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 82 of 119 (4/p)
1 30 40 50 60 70 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 90 100 110 119

Export to Excel select * from OriginOfSpecies order by subject, title, ordinal limit 324, 4 (Page 82: Row)
subject
title
ordinal
description
06 - Difficutiles in Theory 06-12 - Organs not in all Cases Absolutely Perfect 120 Natural selection tends only to make each organic being as perfect as, or slightly more perfect than, the other inhabitants of the same country with which it comes into competition.

And we see that this is the standard of perfection attained under nature.

The endemic productions of New Zealand, for instance, are perfect one compared with another; but they are now rapidly yielding before the advancing legions of plants and animals introduced from Europe.
New Zealand
New Zealand

Europe
Europe


Natural selection will not produce absolute perfection, nor do we always meet, as far as we can judge, with this high standard under nature.

The correction for the aberration of light is said by Muller not to be perfect even in that most perfect organ, the human eye.
eye
eye


Helmholtz, whose judgment no one will dispute, after describing in the strongest terms the wonderful powers of the human eye, adds these remarkable words: "That which we have discovered in the way of inexactness and imperfection in the optical machine and in the image on the retina, is as nothing in comparison with the incongruities which we have just come across in the domain of the sensations.

One might say that nature has taken delight in accumulating contradictions in order to remove all foundation from the theory of a pre-existing harmony between the external and internal worlds."

If our reason leads us to admire with enthusiasm a multitude of inimitable contrivances in nature, this same reason tells us, though we may easily err on both sides, that some other contrivances are less perfect.

Can we consider the sting of the bee as perfect, which, when used against many kinds of enemies, cannot be withdrawn, owing to the backward serratures, and thus inevitably causes the death of the insect by tearing out its viscera?
bee
bee
06 - Difficutiles in Theory 06-12 - Organs not in all Cases Absolutely Perfect 130 If we look at the sting of the bee, as having existed in a remote progenitor, as a boring and serrated instrument, like that in so many members of the same great order, and which has since been modified but not perfected for its present purpose, with the poison originally adapted for some other object, such as to produce galls, since intensified, we can perhaps understand how it is that the use of the sting should so often cause the insect's own death: for if on the whole the power of stinging be useful to the social community, it will fulfil all the requirements of natural selection, though it may cause the death of some few members.
bee
bee


If we admire the truly wonderful power of scent by which the males of many insects find their females, can we admire the production for this single purpose of thousands of drones, which are utterly useless to the community for any other purpose, and which are ultimately slaughtered by their industrious and sterile sisters?

It may be difficult, but we ought to admire the savage instinctive hatred of the queen-bee, which urges her to destroy the young queens, her daughters, as soon as they are born, or to perish herself in the combat; for undoubtedly this is for the good of the community; and maternal love or maternal hatred, though the latter fortunately is most rare, is all the same to the inexorable principle of natural selection.

If we admire the several ingenious contrivances, by which orchids and many other plants are fertilised through insect agency, can we consider as equally perfect the elaboration of dense clouds of pollen by our fir trees, so that a few granules may be wafted by chance on to the ovules?

orchid
orchid
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 10 We have in this chapter discussed some of the difficulties and objections which may be urged against the theory.

Many of them are serious; but I think that in the discussion light has been thrown on several facts, which on the belief of independent acts of creation are utterly obscure.

We have seen that species at any one period are not indefinitely variable, and are not linked together by a multitude of intermediate gradations, partly because the process of natural selection is always very slow, and at any one time acts only on a few forms; and partly because the very process of natural selection implies the continual supplanting and extinction of preceding and intermediate gradations.

Closely allied species, now living on a continuous area, must often have been formed when the area was not continuous, and when the conditions of life did not insensibly graduate away from one part to another.

When two varieties are formed in two districts of a continuous area, an intermediate variety will often be formed, fitted for an intermediate zone; but from reasons assigned, the intermediate variety will usually exist in lesser numbers than the two forms which it connects; consequently the two latter, during the course of further modification, from existing in greater numbers, will have a great advantage over the less numerous intermediate variety, and will thus generally succeed in supplanting and exterminating it.
sheep
sheep
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 20 We have seen in this chapter how cautious we should be in concluding that the most different habits of life could not graduate into each other; that a bat, for instance, could not have been formed by natural selection from an animal which at first only glided through the air.
bat
bat