The Foundations of the Origin of Species - Two Essays written in 1842 and 1844
by Charles Darwin
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{113} The paragraph which ends here is difficult to interpret. In spite of obscurity it is easy to recognize the general resemblance to the discussion on the importance of subsidence given in the Origin, Ed. i. pp. 290 et seq., vi. pp. 422 et seq.

I believe safely inferred groups of marine fossils only preserved for future ages where sediment goes on long continuous and with rapid but not too rapid deposition in area of subsidence. In how few places in any one region like Europe will these contingencies be going on? Hence in past ages mere [gaps] pages preserved{114}. Lyell's doctrine carried to extreme,—we shall understand difficulty if it be asked:—what chance of series of gradation between cattle by at age as far back as Miocene{115}? We know then cattle existed. Compare number of living,—immense duration of each period,—fewness of fossils.

{114} See Note 3, p. 27.

{115} Compare Origin, Ed. i. p. 298, vi. p. 437. "We shall, perhaps, best perceive the improbability of our being enabled to connect species by numerous, fine, intermediate, fossil links, by asking ourselves whether, for instance, geologists at some future period will be able to prove that our different breeds of cattle, sheep, horses, and dogs have descended from a single stock or from several aboriginal stocks."

This only refers to consecutiveness of history of organisms of each formation.

The foregoing argument will show firstly, that formations are distinct merely from want of fossils <of intermediate beds>, and secondly, that each formation is full of gaps, has been advanced to account for fewness of preserved organisms compared to what have lived on the world. The very same argument explains why in older formations the organisms appear to come on and disappear suddenly,—but in [later] tertiary not quite suddenly{116}, in later tertiary gradually,—becoming rare and disappearing,—some have disappeared within man's time. It is obvious that our theory requires gradual and nearly uniform introduction, possibly more sudden extermination,—subsidence of continent of Australia &c., &c.

{116} The sudden appearance of groups of allied species in the lowest known fossiliferous strata is discussed in the Origin, Ed. i. p. 306, vi. p. 446. The gradual appearance in the later strata occurs in the Origin, Ed. i. p. 312, vi. p. 453.

Our theory requires that the first form which existed of each of the great divisions would present points intermediate between existing ones, but immensely different. Most geologists believe Silurian{117} fossils are those which first existed in the whole world, not those which have chanced to be the oldest not destroyed,—or the first which existed in profoundly deep seas in progress of conversion from sea to land: if they are first they give up. Not so Hutton or Lyell: if first reptile{118} of Red Sandstone really was first which existed: if Pachyderm{119} of Paris was first which existed: fish of Devonian: dragon fly of Lias: for we cannot suppose them the progenitors: they agree too closely with existing divisions. But geologists consider Europe as a passage from sea to island to continent (except Wealden, see Lyell). These animals therefore, I consider then mere introduction from continents long since submerged.

{117} Compare Origin, Ed. i. p. 307, vi. p. 448.

{118} I have interpreted as Sandstone a scrawl which I first read as Sea; I have done so at the suggestion of Professor Judd, who points out that "footprints in the red sandstone were known at that time, and geologists were not then particular to distinguish between Amphibians and Reptiles."

{119} This refers to Cuvier's discovery of Palaeotherium &c. at Montmartre.

Finally, if views of some geologists be correct, my theory must be given up. [Lyell's views, as far as they go, are in favour, but they go so little in favour, and so much more is required, that it may viewed as objection.] If geology present us with mere pages in chapters, towards end of history, formed by tearing out bundles of leaves, and each page illustrating merely a small portion of the organisms of that time, the facts accord perfectly with my theory{120}.

{120} This simile is more fully given in the Origin, Ed. i. p. 310, vi. p. 452. "For my part, following out Lyell's metaphor, I look at the natural geological record, as a history of the world imperfectly kept, and written in a changing dialect; of this history we possess the last volume alone, relating only to two or three countries. Of this volume, only here and there a short chapter has been preserved; and of each page, only here and there a few lines. Each word of the slowly-changing language, in which the history is supposed to be written, being more or less different in the interrupted succession of chapters, may represent the apparently abruptly changed forms of life, entombed in our consecutive, but widely separated formations." Professor Judd has been good enough to point out to me, that Darwin's metaphor is founded on the comparison of geology to history in Ch. i. of the Principles of Geology, Ed. i. 1830, vol. i. pp. 1-4. Professor Judd has also called my attention to another passage,—Principles, Ed. i. 1833, vol. iii. p. 33, when Lyell imagines an historian examining "two buried cities at the foot of Vesuvius, immediately superimposed upon each other." The historian would discover that the inhabitants of the lower town were Greeks while those of the upper one were Italians. But he would be wrong in supposing that there had been a sudden change from the Greek to the Italian language in Campania. I think it is clear that Darwin's metaphor is partly taken from this passage. See for instance (in the above passage from the Origin) such phrases as "history ... written in a changing dialect"—"apparently abruptly changed forms of life." The passage within [] in the above paragraph:—"Lyell's views as far as they go &c.," no doubt refers, as Professor Judd points out, to Lyell not going so far as Darwin on the question of the imperfection of the geological record.

Extermination. We have seen that in later periods the organisms have disappeared by degrees and [perhaps] probably by degrees in earlier, and I have said our theory requires it. As many naturalists seem to think extermination a most mysterious circumstance{121} and call in astonishing agencies, it is well to recall what we have shown concerning the struggle of nature. An exterminating agency is at work with every organism: we scarcely see it: if robins would increase to thousands in ten years how severe must the process be. How imperceptible a small increase: fossils become rare: possibly sudden extermination as Australia, but as present means very slow and many means of escape, I shall doubt very sudden exterminations. Who can explain why some species abound more,—why does marsh titmouse, or ring-ouzel, now little change,—why is one sea-slug rare and another common on our coasts,—why one species of Rhinoceros more than another,—why is tiger of India so rare? Curious and general sources of error, the place of an organism is instantly filled up.

{121} On rarity and extinction see Origin, Ed. i. pp. 109, 319, vi. pp. 133, 461.

We know state of earth has changed, and as earthquakes and tides go on, the state must change,—many geologists believe a slow gradual cooling. Now let us see in accordance with principles of [variation] specification explained in Sect. II. how species would probably be introduced and how such results accord with what is known.

The first fact geology proclaims is immense number of extinct forms, and new appearances. Tertiary strata leads to belief, that forms gradually become rare and disappear and are gradually supplied by others. We see some forms now becoming rare and disappearing, we know of no sudden creation: in older periods the forms appear to come in suddenly, scene shifts: but even here Devonian, Permian &c. [keep on supplying new links in chain]—Genera and higher forms come on and disappear, in same way leaving a species on one or more stages below that in which the form abounded.


Sec. VI. Let us consider the absolute state of distribution of organisms of earth's face.

Referring chiefly, but not exclusively (from difficulty of transport, fewness, and the distinct characteristics of groups) to Mammalia; and first considering the three or four main [regions] divisions; North America, Europe, Asia, including greater part of E. Indian Archipelago and Africa are intimately allied. Africa most distinct, especially most southern parts. And the Arctic regions, which unite N. America, Asia and Europe, only separated (if we travel one way by Behring's St.) by a narrow strait, is most intimately allied, indeed forms but one restricted group. Next comes S. America,—then Australia, Madagascar (and some small islands which stand very remote from the land). Looking at these main divisions separately, the organisms vary according to changes in condition{122} of different parts. But besides this, barriers of every kind seem to separate regions in a greater degree than proportionally to the difference of climates on each side. Thus great chains of mountains, spaces of sea between islands and continents, even great rivers and deserts. In fact the amount difference in the organisms bears a certain, but not invariable relation to the amount of physical difficulties to transit{123}.

{122} In the Origin, Ed. i. p. 346, vi. p. 493, the author begins his discussion on geographical distribution by minimising the effect of physical conditions. He lays great stress on the effect of barriers, as in the present Essay.

{123} Note in the original, "Would it be more striking if we took animals, take Rhinoceros, and study their habitats?"

There are some curious exceptions, namely, similarity of fauna of mountains of Europe and N. America and Lapland. Other cases just reverse, mountains of eastern S. America, Altai , S. India {124}: mountain summits of islands often eminently peculiar. Fauna generally of some islands, even when close, very dissimilar, in others very similar. [I am here led to observe one or more centres of creation{125}.]

{124} Note by Mr A. R. Wallace. "The want of similarity referred to, is, between the mountains of Brazil and Guiana and those of the Andes. Also those of the Indian peninsula as compared with the Himalayas. In both cases there is continuous intervening land.

"The islands referred to were, no doubt, the Galapagos for dissimilarity from S. America; our own Islands as compared with Europe, and perhaps Java, for similarity with continental Asia."

