“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (II Peter 3:3,4).
Uniformitarianism is the modern name for the doctrine, prophesied long ago by Peter for those living in the last days, that “the present is the key to the past.” That is, the study of present-day natural processes (biological recombination, geological sedimentation, etc.) operating in the past as they do at present, are sufficient to determine the origin and development of all things. To them, no supernatural cause (such as God!) is needed. Even “creation” is still going on by these natural processes, since “all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.”
This ancient prophecy, of course, is being specifically fulfilled in our modern “scientific” age. Synonyms for uniformitarianism might include such philosophies as naturalism, materialism, and evolutionism.
These concepts dominate modern education, even among most professing “Christians”: since there was no real supernatural creation, there will be no supernatural consummation, and all things continue as they were, so “Where is the promise of His coming?”
Peter, however, not only predicts this philosophy but also condemns it! “For this they willingly are ignorant of!” (v.5). That is, people who believe in the unbroken continuity of all things are willful in their refusal to consider the overwhelming evidences of dis-continuity, particularly at the times of the special creation of all things in the beginning and the cataclysmic destruction of all things at the great flood, when “the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished” (v.6). HMM