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Landmarks in the History of Science » Geoscience » Catastrophist Geology. A Magazine Dedicated to the Study of Discontinuities in Earth History, 1976-1978, Rio de Janeiro

Catastrophist Geology. A Magazine Dedicated to the Study of Discontinuities in Earth History, 1976-1978, Rio de Janeiro

Autor: Johan B. Kloosterman 
Cod: 7997
In stoc: Da

Detalii produs

''Catastrophist Geology will be devoted to the study of discontinuities in Earth history. Papers are invited on topics such as (in alphabetic order): alpine nappes, atmospheric history, the appearance of new life forms, astroblemes, astronomical influences, bone breccias, calderas, the capture of the Moon, climatic change, comet flybys, continental break-up, continental collision, earthquakes, extinction of life forms, guide fossils, historical catastrophes, the history of evolutionary thought, the history of geology, ice ages, lake spills, lunar volcanism, magnetic reversals, martian volcanoes, the Mesozoic - Neozoic boundary, meteor impacts, mudflows, natural nuclear reactions, the origin of life, orogenesis, the Permo-Trias boundary, the philosophy of geology, plate tectonics, plateau basalts, the Pecambrian-Cambrian boundary, prehistoric catastrophes, pre-plate tectonic crustal processes, regressions, sea level changes, the survival of 'living fossils', tektites, transgressions, tsunamis, turbidity currents, volcanic eruptions.’'

       Kloosterman, Catastrophist Geology, Issue 1-1, June 1976, p. 2

'He [Darwin] has presented to the reader a vision of life which combines perfect human progress and a perfectly stable physical world in one comforting English picture. This has to lead us to suspect that Darwinian evolution is an Englishman's version of paradise, for natural selection is democratic, not autocratic, treating everyone alike and rewarding only merit, like the British parliament, and, even more, the British public school system. It works in a reasonable, not capricious or tyrannical manner, like English life at its rustic best, as opposed to the horrid excesses of France or Germany, its essence is progress (a liberal, common-sensical, empiricist British desire) and its aim is human perfection as exemplified by the English Victorian gentleman of good birth and education. It will go forever forward and upward, like the daydream of a properly-indoctrinated British public school boy, to finally produce a human model in which everyone will be like Darwin and his Oxford classmates, (i.e., perfect). When we read this fantasy, this wishful dream, our conclusion has to be that Darwin is not a naturalist or a scientist but a romanticist, an enlightened hopeful Englishman who seeks in pure benevolence to extend the benefits of British culture to the benighted rest of the world. Newton the Oxbridge gentleman had showed 200 years earlier that the physical universe is ultimately stable and kindly, and Darwin, the Oxbridge gentleman, now showed that human life in the long run is equally steady and goodly. That is what Darwin wants for the whole world (what benevolent 19th century English gentleman wouldn't?) and he therefore tries his best to prove that that is what the world is like, that the forces of Life no less than the forces of the Cosmos will surely guide the world to perfect (British) peace and happiness.

Darwin in this sense is an exemplar of the 19th century view of life, because essentially almost all scientific theory since 1800 forbade disorder in nature. Laplace claimed to prove it about the sky, Darwin about organic life and Lyell about geology. In all of existence it was believed there is a discernible pattern of order and regularity. There are no catastrophes, no sudden appearances of new cosmic objects or new living organisms or new large earthly features. Change is very slow and steady, and above that it is progressive, it ascends to stability. The cosmos, the Earth and life move steadily toward less and less violent states in a vision of placidity, of eternally improving beneficence, that became the major scientific myth of the 19th century. The improved research of catastrophists as well as of traditional scientists since 1950, however, (as we shall see later), has shown ever-increasingly that this view derives not from the data but from human desire, that it comes not from the world but from us, which has to make us suspect that it is projected by us onto the world because that is desperately how we want to see it. When we contend that the cosmos was hot balls of fire and explosion but now it is settling down to a perfect clockwork, that life was reptiles and dinosaurs and giant animals but now it is settling down, that the earth experienced impacts and ice ages and vast extinctions but now it is settling down, we can see that this is merely a myth which we have created and which we then blindly extend to civilization (people were savage and wild and primitive but now they are settling down) or to religious values (societies were pantheistic, sacrificial and polytheistic, but now the true religion is perceived), etc. In every way, we say, and every day, every area of existence is settling down and getting better. This is obviously a fairy tale, (especially after Hitler, Stalin, Cambodia and Rwanda), but it was the ethos of the 19th century and it does continue unfortunately to exercise a hold over the mind of the 20th century. It is the unspoken religion of our time, and Darwin is one of its pillars.’'

     Irving Wolfe: A Rage to Deny - The Roots of the Velikovsky Affair, pp. 502-503

Catastrophist Geology, Issues: 1-1, June 1976 + 2-2, December, 1977 + 3-1, June, 1978. Printed covers. Fine condition. (a brilliant must-see documentary)

Price: USD 1,200,000.00