What conclusion did George Cuvier come to after his inspection of the fossil record?

1 Answer
Jul 6, 2017

George Cuvier felt that the earth had undergone catastrophic periods of extinctions.


looking at the fossil record Cuvier felt that the evidence showed that groups of animals had undergone mass extinctions of different types of animals and organisms.

Cuvier was opposed by the uniformitarian views of Charles Lyell.
The views of Charles Lyell prevailed. The uniformitarian views of Lyell were more compatible with the philosophical view of naturalism prevalent at the time. Also Lyell's view of geology was essential in the acceptance of Charles Darwin's theory of biological evolution.

Cuvier's views have been validated by the more recent views of multiple mass extinctions as the best way to explain the fossil record. However the prevailing philosophy of natural cause and uniform geological process still dominate the scientific community.