catastrophism


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ca·tas·tro·phism

 (kə-tăs′trə-fĭz′əm)
n.
1.
a. The doctrine that major changes in the earth's crust result from sudden catastrophes, such as the impact of a large meteor, rather than from gradual evolutionary processes.
b. The doctrine that changes in the earth's fauna and flora result from major catastrophic events that cause the die-off of many organisms and are followed by the appearance of new types of organisms.
2. The prediction or expectation of cataclysmic upheaval, as in political or social developments.

ca·tas′tro·phist n.

catastrophism

(kəˈtæstrəˌfɪzəm)
n
1. (Geological Science) an old doctrine, now discarded, that the earth was created and has subsequently been shaped by sudden divine acts which have no logical connection with each other rather than by gradual evolutionary processes
2. (Geological Science) Also called: neo-catastrophism a modern doctrine that the gradual evolutionary processes shaping the earth have been supplemented in the past by the effects of huge natural catastrophes. Compare uniformitarianism, gradualism2
caˈtastrophist n

catastrophism

the theory that geological changes have been caused by sudden upheaval rather than by gradual and continuing processes. Cf. uniformitarianism.catastrophist, n.
See also: Geology
References in classic literature ?
But though Kidd knew a great deal about Sir Claude--a great deal more, in fact, than there was to know-- it would never have crossed his wildest dreams to connect so showy an aristocrat with the newly-unearthed founder of Catastrophism, or to guess that Sir Claude Champion and John Boulnois could be intimate friends.
That very evening, marked by Mr Kidd for the exposition of Catastrophism, had been marked by Sir Claude Champion for an open-air rendering of Romeo and Juliet, in which he was to play Romeo to a Juliet it was needless to name.
None of this catastrophism was chronicled by our ancestors, Velikovsky asserts, because they suffered from a "collective amnesia" that repressed all memory of these occurrences.
Arguing against such catastrophism, she reminds us that the US still has a higher marriage rate than any other industrialized country.
The commission is seeking consciously to shift the balance from what Costello called catastrophism to a far more positive message about the potential for improving human health.
Even in such concrete situations that reek of economic catastrophism, I would like to stress the importance of philosophy.
33] While pain is present, avoidance of penetration during sexual activity may be advised to break the cycle of avoidance and catastrophism.
Naipaul's racism, conservatism and catastrophism are rebarbative, but his extremism may serve as a useful foil for enquiring about visions of the future in contemporary Africa, at a moment which sees the various societies of the continent undergoing social, economic and political transformations whose magnitude can probably only be compared with the irruption of European colonization.
Throughout the volume, large questions such as the question of catastrophism or the importance of astronomical matters for the ancient Europeans are barely mentioned.
Catastrophism in its dominant forms must therefore be linked not simply to the undeniable realities of the organic crisis of our times but to an imperialist obsession with the triage of global humanity.
And even Ralph Cicerone, president of America's National Academy of Sciences, has publically eschewed climate catastrophism.