Charles Darwin

That many and grave objections may be advanced against the theory of descent with modification through natural selection, I do not deny. I have endeavoured to give to them their full force. Nothing at first can appear more difficult to believe than that the more complex organs and instincts should have been perfected, not by means superior to, though analogous with, human reason, but by the accumulation of innumerable slight variations, each good for the individual possessor. Nevertheless, this difficulty, though appearing to our imagination insuperably great, cannot be considered real if we admit the following propositions, namely,—that gradations in the perfection of any organ or instinct, which we may consider, either do now exist or could have existed, each good of its kind,—that all organs and instincts are, in ever so slight a degree, variable,—and, lastly, that there is a struggle for existence leading to the preservation of each profitable deviation of structure or instinct. The truth of these propositions cannot, I think, be disputed.

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  1. shinichi Post author

    On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.

    by Charles Darwin



    On the Origin of Species (1859)/Chapter XIV

    Recapitulation and Conclusion.

    Recapitulation of the difficulties on the theory of Natural Selection

    Recapitulation of the general and special circumstances in its favour

    Causes of the general belief in the immutability of species

    How far the theory of natural selection may be extended

    Effects of its adoption on the study of Natural history

    Concluding remarks



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