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           Charles Darwin
The Origin of Species


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  On the Origin of Species

  by Charles Darwin

  March, 1998 [Etext #1228]

  Project Gutenberg's Etext of On the Origin of Species, by Darwin

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  On the Origin of Species

  by Charles Darwin

  'But with regard to the material world, we can at least go so far as this--

  we can perceive that events are brought about not by insulated

  interpositions of Divine power, exerted in each particular case, but by the

  establishment of general laws.'

  W. Whewell: Bridgewater Treatise.

  'To conclude, therefore, let no man out of a weak conceit of sobriety, or

  an ill-applied moderation, think or maintain, that a man can search too far

  or be too well studied in the book of God's word, or in the book of God's

  works; divinity or philosophy; but rather let men endeavour an endless

  progress or proficience in both.'

  Bacon: Advancement of Learning.

  Down, Bromley, Kent,

  October 1st, 1859.

  On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection,

  or the

  Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.

  By Charles Darwin

  Contents

  Introduction

  Chapter I

  Variation under Domestication

  Causes of Variability -- Effects of Habit -- Correlation of Growth --

  Inheritance -- Character of Domestic Varieties -- Difficulty of

  distinguishing between Varieties and Species -- Origin of Domestic

  Varieties from one or more Species -- Domestic Pigeons, their Differences

  and Origin -- Principle of Selection anciently followed, its Effects --

  Methodical and Unconscious Selection -- Unknown Origin of our Domestic

  Productions -- Circumstances favourable to Man's power of Selection.

  Chapter II

  Variation under Nature

  Variability -- Individual Differences -- Doubtful species -- Wide ranging,

  much diffused, and common species vary most -- Species of the larger genera

  in any country vary more than the species of the smaller genera -- Many of

  the species of the larger genera resemble varieties in being very closely,

  but unequally, related to each other, and in having restricted ranges.

  Chapter III

  Struggle for Existence

  Bears on natural selection -- The term used in a wide sense -- Geometrical

  powers of increase -- Rapid increase of naturalised animals and plants --

  Nature of the checks to increase -- Competition universal -- Effects of

  climate -- Protection from the number of individuals -- Co
mplex relations

  of all animals and plants throughout nature -- Struggle for life most

  severe between individuals and varieties of the same species; often severe

  between species of the same genus -- The relation of organism to organism

  the most important of all relations.

  Chapter IV

  Natural Selection

  Natural Selection -- its power compared with man's selection -- its power

  on characters of trifling importance -- its power at all ages and on both

  sexes -- Sexual Selection -- On the generality of intercrosses between

  individuals of the same species -- Circumstances favourable and

  unfavourable to Natural Selection, namely, intercrossing, isolation, number

  of individuals -- Slow action -- Extinction caused by Natural Selection --

  Divergence of Character, related to the diversity of inhabitants of any

  small area, and to naturalisation -- Action of Natural Selection, through

  Divergence of Character and Extinction, on the descendants from a common

  parent -- Explains the Grouping of all organic beings.

  Chapter V

  Laws of Variation

  Effects of external conditions -- Use and disuse, combined with natural

  selection; organs of flight and of vision -- Acclimatisation -- Correlation

  of growth -- Compensation and economy of growth -- False correlations --

  Multiple, rudimentary, and lowly organised structures variable -- Parts

  developed in an unusual manner are highly variable: specific characters

  more variable than generic: secondary sexual characters variable --

  Species of the same genus vary in an analogous manner -- Reversions to

  long-lost characters -- Summary.

  Chapter VI

  Difficulties on Theory

  Difficulties on the theory of descent with modification -- Transitions --

  Absence or rarity of transitional varieties -- Transitions in habits of

  life -- Diversified habits in the same species -- Species with habits

  widely different from those of their allies -- Organs of extreme perfection

  -- Means of transition -- Cases of difficulty -- Natura non facit saltum --

  Organs of small importance -- Organs not in all cases absolutely perfect --

  The law of Unity of Type and of the Conditions of Existence embraced by the

  theory of Natural Selection.

  Chapter VII

  Instinct

  Instincts comparable with habits, but different in their origin --

  Instincts graduated -- Aphides and ants -- Instincts variable -- Domestic

  instincts, their origin -- Natural instincts of the cuckoo, ostrich, and

  parasitic bees -- Slave-making ants -- Hive-bee, its cell-making instinct -

  - Difficulties on the theory of the Natural Selection of instincts --

  Neuter or sterile insects -- Summary.

  Chapter VIII

  Hybridism

  Distinction between the sterility of first crosses and of hybrids --

  Sterility various in degree, not universal, affected by close

  interbreeding, removed by domestication -- Laws governing the sterility of

  hybrids -- Sterility not a special endowment, but incidental on other

  differences -- Causes of the sterility of first crosses and of hybrids --

  Parallelism between the effects of changed conditions of life and crossing

  -- Fertility of varieties when crossed and of their mongrel offspring not

  universal -- Hybrids and mongrels compared independently of their fertility

  -- Summary.

  Chapter IX

  On the Imperfection of the Geological Record

  On the absence of intermediate varieties at the present day -- On the

  nature of extinct intermediate varieties; on their number -- On the vast

  lapse of time, as inferred from the rate of deposition and of denudation --

 
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