On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection: Or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life

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Werner Company, 1870 - Evolution - 440 pages

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User Review  - donbuch1 - LibraryThing

This classic series represents the Western canon not without academic controversy. The latest volumes of the Great Books include some women writers, but they are still definitely underrepresented ... Read full review

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I'm probably one of a very few people who has sat and read the Synopticon from front to back. Though it might seem like a strange practice, nearly like reading the dictionary or an encyclopedia, I can ... Read full review

Contents

I
13
II
18
IV
50
V
64
VI
81
VIII
124
IX
158
X
189
XI
221
XII
249
XIII
277
XV
306
XVII
338
XVIII
362
XIX
403

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Page 423 - 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, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other and dependent upon each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us.
Page 422 - In the distant future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history.
Page 423 - Variability from the indirect and direct action of the conditions of life, and from use and disuse; a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved forms. Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of higher animals, directly follows.
Page 9 - On my return home, it occurred to me, in 1837, that something might perhaps be made out on this question by patiently accumulating and reflecting on all sorts of facts which could possibly have any bearing on it. After five years' work I allowed myself to speculate on the subject, and drew up some short notes ; these I enlarged in 1844 into a sketch of the conclusions which then seemed to me probable : from that period to the present day I have steadily pursued the same object. I hope that I may...
Page 423 - 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 61 - I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term Natural Selection, in order to mark its relation to man's power of selection.
Page 72 - Near villages and small towns I have found the nests of humble-bees more numerous than elsewhere, which I attribute to the number of cats that destroy the mice.
Page 169 - If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.
Page 420 - Our classifications will come to be, as far as they can be so made, genealogies ; and will then truly give what may be called the plan of creation.
Page 11 - ... species had not been independently created, but had descended, like varieties, from other species. Nevertheless, such a conclusion, even if well founded, would be unsatisfactory, until it could be shown how the innumerable species inhabiting this world have been modified, so as to acquire that perfection of structure and coadaptation which most justly excites our admiration.

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