Origin of spiecies essays

Advanced search On the Origin of Species This, certainly the most important biological book ever written, has received detailed bibliographical treatment in Morse Peckham's variorum edition, The first edition also has a full bibliographic description in H.

Origin of spiecies essays

The file's original URL. Darwin's long-standing and well-earned scientific eminence probably renders him indifferent to that social notoriety which passes by the name of success; but if the calm spirit of the philosopher have not yet wholly superseded the ambition and the vanity of the carnal man within him, he must be well satisfied with the results of his venture in publishing the "Origin of Species.

Everybody has read Mr. Darwin's book, or, at least, has given an opinion upon its merits or demerits; pietists, whether lay or ecclesiastic, decry it with the mild railing which sounds so charitable; bigots denounce it with ignorant invective; old ladies of both sexes consider it a [23] decidedly dangerous book, and even savants, who have no better mud to throw, quote antiquated writers to show that its author is no better than an ape himself; while every philosophical thinker hails it as a veritable Whitworth gun in the armoury of liberalism; and all competent naturalists and physiologists, whatever their opinions as to the ultimate fate of the doctrines put forth, acknowledge that the work in which they are embodied is a solid contribution to knowledge and inaugurates a new epoch in natural history.

Nor has the discussion of the subject been restrained within the limits of conversation. Hence it is not surprising that almost all the critical journals have noticed Mr. Darwin's work at greater or less length; and so many disquisitions, of every degree of excellence, from the poor product of ignorance, too often stimulated by [24] prejudice, to the fair and thoughtful essay of the candid student of Nature, have appeared, that it seems an almost hopeless task to attempt to say anything new upon the question.

But it may be doubted if the knowledge and acumen of prejudged scientific opponents, and the subtlety of orthodox special pleaders, have yet exerted their full force in mystifying the real issues of the great controversy which has been set afoot, and whose end is hardly likely to be seen by this generation; so that, at this eleventh hour, and even failing anything new, it may be useful to state afresh that which is true, and to put the fundamental positions advocated by Mr.

Darwin in such a form that they may be grasped by those whose special studies lie in other directions. We do not speak jestingly in saying that it is Mr. Darwin's misfortune to know more about the question he has taken up than any man living. Personally and practically exercised in zoology, in minute anatomy, in geology; a student of geographical distribution, not on maps and in museums only, but by long voyages and laborious collection; having largely advanced each of these branches of [25] science, and having spent many years in gathering and sifting materials for his present work, the store of accurately registered facts upon which the author of the "Origin of Species" is able to draw at will is prodigious.

Again, from sheer want of room, much has to be taken for granted which might readily enough be proved; and hence, while the adept, who can supply the missing links in the evidence from his own knowledge, discovers fresh proof of the singular thoroughness with which all difficulties have been considered and all unjustifiable suppositions avoided, at every reperusal of Mr.

Darwin's pregnant paragraphs, the novice in biology is apt to complain of the frequency of what he fancies is gratuitous assumption. Thus while it may be doubted if, for some years, any one is likely to be competent to pronounce judgment on all the issues raised by Mr.

Darwin, [26] there is assuredly abundant room for him, who, assuming the humbler, though perhaps as useful, office of an interpreter between the "Origin of Species" and the public, contents himself with endeavouring to point out the nature of the problems which it discusses; to distinguish between the ascertained facts and the theoretical views which it contains; and finally, to show the extent to which the explanation it offers satisfies the requirements of scientific logic.

At any rate, it is this office which we purpose to undertake in the following pages.

It may be safely assumed that our readers have a general conception of the nature of the objects to which the word "species" is applied; but it has, perhaps, occurred to a few, even to those who are naturalists ex professo, to reflect, that, as commonly employed, the term has a double sense and denotes two very different orders of relations.

When we call a group of animals, or of plants, a species, we may imply thereby, either that all these animals or plants have some common peculiarity of form or structure; or, we may mean that they possess some common functional character.

