Geological Timescale

Quotable Quotes

West, Dr. Ronald (Kansas State Univ.) “Paleontology and Uniformitarianism” Compass 45:216, May 1968

“Contrary to what most scientists write, the fossil record does not support the Darwinian theory of evolution because it is this theory (there are several) which we use to interpret the fossil record. By doing so, we are guilty of circular reasoning if we then say the fossil record supports this theory.”

Geologic Timescale

D’Rourke, J.E. “Pragmatism vs. Materialism in Stratigraphy”, American Journal of Science 276:54, Jan. 1976.

“Structure, metamorphism, sedimentary reworking and other complications have to be considered. Radiometric dating would not have been feasible if the geologic column had not been erected first. The axiom that no process can measure itself means that there is no absolute time, but this relic of the traditional mechanics persists in the common distinction between ‘relative’ and ‘absolute’ age.”

Geologic Time Scale


Gould, Prof. Stephen Jay (Harvard Prof. of Geology) American Journal of Science 263:223
March 1965 p. 223

“Uniformitarianism is a dual concept. Substantive uniformitarianism (a testable theory of geologic change postulating uniformity of rates of material conditions) is false and stifling to hypothesis formation. Methodological uniformitarianism (a procedural principle asserting spatial and temporal invariance of natural laws) belongs to the definition of science and is not unique to geology.”


Gould, Prof. Stephen Jay, Prof. of Geol. at Harvard; Natural History,
Feb. 1975, pp. 16–17

“Charles Lyell was a lawyer by profession, and his book is one of the most brilliant briefs ever published by an advocate … Lyell relied upon two bits of cunning to establish his uniformitarian views as the only true geology. First, he set up a straw man to demolish. … In fact, the catastrophists were much more empirically minded than Lyell. The geologic record does seem to require catastrophes; rocks are fractured and contorted; whole faunas are wiped out. To circumvent this literal appearance, Lyell imposed his imagination upon the evidence. The geologic record, he argued, is extremely imperfect and we must interpolate into it what we can reasonably infer but cannot see. The catastrophists were the hard-nosed empiricists of their day, not the blinded theological apologists.”