« EelmineJätka »
by me before I had the least notion of the scope and nature of Mr. Darwin's labours. They were published in a way not likely to attract the attention of any but working naturalists, and I feel sure that many who have heard of them, have never had the opportunity of ascertaining how much or how little they really contain. It therefore happens, that, while some writers give me more credit than I deserve, others may very naturally class me with Dr. Wells and Mr. Patrick Matthew, who, as Mr. Darwin has shown in the historical sketch given in the 4th and 5th Editions of the "Origin of Species," certainly propounded the fundamental principle of "natural selection" before himself, but who made no further use of that principle, and failed to see its wide and immensely important applications.
The present work will, I venture to think, prove, that I both saw at the time the value and scope of the law which I had discovered, and have since been able to apply it to some purpose in a few original lines of investigation. But here my claims cease. I have felt all my life, and I still feel, the most sincere satisfaction that Mr. Darwin had been at work long before me, and that it was not left for me to attempt to write " The Origin of Species." I have long since measured my own strength, and know well that it would be quite unequal to that task. Far abler men than myself may confess, that they have not that untiring patience in accumulating, and that wonderful skill in using, large masses of facts of the
most varied kind,—that wide and accurate physiological knowledge,—that acuteness in devising and skill in carrying out experiments,—and that admirable style of composition, at once clear, persuasive and judicial,—qualities, which in their harmonious combination mark out Mr. Darwin as the man, perhaps of all men now living, best fitted for the great work he has undertaken and accomplished.
My own more limited powers have, it is true, enabled me now and then to seize on some conspicuous group of unappropriated facts, and to search out some generalization which might bring them under the reign of known law; but they are not suited to that more scientific and more laborious process of elaborate induction, which in Mr. Darwin's hands has led to such brilliant results.
Another reason which has led me to publish this volume at the present time is, that there are some important points on which I differ from Mr. Darwin, and I wish to put my opinions on record in an easily accessible form, before the publication of his new work, (already announced,) in which I believe most of these disputed questions will be fully discussed.
I will now give the date and mode of publication of each of the essays in this volume, as well as the amount of alteration they have undergone.
I.—On The Law Which Has Kegulated The IntroDuction Of New Species.
- First published in the "Annals and Magazine of Natural History," September, 1855. Reprinted without alteration of the text.
II.—On The Tendency Of Varieties To Depart
INDEFINITELY FROM THE ORIGINAL TYPE.
First published in the " Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnsean Society," August, 1858. Reprinted without alteration of the text, except one or two grammatical emendations.
III.—Mimicry And Other Protective Resemblances Among Animals.
First published in the "Westminster Review," July, 1867. Reprinted with a few corrections and some important additions, among which I may especially mention Mr. Jenner Weir's observations and experiments on the colours of the caterpillars eaten or rejected by birds.
IV.—The Malayan Papilionid^;, Or SwallowTailed Butterflies, As Illustrative Of The Theory Of Natural Selection.
First published in the "Transactions of the Linnsean Society," Vol. XXV. (read March, 1864), under the title, "On the Phenomena of Variation and Geographical Distribution, as illustrated by the Papilionidse of the Malayan Region."
The introductory part of this essay is now reprinted, omitting tables, references to plates, &c, with some additions, and several corrections. Owing to the publication of Dr. Felder's " Voyage of the Novara" (Lepidoptera) in the interval between the reading of my paper and its publication, several of my new species must have their names changed for those given to them by Dr. Felder, and this will explain the want of agreement in some cases between the names used in this volume and those of the original paper.
V.—On Instinct In Max And Animals. Not previously published.
VL—The Philosophy Of Birds' Nests.
First published in the " Intellectual Observer," July, 1867. Reprinted with considerable emendations and additions.
VII.—A Theory Of Birds' Nests;
Showing The Relation Of Certain Differences Of Colour In Birds To Their Mode Of Nidification.
First published in the " Journal of Travel and Natural History" (No. 2), 1868. Now reprinted with considerable emendations and additions, by which I have endeavoured more clearly to express, and more fully to illustrate, my meaning in those parts which have been misunderstood by my critics.
VIII.—Creation By Law.
First published in the "Quarterly Journal of Science," October, 1867. Now reprinted with a few alterations and additions.
IX.—The Development Of Human Races Under The Law Of Natural Selection.
First published in the "Anthropological Review," May, 1864. Now reprinted with a few important alterations and additions. I had intended to have considerably extended this essay, but on attempting it I found that I should probably weaken the effect without adding much to the argument. I have therefore preferred to leave it as it was first written, with the exception of a few ill-considered passages which, never fully expressed my meaning. As it now stands, I believe it contains the enunciation of an important truth.
X.—The Limits Of Natural Selection As Applied To Man..
This is the further development of a few sentences at the end of an article on " Geological Time and tlie Origin of Species," which appeared in the " Quarterly Review," for April, 1869. I have here ventured to touch on a class of problems which are usually considered to be beyond the boundaries of science, but which, I believe, will one day be brought within her domain.
For the convenience of those who are acquainted with any of my essays in their original form, I subjoin references to the more important additions and alterations now made to them.