The Order of Nature: An Essay

The Order of Nature: An Essay

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The Order of Nature: An Essay

The Order of Nature: An Essay

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Excerpt

"La nature est un ordre . . . dont l'ensemble constitue une puissance inaltérable dans son essence, assujettie dans tous ses actes, et constamment agissant sur toutes les parties de l'univers." . . . "un ordre . . . capable de donner successivement l'existence à tant d'êtres divers" . . . "cette puissance qui fait tant de chose, et qui cependant est constamment bornée à ne faire que celles-là."

LAMARCK, Histoire naturelle des animaux sans vertèbres.

THE study of adaptation, of which Lamarck is the great originator, has not yet won for itself a secure scientific foundation or led to clear and unequivocal interpretations of nature. Although the facts which this study presents are both universal and important, biologists have neither agreed upon their place in the theory of evolution nor discovered any principle by which they may be even unified.

This failure of our modern science is not hard to understand, and may fairly be attributed, in part at least, to the lack of a systematic study of adaptability; which at bottom is a physical and chemical problem, uncomplicated by the riddle of life.

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