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uniformitarianism

Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The theory that all geologic phenomena may be explained as the result of existing forces having operated uniformly from the origin of the earth to the present time.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The theory advocated by uniformitarians: the opposite of catastrophism. See catastrophe, 3, and catastrophism.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Geol.) The uniformitarian doctrine.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From uniformitarian +‎ -ism.

Examples

  • The term uniformitarianism was first used in 1832 by William Whewell, a University of Cambridge scholar, to present an alternative explanation for the origin of the Earth.

    Uniformitarianism

  • We are told, to begin with, that Sir Charles Lyell's doctrine respecting the proper mode of interpreting the facts of geology (which is commonly called uniformitarianism) "does not hold its head quite so high as it once did."

    Collected Essays, Volume V Science and Christian Tradition: Essays

  • That almost exclusive source is the scientific community, which is now overwhelmingly dominated by an atheistic majority. creationist views with two main schools of thought known as uniformitarianism, which is the doctrine that geologic processes have acted in the same regular manner and intensity throughout geologic time.

    CreationWiki - Recent changes [en]

  • Formed the idea of uniformitarianism stating current geologic processes, such as volcanism and erosion, have been at work throughout Earth's history.

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  • The way the Evos interpret the Grand Canyon has EVERTHING to do with uniformitarianism, which is crucial to the Temple of Darwinistic Materialism.

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  • It is only by setting aside the idea of uniformitarianism and reviving some degree of catastrophism that more satisfactory explanations can be given for much of what seems to have happened in the past.

    New Scientist - Online News

  • The topic of "uniformitarianism" is addressed in more detail, and committment to beginning with observable phenomena is shown to not be incompatible with openness to the possibility of miracles.

    Archive 2009-04-01

  • The topic of "uniformitarianism" is addressed in more detail, and committment to beginning with observable phenomena is shown to not be incompatible with openness to the possibility of miracles.

    Review of Young and Stearley, The Bible, Rocks and Time

  • Significant attention is given to responding to flood geology's accusations of modern geology's "uniformitarianism".

    Review of Young and Stearley, The Bible, Rocks and Time

  • Significant attention is given to responding to flood geology's accusations of modern geology's "uniformitarianism".

    Archive 2009-04-01

Comments

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  • Contrast with catastrophism.

    January 10, 2007

  • "... the laws of nature worked no differently in the past nor would they work differently in the future. The father of this theory, the English geologist Sir Charles Lyell, explained it as follows: 'The forces now operating upon the Earth are the same in kind and degree as those which, in the remotest times, produced geological changes.'"

    —Richard Stone, Mammoth: The Resurrection of an Ice Age Giant, (Cambridge, Mass.: Perseus Publishing, 2001), 94

    September 20, 2008