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06 - Difficutiles in Theory 06-12 - Organs not in all Cases Absolutely Perfect 50 We see this, for instance, in the men of different races admiring an entirely different standard of beauty in their women.

If beautiful objects had been created solely for man's gratification, it ought to be shown that before man appeared, there was less beauty on the face of the earth than since he came on the stage.

Were the beautiful volute and cone shells of the Eocene epoch, and the gracefully sculptured ammonites of the Secondary
period, created that man might ages afterwards admire them in his cabinet?
Volute Shell
Volute Shell

Cone Shell
Cone Shell


Few objects are more beautiful than the minute siliceous cases of the diatomaceae: were these created that they might be examined and admired under the higher powers of the microscope?
diatom
diatom

microscope
microscope
06 - Difficutiles in Theory 06-12 - Organs not in all Cases Absolutely Perfect 60 The beauty in this latter case, and in many others, is apparently wholly due to symmetry of growth.

Flowers rank amongst the most beautiful productions of nature; but they have been rendered conspicuous in contrast with the green leaves, and in consequence at the same time beautiful, so that they may be easily observed by insects.
insect
insect


I have come to this conclusion from finding it an invariable rule that when a flower is fertilised by the wind it never has a gaily-coloured corolla.

Several plants habitually produce two kinds of flowers; one kind open and coloured so as to attract insects; the other closed, not coloured, destitute of nectar, and never visited by insects.

Hence we may conclude that, if insects had not been developed on the face of the earth, our plants would not have been decked with beautiful flowers, but would have produced only such poor flowers as we see on our fir, oak, nut and ash trees, on grasses, spinach, docks, and nettles, which are all fertilised through the agency of the wind.
fir
fir

oak
oak

ash
ash

grass
grass

spinach
spinach

Dock Plant
Dock Plant

nettle
nettle
06 - Difficutiles in Theory 06-12 - Organs not in all Cases Absolutely Perfect 70 A similar line of argument holds good with fruits; that a ripe strawberry or cherry is as pleasing to the eye as to the palate,- that the gaily-coloured fruit of the spindle-wood tree and the scarlet berries of the holly are beautiful objects,- will be admitted by every one.
strawberry
strawberry

cherry
cherry

Spindle Wood
Spindle Wood

Holly Berries
Holly Berries


But this beauty serves merely as a guide to birds and beasts, in order that the fruit may be devoured and the matured seeds disseminated: I infer that this is the case from having as yet found no exception to the rule that seeds are always thus disseminated when embedded within a fruit of any kind (that is within a fleshy or pulpy envelope), if it be coloured of any brilliant tint, or rendered conspicuous by being white or black.
06 - Difficutiles in Theory 06-12 - Organs not in all Cases Absolutely Perfect 80 On the other hand, I willingly admit that a great number of male animals, as all our most gorgeous birds, some fishes, reptiles, and mammals, and a host of magnificently coloured butterflies, have been rendered beautiful for beauty's sake; but this has been effected through sexual selection, that is, by the more beautiful males having been continually preferred by the females, and not for the delight of man.

So it is with the music of birds. We may infer from all this that a nearly similar taste for beautiful colours and for musical sounds runs through a large part of the animal kingdom.

When the female is as beautifully coloured as the male, which is not rarely the case with birds and butterflies, the cause apparently lies in the colours acquired through sexual selection having been transmitted to both sexes, instead of to the males alone.
butterfly
butterfly