The evolution of thought progresses by chance discoveries and the
slow and inconsistent accumulation of evidence. The alternative to
catastrophism was not fully expressed until Lyell published Principles
of geology in 1830. Today some people today claim that
catastrophism is supported by evidence and geologists may admit
that the earth has been formed by an interplay of catastrophic
events and uniformitarian processes.
Opposed to the progress of science is the inertia of belief,
which no human is free of, no more than a building can be free of
its foundations or a bridge can be free of its connections to its
shores. But an imbalance is possible in favor of science, as is
leaning forward to move ahead without falling or steering a
unicycle by leaning in one direction or the other.
See also in The book of science: