a process in which organisms evolve to adapt to environment
I may add, that when under nature the conditions of life do change, variations and reversions of character probably do occur; but
natural selection, as will hereafter be explained, will determine how far the new characters thus arising shall be preserved.
the quality of being subject to change
When we reflect on the vast diversity of the plants and animals which have been cultivated, and which have varied during all ages under the most different climates and treatment, I think we are driven to conclude that this greater
variability is simply due to our domestic productions having been raised under conditions of life not so uniform as, and somewhat different from, those to which the parent-species have been exposed under nature.
taxonomic group whose members can interbreed
When we look to the individuals of the same variety or sub-variety of our older cultivated plants and animals, one of the first points which strikes us, is, that they generally differ much more from each other, than do the individuals of any one
species or variety in a state of nature.
taxonomic group containing one or more species
The same species, also, often have a somewhat monstrous character; by which I mean, that, although differing from each other, and from the other species of the same
genus, in several trifling respects, they often differ in an extreme degree in some one part, both when compared one with another, and more especially when compared with all the species in nature to which they are nearest allied.
similar in position, structure, function, or characteristics
The several parts of the body which are
homologous, and which, at an early embryonic period, are alike, seem liable to vary in an allied manner: we see this in the right and left sides of the body varying in the same manner; in the front and hind legs, and even in the jaws and limbs, varying together, for the lower jaw is believed to be
homologous with the limbs.
the act of making something different
Our oldest cultivated plants, such as wheat, still often yield new varieties: our oldest domesticated animals are still capable of rapid improvement or
having existed from the beginning
Having alluded to the subject of reversion, I may here refer to a statement often made by naturalists—namely, that our domestic varieties, when run wild, gradually but certainly revert in character to their
a biologist knowledgeable about botany and zoology
Having alluded to the subject of reversion, I may here refer to a statement often made by
naturalists—namely, that our domestic varieties, when run wild, gradually but certainly revert in character to their aboriginal stocks.
the condition of being varied
The truth of the principle, that the greatest amount of life can be supported by great
diversification of structure, is seen under many natural circumstances.
the immediate descendants of a person or organism
...affected by unperceived causes as to fail in acting, we need not be surprised at this system, when it does act under confinement, acting not quite regularly, and producing
offspring not perfectly like their parents or variable.
a person considered as coming from some ancestor or race
I think this must be admitted, when we find that there are hardly any domestic races, either amongst animals or plants, which have not been ranked by some competent judges as mere varieties, and by other competent judges as the
descendants of aboriginally distinct species.
any attribute that is passed down from ancestors
...conditions of life; and this shows how unimportant the direct effects of the conditions of life are in comparison with the laws of reproduction, and of growth, and of
inheritance; for had the action of the conditions been direct, if any of the young had varied, all would probably have varied in the same manner.
the responsive adjustment of a sense organ
is that we see in them
adaptation, not indeed to the animal's or plant's own good, but to man's use or fancy.