Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Geology is Not a Science

Taken from the website of the University of Washington's Geology department:

Uniformitarianism: The principle that applies to geology our assumption that the laws of nature are constant. As originally used it meant that the processes operating to change the Earth in the present also operated in the past and at the same rate and intensity and produced changes similar to those we see today. The meaning has evolved and today the principle of uniformitarianism acknowledges that past processes, even if the same as today, may have operated at different rates and with different intensities than those of the present. The term "actualism" is sometimes used to designate this later meaning.

Taken from PhysicalGeology.net:

Uniformitarianism:Is a theory that rejects the idea that catastrophic forces were responsible for the current conditions on the Earth. The theory suggested instead, that continuing uniformity of existing processes were responsible for the present and past conditions of this planet.

Taken from Wikipedia.com:

Within scientific philosophy, uniformitarianism ("with a small u") refers to the principle that the same processes that shape the universe occurred in the past as they do now, and that the same laws of physics obtain in all parts of the knowable universe. This axiomatic principle, not often referred to as an "-ism" in modern discussions, is particularly relevant to geology and other sciences on a long timescale such as astronomy and paleontology.

So... It's a principle... its axiomatic... it's a theory... It's also the bloody sand the whole pathetic stack of cards is built on.

Science is method. Its a huge gargantuan machine that defies assumption. The scientific method is overkill in almost every daily situation... but it will find you the right answer... It will probably just take a long long time.

All of geology is based on this one assumption. And rememember... that's their word... not mine. Scientists do not assume. Scientists test. Scientist observe. Scientists record.

A man looks around at a stream and says... this stream is eroding away soil at a rate of 1 inch per year... therefore.. since the canyon the stream is in is 2 miles deep.. the stream has been here... digging away for seveal million years. This man is not a scientist. He's no differnt than a palm reader. He's making an observation.. then an assumption... then compounding it all with a wild guess.

That my friends is Geology. But lets take it a step further. PhysicalGeology.net calls Uniformitarianism a "theory". Ah.. well then.. let's look at their definition of the word:

Theory: Proposed explanation for the causal mechanisms responsible for a phenomenon or a set of facts.

In otherwords... it's a wild ass guess.

Guessing is the basis for Hypothesis. It is not the basis for an entire science. Science is based on law. It's based on what is known. It is not based on what someone thinks sounds reasonable.

Now... for anyone would seek to refute this.. please... stick to the points made. Perhaps start by naming another science that is based on assumption. I have made my case in pure scientific terms, so leave religion out of it.

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