Darwiniana; Essays and Reviews Pertaining to Darwinism eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 379 pages of information about Darwiniana; Essays and Reviews Pertaining to Darwinism.

Part ii.—­Do Species wear out, and, if not, why not?—­Implication of the Darwinian Theory that Species are unlimited in Existence.—­Examination of an Opposite Doctrine maintained by Naudin.—­Evidence that Species may die out from Inherent Causes only indirect and inferential from Arrangements to secure Wide Breeding—­Physiological Import of Sexes—­Doubtful whether Sexual Reproduction with Wide Breeding is a Preventive or only a Palliative of Decrepitude in Species.—­ Darwinian Hypothesis must suppose the Former



The Opposition between Morphology and Teleology reconciled by Darwinism, and the Latter reinstated—­Character of the New Teleology.—­Purpose and Design distinguished—­Man has no Monopoly of the Latter.—­Inference of Design from Adaptation and Utility legitimate; also in Hume’s Opinion irresistible—­The Principle of Design, taken with Specific Creation, totally insufficient and largely inapplicable; but, taken with the Doctrine of the Evolution of Species in Nature, applicable, pertinent, and, moreover, necessary.—­Illustrations from Abortive Organs, supposed Waste of Being, etc.—­All Nature being of a Piece, Design must either pervade or be absent from the Whole.—­Its Absence not to be inferred because the Events take place in Nature—­Illustration of the Nature and Province of Natural Selection.—­It picks out, but does not originate Variations; these not a Product of, but a Response to, the Environment; not physical, but physiological—­Adaptations in Nature not explained by Natural Selection apart from Design or Final Cause—­Absurdity of associating Design only with Miracle—­What is meant by Nature.—­The Tradition of the divine in Nature, testified to by Aristotle, comes down to our Day with Undiminished Value


These papers are now collected at the request of friends and correspondents, who think that they may be useful; and two new essays are added.  Most of the articles were written as occasion called for them within the past sixteen years, and contributed to various periodicals, with little thought of their forming a series, and none of ever bringing them together into a volume, although one of them (the third) was once reprinted in a pamphlet form.  It is, therefore, inevitable that there should be considerable iteration in the argument, if not in the language.  This could not be eliminated except by recasting the whole, which was neither practicable nor really desirable.  It is better that they should record, as they do, the writer’s freely-expressed thoughts upon the subject at the time; and to many readers there may be some advantage in going more than once, in different directions, over the same ground.  If these essays were to be written now, some things might be differently expressed or qualified, but probably not so as to affect materially any important point.  Accordingly, they are here reprinted unchanged, except by a few merely verbal alterations made in proof-reading, and the striking out of one or two superfluous or immaterial passages.  A very few additional notes or references are appended.

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Darwiniana; Essays and Reviews Pertaining to Darwinism from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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