Evolution, Old & New

Evolution, Old & New
Or, the Theories of Buffon, Dr. Erasmus Darwin and Lamarck, as compared with that of Charles Darwin

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Evolution, Old & New by Samuel Butler

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1911

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Evolution, Old & New
Or, the Theories of Buffon, Dr. Erasmus Darwin and Lamarck, as compared with that of Charles Darwin

By

5
(1 Review)

Book Excerpt

l had an eye, that eye was regarded as something which had been designed in order to enable its owner to see after such fashion as should be most to its advantage.

This, however, is now no longer the prevailing opinion either in this country or in Germany.

Professor Haeckel holds a high place among the leaders of German philosophy at the present day. He declares a belief in evolution and in purposiveness to be incompatible, and denies purpose in language which holds out little prospect of a compromise.

"As soon, in fact," he writes, "as we acknowledge the exclusive activity of the physico-chemical causes in living (organic) bodies as well as in so-called inanimate (inorganic) nature,"--and this is what Professor Haeckel holds we are bound to do if we accept the theory of descent with modification--"we concede exclusive dominion to that view of the universe, which we may designate as mechanical, and which is opposed to the teleological conception. If we compare all the ideas of th

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