By Joseph Le Conte

Joseph Le Conte used to be the 1st geologist, common historian and botanist to be appointed to the college of California in 1869. He based the winning palaeontology application at Berkeley and bought vital collections of fossils. He additionally lectured and wrote on evolution, of which he was once the top American proponent. This publication, first released in 1888 yet revised and extended within the moment variation reissued right here, is his try to reconcile his evolutionist convictions together with his non secular religion. the sort of synthesis, he felt, used to be impeded by means of dogmatism on either side, and he makes a case for 'a combining, reconciling and rational view.' He considers 3 questions: what's evolution? Is it real? and What then?, meaning to handle 'the clever normal reader' with out being superficial or unscientific. strategies akin to 'neo-Darwinism', 'materialism', and 'design' make their visual appeal during this wide-ranging e-book, whose issues stay unusually topical this present day.

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Extra resources for Evolution: Its Nature, its Evidences and its Relation to Religious Thought

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This is the nebular hypothesis—the theory of the development of the solar system. It is cosmogony ; it is evolution. 3. Again : society may be studied in the mutual 6 WHAT IS EVOLUTION? play of all its social functions so adjusted as to produce social equilibrium, happiness, prosperity, and good government. This is social statics. But equilibrium and stability are never perfect. Permanent social equilibrium would be social stagnation and decay. Therefore, we must study society also in its onward movement—the equilibrium ever disturbed, only to be readjusted on a higher plane with more and more complexly inter-related parts.

15 or a monkey is on the highway to become a man ? " By no means. There is but one straight and narrow way to the highest in evolution as in all else, and few there be that have found it—in fact, probably two or three only at every step. The animals mentioned above have diverged from that way. In their ancestral history, they have missed the golden opportunity, if they ever had it. It is easy to go on in the way they have chosen, but impossible to get back on the ascending trunkline. To compare again with the growing tree, only one straight trunk-line leads upward to the terminal bud.

35 biology was kept back half a century by the baneful authority of Cuvier and Agassiz ; but I can not think so0 The hypothesis was contrary to the facts of science as then Tcnown and understood. It was conceived in the spirit of baseless speculation, rather than of cautious induction ; of skillful elaboration rather than of earnest truth-seeking. Its general acceptance would have debauched the true spirit of science. I repeat it : the time was not yet ripe for a scientific theory. The ground must first be cleared and a solid foundation built; an insuperable obstacle to hearty rational acceptance must first be removed, and an inductive basis must be laid.

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