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Seite 22 - These facts, as will be seen in the latter chapters of this volume, seemed to throw some light on the origin of species —that mystery of mysteries, as it has been called by one of our greatest philosophers.
Seite 23 - America, and in the geological relations of the present to the past inhabitants of the continent. These facts seemed to throw some light on the origin of species, — that mystery of mysteries, as it has been called by one of our greatest philosophers. On my return home it occurred to me (in 1837) that something might perhaps be made out on this question by patiently accumulating and reflecting on all sorts of facts which could possibly have any bearing on it. After five years I allowed myself to...
Seite 52 - It is a marvelous reflection that the whole of the superficial mould over any such expanse has passed, and will again pass every few years, through the bodies of worms. The plough is one of the most ancient and most valuable of man's inventions; but long before he existed the land...
Seite 54 - I see no good reason why the views given in this volume should shock the religious feelings of any one.
Seite 27 - They forget, or will not remember, that human sacrifices, and the power of an idolatrous priesthood — a system of profligacy unparalleled in any other part of the world — infanticide a consequence of that system — bloody wars, where the conquerors spared neither women nor children — that all these have been abolished ; and that dishonesty, intemperance, and licentiousness have been greatly reduced by the introduction of Christianity.
Seite 43 - ... thus stuck to the back of the bee and carried away. " When the bee, thus provided, flies to another flower, or to the same flower a second time, and is pushed by its comrades into the bucket, and then crawls out by the passage, the pollen-mass upon its back necessarily comes first into contact with the viscid stigma," which takes up the pollen ; and this is how that orchid is fertilized.
Seite 36 - ... species were descended from a common ancestor. But during several years I could not conceive how each form could have been modified so as to become admirably adapted to its place in nature. I began, therefore, to study domesticated animals and cultivated plants, and after a time perceived that man's power of selecting and breeding from certain individuals was the most powerful of all means in the production of new races. Having attended to the habits of animals and their relations to the surrounding...
Seite 27 - In regard to the wildness of birds towards man, there is no way of accounting for it, except as an inherited habit. Comparatively few young birds, in any one year, have been injured by man in England ; yet almost all, even nestlings, are afraid of him. Many individuals, on the other hand, both at the Galapagos and at the Falklands, have been pursued and injured by man, but yet have not learned a salutary dread of him.
Seite 36 - The work, from its powerful and brilliant style, though displaying in the earlier editions little accurate knowledge and a great want of scientific caution, immediately had a very wide circulation. In my opinion it has done excellent service in this country in calling attention to the subject, in removing prejudice, and in thus preparing the ground for the reception of analogous views.
Seite 43 - The basal part of the labellum stands over the bucket, and is itself hollowed out into a sort of chamber with two lateral entrances ; within this chamber there are curious fleshy ridges. The most ingenious man, if he had not witnessed what takes place, could never have imagined what purpose all these parts serve.