Download Darwiniana: Essays and Reviews Pertaining to Darwinism by Asa Gray PDF

By Asa Gray

Darwiniana is a suite of serious essays on Charles Darwin's conception of evolution that have been initially released in medical journals by way of his pal and correspondent Asa grey, Professor of Botany at Harvard. grey used to be considered one of Darwin's most powerful supporters within the American clinical group; he used to be additionally a Presbyterian and mentioned questions of ordinary theology, layout and teleology, together with an previous model of bankruptcy three of this ebook, with Darwin by way of letter over numerous years. Darwiniana (1876) was once meant to supply a balanced review of Darwin's conception of evolution and to familiarise readers with the various features of Darwinism and its implications. the outlet essays of the quantity specialize in the clinical and philosophical positive aspects of the speculation, others examine the reactions of Darwin's contemporaries and, such a lot famously, argue for a reconciliation of faith and technological know-how within the gentle of Darwin's idea.

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The supposed establishment of this view is reckoned as one of the greatest scientific triumphs of this century. Perhaps, however, the objection is brought, not so much against the speculation itself, as against the attempt to show how derivation might have been brought about. Then the same objection applies to a recent ingenious hypothesis made to account for the genesis of the chemical elements out of the ethereal medium, and to explain their several atomic weights and some other characteristics by their successive complexity—hydrogen consisting of so many atoms of ethereal substance united in a particular order, and so on.

The shadowy author of the " Yestiges of the Natural History of Creation " can hardly be said to have undertaken either line, in a scientific way. He would explain the whole progressive evolution of Nature by virtue of an inherent tendency to development, thus giving us an idea or a word in place of a natural cause, a restatement of the proposition instead of an explanation. Mr. Darwin attempts both lines of proof, and in a strictly scientific spirit; but the stress falls mainly upon the first, for, as he does assign real causes, he is bound to prove their adequacy.

Mr. '5 No one supposes variation could occur under all circumstances; but the facts on the whole imply a universal tendency, ready to be manifested under favorable circumstances. In reply to the assumption that man has chosen for domestication animals and plants having an extraordinary inherent tendency to vary, and likewise to withstand diverse climates, it is asked: " How could a savage possibly know, when lie first tamed an animal, whether it would vary in succeeding generations, THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES.

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