From the Greeks to Darwin: An Outline of the Development of the Evolution Idea

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Macmillan and Company, 1905 - Evolution - 259 pages

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Page 234 - Darwin opened his first note-book for the collection of facts which bore in any way on variation in animals and plants under domestication and in Nature. He says : " I worked on true Baconian principles, and without any theory collected facts on a wholesale scale, more especially with respect to domesticated products, by printed inquiries, by conversation with
Page 236 - He was more cautious in publication, for in the first edition of the Origin of Species, which appeared in the same year, he said: "I am convinced that Natural Selection has been the main, but not the 'exclusive, means of modification.
Page 209 - Es ist für Menschen ungereimt, auch nur einen solchen Anschlag zu fassen, oder zu honen, dass noch etwa dereinst ein Newton aufstehen könne, der auch nur die Erzeugung eines Grashalms nach Naturgesetzen, die keine Absicht geordnet hat, begreiflich machen werde, sondern man muss diese Einsicht dem Menschen schlechterdings absprechen.
Page 146 - in which many of the above changes have been produced, would it be too bold to imagine, in the great length of time since the earth began to exist, perhaps millions of ages before the commencement of the history of mankind, that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament, which the
Page 234 - 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 by indirect evidence that species have been modified." It was after his return in 1837
Page 234 - 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, the woodpecker or the tree frog to climb trees, or a seed for dispersal, by hooks or plumes.
Page 235 - etc., that I determined to collect, blindly, every sort of fact, which could bear in any way on what are species. ... At last, gleams of light have come, and I am almost convinced (quite contrary to the opinion that I started with) that species are not (it is like confessing a murder) immutable. Heaven forfend me from Lamarck nonsense of a
Page 223 - influence to the direct action of the conditions of life. He clearly saw, however, the full force of the principle of Natural Selection." Mr. Matthew was not satisfied with this handsome recognition of his priority ; and is said to have placed on a subsequent title-page, after his name, " Discoverer of the principle of Natural Selection.
Page 215 - Any existing species, animal or vegetable, when placed under conditions different from its previous ones, immediately begins to undergo certain changes of structure fitting it for the new conditions. . . . There is at work a modifying influence of the kind they assign as the cause of these specific differences.
Page 144 - Shall we conjecture," he says, " that one and the same kind of living filament is and has been the cause of all organic life ? ... I suppose this living filament, of whatever form it may be, whether sphere, cube, or cylinder, to be endowed with the capability of being excited into action by certain kinds of stimulus.

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