{125} The arguments against multiple centres of creation are given in the Origin, Ed. i. p. 352, vi. p. 499.

The simple geologist can explain many of the foregoing cases of distribution. Subsidence of a continent in which free means of dispersal, would drive the lowland plants up to the mountains, now converted into islands, and the semi-alpine plants would take place of alpine, and alpine be destroyed, if mountains originally were not of great height. So we may see, during gradual changes{126} of climate on a continent, the propagation of species would vary and adapt themselves to small changes causing much extermination{127}. The mountains of Europe were quite lately covered with ice, and the lowlands probably partaking of the Arctic climate and Fauna. Then as climate changed, arctic fauna would take place of ice, and an inundation of plants from different temperate countries seize the lowlands, leaving islands of arctic forms. But if this had happened on an island, whence could the new forms have come,—here the geologist calls in creationists. If island formed, the geologist will suggest many of the forms might have been borne from nearest land, but if peculiar, he calls in creationist,—as such island rises in height &c., he still more calls in creation. The creationist tells one, on a spot the American spirit of creation makes Orpheus and Tyrannus and American doves, and in accordance with past and extinct forms, but no persistent relation between areas and distribution, Geologico-Geograph.-Distribution.

{126} In the Origin, Ed. i. p. 366, vi. p. 516, the author does not give his views on the distribution of alpine plants as original but refers to Edward Forbes' work (Geolog. Survey Memoirs, 1846). In his autobiography, Darwin refers to this. "I was forestalled" he says, "in only one important point, which my vanity has always made me regret." (Life and Letters, i. p. 88.)

{127} <The following is written on the back of a page of the MS.> Discuss one or more centres of creation: allude strongly to facilities of dispersal and amount of geological change: allude to mountain-summits afterwards to be referred to. The distribution varies, as everyone knows, according to adaptation, explain going from N. to S. how we come to fresh groups of species in the same general region, but besides this we find difference, according to greatness of barriers, in greater proportion than can be well accounted for by adaptation. <On representive species see Origin, Ed. i. p. 349, vi. p. 496.> This very striking when we think of cattle of Pampas, plants &c. &c. Then go into discussion; this holds with 3 or 4 main divisions as well as the endless minor ones in each of these 4 great ones: in these I chiefly refer to mammalia &c. &c. The similarity of type, but not in species, in same continent has been much less insisted on than the dissimilarity of different great regions generically: it is more striking.

<I have here omitted an incomprehensible sentence.> Galapagos Islands, Tristan d'Acunha, volcanic islands covered with craters we know lately did not support any organisms. How unlike these islands in nature to neighbouring lands. These facts perhaps more striking than almost any others. [Geology apt to affect geography therefore we ought to expect to find the above.] Geological-geographical distribution. In looking to past times we find Australia equally distinct. S. America was distinct, though with more forms in common. N. America its nearest neighbour more in common,—in some respects more, in some less allied to Europe. Europe we find equally European. For Europe is now part of Asia though not . Africa unknown,—examples, Elephant, Rhinoceros, Hippopotamus, Hyaena. As geology destroys geography we cannot be surprised in going far back we find Marsupials and Edentata in Europe: but geology destroys geography.

Now according to analogy of domesticated animals let us see what would result. Let us take case of farmer on Pampas, where everything approaches nearer to state of nature. He works on organisms having strong tendency to vary: and he knows only way to make a distinct breed is to select and separate. It would be useless to separate the best bulls and pair with best cows if their offspring run loose and bred with the other herds, and tendency to reversion not counteracted; he would endeavour therefore to get his cows on islands and then commence his work of selection. If several farmers in different rincons{128} were to set to work, especially if with different objects, several breeds would soon be produced. So would it be with horticulturist and so history of every plant shows; the number of varieties{129} increase in proportion to care bestowed on their selection and, with crossing plants, separation. Now, according to this analogy, change of external conditions, and isolation either by chance landing a form on an island, or subsidence dividing a continent, or great chain of mountains, and the number of individuals not being numerous will best favour variation and selection{130}. No doubt change could be effected in same country without any barrier by long continued selection on one species: even in case of a plant not capable of crossing would easier get possession and solely occupy an island{131}. Now we can at once see that two parts of a continent isolated, new species thus generated in them, would have closest affinities, like cattle in counties of England: if barrier afterwards destroyed one species might destroy the other or both keep their ground. So if island formed near continent, let it be ever so different, that continent would supply inhabitants, and new species (like the old) would be allied with that continent. An island generally very different soil and climate, and number and order of inhabitants supplied by chance, no point so favourable for generation of new species{132},—especially the mountains, hence, so it is. As isolated mountains formed in a plain country (if such happens) is an island. As other islands formed, the old species would spread and thus extend and the fauna of distant island might ultimately meet and a continent formed between them. No one doubts continents formed by repeated elevations and depressions{133}. In looking backwards, but not so far that all geographical boundaries are destroyed, we can thus at once see why existing forms are related to the extinct in the same manner as existing ones are in some part of existing continent. By chance we might even have one or two absolute parent fossils.

{128} Rincon in Spanish means a nook or corner, it is here probably used to mean a small farm.

{129} The following is written across the page: "No one would expect a set of similar varieties to be produced in the different countries, so species different."

{130} <The following passage seems to have been meant to follow here.> The parent of an organism, we may generally suppose to be in less favourable condition than the selected offspring and therefore generally in fewer numbers. (This is not borne out by horticulture, mere hypothesis; as an organism in favourable conditions might by selection be adapted to still more favourable conditions.)

Barrier would further act in preventing species formed in one part migrating to another part.

{131} <The following notes occur on the back of the page.> Number of species not related to capabilities of the country: furthermore not always those best adapted, perhaps explained by creationists by changes and progress. <See p. 34, note 1.{Note 134}>

Although creationists can, by help of geology, explain much, how can he explain the marked relation of past and present in same area, the varying relation in other cases, between past and present, the relation of different parts of same great area. If island, to adjoining continent, if quite different, on mountain summits,—the number of individuals not being related to capabilities, or how &c.—our theory, I believe, can throw much light and all facts accord.

{132} See Origin, Ed. i. p. 390, vi. p. 543.

{133} On oscillation see Origin, Ed. i. p. 291, vi. p. 426.

The detection of transitional forms would be rendered more difficult on rising point of land.

The distribution therefore in the above enumerated points, even the trivial ones, which on any other can be viewed as so many ultimate facts, all follow a simple manner on the theory of the occurrence of species by and being adapted by selection to , conjoined with their power of dispersal, and the steady geographico-geological changes which are now in progress and which undoubtedly have taken place. Ought to state the opinion of the immutability of species and the creation by so many separate acts of will of the Creator{134}.

{134} <From the back of MS.> Effect of climate on stationary island and on continent, but continent once island. Moreover repeated oscillations fresh diffusion when non-united, then isolation, when rising again immigration prevented, new habitats formed, new species, when united free immigration, hence uniform characters. Hence more forms the island. Mountain summits. Why not true species. First let us recall in Part I, conditions of variation: change of conditions during several generations, and if frequently altered so much better [perhaps excess of food]. Secondly, continued selection [while in wild state]. Thirdly, isolation in all or nearly all,—as well to recall advantages of.

[In continent, if we look to terrestrial animal, long continued change might go on, which would only cause change in numerical number : if continued long enough might ultimately affect all, though to most continents chance of immigration. Some few of whole body of species must be long affected and entire selection working same way. But here isolation absent, without barrier, cut off such . We can see advantage of isolation. But let us take case of island thrown up by volcanic agency at some distances, here we should have occasional visitants, only in few numbers and exposed to new conditions and more important,—a quite new grouping of organic beings, which would open out new sources of subsistence, or control old ones. The number would be few, can old have the very best opportunity. <The conquest of the indigenes by introduced organisms shows that the indigenes were not perfectly adapted, see Origin, Ed. i. p. 390.> Moreover as the island continued changing,—continued slow changes, river, marshes, lakes, mountains &c. &c., new races as successively formed and a fresh occasional visitant.

If island formed continent, some species would emerge and immigrate. Everyone admits continents. We can see why Galapagos and C. Verde differ <see Origin, Ed. i. p. 398>], depressed and raised. We can see from this repeated action and the time required for a continent, why many more forms than in New Zealand <see Origin, Ed. i. p. 389 for a comparison between New Zealand and the Cape> no mammals or other classes <see however, Origin, Ed. i. p. 393 for the case of the frog>. We can at once see how it comes when there has been an old channel of migration,—Cordilleras; we can see why Indian Asiatic Flora,—[why species] having a wide range gives better chance of some arriving at new points and being selected, and adapted to new ends. I need hardly remark no necessity for change.

