catastrophism and uniformitarianism are opposite extremes which must be combined and reconciled.
catastrophism, a short-sighted teleology, and a still more short-sighted orthodoxy, joined forces to crush evolution.
catastrophism is a corollary of it: if there were no imperfection there could be no advance.
But, in revulsion from the previous idea of catastrophism, it undoubtedly was pushed much too far.
On first thought it might seem that such lawless movement was rather in keeping with catastrophism than uniformitarianism.
This principle of ‘uniformity’ knocked the old teaching of catastrophism on the head.
For the idea of catastrophism had not concerned the destruction of species merely, but their introduction as well.
This view is a complete reconciliation of catastrophism and uniformitarianism, and is far more rational than either extreme.
By CATASTROPHISM I mean any form of geological speculation which, in order to account for the phenomena of geology, supposes the operation of forces different in their nature, or immeasurably different in power, from those which we at present see in action in the universe. [T.H. Huxley, "Address" to the Geological Society of London, Feb. 19, 1869]Related: Catastrophist.