Catastrophism -- Past Cataclysmic Activity
Catastrophism is the idea that many of Earth’s crustal features (strata layers, erosion, polystrate fossils, etc) formed as a result of past cataclysmic activity. In other words, the Earth’s surface has been scarred by catastrophic natural disasters.
Catastrophism -- Uniformitarianism
Catastrophism is contrary to Uniformitarianism, the accepted geological doctrine for over 150 years. Uniformitarianism states that current geologic processes, occurring at the same rates observed today, in the same manner, account for all of earth's geological features. As present processes are thought to explain all past events, the Uniformitarianism slogan is "the present is the key to the past." Uniformitarianism ignores the possibility of past cataclysmic activity upon the surface of the earth. James Hutton first purposed the doctrine of uniformity in his publication, Theory of the Earth (1785). Sir Charles Lyell endorsed Uniformitarianism in his work, Principles of Geology (1830). Uniformitarianism is fundamental to Lyell's geologic column. Uniformitarianism and the geologic column, both of which assume uniformity, have been disputed in recent years by geologic features such as poly-strata fossils, misplaced fossils, missing layers and misplaced layers (including layers in reverse order or "ancient" layers found above "modern" layers). Furthermore, observed cataclysmic events such as the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in 1980 have leant credibility to Catastrophism. Prior to the introduction of Uniformitarianism, Catastrophism was the accepted geological doctrine. Once again, Catastrophism is becoming accepted as an accurate interpretation of earth's geologic history.
Catastrophism -- Empirical Evidence
Catastrophism is supported by actual, recorded history. Nearly 300 ancient flood legends have survived the ravishment of time. Legends of a worldwide deluge, commonly known as the "Noachian Flood," are found in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, North American and South America. Furthermore, earth's sedimentary layers with the fossil record seem to suggest a past marine cataclysm. Sedimentary rock (sandstone, siltstone, shale, limestone, etc) is primarily the result of moving water, laid down layer upon layer by hydrologic sorting. Animals whose fossil remains are found within those layers must have been caught in this running water appear to have been buried and preserved. The remains, as well as the rocks, would be sorted according to density or specific gravity. Otherwise, the carcasses would rot or be scavenged. Approximately 95% of all earth's fossil remains discovered thus far are marine invertebrates. Of the remainder, approximately 4.74% are plant fossils, 0.25% are land invertebrates (including insects), and 0.0125% are vertebrates (the majority of which are fish). Roughly 95% of all land vertebrates discovered and recorded to date consist of less than one bone. The overwhelming majority of the plant fossils found appear to demonstrate an instantaneous burial. The leaves are pressed in fine sediment as if placed between the pages of a book and show no signs of decay or rot.
Catastrophism -- The Noachian Flood
Catastrophism is supported by the evidential data. Catastrophism supports the Noachian Flood. Dramatic evidence is everywhere except in the popular press. For instance, who is aware that fossil remains of clams (found in the closed position, indicating they were buried alive) have been found atop Mt. Everest? What about whale fossils and petrified trees that stand upright through multiple sedimentary layers supposedly separated by millions of years? It is a remarkable time to reinvestigate the facts and determine your own position.
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