The Science-history of the Universe, Volume 5 (Google eBook)

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Francis Rolt-Wheeler
The Current Literature Publishing Company, 1909 - Science
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Page 185 - There is no exception to the rule that every organic being naturally increases at so high a rate, that, if not destroyed, the earth would soon be covered by the progeny of a single pair.
Page 225 - I attribute the modification of species exclusively to natural selection, I may be permitted to remark that in the first edition of this work, and subsequently, I placed in a most conspicuous position namely, at the close of the Introduction the following words : " I am convinced that natural selection has been the main but not the exclusive means of modification.
Page 132 - There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.
Page 187 - ... geometrical tendency to increase must be checked by destruction at some period of life. Our familiarity with the larger domestic animals tends, I think, to mislead us: we see no great destruction falling on them...
Page 200 - ... useful to any being. She can act on every internal organ, on every shade of constitutional difference, on the whole machinery of life. Man selects only for his...
Page 201 - Seeing that individual differences of the same kind perpetually recur, this can hardly be considered as an unwarrantable assumption. But whether it is true, we can judge only by seeing how far the hypothesis accords with and explains the general phenomena of nature. On the other hand, the ordinary belief that the amount of possible variation is a strictly limited quantity, is likewise a simple assumption. Although Natural Selection can act only through and for the good of each being, yet characters...
Page 224 - ... variations ; aided in an important manner by the inherited effects of the use and disuse of parts ; and in an unimportant manner, that is in relation to adaptive structures, whether past or present, by the direct action of external conditions, and by variations which seem to us in our ignorance to arise spontaneously. It appears that I formerly underrated the frequency and value of these latter forms of variation, as leading to permanent modifications of structure independently of natural selection.
Page 132 - It is interesting to contemplate a tangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth...
Page 201 - It may metaphorically be said that natural selection is daily and hourly scrutinizing, throughout the world, the slightest variations; rejecting those that are bad, preserving and adding up all that are good; silently and insensibly working, whenever and wherever opportunity offers, at the improvement of each organic being in relation to its organic and inorganic conditions of life.
Page 24 - Scriblerus accounted for the operation of the meatjack by its inherent "meat-roasting quality," and scorned the " materialism " of those who explained the turning of the spit by a certain mechanism worked by the draught of the chimney. If...

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