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Saturday, 11 February 2012

Consequences of Uniformitarianism

Consequences of Uniformitarianism

   The posts on the blogs Unconventional Geology and  Abiotic Oil try, in summary, just show some aspects of a non-conventional issues of geology. It means an attempt to show that many natural processes, which are still believed to be already established or recognized as theories or hypotheses, may have a very different interpretation or even just being completely debunked by very different point of view from those so-called conventional.

   Most proposals, suggestions and hypotheses related to Earth sciences that are taught at schools, written in books and other publications are based on the principles of Uniformitarianism, which states that "The present is the key to the past." This mode of reasoning has been shown to be ineffective, leading to many inconsistent and erroneous interpretations on various geological processes, many of them neglecting basic natural laws as the conservation of mass and energy, laws of thermodynamics and even gravity. It should be noted that the Earth has undergone many changes since its formation, either in the internal or external dynamic systems. Most geological processes that occur in the present have no equivalent in the geological past of the planet. Geological processes are not slow and generally are not uniform and the records that remain are only  those fast and of catastrophic nature i.e., those that involving more energy.

   Much of this stems from not understanding the processes of planetary formation, which is not so simple. But one of the biggest problems seems to lie in the fact that geology and its branches do not maintain or even neglect the knowledge and advances, such as in other fields such as evidences of space exploration, astronomy, astrophysics, biology, among others. Also there is little dialogue between geology and other sciences, and... Could be geology even be considered science?  In my view, in terms of possibility - yes, but actually the geology has not yet reached the status of science, because geology is dominated by several strong dogmas, which means that those engaged in this study remain with minds closed to reason, even after inumerous inconsistencies that arise from a priori theories of geology. Inquestionable evidences and basic laws of nature are completely neglected by most part of geologists.

   Even today, in the 21st Century, geology has evolved little in the matter of understanding the natural processes of the planet and this is due in large part to applications of uniformitarian principles. Particularly, after I devoting many years trying apply traditional models and reasoning with Uniformitarianism, I realized that alternative and more robust models of geological processes and origin of certain phenomena, indicates a right way since from that release the imposition of dogmas. I was able to pick these inconsistences of dogmas and fundamentally not neglicencie the relevance of the basic laws of nature. Therefore when study any natural process they must be in accordance with the basic laws of nature.

   It will be here not a claim, but an invitation to reflection to all those who truly dedicate themselves to understand this philosophical question.

  Certainly we are unable to consider all the natural processes and mass balance and energy inherent to them and the theoretical models are needed, but there are models seen as very likely, likely, unlikely and improbable or impossible. Unfortunately, in geology there are still many improbable and impossible models and I desire contribute to the to the geology becomes, in fact, real science - and for that purpose it is suggested:

1 - Never neglect the basic laws of nature in the design of models. Among these laws, the most important (and perhaps all others derive from it) is the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the Principle of Clausius.

2 - After observation and understanding of any natural materials or processes, know make judgement of what is really autochthonous, i.e. formed in situ that of what is really allochthonous, i.e. not originated in situ. The calculations of mass balance and energy, though often difficult to quantify, must always be considered, even tentatively.

3 - Keep an open mind for all propositions and evidence, even if it may seem strange at first, but since they fit in the context of possibility and probability, and not based on nonsense.

4 - Keep the curiosity and dialogue. Surely this is that moves the science  and makes it becomes the science really science.

5 - Keep in mind that the aim of every understanding is the search for freedom from ignorance. Certainly the end or minimization of our ignorance will make that we can prevent wars, heal diseases, reduce coletive stress, save lives, having respect for nature and preserve the planet for present and future generations, and then we can finally live better implying in the progress of  respect and understanding of ourselves.

A theory which is founded on a new principle, a theory which has to make its way in the public mind by overturning the opinions commonly received by philosophising men, and one which has nothing to recommend it but the truth of its principles, and the view of wisdom or design to which it leads, neither of which may perhaps be perceived by the generality of people, such a theory, I say, must meet with the strongest opposition from the prejudices of the learned, and from the superstition of those who judge not for themselves in forming their notions, but look up to men of science for authority. Such is the case with some part of the Theory of the Earth, which I have given, and which will probably give offence to naturalists who have espoused an opposite opinion. In order, then, to obtain the approbation of the public, it may not be enough to give a theory that should be true, or altogether unexceptionable it may be necessary to defend every point that shall be thought exceptionable by other theorists, and to show the fallacy of every learned objection that may be made against it. It is thus, in general, that truth and error are forced to struggle together, in the progress of science; and it is only in proportion as science removes erroneous conceptions, which are necessarily in the constitution of human knowledge, that truth will find itself established in natural philosophy.” 
James Hutton - Theory of the Earth, 1795.

In geology, all that you can not see with the eyes does not exist.
Even if you see and interpret something does not mean that what you see  is exactly what you think and, even that much is known about the object, always this knowledge about it would be incomplete.
The conventional geology based on uniformitarianism  never did give me answers to my main questions that arose from the natural philosophy and surely  I believe this is due to the dogmas of geology that kept me prisioner and unfortunately continue to be taught and written. I realized that I found a way to overcome this by the logic and  always continue with humility the questioning of nature, without dogmas and seek for the answers and reasoning just through natural philosophy always considering basic laws of nature.” 
                            A natural philosopher, 2012

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