ONE of the strongest arguments which. have been adduced to prove the original and permanent distinct-ness of species is, that varieties produced in a state of domesticity are more or less unstable, and often have a tendency, if left to themselves, to return to the normal form of the parent species; and this instability is considered to be a distinctive peculiarity of all varieties, even of those occurring among wild animals in a state of nature, and to constitute a provision for preserving unchanged the originally created distinct species.
In the absence or scarcity of facts and observations as to varieties occurring among wild animals, this argument has had great weight with naturalists, and has led to a very general and somewhat
* Written at Ternate, February, 1858; and published in the Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnæan Society for August, 1858.
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Publication information: Book title: The Evolution Debate, 1813-1870. Contributors: Charles Darwin - Editor, Alfred Russel Wallace - Editor, David Knight - Author. Publisher: Routledge. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 2003. Page number: 26.
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