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Catastrophism ultimately takes a ratchet approach and explains off much of the current formation of our geologic world through a series of sudden events which shaped our modern world. According to James (2001) the origins of this theory are largely based on the writings of Immanuel Velikovsky who postulated that many ancient myths could ultimately be attributed to a near collision between Venus and Earth. Whilst this represents a pseudo-science approach it could be further argued that Catastrophism does not have any universal guiding principles and catastrophist theories can run a wide range from impact events shaping our current biological makeup right through to the theories of Velikovsky. In terms of estimating the age of the earth, effectively people who subscribe to Catastrophism theories believe that much of the Earths development came in cycles and if one can trace back all of these cycles back to their origin they they can estimate the age of the earth (Though estimates vary widely).
In contrast to Catastrophism is Uniformitarianism which postulates that most of the natural laws of science that play on our earth now, also applied since its origins. Meaning that the development of the earth has been a slow and gradual process, which is often compared to the erosion. In terms of the age of the earth, estimations can vary widely insofar as again there is no commonly universally held principles earth development. According to Tarbuck and Lutgens (2011) it is the case that both principles are not to be taken literally however it is the case that Uniformitarianism is more widely accepted amongst the geologic community today.
James, B (2001) Catastrophist Theories of Life Gaining Ground It Came From Outer Space.. The New York Times [online] Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/23/style/23iht-sncat_ed3_.html Accessed on August 25th
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(“Earth Science Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 250 words”, n.d.)
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(Earth Science Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 250 Words)
“Earth Science Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 250 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/miscellaneous/1579250-earth-science.
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