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Search results for: uniformitarianism in all categories

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... . And that is the case here. The geologists, the biologists, and especially the historians have passively accepted the thesis that the astronomers can tell them what has been going on on this Earth, and they have then sketched in those details permitted by the astronomers' general outline. The astronomers inform these other disciplines that Earth has been substantially undisturbed on its orbit for billions of years, and that whatever changes may have taken place on Earth are traceable exclusively to causes of the sort that we see operating today. This is uniformitarianism: the unproved assumption that the only factors that could have operated in the past are the factors that we see operating today. The other disciplines have meekly accepted this uniformitarian thesis, and have done so without seriously examining the evidence or the lack of evidence. It has become standard operating procedure to divert one's critical eye from everything but one's own specialty. Thus it is that even though the students of the other sciences have spent several millennia kneeling at the feet of queen astronomy. and accepting retrocalculated 'history', the habit ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 4  -  06 Mar 2003  -  22k  -  URL:
... it is strange that history should have to be rewritten to conform to these theories!" Scientists teach us that the force of gravity is at work when an apple falls from a tree today just as surely as it operated thousands and millions of years ago; the same principle of falling bodies on Earth holds true for planets remaining in orbit today just as they have for billions of years. The time formulation to which modern scientists give unswerving allegiance receives its validation in what has come to be known as the doctrine of uniformity. Uniformitarianism, William R. Farrand (quoted by Macbeth, 1971:115-116; emphasis supplied) explains, is "the geologist's concept that processes that acted on the earth in the past are the same processes that are operating today, on the same scale and at approximately the same rates." The doctrine emphasizes permanence, stability, and order rather than change and growth; what is perceived in the present becomes eternal, unchanging, and immutable. "The physical world ten million years ago was the same as it is today ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 4  -  05 Mar 2003  -  36k  -  URL:
... immobility of Saturn was changed to the immobility of the celestial north pole, with such immobility taken as a criterion of the continuation of the world order (even the aurora saturnalis became the aurora borealis); that the planetary system that obtained during the Age of Kronos was garbled into what has come down to us as the system of Philolaos, with the visible Saturn being described now as an invisible Central Fire; and of course that planetary myths in general have been transferred from the planets to the Sun. These transfers are vintage uniformitarianism: accounts from the past had to fit the current state of affairs. Those who choose to ignore such transfers are being led astray by uniformitarian rationalizations, and stand little chance of correctly interpreting the testimony of the ancient world. (It should be noted that sometimes these transfers are temporal: the past is treated or interpreted as the future, and literal, straightforward historiography is transformed into prophetic eschatology. Thus the Age of Kronos belongs to the past, but such a "kingdom of god" is often looked for in ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 4  -  05 Mar 2003  -  93k  -  URL:
... thinking". While the dominant intellectual currents of any culture are rarely matters of simple fact (but rather of considered interpretation), my impression is the opposite of his. I see the so-called Principle of Parsimony, better known as "Occam's Razor," as having dominated Western science since the days of the Medieval Scholastic philosophers. This principle, which mandates maximal simplification in the analysis of nearly all problems, seems to me to underlie Behaviorism, Logical Positivism, and most of the other reductionistic philosophies of our day, including Uniformitarianism. In a few cases, Talbott's phraseology is so opaque that one can only guess what he means. An example of this opacity is found on p. 28, where he writes that "there is no parallel between Coptic and some other language of the kind that persists between, say, English and French". Here one cannot tell whether the noun "parallel" means cognation, linguistic borrowing, structural convergence, or something else. Nor is it clear whether the verb "persist" is a mere synonym for ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 4  -  05 Mar 2003  -  36k  -  URL:
... is nevertheless subject to much local disorder in the form of rape, murder, assault, mental cruelty, enforced separation, mutilation, drastic change, and various bizarre kinds of death, to name a few. Such frequent and widespread upheaval clashes with conventional celestial dynamics, which either pictures the universe as stable and very gradualist, or insists that large-scale disorder occurs far away in space or far back in time, neither situation posing any danger to Earth. The pattern corresponds strikingly to Velikovskian theory, however, in which catastrophism and uniformitarianism co-exist as alternating modes of physical existence. The same duality applies to the reactions of people in such a cosmos. Despite "the Flow", the eternal rhythm, the base of unending survival which provides a sense of comfort over the long run, the addicted soap-opera viewer, in the words of one critic, feels from moment to moment that the cosmos is out of control: We are in love [in a stable situation today, but who [or what will come into our lives tomorrow?(35) ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 4  -  05 Mar 2003  -  40k  -  URL:
