The World Around Us

Roman columns at The Serapium, near Naples. Lyell used them to demonstrate uniformitarianism  Ager uses the to demonstrate catastrophism.

Roman pillars at the Serapium, Pozzuoli, near Naples. Lyell (1830) used this engraving to demonstrate the uniformitarian principle. The columns reveal the borings of marine animals resulting from changing sea levels since their erection. However, Ager (1993) uses the same example to demonstrate catastrophism, indicating that the borings only occur in the upper levels of the masonry and therefore indicate a rapid inundation of the site by the sea.

Credit: from Lyell (1830)