On Germinal Selection as a Source of Definite Variation

Author: August Weismann
Published: 1896
Language: English
Wordcount: 25,305 / 86 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 29.2
LoC Category: QL
Downloads: 361
Added to site: 2010.10.16
mnybks.net#: 29288
Origin: gutenberg.org
Genre: Science
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Excerpt

not made by the locomotive, the cause of the variation, but by the driver of the locomotive, who directs the engine on the right track. In the theory of selection the engine-driver is represented by utility, for with utility rests the decision {12} as to what particular variational track shall be travelled. The cogency, the irresistible cogency, as I take it, of the principle of selection is precisely its capacity of explaining why fit structures always arise, and that certainly is the great problem of life. Not the fact of change, but the manner of the change, whereby all things are maintained capable of life and existence, is the pressing question.

It is, therefore, a very remarkable fact, and one deserving of consideration, that to-day (1895), after science has been in possession of this principle for something over thirty years and during this time has steadily and zealously busied itself with its critical elaboration and with the exact determination of its scope, that now the estimation i

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