catastrophist

catastrophism

[kuh-tas-truh-fiz-uhm]
noun Geology.
the doctrine that certain vast geological changes in the earth's history were caused by catastrophes rather than gradual evolutionary processes.

Origin:
1865–70; catastrophe + -ism

catastrophist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To catastrophist
Collins
World English Dictionary
catastrophism (kəˈtæstrəˌfɪzəm)
 
n
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
 
ca'tastrophist
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

catastrophism
as a geological or biological theory, 1869, coined by Huxley from catastrophe + -ism.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
catastrophism [(kuh-tas-truh-fiz-uhm)]

A theory holding that changes in the Earth take place swiftly and irreversibly. (Contrast gradualism.)

Note: A belief in Noah's flood is one version of catastrophism.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature