« PreviousContinue »
“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. WHEwÉLL : 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.
“The only distinct meaning of the word “natural is stated, fired, or settled; since what is natural as much requires and presupposes an intelli. gent agent to render it so, i.e. to effect it continually or at stated times, as what is supernatural or miraculous does to effect it for once.”
BUTLER: Analogy of Revealed Religion.
Down, Bromley, Kent,
THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES
MEANS OF NATURAL SELECTION,
PRESERVATION OF FAVOURED RACES IN THE STRUGGLE
FELLow or THE Roy AL, Geologic AL, LINNAEAN, Etc., societies;
Avrnor of “Journal of ResEARChE8 DURING II. M. S. BEAGLE's voyage bound
A Netly ridirton Revised AND duo MENTEld by The AUthon.
I will here attempt to give a brief, but I fear imperfect, sketch of the progress of opinion on the Origin of Species. The great majority of naturalists have believed that species were immutable productions and have been separately created: this view has been ably maintained by many authors. A few naturalists, and several who have not particularly studied natural history, believe, on the other hand, that species undergo modification, and that the existing forms of life have descended by true generation from pre-existing forms. Passing over authors of the classical period, and likewise Demaillet and Buffon, with whose writings I am not familiar, Lamarck was the first man, whose view that species undergo change excited much attention. This justly celebrated naturalist published his Philosophie Zoologique in 1809, and his Introduction to his Hist. Nat. des animaux sans Vertèbres in 1815, in which works he upholds the doctrine that species are descended from each other. He seems to have been chiefly led to this conclusion by the difficulty of distinguishing species and varieties,—by the almost perfect gradation of the forms in certain groups, and by the analogy of domestic productions. With respect to the means of modification, he attributed something to the action of