Finally, as continent (most extinction during formation of continent) is formed after repeated elevation and depression, and interchange of species we might foretell much extinction, and that the survivor would belong to same type, as the extinct, in same manner as different part of same continent, which were once separated by space as they are by time <see Origin, Ed. i. pp. 339 and 349>.

As all mammals have descended from one stock, we ought to expect that every continent has been at some time connected, hence obliteration of present ranges. I do not mean that the fossil mammifers found in S. America are the lineal successors of the present forms of S. America: for it is highly improbable that more than one or two cases (who will say how many races after Plata bones) should be found. I believe this from numbers, who have lived,—mere chance of fewness. Moreover in every case from very existence of genera and species only few at one time will leave progeny, under form of new species, to distant ages; and the more distant the ages the fewer the progenitors. An observation may be here appended, bad chance of preservation on rising island, the nurseries of new species, appeal to experience <see Origin, Ed. i. p. 292>. This observation may be extended, that in all cases, subsiding land must be, in early stages, less favourable to formation of new species; but it will isolate them, and then if land recommences rising how favourable. As preoccupation is bar to diffusion to species, so would it be to a selected variety. But it would not be if that variety was better fitted to some not fully occupied station; so during elevation or the formation of new stations, is scene for new species. But during elevation not favourable to preservation of fossil (except in caverns ); when subsidence highly favourable in early stages to preservation of fossils; when subsidence, less sediment. So that our strata, as general rule will be the tomb of old species (not undergoing any change) when rising land the nursery. But if there be vestige will generally be preserved to future ages, the new ones will not be entombed till fresh subsidence supervenes. In this long gap we shall have no record: so that wonderful if we should get transitional forms. I do not mean every stage, for we cannot expect that, as before shown, until geologists will be prepared to say that although under unnaturally favourable condition we can trace in future ages short-horn and Herefordshire . {Note 115}


Looking now to the affinities of organisms, without relation to their distribution, and taking all fossil and recent, we see the degrees of relationship are of different degrees and arbitrary,—sub-genera,—genera,—sub-families, families, orders and classes and kingdoms. The kind of classification which everyone feels is most correct is called the natural system, but no can define this. If we say with Whewell undefined instinct of the importance of organs{135}, we have no means in lower animals of saying which is most important, and yet everyone feels that some one system alone deserves to be called natural. The true relationship of organisms is brought before one by considering relations of analogy, an otter-like animal amongst mammalia and an otter amongst marsupials. In such cases external resemblance and habit of life and the final end of whole organization very strong, yet no relation{136}. Naturalists cannot avoid these terms of relation and affinity though they use them metaphorically. If used in simple earnestness the natural system ought to be a genealogical ; and our knowledge of the points which are most easily affected in transmission are those which we least value in considering the natural system, and practically when we find they do vary we regard them of less value{137}. In classifying varieties the same language is used and the same kind of division: here also (in pine-apple){138} we talk of the natural classification, overlooking similarity of the fruits, because whole plant differs. The origin of sub-genera, genera, &c., &c., is not difficult on notion of genealogical succession, and accords with what we know of similar gradations of affinity in domesticated organisms. In the same region the organic beings are related to each other and the external conditions in many physical respects are allied{139} and their differences of same kind, and therefore when a new species has been selected and has obtained a place in the economy of nature, we may suppose that generally it will tend to extend its range during geographical changes, and thus, becoming isolated and exposed to new conditions, will slightly alter and its structure by selection become slightly remodified, thus we should get species of a sub-genus and genus,—as varieties of merino-sheep,—varieties of British and Indian cattle. Fresh species might go on forming and others become extinct and all might become extinct, and then we should have extinct genus; a case formerly mentioned, of which numerous cases occur in Palaeontology. But more often the same advantages which caused the new species to spread and become modified into several species would favour some of the species being preserved: and if two of the species, considerably different, each gave rise to group of new species, you would have two genera; the same thing will go on. We may look at case in other way, looking to future. According to mere chance every existing species may generate another, but if any species, A, in changing gets an advantage and that advantage (whatever it may be, intellect, &c., &c., or some particular structure or constitution) is inherited{140}, A will be the progenitor of several genera or even families in the hard struggle of nature. A will go on beating out other forms, it might come that A would people earth,—we may now not have one descendant on our globe of the one or several original creations{141}. External conditions air, earth, water being same{142} on globe, and the communication not being perfect, organisms of widely different descent might become adapted to the same end and then we should have cases of analogy{143}, [they might even tend to become numerically representative]. From this often happening each of the great divisions of nature would have their representative eminently adapted to earth, to {144}, to water, and to these in and then these great divisions would show numerical relations in their classification.

{135} After "organs" is inserted, apparently as an afterthought:—"no, and instance metamorphosis, afterwards explicable."

{136} For analogical resemblances see Origin, Ed. i. p. 427, vi. p. 582.

{137} "Practically when naturalists are at work, they do not trouble themselves about the physiological value of the characters.... If they find a character nearly uniform, ... they use it as one of high value," Origin, Ed. i. p. 417, vi. p. 573.

{138} "We are cautioned ... not to class two varieties of the pine-apple together, merely because their fruit, though the most important part, happens to be nearly identical," Origin, Ed. i. p. 423, vi. p. 579.

{139} The whole of this passage is obscure, but the text is quite clear, except for one illegible word.

{140} <The exact position of the following passage is uncertain:> "just as it is not likely every present breed of fancy birds and cattle will propagate, only some of the best."

{141} This suggests that the author was not far from the principle of divergence on which he afterwards laid so much stress. See Origin, Ed. i. p. 111, vi. p. 134, also Life and Letters, i. p. 84.

{142} That is to say the same conditions occurring in different parts of the globe.

{143} The position of the following is uncertain, "greyhound and racehorse have an analogy to each other." The same comparison occurs in the Origin, Ed. i. p. 427, vi. p. 583.

{144} Air is evidently intended; in the MS. water is written twice.


Nothing more wonderful in Nat. Hist. than looking at the vast number of organisms, recent and fossil, exposed to the most diverse conditions, living in the most distant climes, and at immensely remote periods, fitted to wholely different ends, yet to find large groups united by a similar type of structure. When we for instance see bat, horse, porpoise-fin, hand, all built on same structure{145}, having bones{146} with same name, we see there is some deep bond of union between them{147}, to illustrate this is the foundation and objects what is called the Natural System; and which is foundation of distinction of true and adaptive characters{148}. Now this wonderful fact of hand, hoof, wing, paddle and claw being the same, is at once explicable on the principle of some parent-forms, which might either be or walking animals, becoming through infinite number of small selections adapted to various conditions. We know that proportion, size, shape of bones and their accompanying soft parts vary, and hence constant selection would alter, to almost any purpose the framework of an organism, but yet would leave a general, even closest similarity in it.

{145} Written between the lines occurs:—"extend to birds and other classes."

{146} Written between the lines occurs:—"many bones merely represented."

{147} In the Origin, Ed. i. p. 434, vi. p. 595, the term morphology is taken as including unity of type. The paddle of the porpoise and the wing of the bat are there used as instances of morphological resemblance.

{148} The sentence is difficult to decipher.

[We know the number of similar parts, as vertebrae and ribs can vary, hence this also we might expect.] Also the changes carried on to a certain point, doubtless type will be lost, and this is case with Plesiosaurus{149}. The unity of type in past and present ages of certain great divisions thus undoubtedly receives the simplest explanation.

{149} In the Origin, Ed. i. p. 436, vi. p. 598, the author speaks of the "general pattern" being obscured in the paddles of "extinct gigantic sea-lizards."

There is another class of allied and almost identical facts, admitted by the soberest physiologists, [from the study of a certain set of organs in a group of organisms] and refers to a unity of type of different organs in the same individual, denominated the science of "Morphology." The discovered by beautiful and regular series, and in the case of plants from monstrous changes, that certain organs in an individual are other organs metamorphosed. Thus every botanist considers petals, nectaries, stamens, pistils, germen as metamorphosed leaf. They thus explain, in the most lucid manner, the position and number of all parts of the flower, and the curious conversion under cultivation of one part into another. The complicated double set of jaws and palpi of crustaceans{150}, and all insects are considered as metamorphosed and to see the series is to admit this phraseology. The skulls of the vertebrates are undoubtedly composed of three metamorphosed vertebrae; thus we can understand the strange form of the separate bones which compose the casket holding man's brain. These{151} facts differ but slightly from those of last section, if with wing, paddle, hand and hoof, some common structure was yet visible, or could be made out by a series of occasional monstrous conversions, and if traces could be discovered of whole having once existed as walking or swimming instruments, these organs would be said to be metamorphosed, as it is they are only said to exhibit a common type.

{150} See Origin, Ed. i. p. 437, vi. p. 599.

