Evolution

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Author: Frank B. Jevons
Language: English
Wordcount: 95,031 / 289 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 34.3
LoC Categories: QH, BR
Downloads: 1,459
Added to site: 2010.12.15
mnybks.net#: 29906
Origin: gutenberg.org

The object of this volume is to raise the question: if we accept the Theory of Evolution as true in science, how should it modify the thought and action of a man who wishes to do his best in this world? The question is necessary because we find that different and inconsistent conclusions on the point have been reached by men speaking in the name of science and speaking with authority. These differences are due not to anything in science, but to certain extra-scientific assumptions. To test the worth of such assumptions is the work of philosophy; and this volume is accordingly an essay in philosophy. Science is but organised common sense. Science and Religion both claim to deal with realities. The realism of common sense, therefore, the form of philosophy to which both seem to point, is that which is set forth here.

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n the quarter from which, not to which, he has imagined himself to be travelling, and, like a reluctant emigrant, has lamented the increasing distance between him and the happy shore from which he sailed. Or, to change the metaphor, society is an organism. Like all organisms, it starts as a relatively structureless mass; then, in accordance with the principle of the division of labour, different functions come to be performed by different parts; thus special organs are developed for the performance of special functions; division of labour further implies co-operation of the various organs and the development of the necessary means of communication and connection. All this is necessary for that evolution of society which we call progress; and of all these changes in the structure of society but few were ever intentionally planned by man. Mr. Herbert Spencer has familiarised this generation with the idea that the foreseen consequences of any intended change are insignificant as compared with the consequences un

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