A Candle in the Dark

A look on science, politics, religion and events

Origin of species anniversary

with one comment

On 24 November 1859, for the first time ever in the history of the human race, the common person finally had an opportunity to find out the answer to one of the most important questions of all (How did we get here?) for 15 shillings 1.

It is interesting to contemplate an entangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent on each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with Reproduction; Inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the external conditions of life, and from use and disuse; a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved forms.

Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.

Notes
[1] – Charles Darwin, Chapter XIV. Recapitulation and Conclusion, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life

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Written by parseval

November 25, 2007 at 8:23 am

Posted in people, science

One Response

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  1. The quote was beautiful. Hurray for Evolution!

    Aditya

    November 25, 2007 at 11:05 am


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