Contributions to the theory of natural selection a series of essays by alfred russel wallace

The shallow sea between the Peninsula of Malacca, Java, Sumatra and Borneo was probably a continent or large island at an early epoch, and may have become submerged as the volcanic ranges of Java and Sumatra were elevated.

In The Geographical Distribution of Animals he wrote, "We live in a zoologically impoverished world, from which all the hugest, and fiercest, and strangest forms have recently disappeared". An antelope with shorter or weaker legs must necessarily suffer more from the attacks of the feline carnivora; the passenger pigeon with less powerful wings would sooner or later be affected in its powers of procuring a regular supply of food; and in both cases the result must necessarily be a diminution of the population of the modified species.

Contributions to the theory of natural selection. A series of essays

Darwin so earnestly impresses upon us, and which is indeed a necessary deduction from the theory of Natural Selection, namely-that none of the definite facts of organic nature, no special organ, no characteristic form or marking, no peculiarities of instinct or of habit, no relations between species or between groups of species-can exist, but which must now be or once have been utseful to the individuals or the races which possess them.

In widely distributed families the genera are often limited in range; in widely distributed genera, well marked groups of species are peculiar to each geographical district. In order then to understand our possible knowledge of the early world and its inhabitants, we must compare, not the area of the whole field of our geological researches with the earth's surfaces but the area of the examined portion of each formation separately with the whole earth.

Now the scale on which nature works is so vast-the numbers of individuals and the periods of time with which she deals approach so near to infinity, than any cause, however slight, and however liable to be veiled and counteracted by accidental circumstances, must in the end produce its full legitimate results.

These occur spontaneously, or are triggered by environmental radiation or mutagenic chemicals.

Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection A Series of Essays

The possibility of procuring food during the least favourable seasons, and of escaping the attacks of their most dangerous enemies, are the primary conditions which determine the existence both of individuals and of entire species.

TiE present volume consists of essays which I have contributed to various periodicals, or read before scientific societies during the last fifteen years, with others now printed for the first time.

Contributions to the theory of natural selection. A series of essays

First published in the " Intellectual Observer," July, Inthey were briefly joined by another young explorer, botanist Richard Sprucealong with Wallace's younger brother Herbert.

This is strikingly proved by the case of particular species; for we find that their abundance in individuals bears no relation whatever to their fertility in producing offspring. Between these extremes the species will present various degrees of capacity for er;uring the means of preserving life; and it is thus we account for the abundance or rarity of species.

None of the explanations attempted from the time of Linnaeus are now considered at all satisfactory; none of them have given a cause sufficient to account for the facts known at the time, or comprehensive enough to include all the new facts which have since been, and are daily being added. On the average all above one become food for hawks and kites, wild cats or weasels, or perish of cold and hunger as winter comes on.

This is the further development of a few sentences at the end of an article on " Geological Time and the Origin of Species," which appeared in the "Quarterly Review," for April, Exactly the same thing has occurred with pigeons; and in the case of rats and mice, the white variety has not been shown to be at all dependent on alteration of climate, food, or other external conditions.

Why, as a general rule, are aquatic, and especially sea birds, very numerous in individuals. Perphaps no principle has ever been announced so fertile in results as that which Mr.

The question forces itself upon every thinking mind,-why are these things so. I also found it frustrating that Wallace, who argues so persuasively that domestic animals have dulled their alertness and intelligence from wild animals, cannot see any ways in which hunter gatherer societies use higher intelligence, arguing simply that their brains are too big for what they need them for.

They must have been first peopled, like other newly-formed islands, by the action of winds and currents, and at a period sufficiently remote to have had the original species die out, and the modified prototypes only remain.

One result of Wallace's early travels is a modern controversy about his nationality. An origin such as is here advocated will also agree with the peculiar character of the modifications of form and structure which obtain in organized beings-the many lines of divergence from a central type, the increasing efficiency and power of a particular organ through a succession of allied species, and the remarkable persistence of unimportant parts, such as colour, texture of plumage and hair, form of horns or crests, through a series of species differing considerably in more essential characters.

This, however, would seem quite incompatible with the "-permanent invariability of species," but the difficulty is overcome by assuming that such varieties have strict limits, and can never again vary further from the original type, although they may return to it, which, from the analogy of the domesticated animals, is considered to be highly probable, if not certainly proved.

But it is the same throughout Nature; every class and order of animals will contribute similar facts. While Wallace's essay obviously did not employ Darwin's term "natural selection", it did outline the mechanics of an evolutionary divergence of species from similar ones due to environmental pressures.

Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection A Series of Essays

It was widely discussed, but not generally accepted by leading naturalists, and was considered to have radicaleven revolutionary connotations.

Darwin sent the manuscript to Charles Lyell with a letter saying "he could not have made a better short abstract.

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Why are the genera of Palms and of Orchids in almost every case confined to one hemisphere. Helena is a similar case of a very ancient island having obtained an entirely peculiar, though limited, flora.

Cambridge Core - History of Science and Technology - Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection - by Alfred Russel Wallace Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection A Series of Essays. Get access. Alfred Russel Wallace (–) is regarded as the co-discoverer with Darwin of.

Dec 21,  · Alfred Russel Wallace, OM, FRS (8 January – 7 November ) was a British naturalist, explorer, geographer, anthropologist and biologist. He is best known for independently proposing a theory of natural selection which prompted Charles Darwin to publish his own theory.4/5(1).

Contributions to the theory of natural selection. A series of essays Contributions to the theory of natural selection. A series of essays. by Wallace, Alfred Russel, Publication date Topics Natural selection. Publisher London, New York, Macmillan and Contributions to the theory of natural selection.

A series of essays By Alfred Russel Wallace. This volume contains Alfred Russel Wallace’s book, "Darwinism: An Exposition of the Theory of Natural Selection with Some of Its Applications".

It is a fascinating exploration of biological evolution by the co-discoverer of the natural selection principle. Alfred Russel Wallace ( - ) truly is a forgotten giant who independently, inconcluded and published (1 year before the publication Darwin's "Origin of Species" in ) the first work on the theory of Natural Selection (Paper # 2 in this volume) that would be popularized by Charles Darwin.5/5(1).

Contributions to the theory of natural selection a series of essays by alfred russel wallace
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Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection A Series of Essays by Alfred Russel Wallace