What did Sir Charles Lyell accomplish with his famous Principles of Geology?
Sir Charles Lyell’s three volume book, “Principles of Geology” published in 1830, has been called the most important book ever. It was important because his ideas on how the earth had been formed were completely opposite to the prevailing beliefs. Previously, it was believed that the sedimentary rock strata seen were a result of cataclysms like Noah’s flood. However, Sir Charles Lyell believed that cataclysms were not responsible for forming the appearance of the earth’s crust, but very slow processes like we see happening today. He coined the cliché that “the present is the key to the past,” which has been the motto of uniformitarianism science.
The uniformitarianism concept, along with its mandatory accompanying old earth philosophy, provided the primary influence for Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution. Together, these ideas have caused a paradigm shift from a biblical creation, young earth worldview to a humanistic, evolutionary old earth worldview.
Certainly this paradigm shift, resulting from Lyell’s foundational work, was “earth shaking.” This intellectually freed secular humanists from any guilt resulting from not following biblical morality. For Christians, it meant that science was in conflict with their beliefs and perhaps that Christianity is not based upon truth and fact. It was like freeing those who believed they were in bondage and placing those in bondage that thought they were free; a true coupe de gras.
We need to ask whether this paradigm shift is a move toward truth or away from it. The mount St. Helens eruption certainly has shown us that catastrophism is alive and well. The resulting depositions and canyon were formed very rapidly. Poly-strata fossils traversing multiple rock layers have proven that layers were deposited rapidly. Also, we know that for fossils to be preserved, rapid burial is required.
We need to reevaluate the foundations that support our current postmodern secular humanism origins philosophy. If we do, we will find that science supports creation, the worldwide flood, catastrophism, and the biblical worldview.
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