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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 19 of 119 (4/p)
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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
01 - Variations Under Domestication 01-07 - Origin of Domestic Varieties from one or more Species 70 It has often been loosely said that all our races of dogs have been produced by the crossing of a few aboriginal species; but by crossing we can only get forms in some degree intermediate between their parents; and if we account for our several domestic races by this process, we must admit the former existence of the most extreme forms, as the Italian greyhound, bloodhound, bulldog, &c., in the wild state.

greyhound
greyhound

bloodhound
bloodhound


Moreover, the possibility of making distinct races by crossing has been greatly exaggerated. Many cases are on record, showing that a race may be modified by occasional crosses, if aided by the careful selection of the individuals which present the desired character; but to obtain a race intermediate between two quite distinct races, would be very difficult. Sir J. Sebright expressly experimented with this object and failed.

The offspring from the first cross between two pure breeds is tolerably and sometimes (as I have found with pigeons) quite uniform in character, and everything seems simple enough; but when these mongrels are crossed one with another for several generations, hardly two of them are alike and then the difficulty of the task becomes manifest.

pigeon
pigeon
02 - Variations Under Nature 02-03 - Doubtful Species 70 Certainly no clear line of demarcation has as yet been drawn between species and sub-species- that is, the forms which in the opinion of some naturalists come very near to, but do not quite arrive at, the rank of species: or, again, between sub-species and well-marked varieties, or between lesser varieties and individual differences. These differences blend into each other by an insensible series; and a series
impresses the mind with the idea of an actual passage.
04 - Natural Selection 04-08 - On the Intercrossing of Individuals 70 Turning for a brief space to animals: various terrestrial species are hermaphrodites, such as the land-mollusca and earth-worms; but these all pair.

mollusca
mollusca

worm
worm


As yet I have not found a single terrestrial animal which can fertilise itself.

This remarkable fact, which offers so strong a contrast with terrestrial plants, is intelligible on the view of an occasional cross being indispensable; for owing to the nature of the fertilising element there are no means, analogous to the action of insects and of the wind with plants, by which an occasional cross could be effected with terrestrial animals without the concurrence of two individuals.

Of aquatic animals, there are many self-fertilizing hermaphrodites; but here the currents of water offer an obvious means for an occasional cross.

As in the case of flowers, I have as yet failed, after consultation with one of the highest authorities, namely, Professor Huxley, to discover a single hermaphrodite animal with the organs of reproduction so perfectly enclosed that access from without, and the occasional influence of a distinct individual, can be shown to be physically impossible.

Cirripedes long appeared to me to present, under this point of view, a case of great difficulty; but I have been enabled, by a fortunate chance, to prove that two individuals, though both are self-fertilising hermaphrodites, do sometimes cross.

cirripede
cirripede