It is also deeply flawed. That sexual selection SS is an evolutionary force driven by arbitrary aesthetic choices, rather than by the environmental imperatives that drive natural selection NS.
I Novelties are enticing to most people; to us they are simply annoying. We cling to a long-accepted theory, just as we cling to an old suit of clothes. New notions and new styles worry us, till we get well used to them, which is only by slow degrees.
We were not wholly unprepared for it, as many of our contemporaries seem to have been. The scientific reading in which we indulge as a relaxation from severer studies had raised dim forebodings. Now and then we encountered a sentence, like Prof.
For, dim as our conception must needs be as to what such oracular and grandiloquent phrases might really mean, we felt confident that they presaged no good to old beliefs. Foreseeing, yet deprecating, the coming time of trouble, we still hoped that, with some repairs and makeshifts, the old views might last out our days.
Apres nous le deluge. Still, not to lag behind the rest of the world, we read the book in which the new theory is promulgated. We took it up, like our neighbors, and, as was natural, in a somewhat captious frame of mind.
Well, we found no cause of quarrel with the first chapter. Here the author takes us directly to the barn-yard and the kitchen-garden.
All this we pondered, and could not much object to. It is by no means difficult to believe that varieties are incipient or possible species, when we see what trouble naturalists, especially botanists, have to distinguish between them—one regarding as a true species what another regards as a variety; when the progress of knowledge continually increases, rather than diminishes, the number of doubtful instances; and when there is less agreement than ever among naturalists as to what is the basis in Nature upon which our idea of species reposes, or how the word is to be defined.
Indeed, when we consider the endless disputes of naturalists and ethnologists over the human races, as to whether they belong to one species or to more, and, if to more, whether to three, or five, or fifty, we can hardly help fancying that both may be right—or rather, that the uni-humanitarians would have been right many thousand years ago, and the multi-humanitarians will be several thousand years later; while at present the safe thing to say is, that probably there is some truth on both sides.
And if natural selection, with artificial to help it, will produce better animals and better men than the present, and fit them better to the conditions of existence, why, let it work, say we, to the top of its bent There is still room enough for improvement.
Only let us hope that it always works for good: The prospect of the future, accordingly, is on the whole pleasant and encouraging.
It is only the backward glance, the gaze up the long vista of the past, that reveals anything alarming. Here the lines converge as they recede into the geological ages, and point to conclusions which, upon the theory, are inevitable, but hardly welcome.
The very first step backward makes the negro and the Hottentot our blood-relations—not that reason or Scripture objects to that, though pride may.
Fortunately, however—even if we must account for him scientifically —man with his two feet stands upon a foundation of his own.
That would be evidence indeed: There seems as great likelihood that one special origination should be followed by another upon fitting occasion such as the introduction of manas that one form should be transmuted into another upon fitting occasion, as, for instance, in the succession of species which differ from each other only in some details.
To compare small things with great in a homely illustration: Minor alterations and improvements he adds to the machine he possesses; he adapts a new rig or a new rudder to an old boat: In course of time the old ones would be worn out or wrecked; the best sorts would be chosen for each particular use, and further improved upon; and so the primordial boat be developed into the scow, the skiff, the sloop, and other species of water-craft—the very diversification, as well as the successive improvements, entailing the disappearance of intermediate forms, less adapted to any one particular purpose; wherefore these go slowly out of use, and become extinct species: Now, let a great and important advance be made, like that of steam navigation: Anyhow, the one does not necessarily exclude the other.
Variation and natural selection may play their part, and so may specific creation also. This leads us to ask for the reasons which call for this new theory of transmutation.
The beginning of things must needs lie in obscurity, beyond the bounds of proof, though within those of conjecture or of analogical inference. Why not hold fast to the customary view, that all species were directly, instead of indirectly, created after their respective kinds, as we now behold them—and that in a manner which, passing our comprehension, we intuitively refer to the supernatural?
It will raise the question, how the diverse sorts of plants and animals came to be as they are and where they are and will allow that the whole inquiry transcends its powers only when all endeavors have failed.
Granting the origin to be supernatural or miraculous even, will not arrest the inquiry. All real origination, the philosophers will say, is supernatural; their very question is, whether we have yet gone back to the origin and can affirm that the present forms of plants and animals are the primordial, the miraculously created ones.
And, even if they admit that, they will still inquire into the order of the phenomena, into the form of the miracle. You might as well expect the child to grow up content with what it is told about the advent of its infant brother.
Indeed, to learn that the new-comer is the gift of God, far from lulling inquiry, only stimulates speculation as to how the precious gift was bestowed. That questioning child is father to the man—is philosopher in short-clothes.
Since, then, questions about the origin of species will be raised, and have been raised—and since the theorizings, however different in particulars, all proceed upon the notion that one species of plant or animal is somehow derived from another, that the different sorts which now flourish are lineal or unlineal descendants of other and earlier sorts—it now concerns us to ask, What are the grounds in Nature, the admitted facts, which suggest hypotheses of derivation in some shape or other?
Reasons there must be, and plausible ones, for the persistent recurrence of theories upon this genetic basis.
We can only enumerate them here, without much indication of their particular bearing.Charles Robert Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, on 12 February , at his family's home, The Mount.
He was the fifth of six children of wealthy society doctor and financier Robert Darwin and Susannah Darwin (née Wedgwood). He was the grandson of two prominent abolitionists: Erasmus Darwin on his father's side, and Josiah Wedgwood on his mother's side. Essay on Darwin 's Theory Of Natural Selection - Evolution is described, as being the change that occurs on a genetic level when a new generation spouts from an ancestral population.
Charles Darwin revolutionized biology when he introduced The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection in Although Wallace had also came upon this revelation shortly before Origins was published, Darwin had long been in development of this theory/5(1).
Free eTextbooks - Free etextbooks are revolutionizing the college scene as students take advantage of a host of free etextbooks available online. Articles [Back to top] FitzRoy & Darwin. A letter, containing remarks on the moral state of Tahiti, New Zealand, &c.
South African Christian Recorder. Text Image PDF F Geological notes made during a survey of the east and west coasts of S. America, in the years , , and , with an account of a transverse section of the Cordilleras of the Andes between Valparaiso and.
Charles Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection Essay - The famous naturalist Charles Darwin presented the theory of natural selection. He went on many journeys on sea and on land, following his interests of the nature and the change that happens in the nature, i.e., the change in species.