Darwin: Origin ch.


Is the Difference between Animals
and Humans one of degree or of
Can morality be explained by natural
Is Human Nature fixed or in a
constant state of flux?

Lamarckism .  Divine design theory.

. The French naturalist JeanBaptiste Lamarck developed a theory of evolution according to which an organism can pass on characteristics that it acquired during its lifetime to its offspring.

Lamarckism Two principles: Use and Disuse Inheritance of acquired traits .

(b) Inheritance of acquired traits – Individuals inherit the traits that their ancestors have acquired through use. .   2 main principles: (a) Use and disuse – Individuals lose characteristics they do not use and they develop other characteristics that are useful.

plants and organisms from the remote past. 1830) Great amount of fossil remains or traces of animals.  Geological time. (Lyell’s Principles of Geology. .


a severe struggle for life. assuredly individuals thus characterized will have the best chance of being preserved in the struggle for life. causing an infinite diversity in structure. at some age. and habits.If during the long course of ages and under varying conditions of life. then. But if variations useful to any organic being do occur. I have called. Natural Selection. considering the infinite complexity of the relations of all organic beings to each other and to their conditions of existence. This principle of preservation. in the same way as so many variations have occurred useful to man. season. and from the strong principle of inheritance they will tend to produce off-spring similarly characterized. for the sake of brevity. Origin ch. and I think this cannot be disputed. constitution. ‘Summary of the Chapter’) . if there be. or year. I think it would be a most extraordinary fact if no variation ever had occurred useful to each being's own welfare. owing to the high geometrical powers of increase of each species. 4. life and this certainly cannot be disputed. organic beings vary at all in the several parts of their organization. (Darwin. to be advantageous to them.


   Variation.) Inheritance. (= The fact that offspring vary among themselves.) Struggle for life (= The principle which determines the variations that will be advantageous in a given environment. and are not carbon copies of an immutable type. thus altering the species through selective reproduction. Inheritance (= The force that transmits similar organic form from one generation to another) .

p. Full House. 138) . survivors will tend to be those individuals with variations that are fortuitously best suited to changing local environments. the offspring of survivors will tend to resemble their successful parents. and not in every case). The accumulation of these favorable variants through time will produce evolutionary change. Since heredity exists. 1996. (Stephen Jay Gould. then on average (as a statistical statement. and individuals in all species vary among themselves.If many offspring must die (for not all can be accommodated in nature's limited ecology).

or is there some sort of teleology in the theory of evolution by natural selection? • Rejection of the idea of design. e. Does Darwin do away with teleology.g. purpose (The changes that occur are not going to be completely due to luck. design • Preservation of the notion of purpose. the evolutionist is going to be able to study the purpose of certain organs) .

(Final causation/natural purpose does not necessarily involve being the product of an intentional design –> the notion of natural selection includes certain teleology) . Darwin does away with teleology. since it replaces specific Divine designs with the actions of an impersonal. However.  In a way. Darwin himself seems to think that his system has preserved teleology in a way. purely physical process (natural selection).

1874.  Darwin: "What you say about teleology pleases me especially. Gray: "We recognize the great service rendered by Darwin to natural science by restoring teleology to it. p. especially and I do not think anyone else ever noticed the point. I have always said that you were the man to hit the nail on the head. we shall have henceforth morphology married to teleology. 308) . so that instead of having morphology against teleology." teleology Nature. June 4." (quoted in Autobiography.

He is best known for his extensive work on taxonomy (see esp. 1848) Image: Asa Gray by John Whipple. from New England to Wisconsin and South to Ohio and Pennsylvania Inclusive.A. his Manual of the Botany of the Northern United States. Gray is one of the most influential American botanists of the 19th Century. 1864 .

 There is a bigger resistance to accept the explanation of the inheritance of a pattern of behavior than the inheritance of a morphological feature–why? .

 There is a bigger resistance to accept the explanation of the inheritance of a pattern of behavior than the inheritance of a morphological feature–why?  Appearance of intelligent guidance. .

experience and when performed by many individuals in the same way. 7. which we ourselves should require experience to enable us to perform. without their knowing for what purpose it is performed.An action. ch. when performed by an animal. 1) . is usually said to be instinctive. without any experience. (Origin . more especially by a very young one.

and with certain periods of time and states of the body. Habits easily become associated with other habits. 1) . ch. (Origin . indeed not rarely in direct opposition to our conscious will! Yet they may be modified by the will or reason. When once acquired. 7.How unconsciously many habitual actions are performed. they often remain constant throughout life.

be might truly be said to have done so instinctively. instead of playing the pianoforte at three years old with wonderfully little practice.2) . had played a tune with no practice at all. (ch. p. If Mozart. If we suppose any habitual action to become inherited—and I think it can be shown that this does sometimes happen—then the resemblance between what originally was a habit and an instinct becomes so close as not to be distinguished. 7.

and then transmitted by inheritance to succeeding generations.“But it would be the most serious error to suppose that the greater number of instincts have been acquired by habit in one generation. p. 7. could not possibly have been thus acquired.” (ch. It can be clearly shown that the most wonderful instincts with which we are acquainted. those of the hive-bee and of many ants. namely.2) .

it is at least possible that slight modifications of instinct might be profitable to a species. Under changed conditions of life.2) . 7. p. then I can see no difficulty in natural selection preserving and continually accumulating variations of instinct to any extent that may be profitable. under its present conditions of life. and if it can be shown that instincts do vary ever so little.” (ch.“It will be universally admitted that instincts are as important as corporeal structure for the welfare of each species.

” (Ch. variations. p. 7.2)  “Natura non facit saltum” – This principle “applies with almost equal force to instincts as to bodily organs. slight. yet profitable. 7.” (ch. except by the slow and gradual accumulation of numerous. p.2) . Geological time scale “No complex instinct can possibly be produced through natural selection.

   Cockoo’s instinct to lay her eggs in other birds’ nests Ant’s slave-making instinct Hive-Bee’s Cell-Making instinct .

can be explained by natural selection having taken advantage of numerous. “…the most wonderful of all known instincts. successive. slight modifications of simpler instincts. natural selection having by slow degrees. led the bees to sweep equal spheres at a given distance from each other in a double layer. that of the hive-bee.” . and to build up and excavate the wax along the planes of intersection. more and more perfectly.

…” (ch. The motive power of the process of natural selection having been economy of wax.7. p. no more knowing that they swept their spheres at one particular distance from each other. 14) . of course. The bees. than they know what are the several angles of the hexagonal prisms and of the basal rhombic plates.

.” (Origin . they cannot propagate their kind. 7. 14) . and actually fatal to my whole theory. ch. one special difficulty. I allude to the neuters or sterile females in insectcommunities: for these neuters often differ widely in instinct and in structure from both the males and fertile females. which at first appeared to me insuperable.“. and yet.. from being sterile.

or instinct. when it is remembered that selection may be applied to the family.. Thus I believe it has been with social insects: a slight modification of structure. as I believe. has been advantageous to the community: consequently the fertile males and females of the same community flourished.” (Origin . 7. or. and transmitted to their fertile offspring a tendency to produce sterile members having the same modification..“. is lessened. ch.. though appearing insuperable. 15) .. and may thus gain the desired end. disappears. . This difficulty. correlated with the sterile condition of certain members of the community. family as well as to the individual.