On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

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"Natural Selection"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: In On the Origin of Species Darwin puts forth the theory of evolution and says that evolution is caused by natural selection. Nature cannot "take a sudden leap from structure to structure . . . for natural selection acts only by taking advantage of slight successive variations. . . ." In chapter 3 Darwin considers the question of "how species arise in nature. How have all those exquisite adaptations of one part of the organization to another part, and to the conditions of life, and of one organic being to another being, been perfected? . . . we see beautiful adaptations everywhere and in every part of the organic world." How do varieties, Darwin asks, "become ultimately converted into good and distinct species . . .?" The formation of species and...

(The entire section is 243 words.)