{151} The following passage seems to have been meant to precede the sentence beginning "These facts":—"It is evident, that when in each individual species, organs are metamorph. a unity of type extends."

This distinction is not drawn by physiologists, and is only implied by some by their general manner of writing. These facts, though affecting every organic being on the face of the globe, which has existed, or does exist, can only be viewed by the Creationist as ultimate and inexplicable facts. But this unity of type through the individuals of a group, and this metamorphosis of the same organ into other organs, adapted to diverse use, necessarily follows on the theory of descent{152}. For let us take case of Vertebrata, which if{153} they descended from one parent and by this theory all the Vertebrata have been altered by slow degrees, such as we see in domestic animals. We know that proportions alter, and even that occasionally numbers of vertebrae alter, that parts become soldered, that parts are lost, as tail and toes, but we know here we can see that possibly a walking organ might be converted into swimming or into a gliding organ and so on to a flying organ. But such gradual changes would not alter the unity of type in their descendants, as parts lost and soldered and vertebrae. But we can see that if this carried to extreme, unity lost,—Plesiosaurus. Here we have seen the same organ is formed different purposes <ten words illegible>: and if, in several orders of vertebrata, we could trace origin spinous processes and monstrosities &c. we should say, instead of there existing a unity of type, morphology{154}, as we do when we trace the head as being the vertebrae metamorphosed. Be it observed that Naturalists, as they use terms of affinity without attaching real meaning, here also they are obliged to use metamorphosis, without meaning that any parent of crustacean was really an animal with as many legs as crustacean has jaws. The theory of descent at once explains these wonderful facts.

{152} This is, I believe, the first place in which the author uses the words "theory of descent."

{153} The sentence should probably run, "Let us take the case of the vertebrata: if we assume them to be descended from one parent, then by this theory they have been altered &c."

{154} That is "we should call it a morphological fact."

Now few of the physiologists who use this language really suppose that the parent of insect with the metamorphosed jaw, was an insect with [more] so many legs, or that the parent of flowering plants, originally had no stamens, or pistils or petals, but some other means of propagation,—and so in other cases. Now according to our theory during the infinite number of changes, we might expect that an organ used for a purpose might be used for a different one by his descendant, as must have been the case by our theory with the bat, porpoise, horse, &c., which are descended from one parent. And if it so chanced that traces of the former use and structure of the part should be retained, which is manifestly possible if not probable, then we should have the organs, on which morphology is founded and which instead of being metaphorical becomes plain and <and instead of being> utterly unintelligible becomes simple matter of fact{155}.

{155} In the Origin, Ed. i. p. 438, vi. p. 602, the author, referring to the expressions used by naturalists in regard to morphology and metamorphosis, says "On my view these terms may be used literally."

This general unity of type in great groups of organisms (including of course these morphological cases) displays itself in a most striking manner in the stages through which the foetus passes{156}. In early stage, the wing of bat, hoof, hand, paddle are not to be distinguished. At a still earlier there is no difference between fish, bird, &c. &c. and mammal. It is not that they cannot be distinguished, but the arteries{157} . It is not true that one passes through the form of a lower group, though no doubt fish more nearly related to foetal state{158}.

{156} See Origin, Ed. i. p. 439, vi. p. 605.

{157} In the Origin, Ed. i. p. 440, vi. p. 606, the author argues that the "loop-like course of the arteries" in the vertebrate embryo has no direct relation to the conditions of existence.

{158} The following passages are written across the page:—"They pass through the same phases, but some, generally called the higher groups, are further metamorphosed.

? Degradation and complication? no tendency to perfection.

? Justly argued against Lamarck?"

This similarity at the earliest stage is remarkably shown in the course of the arteries which become greatly altered, as foetus advances in life and assumes the widely different course and number which characterize full-grown fish and mammals. How wonderful that in egg, in water or air, or in womb of mother, artery{159} should run in same course.

{159} An almost identical passage occurs in the Origin, Ed. i. p. 440, vi. p. 606.

Light can be thrown on this by our theory. The structure of each organism is chiefly adapted to the sustension of its life, when full-grown, when it has to feed itself and propagate{160}. The structure of a kitten is quite in secondary degree adapted to its habits, whilst fed by its mother's milk and prey. Hence variation in the structure of the full-grown species will chiefly determine the preservation of a species now become ill-suited to its habitat, or rather with a better place opened to it in the economy of Nature. It would not matter to the full-grown cat whether in its young state it was more or less eminently feline, so that it become so when full-grown. No doubt most variation, (not depending on habits of life of individual) depends on early change{161} and we must suspect that at whatever time of life the alteration of foetus is effected, it tends to appear at same period. When we a tendency to particular disease in old age transmitted by the male, we know some effect is produced during conception, on the simple cell of ovule, which will not produce its effect till half a century afterwards and that effect is not visible{162}. So we see in grey-hound, bull-dog, in race-horse and cart-horse, which have been selected for their form in full-life, there is much less (?) difference in the few first days after birth{163}, than when full-grown: so in cattle, we see it clearly in cases of cattle, which differ obviously in shape and length of horns. If man were during 10,000 years to be able to select, far more diverse animals from horse or cow, I should expect there would be far less differences in the very young and foetal state: and this, I think, throws light on above marvellous fact. In larvae, which have long life selection, perhaps, does much,—in the pupa not so much{164} There is no object gained in varying form &c. of foetus (beyond certain adaptations to mother's womb) and therefore selection will not further act on it, than in giving to its changing tissues a tendency to certain parts afterwards to assume certain forms.

{160} The following: "Deaths of brothers old by same peculiar disease" which is written between the lines seems to have been a memorandum which is expanded a few lines lower. I believe the case of the brothers came from Dr R. W. Darwin.

{161} See the discussion to this effect in the Origin, Ed. i. pp. 443-4, vi. p. 610. The author there makes the distinction between a cause affecting the germ-cell and the reaction occurring at a late period of life.

{162} Possibly the sentence was meant to end "is not visible till then."

{163} See Origin, Ed. i. pp. 444-5, vi. p. 611. The query appended to much less is justified, since measurement was necessary to prove that the greyhound and bulldog puppies had not nearly acquired "their full amount of proportional difference."

{164} <The following discussion, from the back of the page, is in large measure the same as the text.> I think light can be thrown on these facts. From the following peculiarities being hereditary, [we know that some change in the germinal vesicle is effected, which will only betray itself years after] diseases—man, goitre, gout, baldness, fatness, size, [longevity time of reproduction, shape of horns, case of old brothers dying of same disease]. And we know that the germinal vesicle must have been affected, though no effect is apparent or can be apparent till years afterwards,—no more apparent than when these peculiarities appear by the exposure of the full-grown individual. <That is, "the young individual is as apparently free from the hereditary changes which will appear later, as the young is actually free from the changes produced by exposure to certain conditions in adult life."> So that when we see a variety in cattle, even if the variety be due to act of reproduction, we cannot feel sure at what period this change became apparent. It may have been effected during early age of free life foetal existence, as monsters show. From arguments before used, and crossing, we may generally suspect in germ; but I repeat it does not follow, that the change should be apparent till life fully developed; any more than fatness depending on heredity should be apparent during early childhood, still less during foetal existence. In case of horns of cattle, which when inherited must depend on germinal vesicle, obviously no effect till cattle full-grown. Practically it would appear that the [hereditary] peculiarities characterising our domestic races, therefore resulting from vesicle, do not appear with their full characters in very early states; thus though two breeds of cows have calves different, they are not so different,—grey-hound and bull-dog. And this is what is be expected, for man is indifferent to characters of young animals and hence would select those full-grown animals which possessed the desirable characteristics. So that from mere chance we might expect that some of the characters would be such only as became fully apparent in mature life. Furthermore we may suspect it to be a law, that at whatever time a new character appears, whether from vesicle, or effects of external conditions, it would appear at corresponding time <see Origin, Ed. i. p. 444>. Thus diseases appearing in old age produce children with d^o.,—early maturity,—longevity,—old men, brothers, of same disease—young children of d^o. I said men do not select for quality of young,—calf with big bullocks. Silk-worms, peculiarities which, appear in caterpillar state or cocoon state, are transmitted to corresponding states. The effect of this would be that if some peculiarity was born in a young animal, but never exercised, it might be inherited in young animal; but if exercised that part of structure would be increased and would be inherited in corresponding time of life after such training.

I have said that man selects in full-life, so would it be in Nature. In struggle of existence, it matters nothing to a feline animal, whether kitten eminently feline, as long as it sucks. Therefore natural selection would act equally well on character which was fully only in full age. Selection could tend to alter no character in foetus, (except relation to mother) it would alter less in young state (putting on one side larva condition) but alter every part in full-grown condition. Look to a foetus and its parent, and again after ages foetus and its <i. e. the above mentioned parents> descendant; the parent more variable than foetus, which explains all.]

