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On the Genesis of Species

Series: Cambridge Library Collection - Darwin, Evolution and Genetics

By: George Jackson Mivart(Author)

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Sep 2009 | #199628 | ISBN-13: 9781108005524
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £23.99 $31/€27 approx

About this book

A reprint of a classical work in the Cambridge Library Collection.

St George Jackson Mivart was an eminent biologist, who was at first an advocate for natural selection and later a passionate opponent. In this beautifully illustrated 1871 text, Mivart raised objections to natural selection as a means for evolution. These included problems in explaining: 'incipient stages' of complex structures (e.g. the mammalian eye); the existence of similar structures of divergent origin; dramatic and rapid changes in form; the absence of transitional forms from the fossil record; and issues in geological distribution. Citing the giraffe's neck, the rattle of the snake and the whale's baleen, Mivart argued for the necessity of an innate power underlying all organic life. Mivart's book did not seriously undermine the concept of natural selection – Darwin and Huxley soon countered his 'formidable array' of arguments – but it helped move the debate forward. Sadly, it also led to a rift between Mivart and Darwin.


1. Introductory
2. The incompetency of 'natural selection' to account for the incipient stages of useful structures
3. The coexistence of closely similar structures of diverse origin
4. Minute and gradual modifications
5. As to specific stability
6. Species and time
7. Species and space
8. Homologies
9. Evolution and ethics
10. Pangenesis
11. Specific genesis
12. Theology and evolution


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