- the doctrine that certain vast geological changes in the earth's history were caused by catastrophes rather than gradual evolutionary processes.
Origin of catastrophism
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Examples from the Web for catastrophist
Contemporary Examples of catastrophist
Historical Examples of catastrophist
Mr. King, however, is not a Catastrophist of a very violent sort.
I wish there was any chance of Prestwich being shaken; but I fear he is too much of a catastrophist.
- an old doctrine, now discarded, that the earth was created and has subsequently been shaped by sudden divine acts which have no logical connection with each other rather than by gradual evolutionary processes
- Also called: neo-catastrophism a modern doctrine that the gradual evolutionary processes shaping the earth have been supplemented in the past by the effects of huge natural catastrophesCompare uniformitarianism, gradualism (def. 2)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for catastrophist
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]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
A belief in Noah's flood is one version of catastrophism.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.