Gradualism’ vs ‘Catastrophism’ – A Layman’s Perspective – Part 2 of at least 2

This is a work in progress. In fact at an early stage of progress. I have only posted it in this condition to act as a driver to the personal impetus I must find in order to make any success of the project. I will update this post as I go, and when complete or when a Part 3 is necessary, I will ensure that is made known.

In Part 1 of this series (and whether it gets past Part 2 or not, remains to be seen) I began to talk about uniformitarianism but got sidetracked into a discussion of how that fits into the general principles of the scientific method on which all we know, or assume, about our world and indeed the whole universe of which it is a minute part, including ourselves, is based. If you missed it, you can read Part 1 here.

Moving on now, but also extracting from that work, I used a definition of the Doctrine of Uniformity as recorded in Wikipedia (repeated below) – mainly because that is a readily accessible source, open to anyone, and also because it is well referenced for those who may wish to pursue that.

Uniformitarianism, also known as the Doctrine of Uniformity or the Uniformitarian Principle,[1] is the assumption that the same natural laws and processes that operate in our present-day scientific observations have always operated in the universe in the past and apply everywhere in the universe.[2][3] It refers to invariance in the metaphysical principles underpinning science, such as the constancy of cause and effect throughout space-time,[4] but has also been used to describe spatiotemporal invariance of physical laws.[5] Though an unprovable postulate that cannot be verified using the scientific method,[6] some consider that uniformitarianism should be a required first principle in scientific research.[7] Other scientists disagree and consider that nature is not absolutely uniform, even though it does exhibit certain regularities.[8][9]


Uniformity then is the principle of gradual change, ‘Gradualism’ being another name for the processes by which the observable physical make-up of our world and all within, around, beneath and above it have come to be, are now, and will change to be, in the future (should we be so fortunate or unfortunate as to witness that).

‘Observable’, to me, seems to be far too weak a statement to adequately define the position. Everything around us, if we take careful note of it – instead of buzzing around like ‘blue-arsed flies’ – screams out, as loudly as it silently can, that it was not the result of gentle, eons long, ‘gradual’ forces operating at snail’s pace throughout a long history, undisturbed by anything more than gentle breezes and the drip-drops of moisture or the lapping caress of shallow waves or other flowing movements of water and other fully natural processes that, for example, separated grains of sand or whatever from their parent rocks to deposit them elsewhere in a gradual process of unnoticeable building up and tearing down from what once was to what now is. At the very least, observation inevitably leads to the view that these were not the only forces, or even the major forces being played out in the 4.6 billion years (or whatever the current estimate is) of the formation of the planet we all stand on.

You were aware, I hope, that the estimate of Earth’s longevity is just that – an estimate – and that is undoubtedly contrary to what you have most likely been led to believe. This and all other ‘science facts’ are not cast in stone. They are simply wild estimates, based on some of the things I talked about in Part 1. There is no foundation stone laid down by who or whatever it was that undertook planetary construction in our area of the universe, to be discovered later by man with an engraved date to tell us when that was done. Make no mistake about that – we do not know how old the Earth and its parent stellar system is/are. and yet you will easily find, recorded in print, or digital display, a number something like 4.6 billion years. Thre very best we can do is to estimate the elapsed time based on what other data there may be. Thge same is true, incidentally, of the dating of rocks and the separation of history into time periods. It is all guesswork. If that makes you feel uneasy, well it should. If that makes you think about other things you have been told, well it should. A doubting mind is a challenged mind and a challenged mind can become a questioning mind. A questioning mind, of course, is not something that can be controlled. Its horizons are boundless. Its paths uncharted. Its drives uninhibited. And such minds are unfit for blind servitude and acceptance of the drudgery and limitations of an imposed and stricture based social life in an ordered society that cares little for the individual.

I had better cease that line of thought right there or risk being carried away from the important work of showing that the things I have begun to explain are not mere whimses or the product of some divergent thought process, leading nowhere.

What I propose to show, beginning here, is that the basis of science laid down by those old, religious white men of up to four centuries ago is merely a reductionist synthesis of what they really saw in their discoveries, and what they really thought about what they saw with their very own eyes, to create a story that would allow them the luxury of being able to describe the world in terms that, while not reflecting reality, could be used as a basis to formulate ‘knowledge’ about what they were unable to see – things past, things hidden, things beyond their current understanding. A system they could work with and record their findings through logical processes and to build technology that would further enhance and cement that system in the minds of their fellows and future discoverers. Little matter whether it was the real story, as long as it worked in practice. I am aware that I have inadequately described what I mean in the above statement and will attempt to find a more worthy outline from some eminent person in the scientific field who agrees with my statement of intent.

I will undertake this challenge using the words of those same old, religious white men, to unwind and expose the degree to which they synthesised the real world into the scientific method and its body of discovery that we know today and which stands now in the way of true discovery, simply by its overbearing and unmovable presence in the life story of mankind. A presence that in this day is being challenged everywhere, especially in the fields of the Earth Sciences – Geology, Paleontology, Archeology, Anthropology, and others, even Cosmology. That’s a big ask… and I’m not sure I am up to it. But I will do my best.

Let’s begin…

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