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On the Origin of Species: Or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life

Paperback - 27 January 2016
ISBN-13 : 9781523720965
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Description

On the Origin of Species

Or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life

By Charles Darwin

On the Origin of Species, published on 24 November 1859, is a work of scientific literature by Charles Darwin which is considered to be the foundation of evolutionary biology. Its full title was On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. In the 1872 sixth edition "On" was omitted, so the full title is The origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. This edition is usually known as The Origin of Species.

CONTENTS

On the origin of species.

Introduction.

1. VARIATION UNDER DOMESTICATION.

2. VARIATION UNDER NATURE.

3. STRUGGLE FOR EXISTENCE.

4. NATURAL SELECTION

5. LAWS OF VARIATION.

6. DIFFICULTIES ON THEORY.

7. INSTINCT.

8. HYBRIDISM.

9. ON THE IMPERFECTION OF THE GEOLOGICAL RECORD.

10. ON THE GEOLOGICAL SUCCESSION OF ORGANIC BEINGS.

11. GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION.

12. GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION--continued.

13. MUTUAL AFFINITIES OF ORGANIC BEINGS: MORPHOLOGY:

14. RECAPITULATION AND CONCLUSION.

When on board H.M.S. 'Beagle, ' as naturalist, I was much struck with certain facts in the distribution of the inhabitants of South America, and in the geological relations of the present to the past inhabitants of that continent. These facts seemed to me to throw some light on the origin of species--that mystery of mysteries, as it has been called by one of our greatest philosophers. On my return home, it occurred to me, in 1837, that something might perhaps be made out on this question by patiently accumulating and reflecting on all sorts of facts which could possibly have any bearing on it. After five years' work I allowed myself to speculate on the subject, and drew up some short notes; these I enlarged in 1844 into a sketch of the conclusions, which then seemed to me probable: from that period to the present day I have steadily pursued the same object. I hope that I may be excused for entering on these personal details, as I give them to show that I have not been hasty in coming to a decision.

My work is now nearly finished; but as it will take me two or three more years to complete it, and as my health is far from strong, I have been urged to publish this Abstract. I have more especially been induced to do this, as Mr. Wallace, who is now studying the natural history of the Malay archipelago, has arrived at almost exactly the same general conclusions that I have on the origin of species. Last year he sent to me a memoir on this subject, with a request that I would forward it to Sir Charles Lyell, who sent it to the Linnean Society, and it is published in the third volume of the Journal of that Society. Sir C. Lyell and Dr. Hooker, who both knew of my work--the latter having read my sketch of 1844--honoured me by thinking it advisable to publish, with Mr. Wallace's excellent memoir, some brief extracts from my manuscripts.

This Abstract, which I now publish, must necessarily be imperfect. I cannot here give references and authorities for my several statements; and I must trust to the reader reposing some confidence in my accuracy. No doubt errors will have crept in, though I hope I have always been cautious in trusting to good authorities alone.

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