On Solid Ground is intended to inform a general audience about what geologists know about the earth. It will do so by telling the stories of the people who made the discoveries. It will also chronicle the doubters and nay-sayers who have worked so hard to undermine our understanding of the earth. We know, for example, that the earth is old, in part because William Smith created our modern system of dating fossils to win a bar bet. The warming properties of atmospheric carbon dioxide were first discovered by Eunice Newton Foote, when she wasn't pursuing her other passion – fighting for women's rights at Seneca Falls. We are sure the earth is round despite the efforts of Samuel Birley Rowbotham, a conman who convinced thousands of people that it was flat before moving on from science to sell bogus health tonics .
Each of its nine chapters will contain three things: the human story of a geologic controversy, an explanation of why geologists are so sure about the right answer to that controversy, and a short discussion of the logical fallacies being used by those still unwilling to accept geologic expertise
Dr Daivd Goldsmith is a palaeontologist with a PhD in geology from Harvard University and a B.S. in geology from Colgate University. Currently, he teaches at Westminster College, a liberal arts college in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he also serves as chair of the Geology Program. He has over 25 years of teaching experience in geology, palaeontology, and the history of science. Most of the material for this book comes from the lectures and class discussions that he has been refining throughout his career. He has won several awards for teaching, particularly his teaching in general education classes and history of science classes.