2 Peter 3:5-6
“For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:”
The ideas of deep-time geology are actually older than Darwin’s theory of evolution. In many ways, it was the deep-time ideas that gave birth to Darwinism, not the other way around.
Prior to the 1800s, most scientists would have assumed that the fossil record was evidence of the worldwide Flood. However, even in the 1700s, there were those, like James Hutton in Edinburgh, Scotland, who had started to suggest long ages without a Flood.
There were also always those scientists who wished to react against such ideas, but, in doing so, some of these scientists made compromises of their own over the biblical account. Georges Cuvier, who lived from 1768 through 1832, was one such. He could not accept that there had been no Flood, but accepted Hutton’s views on the extreme age of Fossils, so he began to suggest that there had, in fact, been multiple catastrophes in the past.
In his book, Theory of the Earth (1813), he suggested that the rock layers were evidence of extinction events. He suggested that each extinction event was caused by some sort of catastrophe – probably a Flood. Today, his ideas may seem to be the worst of all possible ideas on the subject, so how did this hybrid opinion develop? Remember that at the time there was no radiometric dating, so his only justification for accepting the supposed ages of these fossils was the opinion of fellow scientists. These are the sort of compromises that we reach when we do not make the inerrancy of Scripture our starting point.