Regarded [27] from the former point of view, a species is nothing more than a kind of animal or plant, which is distinctly definable from all others, by certain constant, and not merely sexual, morphological peculiarities.

Thus horses form a species, because the group of animals to which that name is applied is distinguished from all others in the world by the following constantly associated characters.

Species - Wikipedia

The asses, again, form a distinct species, because, with the same characters, as far as the fifth in the above list, all asses have tufted tails, and have callosities only on the inner side of the fore-legs.

They could no longer be regarded as morphologically distinct species, for they would not be distinctly definable one from the other. Even the most decided advocates of the received doctrines respecting species admit this. The proposer of the new species now intends to state no more than he actually knows; as, for example, that the differences on which he founds the specific character are constant in individuals of both sexes, so far as observation has reached; and that they are not due to domestication or to artificially superinduced external circumstances, or to any outward influence within his cognizance; that the species is wild, or is such as it appears by Nature.

It is probable that naturalists would have avoided much confusion of ideas if they had more frequently borne the necessary limitations of our knowledge in mind. The student of Nature wonders the more and is astonished the less, the more conversant he becomes with her operations; but of all the perennial miracles she offers to his inspection, perhaps the most worthy of admiration is the development of a plant or of an animal from its embryo.

Examine the recently laid egg of some common animal, such as a salamander or newt.


It is a minute spheroid in which the best microscope will reveal nothing but a structureless sac, enclosing a glairy fluid, holding granules in suspension.

Let a moderate supply of warmth reach its watery cradle, and the plastic matter undergoes changes [29] so rapid, yet so steady and purpose-like in their succession, that one can only compare them to those operated by a skilled modeller upon a formless lump of clay.

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As with an invisible trowel, the mass is divided and subdivided into smaller and smaller portions, until it is reduced to an aggregation of granules not too large to build withal the finest fabrics of the nascent organism.

And, then, it is as if a delicate finger traced out the line to be occupied by the spinal column, and moulded the contour of the body; pinching up the head at one end, the tail at the other, and fashioning flank and limb into due salamandrine proportions, in so artistic a way, that, after watching the process hour by hour, one is almost involuntarily possessed by the notion, that some more subtle aid to vision than an achromatic, would show the hidden artist, with his plan before him, striving with skilful manipulation to perfect his work.

As life advances, and the young amphibian ranges the waters, the terror of his insect contemporaries, not only are the nutritious particles supplied by its prey, by the addition of which to its frame, growth takes place, laid down, each in its proper spot, and in such due proportion to the rest, as to reproduce the form, the colour, and the size, characteristic of the parental stock; but even the wonderful powers of reproducing lost parts possessed by these animals are controlled by the same governing tendency.

Cut off the legs, the [31] tail, the jaws, separately or all together, and, as Spallanzani showed long ago, these parts not only grow again, but the redintegrated limb is formed on the same type as those which were lost.Invasive species is a term that is used both for plants and animals.

In general, it refers to the introduction of a non-native species into an environment in which because there are no predators tend to dominate the ecosystem and adversely affect the habitat. John Keats is also poet from the 19th century just the same as Charles Darwin.

Keats has the artistic, colorful approach to life. Keats writes expressively and in short punchy sentences that are full of meaning and conciseness. Origin of Species is the abbreviated, more commonly-known title for Charles Darwin's classic, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.

 Origin of species; Critical Evaluation of Darwinian Theory Cristina Nava North Salinas High School Instructor: Mr. Zelensky Charles Darwin implied in his book, On the Origin of Species (), a theory for evolution and its mechanisms. In biology, a species is the basic unit of classification and a taxonomic rank, as well as a unit of biodiversity, but it has proven difficult to find a satisfactory definition.

Charles Darwin's book The Origin of Species explained how species could arise by natural selection. I have seen the future, and it lives in Miami. The suburbs of Miami, to be exact: in the ever-expanding netherworld between the potted plants and subtropical nightlife of South Beach to the east and the tropical plants and deep-rooted wildlife of Everglades National Park to the west.

Origin of spiecies essays
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