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action adapted advantage allied America amount ancient animals appear become believe birds breeds called cause chapter characters climate closely common compared considered continuous crossed descended developed difficulty distinct domestic doubt effects existing explained extinct extremely facts families favourable fertility flowers follow formations forms genera genus geological give given greater groups habits hand Hence hybrids important improved increase individuals inhabitants inherited insects instance instincts intermediate islands kind known land laws less lines living look male manner means modification namely natural selection naturalists nearly never occur organic origin parent perfect period plants points present principle probably produced range ranked reason remarked seeds seems seen separated single slight sometimes species sterility structure struggle successive suppose tend theory tion variability variation varieties vary whole widely
Page 9 - 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 be excused for entering on these personal details, as I give them to show that I have not been hasty in coming to a decision.
Page 171 - 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 9 - Beagle,' as naturalist, I was much struck with certain facts in the distribution of the organic beings inhabiting South America, and in the geological relations of the present to the past inhabitants of that continent.
Page 70 - Firs on the distant hill-tops ; within the last ten years large spaces have been enclosed, and self-sown firs are now springing up in multitudes, so close together that all cannot live. When I ascertained that these young trees had not been sown or planted, I was so much surprised at their numbers that I went to several points of view, whence I could examine hundreds of acres of the unenclosed heath, and literally I could not see a single Scotch Fir, except the old planted clumps.
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." Hence it is quite credible that the presence of a feline animal in large numbers in a district might determine, through the intervention first of mice and then of bees, the frequency of certain flowers in that district!
Page 72 - Newman, who has long attended to the habits of humble-bees, believes that " more than two-thirds of them are thus destroyed all over England.
Page 169 - To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.
Page 423 - Hereafter we shall be compelled to acknowledge that the only distinction between species and well-marked varieties is, that the latter are known, or believed to be connected at the present day by intermediate gradations whereas species were formerly thus connected.
Page 212 - This difficulty, though appearing insuperable, is lessened, or, as I believe, disappears, when it is remembered that selection may be applied to the family, as well as to the individual, and may thus gain the desired end. Thus, a well-flavoured vegetable is cooked, and the individual is destroyed; but the horticulturist sows seeds of the same stock, and confidently expects to get nearly the same variety; breeders of cattle wish the flesh and fat to be well marbled together; the animal has been slaughtered,...