Sir Charles Lyell, 1st Baronet, (14 November 1797 – 22 February 1875) was a lawyer and the foremost geologist of his day. He is best known as the author of Principles of Geology, which popularised James Hutton's concepts of uniformitarianism – the idea that the Earth was shaped by the same processes still in operation today. Lyell was also one of the first to believe that the world is older than 300 million years.
Charles Lyell - Thus he acknowledged that the surface if the globe has the appearance of having been subjected to great and violent sudden changes... The theory of uniformity..is consequently built on argumentum ex silentio, or argument by default, required further analogies. ibid p 316 This often reprinted passage is an unfortunate example, for,