/keuh tas"treuh fiz'euhm/, n. Geol.
the doctrine that certain vast geological changes in the earth's history were caused by catastrophes rather than gradual evolutionary processes.
[1865-70; CATASTROPHE + -ISM]

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      doctrine that explains the differences in fossil forms encountered in successive stratigraphic levels as being the product of repeated cataclysmic occurrences and repeated new creations. This doctrine generally is associated with the great French naturalist Baron Georges Cuvier (Cuvier, Georges, Baron) (1769–1832). One 20th-century expansion on Cuvier's views, in effect, a neocatastrophic school, attempts to explain geologic history as a sequence of rhythms or pulsations of mountain building, transgression and regression of the seas, and evolution and extinction of living organisms.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Catastrophism — is the idea that Earth has been affected in the distant past by sudden, short lived, violent events that were sometimes worldwide in scope.The dominant paradigm of geology, by contrast, has been uniformitarianism (also sometimes described as… …   Wikipedia

  • catastrophism — (n.) as a geological or biological theory, 1869, coined by Huxley from CATASTROPHE (Cf. catastrophe) + ISM (Cf. ism). By CATASTROPHISM I mean any form of geological speculation which, in order to account for the phenomena of geology, supposes the …   Etymology dictionary

  • Catastrophism — Ca*tas tro*phism, n. (Geol.) The doctrine that the geological changes in the earth s crust have been caused by the sudden action of violent physical causes; opposed to the doctrine of {uniformism}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • catastrophism — catastrophism. См. теория катастроф. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • catastrophism — [kə tas′trə fiz΄əm] n. 1. the former theory that geologic changes are caused in general by sudden upheavals rather than gradually: cf. UNIFORMITARIANISM 2. an outlook envisioning imminent catastrophe catastrophist n., adj …   English World dictionary

  • catastrophism — noun Date: 1869 a geological doctrine that changes in the earth s crust have in the past been brought about suddenly by physical forces operating in ways that cannot be observed today compare uniformitarianism • catastrophist noun …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • catastrophism — n. [Gr. katastrophe, overturning] Cuvier s explanation of geological catastrophies resulting in the existence of fossil faunas …   Dictionary of invertebrate zoology

  • catastrophism — noun The doctrine that sudden catastrophes, rather than continuous change, cause the main features of the Earths crust …   Wiktionary

  • catastrophism —   the belief that landscape is the result of sudden, catastrophic events, rather than slow, day to day processes. Outmoded, but recognized as a contributory factor …   Geography glossary

  • catastrophism — belief in rapid geological and biological change Philosophical Isms …   Phrontistery dictionary

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