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— Richard Dawkins, Until recently, vertebrates have been known from rocks no older than the Middle Ordovician (about 450 million years ago) (1, 2).In 19 the known range of the vertebrates was extended back about 20 million years by discoveries of fish fossils in rocks of latest Early Ordovician and earliest Middle Ordovician age in Spitzbergen (3, 4) and Australia (5).
I endeavoured to show, that the life of each species depends in a more important manner on the presence of other already defined organic forms, than on climate; and, therefore, that the really governing conditions of life do not graduate away quite insensibly like heat or moisture.
Centered headers, below, are his categories; the rest are mine. Changes in atmospheric partial pressures of carbon dioxide produce corresponding changes in carbon dioxide solubility. Sloss, [T]his quote only demonstrates that, sometimes, under the right conditions, limestones can form by inorganic processes.
Because of these relations, there is a direct connection between atmospheric carbon dioxide and the amount of dissolved calcium ion in sea water. One look at the rest of any texbook on sedimentology, and you will realize that most limestonare not inorganic anyway.
I endeavoured, also, to show that intermediate varieties, from existing in lesser numbers than the forms which they connect, will generally be beaten out and exterminated during the course of further modification and improvement.
The main cause, however, of innumerable intermediate links not now occurring everywhere throughout nature depends on the very process of natural selection, through which new varieties continually take the places of and exterminate their parent-forms.
The crust of the earth is a vast museum; but the natural collections have been made only at intervals of time immensely remote.