M Database Inspector (cheetah)
Not logged in. Login

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 10 of 119 (4/p)
1 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 20 30 40 50 60 70 100 119

Export to Excel select * from OriginOfSpecies order by subject limit 36, 4 (Page 10: Row)
subject Desending Order (top row is first)
title
ordinal
description
01 - Variations Under Domestication 01-10 - Methodical and Unconscious Selection 50 In plants the same gradual process of improvement, through the occasional preservation of the best individuals, whether or not sufficiently distinct to be ranked at their first appearance, as distinct varieties, and whether or not two or more species or races have become blended together by crossing, may plainly be recognised in the increased size and beauty which we now see in the varieties of the heartsease, rose, pelargonium, dahlia, and other plants, when compared with the older varieties or with their parent-stocks.

No one would ever expect to get a first-rate heartsease or dahlia from the seed of a wild plant.

heartsease
heartsease

rose
rose

pelargonium
pelargonium

dahlia
dahlia



No one would expect to raise a first-rate melting pear from the seed of the wild pear, though he might succeed from a poor seedling growing wild, if it had come from a garden-stock.

The pear, though cultivated in classical times, appears, from Pliny's description, to have been a fruit of very inferior quality.

I have seen great surprise expressed in horticultural works at the wonderful skill of gardeners, in having produced such splendid results from such poor materials; but the art has been simple, and, as far as the final result is concerned, has been followed almost unconsciously.

pear
pear


It has consisted in always cultivating the best-known variety, sowing its seeds, and, when a slightly better variety chanced to appear, selecting it, and so onwards.

But the gardeners of the classical period who cultivated the best pears which they could procure, never thought what splendid fruit we should eat; though we owe our excellent fruit in some small degree, to their having naturally chosen and preserved the best varieties they could anywhere find.
01 - Variations Under Domestication 01-11 - Unknown Origin of our Domestic Productions 10 A large amount of change, thus slowly and unconsciously accumulated, explains, as I believe, the well-known fact, that in a number of cases we cannot recognise, and therefore do not know, the wild parent-stocks of the plants which have been longest cultivated in our flower and kitchen gardens.

If it has taken centuries or thousands of years to improve or modify most of our plants up to their present standard of usefulness to man, we can understand how it is that neither Australia, the Cape of Good Hope, nor any other region inhabited by quite uncivilised man, has afforded us a single plant worth culture.

It is not that these countries, so rich in species, do not by a strange chance possess the aboriginal stocks of any useful plants, but that the native plants have not been improved by continued selection up to a standard of perfection comparable with that acquired by the plants in countries anciently civilised.

Australia
Australia

Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
01 - Variations Under Domestication 01-11 - Unknown Origin of our Domestic Productions 20 In regard to the domestic animals kept by uncivilised man, it should not be overlooked that they almost always have to struggle for their own food, at least during certain seasons.

And in two countries very differently circumstanced, individuals of the same species, having slightly different constitutions or structure would often succeed better in the one country than in the other; and thus by a process of "natural selection," as will hereafter be more fully explained, two sub-breeds might be formed.

This, perhaps, partly explains why the varieties kept by savages, as has been remarked by some authors, have more of the character of true species than the varieties kept in civilised countries
Australia
Australia

aboriginal Man
aboriginal Man
01 - Variations Under Domestication 01-11 - Unknown Origin of our Domestic Productions 30 On the view here given of the important part which selection by man has played, it becomes at once obvious, how it is that our domestic races show adaptation in their structure or in their habits to man's wants or fancies.

We can, I think, further understand the frequently abnormal characters of our domestic races, and likewise their differences being so great in external characters, and relatively so slight in internal parts or organs.

Man can hardly select, or only with much difficulty, any deviation of structure excepting such as is externally visible; and indeed he rarely cares for what is internal.

He can never act by selection, excepting on variations which are first given to him in some slight degree by nature. No man would ever try to make a fantail till he saw a pigeon with a tail developed in some slight degree in an unusual manner, or a pouter till he saw a pigeon with a crop of somewhat unusual size; and the more abnormal or unusual any character was when it first appeared, the more likely it would be to catch his attention.

Fantail Pigeon
Fantail Pigeon


But to use such an expression as trying to make a fantail, is, I have no doubt, in most cases, utterly incorrect.

The man who first selected a pigeon with a slightly larger tail, never dreamed what the descendants of that pigeon would become through long-continued, partly unconscious and partly methodical, selection. Perhaps the parent-bird of all fantails had only fourteen tail-feathers somewhat expanded, like the present Java fantail, or like individuals of other and distinct breeds, in which as many as seventeen tail-feathers have been counted.

Perhaps the first pouter-pigeon did not inflate its crop much more than the turbit now does the upper part of its oesophagus,- a habit which is disregarded by all fanciers, as it is not one of the points of the breed.

Pouter Pigeon
Pouter Pigeon