Dictionary of Geotourism

2020 Edition
| Editors: Anze Chen, Young Ng, Erkuang Zhang, Mingzhong Tian

Uniformitarianism

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-2538-0_2642

Uniformitarianism is an important theory of geology that is the opposite of catastrophism. This theory holds that the evolution of the Earth and its living things are extremely slow and systematically interrelated. Their initial differences are small, and significant differences can only be identified after the long-term accumulation of gradual changes. Modern geological processes are similar to those that occurred the past. Therefore, there are no drastic and abrupt changes. The dynamics of geological processes originate from the Earth itself, and catastrophic changes due to supernatural powers do not occur. This theory was founded by James Hutton (1726–1791) and was later developed and popularised by Charles Lyell (1797–1875).

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