|1.||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|
|2.||uniformitarianism Compare gradualism 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 catastrophes|
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 (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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