Thus there is no power to change the course of the arteries, as long as they nourish the foetus; it is the selection of slight changes which supervene at any time during of life.

The less differences of foetus,—this has obvious meaning on this view: otherwise how strange that a [monkey] horse, a man, a bat should at one time of life have arteries, running in a manner, which is only intelligibly useful in a fish! The natural system being on theory genealogical, we can at once see, why foetus, retaining traces of the ancestral form, is of the highest value in classification.

Sec. IX.

There is another grand class of facts relating to what are called abortive organs. These consist of organs which the same reasoning power that shows us how beautifully these organs in some cases are adapted to certain end, declares in other cases are absolutely useless. Thus teeth in Rhinoceros{165}, whale, narwhal,—bone on tibia, muscles which do not move,—little bone of wing of Apteryx,—bone representing extremities in some snake,—little wings within soldered cover of beetles,—men and bulls, mammae: filaments without anthers in plants, mere scales representing petals in others, in feather-hyacinth whole flower. Almost infinitely numerous. No one can reflect on these without astonishment, can anything be clearer than that wings are to fly and teeth , and yet we find these organs perfect in every detail in situations where they cannot possibly be of their normal use{166}.

{165} Some of these examples occur in Origin, Ed. i. pp. 450-51, vi. pp. 619-20.

{166} The two following sentences are written, one down the margin, the other across the page. "Abortive organs eminently useful in classification. Embryonic state of organs. Rudiments of organs."

The term abortive organ has been thus applied to above structure (as invariable as all other parts{167}) from their absolute similarity to monstrous cases, where from accident, certain organs are not developed; as infant without arms or fingers with mere stump representing them: teeth represented by mere points of ossification: headless children with mere button,—viscera represented by small amorphous masses, &c.,—the tail by mere stump,—a solid horn by minute hanging one{168}. There is a tendency in all these cases, when life is preserved, for such structures to become hereditary. We see it in tailless dogs and cats. In plants we see this strikingly,—in Thyme, in Linum flavum,—stamen in Geranium pyrenaicum{169}. Nectaries abort into petals in Columbine , produced from some accident and then become hereditary, in some cases only when propagated by buds, in other cases by seed. These cases have been produced suddenly by accident in early growth, but it is part of law of growth that when any organ is not used it tends to diminish (duck's wing{170}?) muscles of dog's ears, rabbits, muscles wither, arteries grow up. When eye born defective, optic nerve (Tuco Tuco) is atrophied. As every part whether useful or not (diseases, double flowers) tends to be transmitted to offspring, the origin of abortive organs whether produced at the birth or slowly acquired is easily understood in domestic races of organisms: [a struggle between the atrophy and hereditariness. Abortive organs in domestic races.] There will always be a struggle between atrophy of an organ rendered useless, and hereditariness{171}. Because we can understand the origin of abortive organs in certain cases, it would be wrong to conclude absolutely that all must have had same origin, but the strongest analogy is in favour of it. And we can by our theory, for during infinite changes some organ, we might have anticipated, would have become useless. readily explain the fact, so astounding on any other view, namely that organs possibly useless have been formed often with the same exquisite care as when of vital importance.

{167} I imagine the meaning to be that abortive organs are specific characters in contrast to monstrosities.

{168} Minute hanging horns are mentioned in the Origin, Ed. i. p. 454, vi. p. 625, as occurring in hornless breeds of cattle.

{169} Linum flavum is dimorphic: thyme gynodiaecious. It is not clear what point is referred to under Geranium pyrenaicum.

{170} The author's work on duck's wings &c. is in Var. under Dom., Ed. 2, i. p. 299.

{171} The words vis medicatrix are inserted after "useless," apparently as a memorandum.

Our theory, I may remark would permit an organ become abortive with respect to its primary use, to be turned to any other purpose, (as the buds in a cauliflower) thus we can see no difficulty in bones of male marsupials being used as fulcrum of muscles, or style of marygold{172},—indeed in one point of view, the heads of [vertebrated] animal may be said to be abortive vertebrae turned into other use: legs of some crustacea abortive jaws, &c., &c. De Candolle's analogy of table covered with dishes{173}.

{172} In the male florets of certain Compositae the style functions merely as a piston for forcing out the pollen.

{173} <On the back of the page is the following.> If abortive organs are a trace preserved by hereditary tendency, of organ in ancestor of use, we can at once see why important in natural classification, also why more plain in young animal because, as in last section, the selection has altered the old animal most. I repeat, these wondrous facts, of parts created for no use in past and present time, all can by my theory receive simple explanation; or they receive none and we must be content with some such empty metaphor, as that of De Candolle, who compares creation to a well covered table, and says abortive organs may be compared to the dishes (some should be empty) placed symmetrically!

<The following passage was possibly intended to be inserted here.> Degradation and complication see Lamarck: no tendency to perfection: if room, [even] high organism would have greater power in beating lower one, thought to be selected for a degraded end.


Let us recapitulate the whole these latter sections by taking case of the three species of Rhinoceros, which inhabit Java, Sumatra, and mainland of Malacca or India. We find these three close neighbours, occupants of distinct but neighbouring districts, as a group having a different aspect from the Rhinoceros of Africa, though some of these latter inhabit very similar countries, but others most diverse stations. We find them intimately related [scarcely differences more than some breeds of cattle] in structure to the Rhinoceros, which for immense periods have inhabited this one, out of three main zoological divisions of the world. Yet some of these ancient animals were fitted to very different stations: we find all three of the generic character of the Rhinoceros, which form a [piece of net]{174} set of links in the broken chain representing the Pachydermata, as the chain likewise forms a portion in other and longer chains. We see this wonderfully in dissecting the coarse leg of all three and finding nearly the same bones as in bat's wings or man's hand, but we see the clear mark in solid tibia of the fusion into it of the fibula. In all three we find their heads composed of three altered vertebrae, short neck, same bones as giraffe. In the upper jaws of all three we find small teeth like rabbit's. In dissecting them in foetal state we find at a not very early stage their form exactly alike the most different animals, and even with arteries running as in a fish: and this similarity holds when the young one is produced in womb, pond, egg or spawn. Now these three undoubted species scarcely differ more than breeds of cattle, are probably subject to many the same contagious diseases; if domesticated these forms would vary, and they might possibly breed together, and fuse into something{175} different their aboriginal forms; might be selected to serve different ends.

{174} The author doubtless meant that the complex relationships between organisms can be roughly represented by a net in which the knots stand for species.

{175} Between the lines occurs:—"one form be lost."

Now the Creationist believes these three Rhinoceroses were created{176} with their deceptive appearance of true, not relationship; as well can I believe the planets revolve in their present courses not from one law of gravity but from distinct volition of Creator.

{176} The original sentence is here broken up by the insertion of:—"out of the dust of Java, Sumatra, these allied to past and present age and , with the stamp of inutility in some of their organs and conversion in others."

If real species, sterile one with another, differently adapted, now inhabiting different countries, with different structures and instincts, are admitted to have common descent, we can only legitimately stop where our facts stop. Look how far in some case a chain of species will lead us. <This probably refers to the Crustacea, where the two ends of the series have "hardly a character in common." Origin, Ed. i. p. 419.> May we not jump (considering how much extermination, and how imperfect geological records) from one sub-genus to another sub-genus. Can genera restrain us; many of the same arguments, which made us give up species, inexorably demand genera and families and orders to fall, and classes tottering. We ought to stop only when clear unity of type, independent of use and adaptation, ceases.

Be it remembered no naturalist pretends to give test from external characters of species; in many genera the distinction is quite arbitrary{177}. But there remains one other way of comparing species with races; it is to compare the effects of crossing them. Would it not be wonderful, if the union of two organisms, produced by two separate acts of Creation, blended their characters together when crossed according to the same rules, as two races which have undoubtedly descended from same parent stock; yet this can be shown to be the case. For sterility, though a usual , is not an invariable concomitant, it varies much in degree and has been shown to be probably dependent on causes closely analogous with those which make domesticated organisms sterile. Independent of sterility there is no difference between mongrels and hybrids, as can be shown in a long series of facts. It is strikingly seen in cases of instincts, when the minds of the two species or races become blended together{178}. In both cases if the half-breed be crossed with either parent for a few generations, all traces of the one parent form is lost (as Koelreuter in two tobacco species almost sterile together), so that the Creationist in the case of a species, must believe that one act of creation is absorbed into another!

{177} Between the lines occur the words:—"Species vary according to same general laws as varieties; they cross according to same laws."

{178} "A cross with a bull-dog has affected for many generations the courage and obstinacy of greyhounds," Origin, Ed. i. p. 214, vi. p. 327.

