Synopses & Reviews
Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: All idea of mere complication of structure producing consciousness is out of the question. Because man's physical structure has been developed from an animal form by natural selection, it does not follow that his mental nature, even though developed part passu with it, has been developed by the same causes only.1 Yet, in assuming Weismann's theory, Wallace asserts: Whatever other causes have been at work, Natural Selection is supreme, to an extent which even Darwin himself hesitated to claim for it. While admitting, as Darwin always admitted, the cooperation of the fundamental laws of growth and variation, of correlation and heredity, in determining the direction of lines of variation, or in the initiation of peculiar organs, we find that variation and natural selection are ever-present agencies which take possession, as it were, of every minute change originated by these fundamental causes, check or favor their further development,-or modify them in countless ways according to the varying needs of the organism. 2 In the opening portions of this book Wallace introduces a teleological argument to the effect that the pain which we ordinarily conceive as connected with the struggle for existence among lower species is mostly a figment of our imagination. Periods of suffering are comparatively short, since death speedily and without anticipation puts an end to those animals in any way incapacitated. Livingstone describes how, when seized by a lion, a sort of stupor succeeded the first shock, so that he felt neither fear nor pain; it is probable that terror induces this same condition in animals seized by beasts of prey, and that their end is therefore painless after the first shock. Cold is generally severest at night and tends to produce sleep and painless extinction. Hu...
This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally important and have elected to bring the book back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide.