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 ?
Phylogeography, fossils, and Northern hemisphere biogeography: The role of physiological uniformitarianism.
Dietl proposes that using past natural experiments to predict future changes is flawed and out is the use of uniformitarianism .
Geric argues that Maud sets Lyellian uniformitarianism against William Whewell's critiques of Lyell and Richard Trench's Adamic linguistic theory to create a radically experimental work that unleashes a dialogism so profound that the attempted reversion to monological meaning and authority at the end is unconvincing.
Still, most geologists are sanguine about prospects for exoplanet tectonics, based on their optimism in what Stern terms "theoretical uniformitarianism," which in this case reflects the assertion of the universality of plate tectonics across the galaxy.
Even bearing in mind the various meanings of the concept of uniformitarianism that argue for more than a purely conventional basis for interpreting the nature of the past in the terms of the present (see e.
His widely read Principles of Geology presented an empirically formidable argument supporting Hutton's thesis "that all past changes on the globe had been brought about by the slow agency of existing causes" (I: 63), a theory of geological change known as uniformitarianism.
Admittedly, as Rankin (2003: 186) points out, reconstruction in Historical Linguistics would not be possible without the assumption of uniformitarianism (see Lass 1997 or Janda and Joseph 2003).
Time and the intimately linked concept of uniformitarianism, there could be no Charles Darwin and no evolution.
Finally, his interest in Hutton's theories and the uniformitarianism principle led him to believe that Earth had been formed millions of years ago--a heretical idea in those times.
Windley has been a hugely influential "pioneer in the application of uniformitarianism to Precambrian rocks, a leader in linking field geology with the geochemistry and geochronology of different orogenic units with global tectonic history, and an overall polymath who has had a deep influence on many fields of geological science" (from the preface).
He examines the economic crash from the perspective of "punctuated equilibrium," a concept based on evolution, and argues that faulty interpretations of Darwin's theory of uniformitarianism (evolution as a continuous, smooth process) led economists to ignore reality.