defining an evangelical as being marked by “a belief that lives needed to be changed … the expression of the gospel in effort … a particular regard for the Bible [and] … a stress on the sacrifice of Christ on the cross” (Livingstone et al, p. 6). By this reading, of course, Chalmers, Smith, and Miller would have been as evangelical as the scriptural geologists.
  25. Miller (1845)
  26. Brooke, pp. 24 – 27.
  27. My thanks to Michael Roberts for making me aware of this.
  28. Hitchcock. Other American critics of scriptural geology included the Yale geologist Benjamin Silliman, whom Stiling describes as “no theological liberal” (p. 179).
  29. Miller op. cit., p. 396.
  30. Compare Nelson or Price with Morris (1993) or Whitcomb & Morris. The latter briefly mentions Chalmers and Smith, with no mention of the scriptural geologists. Price acknowledges that Fairholme derives his “great law of conformable stratigraphic sequences”.
  31. See Numbers.

Works Cited

  • Brooke, John Hedley (1999) “The History of Science and Religion: Some Evangelical Dimensions”, pp. 17-40 in Livingstone et al.
  • Brown, James Mellor (1838) Reflections on Geology, Suggested by Perusal of Dr. Buckland’s Bridgewater Treatise. London: James Nisbet (reprinted herein)
  • Buckland, William (1836) Geology and Mineralogy Considered with Reference to Natural Theology. London: Pickering
  • Chalmers, Thomas (1815) The Evidence and Authority of the Christian Revelation. Edinburgh: William Blockwood (the 5th edition of 1817 is reprinted herein).
  • Clark, John Willis & Thomas McKenny Hughes (1890) The Life and Letters of the Reverend Adam Sedgwick. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Conybeare, William Daniel & William Phillips (1822) Outlines of the Geology of England and Wales. London: William Phillips.
  • Davies, Thomas A. (1860) Answer to Hugh Miller and Theoretic Geologists. New York: Rudd & Carlton.
  • Deluc, Jean Andre (1809) Treatise on Geology. London.
  • Hitchcock, Edward (1851) The Religion of Geology and Its Connected Sciences. Boston: Phillips & Sampson.
  • Kurtz, Johann H. (1842) The Bible and Astronomy. Berlin: Wohlgemuth.
  • Lindberg, David C. & Ronald L. Numbers (1996) God and Nature: Historical Essays on the Encounter Between Christianity and Science. Berkeley: University of California.
  • Livingstone, David N., D.G. Hart & Mark A. Noll (1999) Evangelicals and Science in Historical Perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • [Lyell, Charles] (1827) Review of “Memoir of the Geology of France” Quarterly Review 36: 482-483.
  • Miller, Hugh (1845) “The Physical Science Chair” The Witness 17 September.
  • Miller, Hugh (1857) The Testimony of the Rocks; or Geology in its bearings on the two theologies, natural and revealed. Boston: Gould and Lincoln (the London edition of 1857 is reprinted herein).
  • Moore, James R. (1986) “Geologists and Interpreters of Genesis in the Nineteenth Century”, pp. 322-350 in Lindberg & Numbers.
  • Morris, Henry M. (1978) “The Day-Age Theory Revisited” ICR Impact 55: 1-4.
  • Henry M. (1993) History of Modern Creationism. Santee: Institute for Creation Research.
  • Mortenson, Terry J. (1996) British Scriptural Geologists in the first half of the Nineteenth Century. Unpublished Ph.D thesis, Coventry University.
  • Nelson, Byron C. (1931) The Deluge Story in Stone: A History of the Flood Theory of Geology. Minneapolis: Augsburg.
  • Numbers, Ronald L. (1992) The Creationists (New York: Alfred A. Knopf).
  • Price, George McCready (1926) Evolutionary Geology and the New Catastrophism. Mountain View: Pacific Press.
  • Roberts, Michael (1998) “Geology and Genesis Unearthed” Churchman 112: 225-255.
  • Roberts, Michael (2002) “The Genesis of Ray and His Successors or the Fall of the House of Ussher” Evangelical Quarterly (April).
  • Rudwick, Martin J.S. (1986) “The Shape and Meaning of Earth History” pp 298-321 in Lindberg & Numbers.
  • Sedgwick, Adam (1833) A Discourse on the Studies of the University. London.
  • Shortland, Michael (1996) Hugh Miller and the Controversies of Victorian Science. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • [Smith, James A.] (1857) The Atheisms of Geology: Sir C. Lyell, Hugh Miller, &c. Confronted with the Rocks. London: Piper, Stephenson & Spence.
  • Smith, John Pye (1839) On the Relation Between the Holy Scriptures and Some Parts of Geological Science. London: Henry G. Bohm (the 3rd edition of 1843 is reprinted herein).
  • Stiling, Rodney L. (1999) “Scriptural Geology in America”, pp. 177-192 in Livingstone et al.
  • Sumner, John Bird (1816) A Treatise on the Records of Creation. London: J. Hatchard.
  • Topham, Jonathan R. (1999) “Science, Natural Theology, and Evangelism in Early Nineteenth-Century Scotland: Thomas Chalmers and the Evidence Controversy”, pp. 142-174 in Livingstone et al.
  • Whitcomb, John C. & Henry M. Morris (1961) The Genesis Flood: The Biblical Record and Its Scientific Implications. Phillipsburg NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed.
  • White, A.J. Monty (1985) How Old is the Earth? Welwyn: Evangelical Press.
  • Woodward, Horace B. (1907) The History of the Geological Society of London. London: Geological Society.
  • Young, Davis A. (1977) Creation and the Flood. Michigan: Baker Book House.