{Illustration: Facsimile of the original manuscript of the paragraph on p. 50.}


Such are my reasons for believing that specific forms are not immutable. The affinity of different groups, the unity of types of structure, the representative forms through which foetus passes, the metamorphosis of organs, the abortion of others cease to be metaphorical expressions and become intelligible facts. We no longer look on animal as a savage does at a ship{179}, or other great work of art, as a thing wholly beyond comprehension, but we feel far more interest in examining it. How interesting is every instinct, when we speculate on their origin as an hereditary or congenital habit or produced by the selection of individuals differing slightly from their parents. We must look at every complicated mechanism and instinct, as the summary of a long history, of{180} useful contrivances, much like a work of art. How interesting does the distribution of all animals become, as throwing light on ancient geography. [We see some seas bridged over.] Geology loses in its glory from the imperfection of its archives{181}, but how does it gain in the immensity of the periods of its formations and of the gaps separating these formations. There is much grandeur in looking at the existing animals either as the lineal descendants of the forms buried under thousand feet of matter, or as the coheirs of some still more ancient ancestor. It accords with what we know of the law impressed on matter by the Creator, that the creation and extinction of forms, like the birth and death of individuals should be the effect of secondary [laws] means{182}. It is derogatory that the Creator of countless systems of worlds should have created each of the myriads of creeping parasites and [slimy] worms which have swarmed each day of life on land and water [this] one globe. We cease being astonished, however much we may deplore, that a group of animals should have been directly created to lay their eggs in bowels and flesh of other,—that some organisms should delight in cruelty,—that animals should be led away by false instincts,—that annually there should be an incalculable waste of eggs and pollen. From death, famine, rapine, and the concealed war of nature we can see that the highest good, which we can conceive, the creation of the higher animals has directly come. Doubtless it at first transcends our humble powers, to conceive laws capable of creating individual organisms, each characterised by the most exquisite workmanship and widely-extended adaptations. It accords better with [our modesty] the lowness of our faculties to suppose each must require the fiat of a creator, but in the same proportion the existence of such laws should exalt our notion of the power of the omniscient Creator{183}. There is a simple grandeur in the view of life with its powers of growth, assimilation and reproduction, being originally breathed into matter under one or a few forms, and that whilst this our planet has gone circling on according to fixed laws, and land and water, in a cycle of change, have gone on replacing each other, that from so simple an origin, through the process of gradual selection of infinitesimal changes, endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been evolved{184}.

{179} The simile of the savage and the ship occurs in the Origin, Ed. i. p. 485, vi. p. 665.

{180} In the Origin, Ed. i. p. 486, vi. p. 665, the author speaks of the "summing up of many contrivances": I have therefore introduced the above words which make the passage clearer. In the Origin the comparison is with "a great mechanical invention,"—not with a work of art.

{181} See a similar passage in the Origin, Ed. i. p. 487, vi. p. 667.

{182} See the Origin, Ed. i. p. 488, vi. p. 668.

{183} The following discussion, together with some memoranda are on the last page of the MS. "The supposed creative spirit does not create either number or kind which from analogy adapted to site (viz. New Zealand): it does not keep them all permanently adapted to any country,—it works on spots or areas of creation,—it is not persistent for great periods,—it creates forms of same groups in same regions, with no physical similarity,—it creates, on islands or mountain summits, species allied to the neighbouring ones, and not allied to alpine nature as shown in other mountain summits—even different on different island of similarly constituted archipelago, not created on two points: never mammifers created on small isolated island; nor number of organisms adapted to locality: its power seems influenced or related to the range of other species wholly distinct of the same genus,—it does not equally effect, in amount of difference, all the groups of the same class."

{184} This passage is the ancestor of the concluding words in the first edition of the Origin of Species which have remained substantially unchanged throughout subsequent editions, "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." In the 2nd edition "by the Creator" is introduced after "originally breathed."

N.B.—There ought somewhere to be a discussion from Lyell to show that external conditions do vary, or a note to Lyell's works .

Besides other difficulties in ii. Part, non-acclimatisation of plants. Difficulty when asked how did white and negro become altered from common intermediate stock: no facts. We do NOT know that species are immutable, on the contrary. What arguments against this theory, except our not perceiving every step, like the erosion of valleys{185}.

{185} Compare the Origin, Ed. i. p. 481, vi. p. 659, "The difficulty is the same as that felt by so many geologists, when Lyell first insisted that long lines of inland cliffs had been formed, and great valleys excavated, by the slow action of the coast-waves."




The most favourable conditions for variation seem to be when organic beings are bred for many generations under domestication{186}: one may infer this from the simple fact of the vast number of races and breeds of almost every plant and animal, which has long been domesticated. Under certain conditions organic beings even during their individual lives become slightly altered from their usual form, size, or other characters: and many of the peculiarities thus acquired are transmitted to their offspring. Thus in animals, the size and vigour of body, fatness, period of maturity, habits of body or consensual movements, habits of mind and temper, are modified or acquired during the life of the individual{187}, and become inherited. There is reason to believe that when long exercise has given to certain muscles great development, or disuse has lessened them, that such development is also inherited. Food and climate will occasionally produce changes in the colour and texture of the external coverings of animals; and certain unknown conditions affect the horns of cattle in parts of Abyssinia; but whether these peculiarities, thus acquired during individual lives, have been inherited, I do not know. It appears certain that malconformation and lameness in horses, produced by too much work on hard roads,—that affections of the eyes in this animal probably caused by bad ventilation,—that tendencies towards many diseases in man, such as gout, caused by the course of life and ultimately producing changes of structure, and that many other diseases produced by unknown agencies, such as goitre, and the idiotcy resulting from it, all become hereditary.

{186} The cumulative effect of domestication is insisted on in the Origin, see e.g. Origin, Ed. i. p. 7, vi. p. 8.

{187} This type of variation passes into what he describes as the direct effect of conditions. Since they are due to causes acting during the adult life of the organism they might be called individual variations, but he uses this term for congenital variations, e.g. the differences discoverable in plants raised from seeds of the same pod (Origin, Ed. i. p. 45, vi. p. 53).

It is very doubtful whether the flowers and leaf-buds, annually produced from the same bulb, root, or tree, can properly be considered as parts of the same individual, though in some respects they certainly seem to be so. If they are parts of an individual, plants also are subject to considerable changes during their individual lives. Most florist-flowers if neglected degenerate, that is, they lose some of their characters; so common is this, that trueness is often stated, as greatly enhancing the value of a variety{188}: tulips break their colours only after some years' culture; some plants become double and others single, by neglect or care: these characters can be transmitted by cuttings or grafts, and in some cases by true or seminal propagation. Occasionally a single bud on a plant assumes at once a new and widely different character: thus it is certain that nectarines have been produced on peach trees and moss roses on provence roses; white currants on red currant bushes; flowers of a different colour from that of the stock, in Chrysanthemums, Dahlias, sweet-williams, Azaleas, &c., &c.; variegated leaf-buds on many trees, and other similar cases. These new characters appearing in single buds, can, like those lesser changes affecting the whole plant, be multiplied not only by cuttings and such means, but often likewise by true seminal generation.

{188} <It is not clear where the following note is meant to come>: Case of Orchis,—most remarkable as not long cultivated by seminal propagation. Case of varieties which soon acquire, like AEgilops and Carrot (and Maize) a certain general character and then go on varying.

The changes thus appearing during the lives of individual animals and plants are extremely rare compared with those which are congenital or which appear soon after birth. Slight differences thus arising are infinitely numerous: the proportions and form of every part of the frame, inside and outside, appear to vary in very slight degrees: anatomists dispute what is the "beau ideal" of the bones, the liver and kidneys, like painters do of the proportions of the face: the proverbial expression that no two animals or plants are born absolutely alike, is much truer when applied to those under domestication, than to those in a state of nature{189}. Besides these slight differences, single individuals are occasionally born considerably unlike in certain parts or in their whole structure to their parents: these are called by horticulturists and breeders "sports"; and are not uncommon except when very strongly marked. Such sports are known in some cases to have been parents of some of our domestic races; and such probably have been the parents of many other races, especially of those which in some senses may be called hereditary monsters; for instance where there is an additional limb, or where all the limbs are stunted (as in the Ancon sheep), or where a part is wanting, as in rumpless fowls and tailless dogs or cats{190}. The effects of external conditions on the size, colour and form, which can rarely and obscurely be detected during one individual life, become apparent after several generations: the slight differences, often hardly describable, which characterize the stock of different countries, and even of districts in the same country, seem to be due to such continued action.

{189} Here, as in the MS. of 1842, the author is inclined to minimise the variation occurring in nature.

{190} This is more strongly stated than in the Origin, Ed. i. p. 30.

On the hereditary tendency.

