The hypothesis revered during the 17th century stating a series of immense
, brief, world-wide disasters such as flood
s, and volcanic eruption
s changed the Earth
greatly and can account for the development of mountain
s, and other features of the Earth. Believers of catastrophism also believed that the Earth was only a few thousand years old, a number determined by Bishop Ussher
in the 15th century.
By the 1830's, James Hutton
theory prevailed over this hypothesis.