catastrophism

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catastrophism

the thesis that fossil beds represented catastrophic MASS EXTINCTIONS so that the fossil record showed a series of separate creations, each followed by a mass mortality. Held largely in the 18th and 19th centuries, this idea lost support with the development of evolutionary theory in the 20th century.
References in periodicals archive ?
When seen from broader resource, technical, and historical perspectives, the recent obsession with an imminent peak of oil extraction has all the marks of a catastrophist apocalyptic cult.
In summary, the notion of globally widespread glaciation is one of the most enduring ideas in geology and has surviving from Agassiz's Eiszeit and the catastrophist school of Cuvier to reemerge in a different iteration as Snowball Earth in the late 1990s.
The inadequacy of both Skamander and avant-garde poetics became evident in the poetry of many younger poets who wrote during the war and described their experience either using apocalyptic, catastrophist imagery or reverting to conventional romantic emotionality and pathos-filled patriotism.
I'll end this essay with an image from a Comedy Central show which might never lodge itself in the national consciousness but which nonetheless registers our preoccupation with digital spectacle, citizen catastrophists, the false theater of Web 2.0 culture.
On the contrary, fire and purgation hover above the horizon of many a Milosz poem, which once earned him the name of a "catastrophist" even before the apocalyptic fires of World War II.
The poet was a "catastrophist" all his creative life.
Like his contemporaries Walter Benjamin and Stefan Zweig, who joined him in suicide a few years later, Witkacy was a "catastrophist," a prophet of Europe's slide into war and barbarism.
In the work of Czeslaw Milosz, as in that of many serious contemporary writers, the catastrophist overtone of his early poetic production was no mere rhetorical gesture or a conformist response to a social requirement; rather, it became at once a youthful symptom of a lasting moral commitment.
The piece has been excitedly greeted by environmentalists who love Kaplan's catastrophist impressionism.
The early work, represented in The Collected Poems by selections from two books of the 1930s, has the surreal, apocalyptic note of the "catastrophist" group of young poets he helped found.
And against Safire there is the armchair catastrophist Amos Kenan, writing here in The Nation with luxurious dolor about the recent "round of violence," for which everyone must bear some blame, meaning that no blame need be attributed to anyone in particular.
The terrorists' basic objective is to cause mass casualties, not to maximize property damage, said Gordon Woo, catastrophist at risk modeler RMS.