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Was anyone else amazed that Darwin's theories of evolution as a gradual process have now been clouded by research about when/why/where extinctions occur?

Ksenia A generation before Darwin's life time, the idea of evolution (generally "change over time") was already accepted among scientists. Darwin (and, at the exact same time Alfred Russell Wallace) proposed a mechanism of how that change occurs -- Natural selection. Natural selection is one of several mechanisms of evolution. We now know that the rate of evolution differs hugely throughout the evolutionary history of species. For example, sponges (primitive marine animals) have been mostly unchanged for about a half of a billion of years, while some bacteria evolve antibiotic resistance within months or even days.

Darwin's understanding was somewhat limited, but the core idea of evolution, and even its main mechanism, natural selection, has remained well supported in light of all new information on extinction etc.
Sir Readalot Darwin's theories have not been clouded as you suggest. The extinction that might occur as a result of direct competition between two similar species, which in effect is the type of extinction contained within Darwin's theories, is completely distinct from mass extinctions such as that at the end of the Cretaceous or the Permian. Or in other words, the meteor that did away with the dinosaurs has nothing at all to do with Darwin's theories.
Deep I'm amazed that off of the amount of information that someone could gather in a lifetime during Charles Darwin's era, he managed to come up with such revolutionary ideas at the time that it founded new fields of study and groups like the International Committee on Stratigraphy, which tell us so much about the Earth's history, could build off of. The fact that we can point out fallacies in his theories and fill the gaps of misinformation with new evidence and findings helps show how much further along we have come in the time since.

To me its food for thought, posing the question of what future investigations will reveal as inaccurate.
Greg Oddly, Darwin never even mentioned "evolution" in his works. So I'm not sure what you are asking.
Dave Nellis Define gradual. In the book itself the author discusses how humans may have caused the extinctions of mega-fauna species over 100,000 years ago.

In either case no, I'm not amazed. The theory states that new species appear slowly, over a long period of time. I don't think anywhere it states that an extinction has to take a similarly long time.
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by Elizabeth Kolbert (Goodreads Author)
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