Nonfiction > Harvard Classics > Charles Robert Darwin > Origin of Species
I love fools’ experiments. I am always making them.
Remark cited in “Life.”
Charles Robert
Darwin
Harvard Classics, Vol. 11
 
The Origin of Species
 
Charles Robert Darwin
 
Over fifteen years in the writing, this scientific treatise not only revolutionized every branch of the natural sciences with its theory of evolution, but influenced every literary, philosophical and religious thinker who followed.
 
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CONTENTS
Bibliographic Record
NEW YORK: P.F. COLLIER & SON COMPANY, 1909–14
NEW YORK: BARTLEBY.COM, 2001
 
 
Epigrams
Introductory Note
An Historical Sketch of the Progress of Opinion on the Origin of Species, Previously to the Publication of the First Edition of This Work
Introduction
  1. Variation under Domestication
    Causes of Variability; Effects of Habit and of the Use or Disuse of Parts; Correlated Variation; Inheritance; Character of Domestic Varieties; Difficulty of Distinguishing between Varieties and Species; Origin of Domestic Varieties from One or More Species; Breeds of the Domestic Pigeon, Their Differences and Origin; Principles of Selection Anciently Followed, and Their Effects; Unconscious Selection; Circumstances Favourable to Man’s Power of Selection
     
  2. Variation under Nature
    Variability; Individual Differences; Doubtful Species; Wide-Ranging, Much Diffused, and Common Species Vary Most; Species of the Larger Genera in Each Country Vary More Frequently Than the Species of the Smaller Genera; Many of the Species Included within the Larger Genera Resemble Varieties in Being Very Closely, but Unequally, Related to Each Other, and in Having Restricted Ranges; Summary
     
  3. Struggle for Existence
    The Bearing of Struggle for Existence on Natural Selection; The Term, Struggle for Existence, Used in a Large Sense; Geometrical Ratio of Increase; Nature of the Checks to Increase; Complex Relations of All Animals and Plants to Each Other in the Struggle for Existence; Struggle for Life Most Severe between Individuals and Varieties of the Same Species
     
  4. Natural Selection; or the Survival of the Fittest
    Natural Selection: Its Power Compared with Man’s Selection; Sexual Selection; Illustrations of the Action of Natural Selection, or the Survival of the Fittest; On the Intercrossing of Individuals; Circumstances Favourable for the Production of New Forms Through Natural Selection; Extinction Caused by Natural Selection; Divergence of Character; The Probable Effects of the Action of Natural Selection through Divergence of Character and Extinction, on the Descendants of a Common Ancestor; On the Degree to Which Organisation Tends to Advance; Convergence of Character; Summary of Chapter
     
  5. Laws of Variation
    Effects of Changed Conditions; Effects of the Increased Use and Disuse of Parts, as Controlled by Natural Selection; Acclimatisation; Correlated Variation; Compensation and Economy of Growth; Multiple, Rudimentary, and Lowly Organised Structures Are Variable; A Part Developed in Any Species in an Extraordinary Degree or Manner, in Comparison with the Same Part in Allied Species, Tends to Be Highly Variable; Specific Characters More Variable Than Generic Characters; Summary
     
  6. Difficulties of the Theory
    Difficulties of the Theory of Descent with Modification; On the Absence or Rarity of Transitional Varieties; On the Origin and Transitions of Organic Beings with Peculiar Habits and Structure; Organs of Extreme Perfection and Complication; Modes of Transition; Special Difficulties of the Theory of Natural Selection; Organs of Little Apparent Importance, as Affected by Natural Selection; Utilitarian Doctrine, How Far True: Beauty, How Acquired; Summary: the Law of Unity of Type and of the Conditions of Existence Embraced by the Theory of Natural Selection
     
  7. Miscellaneous Objections to the Theory of Natural Selection
     
  8. Instinct
    Instincts Comparable with Habits, but Different in Their Origin; Inherited Changes of Habit or Instinct in Domesticated Animals; Special Instincts; Objections to the Theory of Natural Selection as Applied to Instincts: Neuter and Sterile Insects; Summary
     
  9. Hybridism
    Distinction between the Sterility of First Crosses and of Hybrids; Laws Governing the Sterility of First Crosses and of Hybrids; Origin and Causes of the Sterility of First Crosses and of Hybrids; Reciprocal Dimorphism and Trimorphism; Fertility of Varieties When Crossed, and of Their Mongrel Offspring, Not Universal; Hybrids and Mongrels Compared, Independently of Their Fertility; Summary of Chapter
     
  10. On the Imperfection of the Geological Record
    On the Absence of Intermediate Varieties at the Present Day; On the Lapse of Time, as Inferred from the Rate of Deposition and Extent of Denudation; On the Poorness of Palæontological Collections; On the Absence of Numerous Intermediate Varieties in Any Single Formation; On the Sudden Appearance of Whole Groups of Allied Species; On the Sudden Appearance of Groups of Allied Species in the Lowest Known Fossiliferous Strata
     
  11. On the Geological Succession of Organic Beings
    On the Slow and Successive Appearance of New Species; On Extinction; On the Forms of Life Changing Almost Simultaneously throughout the World; On the Affinities of Extinct Species to Each Other, and to Living Forms; On the State of Development of Ancient Compared with Living Forms; On the Succession of the Same Types within the Same Areas, During the Later Tertiary Periods; Summary of the Preceding and Present Chapters
     
  12. Geographical Distribution
    Present Distribution Cannot Be Accounted for by Differences in Physical Conditions; Means of Dispersal; Dispersal During the Glacial Period; Alternate Glacial Periods in the North and South
     
  13. Geographical Distribution—Continued
    Fresh-water Productions; On the Inhabitants of Oceanic Islands; Absence of Batrachians and Terrestrial Mammals on Oceanic Islands; On the Relations of the Inhabitants of Islands to Those of the Nearest Mainland; Summary of the Last and Present Chapters
     
  14. Mutual Affinities of Organic Beings: Morphology—Embryology—Rudimentary Organs
    Classification; Analogical Resemblances; On the Nature of the Affinities Connecting Organic Beings; Morphology; Development and Embryology; Rudimentary, Atrophied, and Aborted Organs; Summary
     
  15. Recapitulation and Conclusion
 
Glossary of the Principal Scientific Terms Used in the Present Volume

 
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