OtOoSbMoNS…

As before, it’s the day to remember the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. Mr. Darwin’s argument is stunningly powerful:

AS this whole volume is one long argument, it may be convenient to the reader to have the leading facts and inferences briefly recapitulated.

That many and grave objections may be advanced against the theory of descent with modification through natural selection, I do not deny. I have endeavoured to give to them their full force. Nothing at first can appear more difficult to believe than that the more complex organs and instincts should have been perfected not by means superior to, though analogous with, human reason, but by the accumulation of innumerable slight variations, each good for the individual possessor. Nevertheless, this difficulty, though appearing to our imagination insuperably great, cannot be considered real if we admit the following propositions, namely, — that gradations in the perfection of any organ or instinct, which we may consider, either do now exist or could have existed, each good of its kind, — that all organs and instincts are, in ever so slight a degree, variable, — and, lastly, that there is a struggle for existence leading to the preservation of each profitable deviation of structure or instinct. The truth of these propositions cannot, I think, be disputed.

You go, guy!

As noted in 2006 and 2007, one can get a copy for free for the U.Va. Library.

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