Frst, there is a contradiction between “punctuated equilibrium” and “gradualism.” There are two basic possibilities for how naturalistic evolution can occur. This flaw in the theory of evolution occurs because these two ideas are mutually exclusive, and yet there is evidence suggestive of both of them. Gradualism implies that organisms experience a relatively steady rate of mutations, resulting in a somewhat “smooth” transition from early forms to later ones. This was the original assumption derived from the theory of evolution. Punctuated equilibrium, on the other hand, implies that mutation rates are heavily influenced by a unique set of coincidences. Therefore, organisms will experience long periods of stability, “punctuated” by short bursts of rapid evolution.