M Database Inspector (cheetah)
Not logged in. Login


34 rows, page 9 of 9 (4/p)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Export to Excel select * from OriginOfSpecies where subject = '13 - Mutual Affinities of Organic Beings: Morphology: Embryology: Rudimentary Or' order by ordinal limit 32, 4 (Page 9: Row)
subject
title
ordinal Desending Order (top row is first)
description
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 120 Full Size

We will suppose the letters A to L to represent allied genera, which lived during the Silurian epoch, and these have descended from a species which existed at an unknown anterior period.

Species of three of these genera (A, F, and I) have transmitted modified descendants to the present day, represented by the fifteen genera (a14 to z14) on the uppermost horizontal line.

Now all these modified descendants from a single species, are represented as related in blood or descent to the same degree; they may metaphorically be called cousins to the same millionth degree; yet they differ widely and in different degrees from each other.

The forms descended from A, now broken up into two or three families, constitute a distinct order from those descended from I, also broken up into two families.

Nor can the existing species, descended from A, be ranked in the same genus with the parent A; or those from I, with the parent I.

But the existing genus F14 may be supposed to have been but slightly modified; and it will then rank with the parent-genus F; just as some few still living organic beings belong to Silurian genera.

So that the amount or value of the differences between organic beings all related to each other in the same degree in blood, has come to be widely different.

Nevertheless their genealogical arrangement remains strictly true, not only at the present time, but at each successive period of descent.

All the modified descendants from A will have inherited something in common from their common parent, as will all the descendants from I; so will it be with each subordinate branch of descendants, at each successive period.

If, however, we choose to suppose that any of the descendants of A or of I have been so much modified as to have more or less completely lost traces of their parentage, in this case, their places in a natural classification will have been more or less completely lost, as sometimes seems to have occurred with existing organisms.

All the descendants of the genus F, along its whole line of descent, are supposed to have been but little modified, and they yet form a single genus.

But this genus, though much isolated, will still occupy its proper intermediate position; for F originally was intermediate in character between A and I, and the several genera descended from these two genera will have inherited to a certain extent their characters.
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 130 This natural arrangement is shown, as far as is possible on paper, in the diagram, but in much too simple a manner.

If a branching diagram had not been used, and only the names of the groups had been written in a linear series, it would have been still less possible to have given a natural arrangement; and it is notoriously not possible to represent in a series, on a flat surface, the affinities which we discover in nature amongst the beings of the same group.

Thus, on the view which I hold, the natural system is genealogical in its arrangement, like a pedigree; but the degrees of modification which the different groups have undergone, have to be expressed by ranking them under different so-called genera, sub-families, families, sections, orders, and classes.

It may be worth while to illustrate this view of classification, by taking the case of languages.

If we possessed a perfect pedigree of mankind, a genealogical arrangement of the races of man would afford the best classification of the various languages now spoken throughout the world; and if all extinct languages, and all intermediate and slowly changing dialects, had to be included, such an arrangement would, I think, be the only possible one.

Yet it might be that some very ancient language had altered little, and had given rise to few new languages, whilst others (owing to the spreading and subsequent isolation and states of civilisation of the several races, descended from a common race) had altered much, and had given rise to many new languages and dialects.

The various degrees of difference in the languages from the same stock, would have to be expressed by groups subordinate to groups; but the proper or even only possible arrangement would still be genealogical; and this would be strictly natural, as it would connect together all languages, extinct and modern, by the closest affinities, and would give the filiation and origin of each tongue.