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OriginOfSpecies - 475 Rows
Column Type #Values Column Stats
id int(11) 475 Column Stats
subject varchar(80) 14 Column Stats
title varchar(250) 139 Column Stats
ordinal int(11) 30 Column Stats
description text 474 Column Stats

475 rows, page 30 of 119 (4/p)
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06 - Difficutiles in Theory 06-12 - Organs not in all Cases Absolutely Perfect 10 The foregoing remarks lead me to say a few words on the protest lately made by some naturalists, against the utilitarian doctrine that every detail of structure has been produced for the good of its possessor.

They believe that many structures have been created for the sake of beauty, to delight man or the Creator (but this latter point is beyond the scope of scientific discussion), or for the sake of mere variety, a view already discussed.

Such doctrines, if true, would be absolutely fatal to my theory.

I fully admit that many structures are now of no direct use to their possessors, and may never have been of any use to their progenitors; but this does not prove that they were formed solely for beauty or variety.

No doubt the definite action of changed conditions, and the various causes of modifications, lately specified, have all produced an effect, probably a great effect, independently of any advantage thus gained.
14 - Recapitulation and Conclusion 14-03 - Causes of the general belief in the immutability of species 80 The fact, as we have seen, that all past and present organic beings constitute one grand natural system, with group subordinate to group, and with extinct groups often falling in between recent groups, is intelligible on the theory of natural selection with its contingencies of extinction and divergence of character.

On these same principles we see how it is, that the mutual affinities of the species and genera within each class are so complex and circuitous.

We see why certain characters are far more serviceable than others for classification; -- why adaptive characters, though of paramount importance to the being, are of hardly any importance in classification; why characters derived from rudimentary parts, though of no service to the being, are often of high classificatory value; and why embryological characters are the most valuable of all.

The real affinities of all organic beings are due to inheritance or community of descent.

The natural system is a genealogical arrangement, in which we have to discover the lines of descent by the most permanent characters, however slight their vital importance may be.

The framework of bones being the same in the hand of a man, wing of a bat, fin of the porpoise, and leg of the horse, -- the same number of vertebrae forming the neck of the giraffe and of the elephant, -- and innumerable other such facts, at once explain themselves on the theory of descent with slow and slight successive modifications.

man
man

bat
bat

porpoise
porpoise

horse
horse

giraffe
giraffe

elephant
elephant
05 - Laws of Variation 05-02 - Use and Disuse of Parts, combined with Natural Selection, Organs of Flight and Vision 50 The eyes of moles and of some burrowing rodents are rudimentary in size, and in some cases are quite covered by skin and fur.

mole
mole


This state of the eyes is probably due to gradual reduction from disuse, but aided perhaps by natural selection.

In South America, a burrowing rodent, the tucotuco, or Ctenomys, is even more subterranean in its habits than the mole; and I was assured by a Spaniard, who had often caught them, that they were frequently blind.
tucotuco
tucotuco

South America
South America


One which I kept alive was certainly in this condition, the cause, as appeared on dissection, having been inflammation of the nictitating membrane.

As frequent inflammation of the eyes must be injurious to any animal, and as eyes are certainly not necessary to animals having subterranean habits, a reduction in their size, with the adhesion of the eyelids and growth of fur over them, might in such case be an advantage; and if so, natural selection would aid the effects of disuse.
14 - Recapitulation and Conclusion 14-03 - Causes of the general belief in the immutability of species 70 The existence of closely allied or representative species in any two areas, implies, on the theory of descent with modification, that the same parents formerly inhabited both areas; and we almost invariably find that wherever many closely allied species inhabit two areas, some identical species common to both still exist.

Wherever many closely allied yet distinct species occur, many doubtful forms and varieties of the same species likewise occur.

It is a rule of high generality that the inhabitants of each area are related to the inhabitants of the nearest source whence immigrants might have been derived.

We see this in nearly all the plants and animals of the Galapagos archipelago, of Juan Fernandez, and of the other American islands being related in the most striking manner to the plants and animals of the neighbouring American mainland; and those of the Cape de Verde archipelago and other African islands to the African mainland.

Galapagos Islands
Galapagos Islands

Juan Fernandez Islands
Juan Fernandez Islands


It must be admitted that these facts receive no explanation on the theory of creation.