The End Of Catastrophism

By Dr Pepper

OK, that's it. I'm getting sick of this whining about "uniformitarian bias" and people refusing to give catastrophism a serious hearing. I'm putting an end to it once and for all. Catastrophism, that is, i'm declaring it non existant.

How can i do that? Easy, i invoke timescaling.

For instance, here in SoCal we've recently had some nasty floods. Five years of drought and suddenly, massive rain. Looks like a catastrophy, a spike on the graph of yearly rainfall, right? Wrong. Plot the average rainfall in decades and the graph becomes a serious of curves of slightly varying amplitude.

Of course on this timescale the observation of climatary change may look somewhat jerky. No problem, just change it to a scale of centuries. Ice ages, you say? Try kiloyears and they become ripples on the temperature charts.

Course if you look far back enough you see that nasty asteroid smashing those poor dinos like a polish weightlifter dropping his barbells. Now that must be a catastrophe, right? Wrong. Watch the earth in 10 megayear increments and you've got asteroids coming down like pebbles.

Pull back a bit more and you'll see the planets form. Hmm, that happens only once. Exactly, once per solar system. See those nebulas contract and light up?

In fact with the proper observational mode you can see the life of the universe in one scintillating puff. And if it has enough mass it'll do it over and over and over and over and over...

Now what about Ted? Oh, well, like he always says, the musical orbits found in V cosmology are based entirely on universal laws of nature. That means that Earth and Venus weren't special cases, why they're absolutely to be expected! Use the right calendar and you'll see planets galore skipping merrily right and left. Look, Pluto and Ganymede just did a dosey-do!

So i'm sorry to tell you this, Ted, but there is no Santa Claus, and there are no catastrophes. You'll just have to stop using the word.

Or else admit you don't understand the felt effect of chronographic factoring.

+--------------------------+--------------------------------------+
| 10                    2  | Garden Grove Institute of Technology |
|        DR PEPPER         | Community Outreach Center            |
|                       4  |                                      |
+--------------------------+ Snail Addr: Unit #1, 7872 Trask      |
| Hussein: We made him, we |             Westminster, Ca  92683   |
| broke him, we'll build   | Modem:      714-894-7039             |
| him up again if we want  | Fidonet:    1:103/241                |
| to, we're the US.        | Candynet:   42:1001/1                |
|                          | Internet:   [email protected]   |
|                          |              .fidonet.org            |
+--------------------------+--------------------------------------+

By James G. Acker

While I agree overall with the point you're trying to make here, I disagree in principle. There are processes which are not uniformitarian, which is slow change over time. The previously-posted example of the Lake Missoula floods, which made landscape alterations having the appearance of millions of years of change yet which actually happened on a time-scale of years, are a good counter-example. I would, however, say that most "catastrophes" are regional, and not global. With the exception discussed below:

: Course if you look far back enough you see that nasty asteroid
: smashing those poor dinos like a polish weightlifter dropping his
: barbells. Now that must be a catastrophe, right? Wrong. Watch the
: earth in 10 megayear increments and you've got asteroids coming down
: like pebbles.
I would contend that impacts capable of causing major extinction events should be classed as global catastrophes. The K-T boundary event and one earlier event (I should write this stuff down!) induced major global effects. Whereas over the 10 megayear increment there are "asteroids coming down like pebbles", these two events are still noteworthy events, due to their magnitude.

What you are perfectly correct in saying, Dr P, is that catastrophism is not the number-one operative process on the globe, in the Solar System, or in the Universe, which is what catastrophists of the Velikovski-ilk are prone to believe.