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Page 332 - ... Malthus on Population, and being well prepared to appreciate the struggle for existence which everywhere goes on from long-continued observation of the habits of animals and plants, it at once struck me that under these circumstances favourable variations would tend to be preserved, and unfavourable ones to be destroyed. The result of this would be the formation of new species. Here, then, I had at last got a theory by which to work...
Page 293 - But if the succession of worlds is established in the system of nature, it is in vain to look for anything higher in the origin of the earth. The result, therefore, of this physical inquiry is, that we find no vestige of a beginning, — no prospect of an end"§.
Page 473 - Suppose a man born blind, and now adult, and taught by his touch to distinguish between a cube and a sphere of the same metal, and nighly of the same bigness, so as to tell, when he felt one and the other, which is the cube, which the sphere. Suppose then the cube and sphere placed on a table, and the blind man to be made to see; quaere, whether by his sight, before he touched them, he could now distinguish and tell which is the globe, which the cube?
Page 406 - It is mere rubbish, thinking at present of the origin of life ; one might as well think of the origin of matter.
Page 103 - It is hardly necessary to add, that anything which any insulated body, or system of bodies, can continue to furnish without limitation, cannot possibly be a material substance ; and it appears to me to be extremely difficult, if not quite impossible, to form any distinct idea of anything capable of being excited and communicated in the manner the Heat was excited and communicated in these experiments, except it be MOTION.
Page 347 - But the causes and conditions of variation have yet to be thoroughly explored; and the importance of natural selection will not be impaired, even if further inquiries should prove that variability is definite, and is determined in certain directions rather than in others, by conditions inherent in that which varies.
Page 131 - It is impossible by means of inanimate material agency to derive mechanical effect from any portion of matter by cooling it below the temperature of the coldest of the surrounding objects.
Page 81 - ... phenomena. If the results of mere speculation which I have collected are found to be of any use to experimental philosophers, in arranging and interpreting their results, they will have served their purpose, and a mature theory, in which physical facts will be physically explained, will be formed by those who by interrogating Nature herself can obtain the only true solution of the questions which the mathematical theory suggests.
Page 334 - In this paper he distinctly recognises the principle of natural selection, and this is the first recognition which has been indicated ; but he applies it only to the races of man, and to certain characters alone.