uniformitarianism


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u·ni·for·mi·tar·i·an·ism

 (yo͞o′nə-fôr′mĭ-târ′ē-ə-nĭz′əm)
n.
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.

u′ni·for′mi·tar′i·an adj. & n.

uniformitarianism

(ˌjuːnɪˌfɔːmɪˈtɛərɪəˌnɪzəm)
n
(Geological Science) the concept that the earth's surface was shaped in the past by gradual processes, such as erosion, and by small sudden changes, such as earthquakes, of the type acting today rather than by the sudden divine acts, such as the flood survived by Noah (Genesis 6–8), demanded by the doctrine of catastrophism

uniformitarianism

1. Philosophy. a doctrine that the universe is governed only by rigid, unexceptionable law.
2. Geology. the concept that current geological processes explain all past geological occurrences. — uniformitarian, n., adj.
See also: Evolution
the thesis that early geological processes were not unlike those observed today, i.e., gradually occurring. Cf. catastrophism.uniformitarian, n.
See also: Geology

uniformitarianism

The principle that present geological processes are the key to past events in Earth's history.
References in periodicals archive ?
Evolution-science" includes the scientific evidences and related inferences that indicate: (1) Emergence by naturalistic processes of the universe from disordered matter and emergence of life from nonlife; (2) The sufficiency of mutation and natural selection in bringing about development of present living kinds from simple earlier kinds; (3) Emergence by mutation and natural selection of present living kinds from simple earlier kinds; (4) Emergence of man from a common ancestor with apes; (5) Explanation of the earth's geology and the evolutionary sequence by uniformitarianism and (6) An inception several billion years ago of the earth and somewhat later of life.
At the end, Wilson points ahead: in 1856, Darwin would give his friend a preview of his new theory, a theory that would build on Lyell's own uniformitarianism, yet shake his geological universe to the core.
The idea had such a drastic effect because it challenged one of the most revered tenets of geology and evolutionary biology-a concept of gradual change known as uniformitarianism.
Catastrophism versus Uniformitarianism in the History of Star Formation
Lyell's uniformitarianism quickly overthrew catastrophism, the geological paradigm of the early nineteenth century which held that features on the surface of the earth were caused by numerous diluvian events, with the Noahic Flood being the last.
For example, emphasis could be placed on understanding the non-uniformitarian nature of anthropogenic climate-change processes by situating them within a scientific paradigm based on the principle of uniformitarianism.
In the latter, Lyell breaks from his litany of geologists, to speculate on whether humanity's presence on earth has been an event of such magnitude that it distorts any notions of uniformitarianism.
This linkage allows Shaw to weave the idea of sudden cataclysms into geology's reigning doctrine of uniformitarianism, which holds that regular, repeated processes have slowly shaped the planet's crust in the same fashion they do today.
This was a period when the prevailing view of geology shifted from castastrophism to uniformitarianism.
According to his analysis, the impact theory met such strong resistance, in part, because it challenged the reigning doctrine of uniformitarianism, which includes the idea that changes on Earth occur gradually.
They are to archaeology what uniformitarianism is to geology, a means to advance from hypotheses to results through the regulated assessment and incorporation of evidence.
Mortality models and milking: problems of uniformitarianism, optimality and equifinality reconsidered, Anthropozoologica 27.