Before Charles Darwin left to go on the Beagle, he was given a copy of Sir Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology. This book was to have a great influence on his interpretions of what he observed while on his voyage.
Lyell was writing about the uniformitarian theory, first introduced by James Hutton, that the earth changed by natural forces over a long period of time.
Evolution requires uniformitarianism in order to work.
This was different from the catastrophic viewpoint. Catastrophism holds that earth was immediately shaped by world-wide catastrophes. (During the 1700-1800's, it was also believed that all of creation was destroyed and had to be reestablished during these catastrophes.)
No one can deny that some of the changes in our earth are due to slow acting forces such as erosion but the sudden changes produced by catastrophic events can not be denied either. Earthquakes and floods leave their mark, quickly.
Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
Evolution by Edward J. Larson
Discussing Creationism: The Initial Argument
Part II: Two Questions about the Ark
Part III:The Volume of the Ark
Part IV: The Weight and Sturdiness of the Ark
Part V:What is a Myth
Part VI: Gilgamesh
Part VII: The Biblical View of Noah
Part VIII: Gathering of the Animals
Part IX Evolution
Part X The First Evolutionist
Part XI The Notebook
Part XII Erasmus Darwin
Part XIII Aristotle
Part XIV Middle Ages
Part XV Kant's Quotation
Part XVI Kant in Context
Part XVII: The Beliefs that influenced Darwin
Part XVIII: John Henslow
Part XIX: Darwin's Infallibility
Part XX: Darwin's Thoughts on Apes and Human