Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection A Series of Essays
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Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection A Series of Essays

By Alfred Russel Wallace
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Table of Contents
  • CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE THEORY OF NATURAL SELECTION. A Series of Essays. BY ALFRED RUSSEL WALLACE, AUTHOR OF “THE MALAY ARCHIPELAGO,” ETC., ETC.
  • PREFACE.
  • PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
  • CONTENTS.
  • I. ON THE LAW WHICH HAS REGULATED THE INTRODUCTION OF NEW SPECIES.[A]
    • Geographical Distribution dependent on Geologic Changes.
    • A Law deduced from well-known Geographical and Geological Facts.
    • The Form of a true system of Classification determined by this Law.
    • Geographical Distribution of Organisms.
    • Geological Distribution of the Forms of Life.
    • High Organization of very ancient Animals consistent with this Law.
    • Objections to Forbes’ Theory of Polarity.
    • Rudimentary Organs.
    • Conclusion.
  • II. ON THE TENDENCY OF VARIETIES TO DEPART INDEFINITELY FROM THE ORIGINAL TYPE.[D]
    • Instability of Varieties supposed to prove the permanent distinctness of Species.
    • The Struggle for Existence.
    • The Law of Population of Species.
    • The Abundance or Rarity of a Species dependent upon its more or less perfect Adaptation to the Conditions of Existence.
    • Useful Variations will tend to Increase; useless or hurtful Variations to Diminish.
    • Superior Varieties will ultimately Extirpate the original Species.
    • The Partial Reversion of Domesticated Varieties explained.
    • Lamarck’s Hypothesis very different from that now advanced.
    • Conclusion.
  • III. MIMICRY, AND OTHER PROTECTIVE RESEMBLANCES AMONG ANIMALS.
    • Importance of the Principle of Utility.
    • Popular Theories of Colour in Animals.
    • Importance of Concealment as Influencing Colour.
    • Special Modifications of Colour.
    • Theory of Protective Colouring.
    • Objection that Colour, as being dangerous, should not exist in Nature.
    • Mimicry.
    • Mimicry among Lepidoptera.
    • Lepidoptera mimicking other Insects.
    • Mimicry among Beetles.
    • Beetles mimicking other Insects.
    • Insects mimicking Species of other Orders.
    • Cases of Mimicry among the Vertebrata.
    • Mimicry among Snakes.
    • Mimicry among Birds.
    • Mimicry among Mammals.
    • Objections to Mr. Bates’ Theory of Mimicry.
    • Mimicry by Female Insects only.
    • Cause of the dull Colours of Female Birds.
    • Use of the gaudy Colours of many Caterpillars.
    • Summary.
    • General deductions as to Colour in Nature.
    • Conclusion.
  • IV. THE MALAYAN PAPILIONIDÆ OR SWALLOW-TAILED BUTTERFLIES, AS ILLUSTRATIVE OF THE THEORY OF NATURAL SELECTION.
    • Special Value of the Diurnal Lepidoptera for enquiries of this nature.
    • Question of the rank of the Papilionidæ.
    • Distribution of the Papilionidæ.
    • Definition of the word Species.
    • Laws and Modes of Variation.
    • Variation as specially influenced by Locality.
    • Remarks on the facts of Local variation.
    • Mimicry.
    • Concluding remarks on Variation in Lepidoptera.
    • Arrangement and Geographical Distribution of the Malayan Papilionidæ.
    • Range of the Groups of Malayan Papilionidæ.
    • Remarkable Peculiarities of the Island of Celebes.
    • Concluding Remarks.
  • V. ON INSTINCT IN MAN AND ANIMALS.
    • How Instinct may be best Studied.
    • Definition of Instinct.
    • Does Man possess Instincts.
    • How Indians travel through unknown and trackless Forests.
  • VI. THE PHILOSOPHY OF BIRDS’ NESTS.
    • Instinct or Reason in the Construction of Birds’ Nests.
    • Do Men build by Reason or by Imitation?
    • Why does each Bird build a peculiar kind of Nest?
    • How do Young Birds learn to Build their First Nest?
    • Do Birds sing by Instinct or by Imitation?
    • How young Birds may learn to build Nests.
    • Man’s Works mainly Imitative.
    • Birds do Alter and Improve their Nests when altered Conditions require it.
    • Conclusion.
  • VII. A THEORY OF BIRDS’ NESTS; Showing the relation of certain differences of colour in Female Birds, to their mode of Nidification.
    • Changed Conditions and persistent Habits as influencing Nidification.
    • Classification of Nests.
    • Sexual differences of Colour in Birds.
    • The Law which connects the Colours of Female Birds with the mode of Nidification.
    • What the Facts Teach us.
    • Colour more variable than Structure or Habits, and therefore the Character which has generally been Modified.
    • Exceptional Cases confirmatory of the above Explanation.
    • Real or apparent Exceptions to the Law stated at page 240.
    • Various modes of Protection of Animals.
    • Females of some Groups require and obtain more Protection than the Males.
    • Conclusion.
  • VIII. CREATION BY LAW.
    • Mr. Darwin’s Metaphors liable to Misconception.
    • A Case of Orchis-structure explained by Natural Selection.
    • Adaptation brought about by General Laws.
    • Beauty in Nature.
    • How new Forms are produced by Variation and Selection.
    • The Objection that there are Limits to Variation.
    • Objection to the Argument from Classification.
    • The “Times,” on Natural Selection.
    • Intermediate or generalized Forms of extinct Animals, an indication of Transmutation or Development.
    • Conclusion.
    • A Demonstration of the Origin of Species by Natural Selection.
  • IX. THE DEVELOPMENT OF HUMAN RACES UNDER THE LAW OF NATURAL SELECTION.
    • Wide differences of opinion as to Man’s Origin.
    • Outline of the Theory of Natural Selection.
    • Different effects of Natural Selection on Animals and on Man.
    • Influence of external Nature in the development of the Human Mind.
    • Extinction of Lower Races.
    • The Origin of the Races of Man.
    • The Bearing of these Views on the Antiquity of Man.
    • Their Bearing on the Dignity and Supremacy of Man.
    • Their Bearing on the future Development of Man.
    • Summary.
    • Conclusion.
  • X. THE LIMITS OF NATURAL SELECTION AS APPLIED TO MAN.
    • What Natural Selection can Not do.
    • The Brain of the Savage shown to be Larger than he Needs it to be.
    • The Use of the Hairy Covering of Mammalia.
    • The constant absence of Hair from certain parts of Man’s Body a remarkable Phenomenon.
    • Savage Man feels the Want of this Hairy Covering.
    • Man’s Naked Skin could not have been produced by Natural Selection.
    • Feet and Hands of Man, considered as Difficulties on the Theory of Natural Selection.
    • The Origin of some of Man’s Mental Faculties, by the preservation of Useful Variations, not possible.
    • Difficulty as to the Origin of the Moral Sense.
    • Summary of the Argument as to the Insufficiency of Natural Selection to account for the Development of Man.
    • The Origin of Consciousness.
    • The Nature of Matter.
    • Conclusion.
  • NOTES.
    • NOTE A. (Page 360.)
    • NOTE B. (Page 365.)
  • INDEX.
    • Footnotes
    • Transcriber's Notes & Errata
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