Historical background essay

Name 4


Ingeneral, the information presented focuses on the processes and themechanisms through which the universe has been shaped over the years.Geologists still disagree on whether the universe was shaped by aseries of violent and sudden catastrophes or it has been affected bygradually occurring processes that can be observed in the modern era.

Themain point of argument is the pace of the natural processes thatshaped the universe. The idea that the natural processes tend tobehave the same in the modern world as they behaved in the past isportrayed more in the education system as compared to a notion thatthese processes occurred in a sudden and violent way at a give pointin the history of the universe.

Uniformitarianismrefers to a geological idea that the current series of the naturalprocesses have been behaving the same way in the past and willcontinue doing the same in the future. This implies that the forces,principles, and the processes that people observe today are the sameones that have shaped the universe over a period of many years(Ho”Ibrah 51). For example, the deltas that one can see in themodern world are products of rivers’ erosion and deposition ofsand, which is still going on.

Catastrophismrefers to a geological idea that the earth was affected in the pastby a series of sudden, violent, and short-lived processes. Theevidence suggested to support this ideology is that the currentcontinents, a series of mountains, and the shape of the oceansresulted from catastrophic processes, such as volcanoes, floods,earthquakes (Ho”Ibrah 53).

Thetwo geological concepts (catastrophism and uniformitarianism) competewith each other, which imply that they cannot be considered to betrue at the same time. For example, a perception held by geologistswho support the idea that the earth was shaped by the gradualprinciples and processes that can be observed in the present dayeliminates the application of a notion that there was a time whensudden and catastrophic processes (such as earthquakes) acted on theuniverses. Therefore, one can only hold one concept at a time.

Theimplication of responding to the question of whether the twoprocesses (including catastrophism and uniformitarianism) are bothtrue is that the confusion about the processes that shaped the earthand the entire universe are eliminated. This matters because it helpsgeologists determine the most appropriate strategies for studying theuniverse. For example, a group of geologists who support the ideathat the universe could only have been shaped by the same forces andprocesses that can be seen in the present time are able to study thepresent to determine how the universe might have been in the past andhow it will be in the future (Ho”Ibrah 51).

Theonly clear form of suppression that can be confirmed occurred amonggeologists or the scientific community. For example, a group ofgeologists (such as Charles Lyell) opposed catastrophism bysuggesting that there is no sufficient evidence to support the ideathat violent and sudden catastrophes occurred once in the history ofthe universe (Ho”Ibrah 51). This was a way of suppressing theconcept of catastrophism and upholding uniformitarianism. Althoughthis debate may not have influenced public policy, it influenced thepublic view of the way manner in which the universe was shaped to itscurrent status.


Inconclusion, geologists who hold either of the ideas (catastrophismand uniformitarianism) presents reasonable evidence, but the idea ofuniformitarianism have become more popular. Therefore, it is easierto consider the current geological processes as the basis forunderstanding what might have happened in the past and project whatmight happen in the future.


Ho”Ibrah,B. Dating background: Catastrophism versus Uniformitarianism:Dating the earth. B’OrHa’TorahWebsite, 2007. Print.