Thursday, 19 April 2012


'UNIFORMITARIANISM' " The present is the key to the past ." The rate at which we observe geological physical processes happening in the present , was claimed by Charles Lyell to be the method by which we should interpret and apply the past history of our planet . BUT , according to Stephen J Gould ( Paleontologist ) , Lyell ignored what the evidence demonstrates and relied upon his imagination .
Gould, Stephen Jay :
‘Charles Lyell was a lawyer by profession, and his book is one of the most brilliant briefs published by an advocate Lyell relied upon two bits of cunning to establish his uniformitarian views as the only true geology. First, he set up a straw man to demolish. … In fact, the catastrophists were much more empirically minded than Lyell. The geologic record does seem to require catastrophes: rocks are fractured and contorted; whole faunas are wiped out. To circumvent this literal appearance, Lyell imposed his imagination upon the evidence. The geologic record, he argued, is extremely imperfect and we must interpolate into it what we can reasonably infer but cannot see. The catastrophists were the hardnosed empiricists of their day, not the blinded theological apologists.’
Gould, Stephen Jay, Professor of Paleontology and Geology at Harvard, in ‘Natural History’ Feb 1975 p.16. 


No comments:

Post a Comment