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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 77 of 119 (4/p)
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Export to Excel select * from OriginOfSpecies order by ordinal limit 304, 4 (Page 77: Row)
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06 - Difficutiles in Theory 06-11 - Organs of Small Importance 40 In the second place, we may easily err in attributing importance to characters, and in believing that they have been developed through natural selection.

We must by no means overlook the effects of the definite action of changed conditions of life,- of so-called spontaneous variations, which seem to depend in a quite subordinate degree on the nature of the conditions,- of the tendency to reversion to long-lost characters,- of the complex laws of growth, such as of correlation, compensation, of the pressure of one part on another, &c.,- and finally of sexual selection, by which characters of use to one sex are often gained and then transmitted more or less perfectly to the other sex, though of no use to this sex.

But structures thus indirectly gained, although at first of no advantage to a species, may subsequently have been taken advantage of by its modified descendants, under new conditions of life and newly acquired habits.
06 - Difficutiles in Theory 06-12 - Organs not in all Cases Absolutely Perfect 40 With respect to the belief that organic beings have been created beautiful for the delight of man,- a belief which it has been pronounced is subversive of my whole theory,- I may first remark that the sense of beauty obviously depends on the nature of the mind, irrespective of any real quality in the admired object; and that the idea of what is beautiful, is not innate or unalterable.
06 - Difficutiles in Theory 06-13 - Summary: The Law of Unity of Type and of the Conditions of Existence Embraced by the Theory of Natural Selection 40 Although the belief that an organ so perfect as the eye could have been formed by natural selection, is enough to stagger any one; yet in the case of any organ, if we know of a long series of gradations in complexity, each good for its possessor, then, under changing conditions of life, there is no logical impossibility in the acquirement of any conceivable degree of perfection through natural selection.

In the cases in which we know of no intermediate or transitional states, we should be extremely cautious in concluding that none can have existed, for the metamorphoses of many organs show what wonderful changes in function are at least possible.

For instance, a swimbladder has apparently been converted into an air-breathing lung.
Swim Bladder
Swim Bladder


The same organ having performed simultaneously very different functions, and then having been in part or in whole specialised for one function; and two distinct organs having performed at the same time the same function, the one having been perfected whilst aided by the other, must often have largely facilitated transitions.
06 - Difficutiles in Theory 06-03 - Absence or Rarity of Transitional Varieties 40 In looking at species as they are now distributed over a wide area, we generally find them tolerably numerous over a large territory, then becoming somewhat abruptly rarer and rarer on the confines, and finally disappearing.

Hence the neutral territory between two representative species is generally narrow in comparison with the territory proper to each.

We see the same fact in ascending mountains, and sometimes it is quite remarkable how abruptly, as Alph. de Candolle has observed, a common alpine species disappears.
Alphonse de Candolle
Alphonse de Candolle

The same fact has been noticed by E. Forbes in sounding the depths of the sea with the dredge.
Edward Forbes
Edward Forbes

To those who look at climate and the physical conditions of life as the all-important elements of distribution, these facts ought to cause surprise, as climate and height or depth graduate away insensibly.

But when we bear in mind that almost every species, even in its metropolis, would increase immensely in numbers, were it not for other competing species; that nearly all either prey on or serve as prey for others; in short, that each organic being is either directly or indirectly related in the most important manner to other organic beings,- we see that the range of the inhabitants of any country by no means exclusively depends on insensibly changing physical conditions, but in a large part on the presence of other species, on which it lives, or by which it is destroyed, or with which it comes into competition; and as these species are already defined objects, not blending one into another by insensible gradations, the range of any one species, depending as does on the range of others, will tend to be sharply defined.

Moreover, each species on the confines of its range, where it exists in lessened numbers, will, during fluctuations in the number of its enemies or of its prey, or in the nature of the seasons, be extremely liable to utter extermination; and thus its geographical range will come to be still more sharply defined.