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. Page 1. Page 2. Page 3. Page 4. Page 5. Page 6. Page 7. Page 8. Page 9. Page Page Page Page Page Page Page Page Page On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin is a publication of the Pennsylvania State. University. This Portable Document file is furnished free and without any.
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The Life of Charles Darwin. Chapter 3. The Origin of Species: The Book and Its Background. Chapter 4. The Reception of Darwin's Theories, – The Biodiversity Heritage Library works collaboratively to make biodiversity literature openly available to the world as part of a global biodiversity community. Cambridge Core - Evolutionary Biology - The Origin of Species - by Charles Darwin. Biology, General Science, History of Science, Life Sciences; Series: Cambridge Library Collection - Darwin, Evolution and Genetics PDF; Export citation.
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Darwin Darwin TOC Template: Darwin header Special: Embryology History History: It is extremely difficult to come to any conclusion in regard to the extent of the changes which have been thus definitely induced.
Each of the endless variations which we see in the plumage of our fowls must have had some efficient cause; and if the same cause were to act uniformly during a long series of generations on.
Such facts as the complex and extraordinary out-growths which variably follow from the insertion of a minute drop of poison by a gall-producing insect, show us what singular modifications might result in the case of plants from a chemical change in the nature of the sap. Indefinite variability is a much more common result of changed conditions than definite variability, and has probably played a more important part in the formation of our domestic races.
We see indefinite variability in the endless slight peculiarities which distinguish the individuals of the same species, and which cannot be accounted for by inheritance from either parent or from some more remote ancestor. Even strongly marked differences occasionally appear in the young of the same litter, and in seedlings from the same seed-capsule.
At long intervals of time, out of millions of individuals reared in the same country and fed on nearly the same food, deviations of structure so strongly pronounced as to deserve to be called monstrosities arise; but monstrosities cannot be separated by any distinct line from slighter variations. All such changes of structure, whether extremely slight or strongly marked, which appear amongst many individuals living together, may be considered as the indefinite effects of the conditions of life on each individual organism, in nearly the same manner as the chill affects different men in an indefinite manner, according to their state of body or constitution, causing coughs or colds, rheumatism, or inflammation of various organs.
With respect to what I have called the indirect action of changed conditions, namely, through the reproductive system of being affected, we may infer that variability is thus induced, partly from the fact of this system being extremely sensitive to any change in the conditions, and partly from the similarity, as Kreuter and others have remarked, between the variability which follows from the crossing of distinct species, and that which may be observed with plants and animals when reared under new or unnatural conditions.
Many facts clearly show how eminently susceptible the reproductive system is to very slight changes in the surrounding conditions.
Nothing is more easy than to tame an animal, and few things more difficult than to get it to breed freely under confinement, even when the male and female unite. How many animals there are which will not breed, though kept in an almost free state in their native country! This is generally, but erroneously, attributed to vitiated instincts. Many cultivated plants display the utmost vigour, and yet rarely or never seed!
In some few cases it has been discovered that a very trifling change, such as a little more or less water at some particular period of growth, will determine whether or not a plant will produce seeds. I cannot here give the details which I have collected and elsewhere published on this curious subject; but to show how singular the laws are which determine the reproduction of animals under confinement, I may mention that carnivorous animals, even from the tropics, breed in this country pretty freely under confinement, with the exception of the plantigrades or bear family, which seldom produce young; whereas carnivorous birds, with the rarest exceptions, hardly ever lay fertile eggs.
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