A volume might be filled with facts showing what a strong tendency there is to inheritance, in almost every case of the most trifling, as well as of the most remarkable congenital peculiarities{191}. The term congenital peculiarity, I may remark, is a loose expression and can only mean a peculiarity apparent when the part affected is nearly or fully developed: in the Second Part, I shall have to discuss at what period of the embryonic life connatal peculiarities probably first appear; and I shall then be able to show from some evidence, that at whatever period of life a new peculiarity first appears, it tends hereditarily to appear at a corresponding period{192}. Numerous though slight changes, slowly supervening in animals during mature life (often, though by no means always, taking the form of disease), are, as stated in the first paragraphs, very often hereditary. In plants, again, the buds which assume a different character from their stock likewise tend to transmit their new peculiarities. There is not sufficient reason to believe that either mutilations{193} or changes of form produced by mechanical pressure, even if continued for hundreds of generations, or that any changes of structure quickly produced by disease, are inherited; it would appear as if the tissue of the part affected must slowly and freely grow into the new form, in order to be inheritable. There is a very great difference in the hereditary tendency of different peculiarities, and of the same peculiarity, in different individuals and species; thus twenty thousand seeds of the weeping ash have been sown and not one come up true;—out of seventeen seeds of the weeping yew, nearly all came up true. The ill-formed and almost monstrous "Niata" cattle of S. America and Ancon sheep, both when bred together and when crossed with other breeds, seem to transmit their peculiarities to their offspring as truly as the ordinary breeds. I can throw no light on these differences in the power of hereditary transmission. Breeders believe, and apparently with good cause, that a peculiarity generally becomes more firmly implanted after having passed through several generations; that is if one offspring out of twenty inherits a peculiarity from its parents, then its descendants will tend to transmit this peculiarity to a larger proportion than one in twenty; and so on in succeeding generations. I have said nothing about mental peculiarities being inheritable for I reserve this subject for a separate chapter.

{191} See Origin, Ed. i. p. 13.

{192} Origin, Ed. i. p. 86, vi. p. 105.

{193} It is interesting to find that though the author, like his contemporaries, believed in the inheritance of acquired characters, he excluded the case of mutilation.

Causes of Variation.

Attention must here be drawn to an important distinction in the first origin or appearance of varieties: when we see an animal highly kept producing offspring with an hereditary tendency to early maturity and fatness; when we see the wild-duck and Australian dog always becoming, when bred for one or a few generations in confinement, mottled in their colours; when we see people living in certain districts or circumstances becoming subject to an hereditary taint to certain organic diseases, as consumption or plica polonica,—we naturally attribute such changes to the direct effect of known or unknown agencies acting for one or more generations on the parents. It is probable that a multitude of peculiarities may be thus directly caused by unknown external agencies. But in breeds, characterized by an extra limb or claw, as in certain fowls and dogs; by an extra joint in the vertebrae; by the loss of a part, as the tail; by the substitution of a tuft of feathers for a comb in certain poultry; and in a multitude of other cases, we can hardly attribute these peculiarities directly to external influences, but indirectly to the laws of embryonic growth and of reproduction. When we see a multitude of varieties (as has often been the case, where a cross has been carefully guarded against) produced from seeds matured in the very same capsule{194}, with the male and female principle nourished from the same roots and necessarily exposed to the same external influences; we cannot believe that the endless slight differences between seedling varieties thus produced, can be the effect of any corresponding difference in their exposure. We are led (as Mueller has remarked) to the same conclusion, when we see in the same litter, produced by the same act of conception, animals considerably different.

{194} This corresponds to Origin, Ed. i. p. 10, vi. p. 9.

As variation to the degree here alluded to has been observed only in organic beings under domestication, and in plants amongst those most highly and long cultivated, we must attribute, in such cases, the varieties (although the difference between each variety cannot possibly be attributed to any corresponding difference of exposure in the parents) to the indirect effects of domestication on the action of the reproductive system{195}. It would appear as if the reproductive powers failed in their ordinary function of producing new organic beings closely like their parents; and as if the entire organization of the embryo, under domestication, became in a slight degree plastic{196}. We shall hereafter have occasion to show, that in organic beings, a considerable change from the natural conditions of life, affects, independently of their general state of health, in another and remarkable manner the reproductive system. I may add, judging from the vast number of new varieties of plants which have been produced in the same districts and under nearly the same routine of culture, that probably the indirect effects of domestication in making the organization plastic, is a much more efficient source of variation than any direct effect which external causes may have on the colour, texture, or form of each part. In the few instances in which, as in the Dahlia{197}, the course of variation has been recorded, it appears that domestication produces little effect for several generations in rendering the organization plastic; but afterwards, as if by an accumulated effect, the original character of the species suddenly gives way or breaks.

{195} Origin, Ed. i. p. 8, vi. p. 10.

{196} For plasticity see Origin, Ed. i. pp. 12, 132.

{197} Var. under Dom., Ed. ii. I. p. 393.

On Selection.

We have hitherto only referred to the first appearance in individuals of new peculiarities; but to make a race or breed, something more is generally{198} requisite than such peculiarities (except in the case of the peculiarities being the direct effect of constantly surrounding conditions) should be inheritable,—namely the principle of selection, implying separation. Even in the rare instances of sports, with the hereditary tendency very strongly implanted, crossing must be prevented with other breeds, or if not prevented the best characterized of the half-bred offspring must be carefully selected. Where the external conditions are constantly tending to give some character, a race possessing this character will be formed with far greater ease by selecting and breeding together the individuals most affected. In the case of the endless slight variations produced by the indirect effects of domestication on the action of the reproductive system, selection is indispensable to form races; and when carefully applied, wonderfully numerous and diverse races can be formed. Selection, though so simple in theory, is and has been important to a degree which can hardly be overrated. It requires extreme skill, the results of long practice, in detecting the slightest difference in the forms of animals, and it implies some distinct object in view; with these requisites and patience, the breeder has simply to watch for every the smallest approach to the desired end, to select such individuals and pair them with the most suitable forms, and so continue with succeeding generations. In most cases careful selection and the prevention of accidental crosses will be necessary for several generations, for in new breeds there is a strong tendency to vary and especially to revert to ancestral forms: but in every succeeding generation less care will be requisite for the breed will become truer; until ultimately only an occasional individual will require to be separated or destroyed. Horticulturalists in raising seeds regularly practise this, and call it "roguing," or destroying the "rogues" or false varieties. There is another and less efficient means of selection amongst animals: namely repeatedly procuring males with some desirable qualities, and allowing them and their offspring to breed freely together; and this in the course of time will affect the whole lot. These principles of selection have been methodically followed for scarcely a century; but their high importance is shown by the practical results, and is admitted in the writings of the most celebrated agriculturalists and horticulturalists;—I need only name Anderson, Marshall, Bakewell, Coke, Western, Sebright and Knight.

{198} Selection is here used in the sense of isolation, rather than as implying the summation of small differences. Professor Henslow in his Heredity of Acquired Characters in Plants, 1908, p. 2, quotes from Darwin's Var. under Dom., Ed. i. II. p. 271, a passage in which the author, speaking of the direct action of conditions, says:—"A new sub-variety would thus be produced without the aid of selection." Darwin certainly did not mean to imply that such varieties are freed from the action of natural selection, but merely that a new form may appear without summation of new characters. Professor Henslow is apparently unaware that the above passage is omitted in the second edition of Var. under Dom., II. p. 260.

Even in well-established breeds the individuals of which to an unpractised eye would appear absolutely similar, which would give, it might have been thought, no scope to selection, the whole appearance of the animal has been changed in a few years (as in the case of Lord Western's sheep), so that practised agriculturalists could scarcely credit that a change had not been effected by a cross with other breeds. Breeders both of plants and animals frequently give their means of selection greater scope, by crossing different breeds and selecting the offspring; but we shall have to recur to this subject again.

The external conditions will doubtless influence and modify the results of the most careful selection; it has been found impossible to prevent certain breeds of cattle from degenerating on mountain pastures; it would probably be impossible to keep the plumage of the wild-duck in the domesticated race; in certain soils, no care has been sufficient to raise cauliflower seed true to its character; and so in many other cases. But with patience it is wonderful what man has effected. He has selected and therefore in one sense made one breed of horses to race and another to pull; he has made sheep with fleeces good for carpets and other sheep good for broadcloth; he has, in the same sense, made one dog to find game and give him notice when found, and another dog to fetch him the game when killed; he has made by selection the fat to lie mixed with the meat in one breed and in another to accumulate in the bowels for the tallow-chandler{199}; he has made the legs of one breed of pigeons long, and the beak of another so short, that it can hardly feed itself; he has previously determined how the feathers on a bird's body shall be coloured, and how the petals of many flowers shall be streaked or fringed, and has given prizes for complete success;—by selection, he has made the leaves of one variety and the flower-buds of another variety of the cabbage good to eat, at different seasons of the year; and thus has he acted on endless varieties. I do not wish to affirm that the long-and short-wooled sheep, or that the pointer and retriever, or that the cabbage and cauliflower have certainly descended from one and the same aboriginal wild stock; if they have not so descended, though it lessens what man has effected, a large result must be left unquestioned.

