— Charles Lyell British lawyer and geologist 1797 - 1875
Context: No one can believe in transmutation who is not profoundly convinced that all we know in paleontology is as nothing compared to what we have yet to learn, and they who regard the record as so fragmentary, and our acquaintance with the fragments which are extant as so rudimentary, are apt to be astounded at the confidence placed by the progressionists in data which must be defective in the extreme. But exactly in proportion as the completeness of the record and our knowledge of it are overrated, in that same degree are many progressionists unconscious of the goal towards which they are drifting. Their faith in the fullness of the annals leads them to regard all breaks in the series of organic existence, or in the sequence of the fossiliferous rocks, as proofs of original chasms and leaps in the course of nature, signs of the intermittent action of the creational force, or of catastrophes which devastated the habitable surface; and they are therefore fearless of discovering any continuity of plan (except that which must have existed in the Divine mind) which would imply a material connection between the outgoing organisms and the incoming ones.
Ch.20, p. 406