uniformitarianism

by Andrea Elizabeth

Charles Lyell

“was, along with the earlier John Playfair, the major advocate of James Hutton‘s idea of uniformitarianism, that the earth was shaped entirely by slow-moving forces still    in operation today, acting over a very long period of time. This was in contrast to catastrophism, a geologic idea of abrupt changes, which had been adapted in England        to support belief in Noah’s flood. Describing the importance of uniformitarianism on contemporary geology, Lyell wrote,

Never was there a doctrine more calculated to foster indolence, and to blunt the keen edge of curiosity, than this assumption of the discordance between the former and the existing causes of change… The student was taught to despond from the first. Geology, it was affirmed, could never arise to the rank of an exact science… [With catastrophism] we see the ancient spirit of speculation revived, and a desire manifestly shown to cut, rather than patiently untie, the Gordian Knot.-Sir Charles Lyell, Principles of Geology, 1854 edition, p.196; quoted by Stephen Jay Gould.[16]” (wikipedia)

But there were catastrophes that changed things quicker than normal erosion. There was the age of meteors, volcanoes, tropics, ice and floods, if not just The Flood. But it took a long time to make all the limestone in Texas. Not just 5000 years, IMO. It seems also that plates have shifted more dramatically in times past.

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