{199} See the Essay of 1842, p. 3.

In saying as I have done that man makes a breed, let it not be confounded with saying that man makes the individuals, which are given by nature with certain desirable qualities; man only adds together and makes a permanent gift of nature's bounties. In several cases, indeed, for instance in the "Ancon" sheep, valuable from not getting over fences, and in the turnspit dog, man has probably only prevented crossing; but in many cases we positively know that he has gone on selecting, and taking advantage of successive small variations.

Selection{200} has been methodically followed, as I have said, for barely a century; but it cannot be doubted that occasionally it has been practised from the remotest ages, in those animals completely under the dominion of man. In the earliest chapters of the Bible there are rules given for influencing the colours of breeds, and black and white sheep are spoken of as separated. In the time of Pliny the barbarians of Europe and Asia endeavoured by cross-breeding with a wild stock to improve the races of their dogs and horses. The savages of Guyana now do so with their dogs: such care shows at least that the characters of individual animals were attended to. In the rudest times of English history, there were laws to prevent the exportation of fine animals of established breeds, and in the case of horses, in Henry VIII's time, laws for the destruction of all horses under a certain size. In one of the oldest numbers of the Phil. Transactions, there are rules for selecting and improving the breeds of sheep. Sir H. Bunbury, in 1660, has given rules for selecting the finest seedling plants, with as much precision as the best recent horticulturalist could. Even in the most savage and rude nations, in the wars and famines which so frequently occur, the most useful of their animals would be preserved: the value set upon animals by savages is shown by the inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego devouring their old women before their dogs, which as they asserted are useful in otter-hunting{201}: who can doubt but that in every case of famine and war, the best otter-hunters would be preserved, and therefore in fact selected for breeding. As the offspring so obviously take after their parents, and as we have seen that savages take pains in crossing their dogs and horses with wild stocks, we may even conclude as probable that they would sometimes pair the most useful of their animals and keep their offspring separate. As different races of men require and admire different qualities in their domesticated animals, each would thus slowly, though unconsciously, be selecting a different breed. As Pallas has remarked, who can doubt but that the ancient Russian would esteem and endeavour to preserve those sheep in his flocks which had the thickest coats. This kind of insensible selection by which new breeds are not selected and kept separate, but a peculiar character is slowly given to the whole mass of the breed, by often saving the life of animals with certain characteristics, we may feel nearly sure, from what we see has been done by the more direct method of separate selection within the last 50 years in England, would in the course of some thousand years produce a marked effect.

{200} See Origin, Ed. i. p. 33, vi. p. 38. The evidence is given in the present Essay rather more fully than in the Origin.

{201} Journal of Researches, Ed. 1860, p. 214. "Doggies catch otters, old women no."

Crossing Breeds.

When once two or more races are formed, or if more than one race, or species fertile inter se, originally existed in a wild state, their crossing becomes a most copious source of new races{202}. When two well-marked races are crossed the offspring in the first generation take more or less after either parent or are quite intermediate between them, or rarely assume characters in some degree new. In the second and several succeeding generations, the offspring are generally found to vary exceedingly, one compared with another, and many revert nearly to their ancestral forms. This greater variability in succeeding generations seems analogous to the breaking or variability of organic beings after having been bred for some generations under domestication{203}. So marked is this variability in cross-bred descendants, that Pallas and some other naturalists have supposed that all variation is due to an original cross; but I conceive that the history of the potato, Dahlia, Scotch Rose, the guinea-pig, and of many trees in this country, where only one species of the genus exists, clearly shows that a species may vary where there can have been no crossing. Owing to this variability and tendency to reversion in cross-bred beings, much careful selection is requisite to make intermediate or new permanent races: nevertheless crossing has been a most powerful engine, especially with plants, where means of propagation exist by which the cross-bred varieties can be secured without incurring the risk of fresh variation from seminal propagation: with animals the most skilful agriculturalists now greatly prefer careful selection from a well-established breed, rather than from uncertain cross-bred stocks.

{202} The effects of crossing is much more strongly stated here than in the Origin. See Ed. i. p. 20, vi. p. 23, where indeed the opposite point of view is given. His change of opinion may be due to his work on pigeons. The whole of the discussion on crossing corresponds to Chapter VIII of the Origin, Ed. i. rather than to anything in the earlier part of the book.

{203} The parallelism between the effects of a cross and the effects of conditions is given from a different point of view in the Origin, Ed. i. p. 266, vi. p. 391. See the experimental evidence for this important principle in the author's work on Cross and Self-Fertilisation. Professor Bateson has suggested that the experiments should be repeated with gametically pure plants.

Although intermediate and new races may be formed by the mingling of others, yet if the two races are allowed to mingle quite freely, so that none of either parent race remain pure, then, especially if the parent races are not widely different, they will slowly blend together, and the two races will be destroyed, and one mongrel race left in its place. This will of course happen in a shorter time, if one of the parent races exists in greater number than the other. We see the effect of this mingling, in the manner in which the aboriginal breeds of dogs and pigs in the Oceanic Islands and the many breeds of our domestic animals introduced into S. America, have all been lost and absorbed in a mongrel race. It is probably owing to the freedom of crossing, that, in uncivilised countries, where inclosures do not exist, we seldom meet with more than one race of a species: it is only in enclosed countries, where the inhabitants do not migrate, and have conveniences for separating the several kinds of domestic animals, that we meet with a multitude of races. Even in civilised countries, want of care for a few years has been found to destroy the good results of far longer periods of selection and separation.

This power of crossing will affect the races of all terrestrial animals; for all terrestrial animals require for their reproduction the union of two individuals. Amongst plants, races will not cross and blend together with so much freedom as in terrestrial animals; but this crossing takes place through various curious contrivances to a surprising extent. In fact such contrivances exist in so very many hermaphrodite flowers by which an occasional cross may take place, that I cannot avoid suspecting (with Mr Knight) that the reproductive action requires, at intervals, the concurrence of distinct individuals{204}. Most breeders of plants and animals are firmly convinced that benefit is derived from an occasional cross, not with another race, but with another family of the same race; and that, on the other hand, injurious consequences follow from long-continued close interbreeding in the same family. Of marine animals, many more, than was till lately believed, have their sexes on separate individuals; and where they are hermaphrodite, there seems very generally to be means through the water of one individual occasionally impregnating another: if individual animals can singly propagate themselves for perpetuity, it is unaccountable that no terrestrial animal, where the means of observation are more obvious, should be in this predicament of singly perpetuating its kind. I conclude, then, that races of most animals and plants, when unconfined in the same country, would tend to blend together.

{204} The so-called Knight-Darwin Law is often misunderstood. See Goebel in Darwin and Modern Science, 1909, p. 419; also F. Darwin, Nature, Oct. 27, 1898.

Whether our domestic races have descended from one or more wild stocks.

Several naturalists, of whom Pallas{205} regarding animals, and Humboldt regarding certain plants, were the first, believe that the breeds of many of our domestic animals such as of the horse, pig, dog, sheep, pigeon, and poultry, and of our plants have descended from more than one aboriginal form. They leave it doubtful, whether such forms are to be considered wild races, or true species, whose offspring are fertile when crossed inter se. The main arguments for this view consist, firstly, of the great difference between such breeds, as the Race-and Cart-Horse, or the Greyhound and Bull-dog, and of our ignorance of the steps or stages through which these could have passed from a common parent; and secondly that in the most ancient historical periods, breeds resembling some of those at present most different, existed in different countries. The wolves of N. America and of Siberia are thought to be different species; and it has been remarked that the dogs belonging to the savages in these two countries resemble the wolves of the same country; and therefore that they have probably descended from two different wild stocks. In the same manner, these naturalists believe that the horse of Arabia and of Europe have probably descended from two wild stocks both apparently now extinct. I do not think the assumed fertility of these wild stocks any very great difficulty on this view; for although in animals the offspring of most cross-bred species are infertile, it is not always remembered that the experiment is very seldom fairly tried, except when two near species both breed freely (which does not readily happen, as we shall hereafter see) when under the dominion of man. Moreover in the case of the China{206} and common goose, the canary and siskin, the hybrids breed freely; in other cases the offspring from hybrids crossed with either pure parent are fertile, as is practically taken advantage of with the yak and cow; as far as the analogy of plants serves, it is impossible to deny that some species are quite fertile inter se; but to this subject we shall recur.

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