Untangling Uniformitarianism, Level II: Actualism in Crisis

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Uniformitarian geology has opposed biblical history for over two centuries. Most creationist critiques focus on contrary empirical evidence, but this series pursues a logical and axiomatic critique of the “four-definition” formulation of uniformitarianism. Three of these facets—stasis, gradualism, and generic uniformity—fail to support the concept. The remaining “uniformity of process,” also called actualism, seems on the surface to work well, but can be addressed by seeking justification of its use as an axiom of natural history. Actualism rests on uniformity, and uniformity in turn on causal continuity. These concepts can be evaluated relative to the worldviews of Christianity and Naturalism by the truth test of coherence. Naturalism fails that test, but Christianity passes because causal continuity is coherent with—and only with—Christianity’s God. As a theological issue, uniformity and actualism are best understood as physical expressions of divine providence. Since providence is distinct from God’s acts of creation, actualism is irrelevant to that part of the rock record and its relevance to the Flood depends on the nature of divine action during that event.

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from Answers in Genesis

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