In this crucial sense, the theory of punctuated equilibrium adopts a very conservative position. The theory asserts no novel claim about modes or mechanisms of speciation; punctuated equilibrium merely takes a standard microevolutionary model and elucidates its expected expression when properly scaled into geological time.
The formation in geological time of the human body by the laws of physics (or any other laws of similar nature), starting from a random distribution of elementary particles and the field is as unlikely as the separation of the atmosphere into its components. The complexity of the living things has to be present within the material [from which they are derived] or in the laws [governing their formation].kurt gödel
We always thought the living earth was a thing of beauty . It isn’t. Life has had to learn to defend itself against the planet’s random geological savagery.arthur c. clarke
Civilization exists by geological consent, subject to change without notice.will durant
The vigorous branching of life's tree, and not the accumulating valor of mythical marches to progress, lies behind the persistence and expansion of organic diversity in our tough and constantly stressful world. And if we do not grasp the fundamental nature of branching as the key to life's passage across the geological stage, we will never understand evolution aright.stephen jay gould
Finally, the claim that we equated punctuated equilibrium with saltation makes no sense within the logical structure of our theory so, unless we are fools, how could we ever have asserted such a proposition? Our theory holds, as a defining statement, that ordinary allopatric speciation, unfolding gradually at microevolutionary scales, translates to punctuation in geological time.stephen jay gould
When we walk along a beach, we tread upon millions of years of biological and geological history.Gary Greenberg
No geological difficulties, real or imagined, can be allowed to take precedence over the clear statements and necessary inferences of Scripture.
Geology has joined biology in lowering mankind's self-esteem. Geology suggests how mankind's existence is contingent upon the geological consent of the planet.George Will
The theory of punctuated equilibrium, proposed by Niles Eldredge and myself, is not, as so often misunderstood, a radical claim for truly sudden change, but a recognition that ordinary processes of speciation, properly conceived as glacially slow by the standard of our own life-span, do not resolve into geological time as long sequences of insensibly graded intermediates (the traditional, or gradualistic, view), but as geologically “sudden” origins at single bedding planes.stephen jay gould