ON THE GEOLOGICAL SUCCESSION OF ORGANIC BEINGS
On the slow and successive appearance of new species--On their different rates of change--Species once lost do not reappear--Groups of species follow the same general rules in their appearance and disappearance as do single species--On Extinction--On simultaneous changes in the forms of life throughout the world--On the affinities of extinct species to each other and to living species--On the state of development of ancient forms--On the succession of the same types within the same areas--Summary of preceding and present chapter
LET us now see whether the several facts and laws relating to the geological succession of organic beings accord best with the common view of the immutability of species, or with that of their slow and gradual modification, through variation and natural selection.
New species have appeared very slowly, one after another, both on the land and in the waters. Lyell has shown that it is hardly possible to resist the evidence on this head in the case of the several tertiary stages; and every year tends to fill up the blanks between the stages, and to make the proportion between the lost and existing forms more gradual. In some of the most recent beds, though undoubtedly of high antiquity if measured by years, only one or two species are extinct, and only one or two are new, having appeared there for the first time, either locally, or, as far