Uniformitarianism vs. Catastrophism Essay

1017 Words Jun 14th, 2013 5 Pages
| Uniformitarianism vs. Catastrophism | Lara Anderson | | Dr. Travis Bradshaw | PHSC 201-A19 |

For much of history, humans have grappled with the question: Where do we come from? Today there are two main houses of argument which have many different names. They are called secular and religious, evolutionists and creationists, humanists and theists. However, each house subscribes to its own idea of how the world has come about and progressed through history. The secular/evolutionist/humanist view point is that the earth happened through chance and time over billions of years of processes repeating themselves in the same way they do today, a view known as uniformitarianism. While the religious/creationist/theists claim that the
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This was merely the adaption of Lyell’s theory of uniformitarianism to fit the living things on the planet. ()
There is no doubt that certain catastrophes have happened on Earth over its lifespan. Most scientists today who do not agree with Catastrophism as a theory agree that certain events have happened, such as asteroid collisions with Earth. We still see catastrophes occurring today in the form of tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes. However, the theory of catastrophism is that there have been massive catastrophes (one in particular) that have shaped the earth as we know and understand it to be today. () Catastrophists who are also Biblical Christians believe that the great flood of Noah is the main catastrophic event that affected everything from the layering of the fossils to the salinity of the ocean. Because the major base for catastrophism is creationism, since the time of Darwin, at least, most scientists have completely disregarded this theory as a possible explanation for the geological makeup of the earth. However, the theory has been gaining ground on the bases of new research and the questioning of long held scientific beliefs.
Differences and Similarities Though the theories of Uniformitarianism and Catastrophism do not seem compatible in the least, there are a few similarities to be found. As stated earlier, the subscribers of uniformitarianism also