Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection: A Series of Essays

Front Cover
Macmillan and Company, 1870 - 384 pages
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 361 - Were our minds and senses so expanded, strengthened, and illuminated, as to enable us to see and feel the very molecules of the brain ; were we capable of following all their motions, all their groupings, all their...
Page 325 - ... to capture or overcome both. Though less capable than most other animals of living on the herbs and the fruits that unaided nature supplies, this wonderful faculty taught him to govern and direct nature to his own benefit, and make her produce food for him, when and where he pleased. From...
Page 368 - God of the Granite and the Rose! Soul of the Sparrow and the Bee! The mighty tide of Being flows Through countless channels, Lord, from thee. It leaps to life in grass and flowers, Through every grade of being runs, Till from Creation's radiant towers Its glory flames in stars and suns.
Page 38 - ... to high numbers, the results come nearer to what theory demands, and, as we approach to an infinity of examples, become strictly accurate. Now the scale on which nature works is so vast— the numbers of individuals and...
Page 26 - One of the strongest arguments which have been adduced to prove the original and permanent distinctness of species is, that varieties produced in a state of domesticity are more or less unstable, and often have a tendency, if left to themselves, to return to the normal form of the parent species; and this instability is considered to be a distinctive peculiarity of all varieties, even of those occurring among wild animals in a state of nature, and to constitute a provision for preserving unchanged...
Page 41 - ... but the view here developed renders such an hypothesis quite unnecessary, by showing that similar results must be produced by the action of principles constantly at work in nature.
Page 39 - ... dangers, in procuring shelter from the inclemency of the seasons, and in providing for the subsistence and safety of its offspring. There is no muscle of its body that is not called into daily and hourly activity ; there is no sense or faculty that is not strengthened by continual exercise. The domestic animal, on the other hand, has food provided for it, is sheltered, and often confined, to guard it against the vicissitudes of the seasons, is carefully secured from the attacks of its natural...
Page 343 - ... prepared in advance, only to be fully utilized as he progresses in civilization. A brain slightly larger than that of the gorilla would, according to the evidence before us, fully have sufficed for the limited mental development of the savage ; and we must therefore admit, that the large brain he actually possesses could never have been solely develope.d by any of those laws of evolution, whose essence is, that they lead to a degree of organization exactly proportionate to the wants of each species,...
Page 336 - And assuredly, there is no mark of degradation about any part of its structure. It is, in fact, a fair average human skull, which might have belonged to a philosopher, or might have contained the thoughtless brains of a savage.
Page iv - 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...

Bibliographic information