By A.C. Seward
The Cambridge Philosophical Society amassed this sequence of essays in commemoration of the centenary of the delivery of Charles Darwin and the fiftieth anniversary of the booklet of The starting place of Species. Aiming to be obtainable to the 'educated layman', the eminent members reviewed the impression of Darwin's principles in lots of spheres. They addressed modern (1909) attitudes, Darwin's theories and their far-reaching implications, and the development of recent traces of study that had emerged from them. the range of perspectives between biologists concerning either the starting place of species and the simplest instructions for extra examine is obviously obvious. In his paintings, Darwin had sought purely the reality, writing 'Absolute accuracy is the toughest benefit to achieve, and the top advantage. Any deviation is ruin.' notwithstanding dramatic the controversies he stirred, what shines from those essays is profound admiration for either Darwin's mind and the standard of his personality.
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361. Influence of Malthus 15 Therefore, as far more important than any further ferreting out of vague hints of Natural Selection in books which Darwin never read, we would indicate by a quotation the view that the central idea in Darwinism is correlated with contemporary social evolution. " The substitution of Darwin for Paley as the chief interpreter of the order of nature is currently regarded as the displacement of an anthropomorphic view by a purely scientific one : a little reflection, however, will show that what has actually happened has been merely the replacement of the anthropomorphism of the eighteenth century by that of the nineteenth.
Cit. p. 87. 6 Darwin's Predecessors the mutability of species, and he was far ahead of his age in his suggestion of what we now call a Station of Experimental Evolution. Leibnitz discusses in so many words how the species of animals may be changed and how intermediate species may once have linked those that now seem discontinuous. "All natural orders of beings present but a single chain ".. " Similar evolutionist statements are to be found in the works of the other " philosophers," to whom Prof.
Changes in their wants necessarily bring about parallel changes in their habits. " He differed from Buffon in not attaching importance, as far as animals are concerned, to the direct influence of the environment, "for environment can effect no direct change whatever upon the organisation of animals," but in regard to plants he agreed with Buffon that external conditions directly moulded them. Treviranus3 (1776—1837), whom Huxley ranked beside Lamarck, was on the whole Buffonian, attaching chief importance to the influence of a changeful environment both in modifying and in eliminating, but he was also Goethian, for instance in his idea that species like individuals pass through periods of growth, full bloom, and decline.
Darwin and Modern Science by A.C. Seward