... thinking. But surely he should not object to getting some facts straight. Charles Lyell was not a geologist, but a lawyer, and his Principles of Geology was a political, rather than scientific, treatise. Its effectiveness is attested to by the fact that Davis can today comment, with a straight face, that abrupt changes have become respectable. Through Lyell's magic, catastrophes have been so stretched out and moved back in time, or banished into outer space, that we have nothing to fear. Considering the true nature of uniformitarianism, the statement that "abrupt change has become respectable" means nothing. In the final analysis, the uncomfortable "grain" of truth is the crucial factor. Although Discover printed no letters on the review of Mankind in Amnesia, the publisher's office got around to sending acknowledgment notes on May 19,* when one Kelly Knauer mailed "thank you" notes to several, if not all, of those who commented on Davis' review. While the notes were not identical, they contained several common thoughts. Granting that ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 4  -  05 Mar 2003  -  46k  -  URL:
... alone which he had chanced upon as he is hurried every way, and idly boasts he has found the whole. So hardly can these things be seen by the eyes or heard by the ears of men, so hardly grasped by their mind!" (Fragment 2, Burnet translation) Thus whatever we happen upon in the here and now is taken to be all that there can be, for any time, and for any place. It would be difficult to imagine a more eloquent and devastating exposure of the illogic of uniformitarianism than that provided by Empedocles in these verses. Such charms were the works of Empedocles' youth. The main truths were already found, and even the recognition of resistance and the recognition that poetic persuasion would be needed are there already. "Friends, I know indeed that truth is in the words I shall utter, but it is hard for men, and jealous are they of the assault of belief on their souls." (Fragment 114, Burnet) But there is also the optimism of youth, and the ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 4  -  05 Mar 2003  -  24k  -  URL:
... Dorson(31) and so scathingly critiqued by Stith Thompson.(32) To justify such apparent back-sliding, however, I may make two observations. First, disappointingly little progress has been made during the past century or more in our overall understanding of myth and its role in the development of our species. And, second, what made so many of the 19th century theories of myth seem ludicrous even to their contemporaries was neither their avowed universalism nor their equally avowed evolutionism but their unavowed and therefore all the more pervasive- uniformitarianism. For myth as a stage in the slow but steady and direct march from contented animality to enlightened modernity made no sense either then or later. Yet, as a startled response to unexpected and overwhelming interruptions of that march, it makes good sense now and would have made equally good sense then had more Victorians been willing to follow the explicitly catastrophist lead of Ignatius Donnelly, who saw much of our oral tradition as a forlorn attempt to cope intellectually with a disastrous prehistoric cometary visitation.(33) RIDDLES, PROVERBS, ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 4  -  05 Mar 2003  -  41k  -  URL:
... What they were filling all those pages? [laughter What were filling those astronomers of Babylonia thousands of tablets with observations if nothing was necessary to observe? Something was on their minds. Something was very important. Why they were building these temples to the planets? Why they were bringing sacrifice, human sacrifice, to those planets? I asked this [in the morning. This [is a question that need[s to be thought through, not just brushed away.... We live in the scientific age of uniformitarianism, where anything that is not observed today could not [have happened also in the past. This is our rule; according to this we study and learn and believe. Mulholland's final performance was an effort to challenge Velikovsky's inference that Venus has been cooling down and very probably is still slowly cooling. MULHOLLAND: Now, as for the question of the hot Venus. Present measurements show that Venus does not emit more heat than it receives. Furthermore, Venus is not cooling off, as Dr. Velikovsky has claimed in ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 4  -  05 Mar 2003  -  44k  -  URL:
... Minoan-type volcanic explosion and some Richter-9 earthquakes in a tectonically active region such as the Mediterranean and Euphrates basins, and one can have grist for further legends.... Robert W. Carroll, Jr. Potsdam, NY To the Editor of KRONOS: Regarding C. Leroy Ellenberger's, "Still Facing Many Problems", KRONOS X: 1, "Worzel Ash", I wish to make the following comments. In dealing with Velikovsky's secular catastrophic hypothesis, one should never mix nor relate the concept of catastrophism with that of uniformitarianism. This, I construe to be the error committed regarding the interpretation presented by new evidence of "Worzel Ash". Ellenberger, in raising these issues to provoke comment, is to be roundly applauded. He has at the least provoked me to comment. Whether he is cognizant or not of the interpretation he presented, in posing this new evidence he treated it from a uniformitarian perspective. Following the geological evidence presented by Velikovsky in Earth in Upheaval and the ancient descriptions of the sky and sea in Worlds in Collision, ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 4  -  05 Mar 2003  -  39k  -  URL:
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