On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, Or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (Classic Reprint)

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1kg Limited, Oct 8, 2018 - Science - 568 pages
Excerpt from On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life

The Hon. And Rev. W. Herbert, afterwards Dean of Man chester, in the fourth volume of the 'horticultural Trans actions, ' 1822, and in his work of the 'amaryllidaceae' (1837, pp. 19, declares that horticultural experiments have established, beyond the possibility of refutation, that botanical species are only a higher and more permanent class of varieties. He extends the same View to animals. The Dean believes that single species of each genus were created in an originally highly plastic condition, and that these have produced, chiefly by intercrossing, but likewise by variation, all our existing species.

In 1826 Professor Grant, in the concluding paragraph in his well-known paper ('edinburgh Philosophical Journal, ' vol. Xiv. P. 283) on the Spongilla, clearly declares his belief that species are descended from other species, and that they become improved in the course of modification. This same view was given in his 55th Lecture, published in the Lancet' in 1834.

In 1831 Mr. Patrick Matthew published his work on 'naval Timber and Arboriculture, ' in which he gives precisely the same View on the origin of species as that (presently to be alluded to) propounded by Mr. Wallace and myself in the 'linnean Journal, ' and as that enlarged in the present volume. Unfortunately the View was given by Mr. Matthew very brief ly in scattered passages in an Appendix to a work on a differ ent subject, so that it remained unnoticed until Mr. Matthew himself drew attention to it in the 'gardener's Chronicle, ' on April 7th, 1860. The differences of Mr. Matthew's view from mine are not of much importance: he seems to consider that the world was nearly depopulated at successive periods, and then re-stocked; and he gives as an alternative, that new forms may be generated without the presence of any mould or germ of former aggregates. I am not sure that I under stand some passages; but it seems that he attributes much influence to the direct action of the conditions of life. He clearly saw, however, the full force of the principle of natural selection.

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