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|OriginOfSpecies - 475 Rows|
|06 - Difficutiles in Theory||06-02 - Transitions||20||
Thus extinction and natural selection go hand in hand.
Hence, if we look at each species as descended from some unknown form, both the parent and all the transitional varieties will generally have been exterminated by the very process of the formation and perfection of the new form.
|13 - Mutual Affinities of Organic Beings: Morphology: Embryology: Rudimentary Or||13-03 - Rules and difficulties in classification, explained on the theory of descent with modification||120||
We will suppose the letters A to L to represent allied genera, which lived during the Silurian epoch, and these have descended from a species which existed at an unknown anterior period.
Species of three of these genera (A, F, and I) have transmitted modified descendants to the present day, represented by the fifteen genera (a14 to z14) on the uppermost horizontal line.
Now all these modified descendants from a single species, are represented as related in blood or descent to the same degree; they may metaphorically be called cousins to the same millionth degree; yet they differ widely and in different degrees from each other.
The forms descended from A, now broken up into two or three families, constitute a distinct order from those descended from I, also broken up into two families.
Nor can the existing species, descended from A, be ranked in the same genus with the parent A; or those from I, with the parent I.
But the existing genus F14 may be supposed to have been but slightly modified; and it will then rank with the parent-genus F; just as some few still living organic beings belong to Silurian genera.
So that the amount or value of the differences between organic beings all related to each other in the same degree in blood, has come to be widely different.
Nevertheless their genealogical arrangement remains strictly true, not only at the present time, but at each successive period of descent.
All the modified descendants from A will have inherited something in common from their common parent, as will all the descendants from I; so will it be with each subordinate branch of descendants, at each successive period.
If, however, we choose to suppose that any of the descendants of A or of I have been so much modified as to have more or less completely lost traces of their parentage, in this case, their places in a natural classification will have been more or less completely lost, as sometimes seems to have occurred with existing organisms.
All the descendants of the genus F, along its whole line of descent, are supposed to have been but little modified, and they yet form a single genus.
But this genus, though much isolated, will still occupy its proper intermediate position; for F originally was intermediate in character between A and I, and the several genera descended from these two genera will have inherited to a certain extent their characters.
|04 - Natural Selection||04-11 - Divergence of Character||120||
If, then, these two varieties be variable, the most divergent of their variations will generally be preserved during the next thousand generations.
And after this interval, variety a1 is supposed in the diagram to have produced variety a2, which will, owing to the principle of divergence, differ more from (A) than did variety a1.
Variety m1 is supposed to have produced two varieties, namely m2 and s2, differing from each other, and more considerably from their common parent (A).
We may continue the process by similar steps for any length of time; some of the varieties, after each thousand generations, producing only a single variety, but in a more and more modified condition, some producing two or three varieties, and some failing to produce any.
Thus the varieties or modified descendants of the common parent (A), will generally go on increasing in number and diverging in character. In the diagram the process is represented up to the ten-thousandth generation, and under a condensed and simplified form up to the fourteen-thousandth generation.
|04 - Natural Selection||04-11 - Divergence of Character||110||
The intervals between the horizontal lines in the diagram, may represent each a thousand or more generations.
After a thousand generations, species (A) is supposed to have produced two fairly well-marked varieties, namely a1 and m1.
These two varieties will generally still be exposed to the same conditions which made their parents variable, and the tendency to variability is in itself hereditary; consequently they will likewise tend to vary, and commonly in nearly the same manner as did their parents.
Moreover, these two varieties, being only slightly modified forms, will tend to inherit those advantages which made their parent (A) more numerous than most of the other inhabitants of the same country; they will also partake of those more general advantages which made the genus to which the parent-species belonged, a large genus in its own country.
And all these circumstances are favourable to the production of new varieties.