From the Greeks to Darwin: an outline of the development of the evolution idea (Google eBook)

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Macmillan, 1894 - Evolution - 259 pages
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Page 1 - ... proceeds to judgment and to the discovery of middle axioms. And this way is now in fashion. The other derives axioms from the senses and particulars, rising by a gradual and unbroken ascent, so that it arrives at the most general...
Page 147 - ... would it be too bold to imagine, that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament, which THE GREAT FIRST CAUSE endued with animality, with the power of acquiring new parts, attended with new propensities, directed by irritations, sensations, volitions, and associations; and thus possessing the faculty of continuing to improve by its own inherent activity-, and of delivering down those improvements by generation to its posterity, world without end!
Page 242 - This has been effected chiefly through the natural selection of numerous successive, slight, favorable 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...
Page 234 - It was evident that such facts as these, as well as many others, could only be explained on the supposition that species gradually become modified ; and the subject haunted me. But it was equally evident that neither the action of the surrounding conditions, nor the will of the organisms (especially in the case of plants) could account for the innumerable cases in which organisms of every kind are beautifully adapted to their habits of life — for instance, a woodpecker or a tree-frog to climb trees,...
Page 233 - Continent; and thirdly, by the South American character of most of the productions of the Galapagos archipelago, and more especially by the manner in which they differ slightly on each island of the group ; none of the islands appearing to be very ancient in a geological sense. It was evident that such facts as these, as well as many others, could only be explained on the supposition that species gradually become modified; and the subject haunted me.
Page 238 - I grieve to say that I cannot honestly go as far as you do about Design. I am conscious that I am in an utterly hopeless muddle. I cannot think that the world, as we see it, is the result of chance ; and yet I cannot look at each separate thing as the result of Design.
Page 147 - ... would it be too bold to imagine, that in the great length of time, since the earth began to exist, perhaps millions of ages before the commencement of the history of mankind, would it be too bold to imagine that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament...
Page x - Wir können bei Betrachtung des Weltgebäudes in seiner weitesten Ausdehnung, in seiner letzten Teilbarkeit uns der Vorstellung nicht erwehren, daß dem Ganzen eine Idee zum Grunde liege , wonach Gott in der Natur ,*) die Natur in Gott von Ewigkeit zu Ewigkeit schaffen und wirken möge.
Page 150 - Linnaeus has conjectured in respect to the vegetable world, it is not impossible, but the great variety of species of animals, which now tenant the earth, may have had their origin from the mixture of a few natural orders.
Page 234 - ... equally evident that neither the action of the surrounding conditions, nor the will of the organisms (especially in the case of plants) could account for the innumerable cases in which organisms of every kind are beautifully adapted to their habits of life — for instance, a woodpecker or a tree-frog to climb trees, or a seed for dispersal by hooks or plumes. I had always been much struck by such adaptations, and until these could be explained it seemed to me almost useless to endeavour to prove...

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