On the Origin of Species: By Means of Natural Selection (Dover Thrift Editions)
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It took Charles Darwin more than twenty years to publish this book, in part because he realized that it would ignite a firestorm of controversy. On the Origin of Species first appeared in 1859, and it remains a continuing source of conflict to this day. Even among those who reject its ideas, however, the work's impact is undeniable. In science, philosophy, and theology, this is a book that changed the world.
In addition to its status as the focus of a dramatic turning point in scientific thought, On the Origin of Species stands as a remarkably readable study. Carefully reasoned and well-documented in its arguments, the work offers coherent views of natural selection, adaptation, the struggle for existence, survival of the fittest, and other concepts that form the foundation of modern evolutionary theory. This volume is a reprint of the critically acclaimed first edition.
tapir; and in this case direct intermediate links will have existed between them. But such a case would imply that one form had remained for a very long period unaltered, whilst its descendants had undergone a vast amount of change; and the principle of competition between organism and organism, between child and parent, will render this a very rare event; for in all cases the new and improved forms of life will tend to supplant the old and unimproved forms. By the theory of natural selection
each region are almost invariably intermittent; that is, have not followed each other in close sequence. Scarcely any fact struck me more when examining many hundred miles of the South American coasts, which have been upraised several hundred feet within the recent period, than the absence of any recent deposits sufficiently extensive to last for even a short geological period. Along the whole west coast, which is inhabited by a peculiar marine fauna, tertiary beds are so scantily developed, that
existing forms, and much to use and disuse, that is, to the effects of habit. To this latter agency he seemed to attribute all the beautiful adaptations in nature; – such as the long neck of the giraffe for browsing on the branches of trees. But he likewise believed in a law of progressive development; and as all the forms of life thus tend to progress, in order to account for the existence at the present day of simple productions, he maintains that such forms are now spontaneously generated.*
299; turtles 442 resemblance; and affinities, difference between 374; embryological between species 385, 390, 417–18; importance of 364–5; mongrels and hybrids to parents 251 Resemblance to parents in mongrels and hybrids, 273 244 retina 452 retrievers 194 retrogression 452 Reversion; law of inheritance, 14 23; in pigeons to blue colour, 160 149 reversion to ancestral forms 23–4, 32–3, 149, 152, 155–7, 179 Rhine, River 338 rhinoceros 70, 134, 396, 451 Rhizopod (protozoan) 452
animal, and as eyes are certainly not indispensable to animals with subterranean habits, a reduction in their size with the adhesion of the eyelids and growth of fur over them, might in such case be an advantage; and if so, natural selection would constantly aid the effects of disuse. It is well known that several animals, belonging to the most different classes, which inhabit the caves of Styria and of Kentucky, are blind. In some of the crabs the foot-stalk for the eye remains, though the eye