Charles Darwin and the Theory of Natural Selection

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Macmillan, 1896 - Botanists - 224 pages
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Page 46 - observation of the habits of animals and plants, it at once struck me that under these circumstances favourable variations would tend to be preserved, and unfavourable ones to be destroyed. The result of this would be the formation of new species. Here then I had a theory by which to work.
Page 43 - Autobiography " :—- " I soon perceived that selection was the key-stone of man's success in making useful races of animals and plants. But how selection could be applied to organisms living in a state of nature remained for some time a mystery to me.
Page 155 - It is often said that all the conditions for the first production of a living organism are now present, which could ever have been present. But if (and oh ! what a big if !) we could conceive in some warm little pond, with all sorts of
Page 173 - No other attempt, as far as I am aware, has been made, imperfect as this confessedly is, to connect under one point of view these several grand classes of facts. An organic being is a microcosm—a little universe, formed of a host of self-propagating organisms, inconceivably minute and numerous as the stars in heaven.
Page 14 - Autobiography": "I have steadily endeavoured to keep my mind free so as to give up any hypothesis, however much beloved (and I cannot resist forming one on every subject), as soon as facts are shown to be opposed to it.
Page 156 - ammonia and phosphoric salts, light, heat, electricity, etc., present, that a proteine compound was chemically formed ready to undergo still more complex changes, at the present day such matter would be instantly devoured or absorbed, which would not have been the case before living creatures were formed.
Page 22 - by far the most important event in my life, and has determined my whole career. ... I have always felt that I owe to the voyage the first real training or education of my mind
Page 27 - This wonderful relationship in the same continent between the dead and the living will, I do not doubt, hereafter throw more light on the appearance of organic beings on our earth, and their disappearance from it, than any other class of facts
Page 11 - Our minds and tastes were, however, so different, that I do not think I owe much to him intellectually. I am inclined to agree with Francis Galton in believing that education and environment produce only a small effect on the mind of anyone, and that most of our qualities are innate" (" Life and Letters,
Page 14 - collecting facts—and a fair share of invention as well as of common sense. With such moderate abilities as I possess, it is truly surprising that I should have influenced to a considerable extent the belief of scientific men on some important points.

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