I don't know. No one really knows the way this world was created. I don't believe we will ever know. The whole thing is just too miraculous. I do believe that God created this world as a mystery on purpose. Same with outer space. Same with life itself. They're all mysteries that we humans will probably never fully understand or comprehend.
Materialists for the past 150 years have believed that species evolved slowly over time. Gould, on the otherhand, has seen the raw data differently. Thus he formulated a new theory (punctuated equilibrium) to match up with the existing actual fossil evidence. So which do you believe? Do you believe in the theory that is not backed up by hard fossil evidence (ie..no transitional fossils) or do you believe in Gould's theory that has no current logical biological explanation? To me, to believe in Gould's theory would be a small step towards believing in creationism. At the very least it's a slippery sloap for the materialist/naturalist. Neither of these, however, offer an explanation as to how life miraculously sprung into existence in the first place. I think THIS is the billion dollar question. Everything else is just details that muddle the big picture.