"with Lyell and Darwin still alive"

Charles Lyell (1797-1875) was a geologist, whose Principles of Geology set forth the idea that the earth was formed into its current shape by powerful but slow-moving forces that were still at work in the 19th century.  This, along with Darwin's theory of the evolution of species, was a major challenge to the Biblical account of the origins of the earth.

Frontispiece to Lyell Principles of Geology
Public DomainFrontispiece to Lyell Principles of Geology