The Hand of Darwin: 1835 Essay on Births and Deaths of Species

The Hand of Darwin: 1835 Essay on Births and Deaths of Species

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1835 Essay on Births and Deaths of Species

(Reprinted with permission of Syndics of Cambridge University Library, DAR 42:97.2)

ยป listen (mp3, 4:10) to David Kohn provide a broader context to this passage and why Darwin wrote it

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a). The following analogy I am aware is a false one; but when I consider the enormous extension of life of an individual plant, seen in the grafting of an Apple tree, & that all these thousand trees are subject to the duration of life which one bud contained. I cannot see such difficulty in believing a similar duration might be propagated with true generation.โ€” If gradual deaths the existence of species is allowed, each acording to its kind, we must suppose deaths to follow one after at different epochs, & then successive births must repeople the globe or the number of its inhabitants has Varied exceedingly at different periods.โ€” A fact supposition in contradiction to the fitness, with which the Author of Nature has now established.

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has co-authored several books about Charles Darwin, including Darwin: The Life of a Tormented Evolutionist. He's been researching and teaching Darwin for more than 30 years in Cambridge, England.