The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication, Volume II

The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication, Volume II

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The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication, Volume II by Charles Darwin

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1868

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The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication, Volume II

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Book Excerpt

necessary function of the powers of generation, as the production of offspring like their parents. This view, as we shall see in a future chapter, is not theoretically probable, though practically it holds good. The saying that "like begets like" has in fact arisen from the perfect confidence felt by breeders, that a superior or inferior animal will generally reproduce its kind; but this very superiority or inferiority shows that the individual in question has departed slightly from its type.

The whole subject of inheritance is wonderful. When a new character arises, whatever its nature may be, it generally tends to be inherited, at least in a temporary and sometimes in a most persistent manner. What can be more wonderful than that some trifling peculiarity, not primordially attached to the species, should be transmitted through the male or female sexual cells, which are so minute as not to be visible to the naked eye, and afterwards through the incessant changes of a long course of development, underg

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