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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 103 of 119 (4/p)
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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 10 Let us now consider the rules followed in classification, and the difficulties which are encountered on the view that classification either gives some unknown plan of creation, or is simply a scheme for enunciating general propositions and of placing together the forms most like each other.

It might have been thought (and was in ancient times thought) that those parts of the structure which determined the habits of life, and the general place of each being in the economy of nature, would be of very high importance in classification.

Nothing can be more false.

No one regards the external similarity of a mouse to a shrew, of a dugong to a whale, of a whale to a fish, as of any importance.

mouse
mouse

shrew
shrew

dugong
dugong

whale
whale

fish
fish
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 70 This case seems to me well to illustrate the spirit with which our classifications are sometimes necessarily founded.

Practically when naturalists are at work, they do not trouble themselves about the physiological value of the characters which they use in defining a group, or in allocating any particular species.

If they find a character nearly uniform, and common to a great number of forms, and not common to others, they use it as one of high value; if common to some lesser number, they use it as of subordinate value.

This principle has been broadly confessed by some naturalists to be the true one; and by none more clearly than by that excellent botanist, Aug. St. Hilaire.

Augustin Saint Hilaire
Augustin Saint Hilaire
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 40 Any one of these characters singly is frequently of more than generic importance, though here even when all taken together they appear insufficient to separate Cnestis from Connarus.' To give an example amongst insects, in one great division of the Hymenoptera, the antennae, as Westwood has remarked, are most constant in structure; in another division they differ much, and the differences are of quite subordinate value in classification; yet no one probably will say that the antennae in these two divisions of the same order are of unequal physiological importance.

cnestis
cnestis

connarus
connarus

hymenoptera
hymenoptera


Any number of instances could be given of the varying importance for classification of the same important organ within the same group of beings.

Again, no one will say that rudimentary or atrophied organs are of high physiological or vital importance; yet, undoubtedly, organs in this condition are often of high value in classification.

No one will dispute that the rudimentary teeth in the upper jaws of young ruminants, and certain rudimentary bones of the leg, are highly serviceable in exhibiting the close affinity between Ruminants and Pachyderms.

Robert Brown has strongly insisted on the fact that the rudimentary florets are of the highest importance in the classification of the Grasses.
13 - Mutual Affinities of Organic Beings: Morphology: Embryology: Rudimentary Or 13-04 - Classification of varieties 10 In confirmation of this view, let us glance at the classification of varieties, which are believed or known to have descended from one species.

These are grouped under species, with sub-varieties under varieties; and with our domestic productions, several other grades of difference are requisite, as we have seen with pigeons.

The origin of the existence of groups subordinate to groups, is the same with varieties as with species, namely, closeness of descent with various degrees of modification.

Nearly the same rules are followed in classifying varieties, as with species.

Authors have insisted on the necessity of classing varieties on a natural instead of an artificial system; we are cautioned, for instance, not to class two varieties of the pine-apple together, merely because their fruit, though the most important part, happens to be nearly identical; no one puts the swedish and common turnips together, though the esculent and thickened stems are so similar.

pineapple
pineapple

turnip
turnip


Whatever part is found to be most constant, is used in classing varieties: thus the great agriculturist Marshall says the horns are very useful for this purpose with cattle, because they are less variable than the shape or colour of the body, &c.; whereas with sheep the horns are much less serviceable, because less constant.

cattle
cattle

sheep
sheep


In classing varieties, I apprehend if we had a real pedigree, a genealogical classification would be universally preferred; and it has been attempted by some authors.

For we might feel sure, whether there had been more or less modification, the principle of inheritance would keep the forms together which were allied in the greatest number of points.

In tumbler pigeons, though some sub-varieties differ from the others in the important character of having a longer beak, yet all are kept together from having the common habit of tumbling; but the short-faced breed has nearly or quite lost this habit; nevertheless, without any reasoning or thinking on the subject, these tumblers are kept in the same group, because allied in blood and alike in some other respects.

Tumbler Pigeon
Tumbler Pigeon

Short Faced Tumbler Pigeon
Short Faced Tumbler Pigeon


If it could be proved that the Hottentot had descended from the Negro, I think he would be classed under the Negro group, however much he might differ in colour and other important characters from negroes.