Charles Darwin's Works: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. 2v (Google eBook)

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D. Appleton, 1896 - Science
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Page 428 - However much we may wish it, we can hardly follow Professor Asa Gray in his belief that " variation has been led along certain beneficial lines," like a stream "along definite and useful lines of irrigation.
Page 349 - I am aware that my view is merely a provisional hypothesis or speculation ; but until a better one be advanced, it will serve to bring together a multitude of facts which are at present left disconnected by any efficient cause.
Page 426 - I may recur to the metaphor given in a former chapter; if an architect were to rear a noble and commodious edifice, without the use of cut stone, by selecting from the fragments at the base of a precipice wedge-formed stones for his arches, elongated stones for his lintels, and flat stones for his roof, we should admire his skill and regard him as the paramount power. Now, the fragments of stone, though indispensable to the architect, bear to the edifice built by him the same relation which the fluctuating...
Page 93 - The consequences of close interbreeding carried on for too long a time, are, as is generally believed, loss of size, constitutional vigour, and fertility, sometimes accompanied by a tendency to malformation.
Page 250 - Vilmorin, 18 even maintains that, when any particular variation is desired, the first step is to get the plant to vary in any manner whatever, and to go on selecting the most variable individuals, even though they vary in the wrong direction; for the fixed character of the species being once broken, the desired variation will sooner or later appear.
Page 23 - As a general rule, crossed offspring in the first generation are nearly intermediate between their parents, but the grandchildren and succeeding generations continually revert, in a greater or lesser degree, to one or both of their progenitors.
Page 426 - ... all the descendants of one common progenitor, and we must admit that the whole vast amount of difference between these forms has primarily arisen from simple variability. To consider the subject under this point of view is enough to strike one dumb with amazement. But our amazement ought to be lessened when we reflect that beings almost infinite in number, during an almost infinite lapse of time, have often had their whole organization rendered in some degree plastic, and that each slight modification...
Page 152 - ... but he holds the opposite view as more probable, that is, that the sterility, coming about gradually, leaves free for other growth the abundant supply of building material which the forming seed would otherwise have. He admits, however, that "there is an antagonism between the two forms...
Page 29 - Hewitt64 possessed an excellent Sebright gold-laced bantam hen, which, as she became old, grew diseased in her ovaria, and assumed male characters. In this breed the males resemble the females in all respects except in their combs, wattles, spurs, and instincts ; hence it might have been expected that the diseased hen would have assumed only those masculine characters which are proper to the breed, but she acquired, in addition, well-arched tail sickle-feathers quite a foot in length, saddlefeathers...
Page 289 - Natkusius has shown that with the improved races of the pig, the shortened legs and snout, the form of the articular condyles of the occiput, and the position of the jaws with the upper canine teeth projecting in a most anomalous manner in front of the lower canines, may be attributed to these parts not having been fully exercised.

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