Catastrophism and uniformitarianism are two schools of thought on the history of evolution, though uniformitarianism is the only view that has sound scientific evidence to support it. Catastrophism is the idea that quick, large-scale, catastrophic events created the universe, while uniformitarianism is the idea that the universe was created slowly through natural laws.Continue Reading
Catastrophism was first theorized by Buffon and Joseph Fourier. Both men believed that the Earth was first a hot ball of molten rock that cooled throughout time. These men believed that as the planet cooled, there were volcanic eruptions and other upheavals.
Geologist Charles Lyell challenged the catastrophism theory in 1830 when he theorized that there had been gradual changes over time, which he theorized based on the ideas by James Hutton, a Scottish farmer. Hutton and Lyell believed in uniformitarianism, which suggested slow changes to the Earth, such as rain leading to erosion that would then in turn lead to mountains.
Lyell and Hutton also believed that the processes that alter the Earth are the same throughout time and do not change. This theory of uniformitarianism helped Darwin to discover and interpret the history of the Canary Islands. Darwin applied the uniformitarianism theories to the volcanic rock on the island. The geology studies on plate tectonics have also provided evidence for uniformitarianism.Learn more about Philosophy
David Hume argued that there is no simple, constant "self" to be found within a person's aggregate experiences and actions throughout their conscious life. For Hume, anybody attempting to view his true self sees instead a version colored by their own subjectivity. Thus, a true self is impossible to see.Full Answer >
Western philosophy began in Ancient Greece, dealing with the basic nature of the world, known as ontology; the discussion of whether it's possible to know any fact for certain, called epistemology; and the basis for moral judgment, or ethics. These subjects are still studied in academic courses on philosophy as of 2015. An overview of philosophical thought can be found at Philosophy Pages.Full Answer >
The earliest conclusive evidence of the evolution of dinosaurs dates their origins to 230 million years ago. They are believed to have evolved from other reptilian species and developed certain defining characteristics, such as specialized hip and leg bones.Full Answer >
Vestigial structures support the theory of evolution by adding observable evidence to the model of common ancestry. Vestigial structures are not necessarily without function. In fact, according to Austin Cline at About.com, it isn't possible to demonstrate that any anatomical feature serves no purpose. Instead, a vestigial structure is one that shows clear homology with a similar feature in related organisms but whose purpose is no longer clear.Full Answer >