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On the origin of species by Charles Darwin

Produced by Sue Asscher

ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES.

OR THE PRESERVATION OF FAVOURED RACES IN THE STRUGGLE FOR LIFE.

By Charles Darwin, M.A.,

Fellow Of The Royal, Geological, Linnaean, Etc., Societies;

Author Of 'Journal Of Researches During H.M.S. Beagle's Voyage Round The World.'

LONDON:

JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET.

1859.

Down, Bromley, Kent,

October 1st, 1859.

"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.

CONTENTS.

INTRODUCTION.

CHAPTER 1. 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 2. 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 3. 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. Complex 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.


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