O Dilúvio de Noé e os primórdios da Geologia

Ernesto Luiz Correa Lavina


The detailed and accelerated technological time that we experience today, when contrasted with the medieval world, reveals a remarkable difference in scientific and cultural patterns. The rupture appears in the mid-seventeenth century, when a radical transformation in the worldview of the educated European men created conditions for the construction of the natural world. Nature was not absent, but perceived by a remarkably distinct way. During the High Middle Ages (fourth century AD), Christianity and the idea of a God creator of man, earth and universe, became dominant in Europe, inducing a direct link between God and natural phenomena. In the early sixteenth's century (renaissance) the nature of thought was essentially criationist, but from the huge success of the machine/ mechanical universe, associated with the great development of Astronomy, Physics and Chemistry, and the first modern instruments, in the seventeenth's century comes a new relationship with the natural world. Many scholars have directed attention to the Deluge, due to the extraordinary importance of this event for Christianity. In less than one hundred years the Deluge was analyzed, subdivided into events, and rebuilt as a scientific hypothesis. Throughout this time there was an understanding of fossils as remains of ancient beings, and that existed in the past beings, different than today. Moreover, there was the understanding that the landscape was mutable, and that the mountains have evolved from ancient ocean basins. In those years, the fundamental principles of geology were developed. The most crucial point, decisive for the formation of modern thought, was the acceptance that the planet's natural transformations occur without the intervention of a Creator God. Today we have lost the perception of the origin of geological thinking and its importance to the radical separation between religion and science.

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