Darwinian Theory

Charles Darwin, grandson of the poet, published in 1859 a work entitled Origin of Species, to prove that the numerous species now existing on the earth sprang originally from one or at most a few primal forms; and that the present diversity is due to special development and natural selection. Those plants and creatures which are best suited to the conditions of their existence survive and become fruitful; certain organs called into play by peculiar conditions of life grow with their growth, and strengthen with their strength, till they become so much a part and parcel of their frames as to be transmitted to their offspring. The conditions of life being very diverse, cause a great diversity of organic development, and, of course, every such diversity which has become radical is the parent of a new species. (See Evolution.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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