The pre-Darwinian systematists since the time of Von Baer had attached very great importance to embryological facts, holding that the stages in an animal's development were often more significant of its true affinities than its adult structure.
Pre-Darwinian zoologists had been aware of the class of facts thus interpreted by Fritz Muller, but the authoritative view on the subject had been that there is a parallelism between (a) the series of forms which occur in individual development, (b) the series of existing forms from lower to higher, and (c) the series of forms which succeed 'one another in the strata of the earth's crust, whilst an explanation of this parallelism was either not attempted, or was illusively offered in the shape of a doctrine of harmony of plan in creation.
The first post-Darwinian systematists naturally and without reflexion accepted of' the idea that existing simpler forms represent stages i n the gradual progress of development - are in fact survivors from past ages which have retained the exact grade of development which their ancestors had reached in past ages.
It is held 1 that the Darwinian doctrine of selection of fortuitous congenital variations is sufficient to account for all cases, that the Lamarckian hypothesis of transmission cf acquired characters is not supported by experimental evidence, and that the latter should therefore be dismissed.
The very cases which are advanced as only to be explained on the Lamarckian assumption are found on examination and experiment to be better explained, or only to be explained, by the Darwinian principle.
The view that instinct is the hereditarily fixed result of habit derived from experience long dominated all inquiry into the subject, but we may now expect to see a renewed and careful study of animal instincts carried out with the view of testing the applicability to each instance of the pure Darwinian theory without the aid of Lamarckism.
His labours coincided in time with the great development of biology under the stimulus of the Darwinian theory, and the sympathizers with the new views, feeling the need of a comprehensive survey of the world as a whole, very widely accepted Spencer's philosophy at its own valuation, both in England and, still more, in America.
Spencer welcomed the Darwinian theory, and enriched it with the phrase" survival of the fittest "; but he did not give up the (Lamarckian) belief in the hereditary transmission of the modifications of organisms by the exercise of function.
His universal process of Evolution seems to give Spencer a criterion of" higher "and" lower " progression "and" degeneration,"independent of the accidents of actual history, and unattainable by strictly Darwinian methods.
Politically, Spencer is an individualist of an extreme laissez faire type, and it is in his political attitude that the consequences of his pre-Darwinian conception of Evolution are most manifest.
On the whole, as in the case of vertebrate palaeontology, the pre-Darwinian period of invertebrate palaeontology was one of rather dry systematic description, in which, however, the applications of the science gradually extended to many regions of the world and to all divisions of the kingdom of invertebrates.
The net result of observation is not favourable to the essentially Darwinian view that the adaptive arises out of the fortuitous by selection, but is rather favourable to the hypothesis of the existence of some quite unknown intrinsic law of life which we are at present totally unable to comprehend or even conceive.
By thus supposing a psychical basis to evolution, Fechner, anticipating Wundt, substituted a psychical development of organs for Darwinian accidental variation.
Although the pre-Darwinian writers amongst them invoked nearly every principle that Darwin or his successors have suggested, they failed to carry conviction with regard to evolution, and they neither propounded a coherent philosophy of variation nor suggested a mechanism by which variations that appeared might give rise to new species.
Alfred Russel Wallace, the co-discoverer of the Darwinian principles, had sent to Darwin early in 1858 an outline of a theory of the origin of species.
It now remains to examine in closer detail the further knowledge that has been gained with regard to variation and the bearing of that on the Darwinian position.
Wallace, whilst insisting that the range of observed and measured variation was much larger in proportion to the size of the organisms or parts of organism affected than was generally believed, leaned to the Darwinian view in excluding from the normal factors in the origin of species variations of the extremer ranges of magnitude.
So far as magnitude is concerned, the attack on the Darwinian position has failed, and it is agreed that species may be discontinuous and none the less have been produced from minute variations.
There remains open a wide field for inquiry as to the precise relations between selection and variation on the one hand, and their products, specific differences and adaptive structures, but the advance of knowledge has supplied no alternative to the Darwinian principles.
Of far-reaching importance was, on the other hand, his foreshadowing of the Darwinian theory in his works on the metamorphosis of plants and on animal morphology.
The alarm was greater, as theology was still unreconciled with the Darwinian theory; and Clifford was regarded as a dangerous champion of the antispiritual tendencies then imputed to modern science.
The wide acceptance of the Darwinian theory, as applied to, the descent of man, has naturally roused anticipation that geological research, which provides evidence of the animal life of incalculably greater antiquity, would furnish fossil remains of some comparatively recent being intermediate between the anthropomorphic and the anthropic types.
It protests against contemporary industrial selfishness, and against the organization of industry on the Darwinian principle of struggle for existence.
Not only did Planck oppose the idealism of his confreres; his views were, in another aspect, directly antagonistic to the Darwinian theory of descent, which he specifically attacked in Wahrheit and Flachheit des Darwinismus (Ndrdlingen, 1872).
The influence of the Darwinian theory, moreover, has extended from historical psychology to ethics, tending to substitute " preservation of the race under its conditions of existence " for " happiness " as the ultimate end and standard of virtue.
- Ethical controversies, like most other speculative disputes, have, during the latter part of the 10th and the beginning of the 10th century, centred round Darwinian theories.
Yet it has been a true instinct which has led popular opinion as testified to by current literature to find in Nietzsche the most orthodox exponent of Darwinian ideas in their application to ethics.
The evidence as set out by Darwin has been added to enormously; new knowledge has in many cases altered our conceptions of the mode of the actual process of evolution, and from time to time a varying stress has been laid on what are known as the purely Darwinian factors in the theory.
Statistical inquiry into the facts of life has long been employed, and in particular Francis Galton, within the Darwinian period, has advocated its employment and developed its methods.
It is suggested that even in the absence of modification produced by any possible Darwinian or Lamarckian factors, that even in a neutral environment, divergent evolution of some kind would have occurred.
Those have found little favour who brought to the debate only formal criticisms or amplifications of the Darwinian arguments, or re-marshallings of the Darwinian facts, however ably conducted.
The great work that is going on is the simplification of the facts to be explained by grouping them under empirical laws; and the most general statement relating to these that can yet be made is that no single one of these laws has as yet shown signs of taking rank as a vera causa comparable with the Darwinian principle of natural selection.
For this he wrote the first adequate account in German of the Darwinian theory of natural selection, which drew a warm letter of appreciation from Darwin himself.
The special Darwinian hypothesis - natural " selection " - may or may not be true; it was at least a fruitful suggestion.
Competition, in the Darwinian sense, is characteristic not only of modern industrial states, but of all living organisms; and in the narrower sense of the " higgling of the market " is found on the Stock Exchange, in the markets of old towns, in medieval fairs and Oriental bazaars.
This paper is indeed little more than an English translation of one published by the author in the annual volume (Arsskrift) of the Scientific Society of Upsala for 1860, and belonging to the pre-Darwinian epoch should perhaps have been more properly treated before, but that at the time of its original appearance it failed to attract attention.
In Der Kampf urns Dasein am Himmel von Prel endeavoured to apply the Darwinian doctrine of organic evolution not only to the sphere of consciousness but also even more widely as the philosophical principle of the world.
A chief merit of Ray is to have limited the term " species " and to have assigned to Ray it the significance which it bore till the Darwinian era, whereas previously it was loosely and vaguely applied.