The Myth of Solid Ground

The Myth of Solid Ground

Earthquakes, Prediction, and the Fault Line Between Reason and Faith

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  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780143035251
  • 304 Pages
  • Penguin Books
  • Adult


Earthquakes are one of the great unsolved geological mysteries. Attempts to predict them have ranged from studies of California’s fault lines by USGS geologists to the work of an odd assortment of psychics and apocalyptics who base their sometimes startlingly accurate forecasts on everything from changes in the earth’s magnetic fields to the behavior of whales. The Myth of Solid Ground is a journey, both personal and cultural, through the world of earthquakes and earthquake prediction, one that seeks a middle ground between science and superstition, while also looking for a larger context in which seismicity might make sense. An excellent primer on the science of seismology, The Myth of Solid Ground looks at earthquakes as the ultimate metaphor for living with impending disaster.

Table of Contents

Three April Earthquakes

The X-Files

A Brief History of Seismology

Earthquake Country

Before and After Science

Shaking All Over

East of Eden

The Unified Field Theory of Everything

The Myth of Solid Ground