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In the 1920s J Harlen Bretz found incontrovertible evidence of a mammoth flood in the channeled scablands in Eastern Washington, but as soon as he started to publish and discuss his findings, he found himself lampooned and vigorously but irrationally attacked by senior figures in the geological establishment. Although his ideas are now widely accepted, his catastrophic explanation shattered cherished prejudices, and flew in the face of establishment wisdom. In this fascinating and illuminating study, Michael Oard examines how these prejudices operated, what generated them and how unscientific scientists can sometimes become when defending a personal totem.
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