The Evolution Debate, 1813-1870

By Charles Darwin; Alfred Russel Wallace et al. | Go to book overview
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I.

ON THE LAW WHICH HAS REGULATED THE INTRODUCTION OF NEW SPECIES. *

Geographical Distribution dependent on Geologic Changes.

EVERY naturalist who has directed his attention to the subject of the geographical distribution of animals and plants, must have been interested in the singular facts which it presents. Many of these facts are quite different from what would have been anticipated, and have hitherto been considered as highly curious, but quite inexplicable. None of the explanations attempted from the time of Linnæus are now considered at all satisfactory; none of them have given a cause sufficient to account for the facts known at the time, or comprehensive enough to include all the new facts which have since been, and are daily being added. Of late years, however, a great light has been thrown upon the subject by geological investigations, which have shown that the present state of the earth and of the organisms now

* Written at Sarawak in February, 1855, and published in the “Annals and Magazine of Natural History, September, 1855.

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