Vernon L. (Vernon Lyman) Kellogg.

Darwinism to-day; a discussion of present-day scientific criticism of the Darwinian selection theories, together with a brief account of the principal other proposed auxilary and alternative theories of species-forming online

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Online LibraryVernon L. (Vernon Lyman) KelloggDarwinism to-day; a discussion of present-day scientific criticism of the Darwinian selection theories, together with a brief account of the principal other proposed auxilary and alternative theories of species-forming → online text (page 37 of 38)
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have been many attempts to gravely tamper with essential parts
of the fabric as he left it, and even to substitute conceptions for
those which he endeavoured to establish, at variance with his
conclusions. These attempts must, I think, be considered as having

8 "Physiologic facts concerning the origin of species in nature
were unknown in the time of Darwin. It was a happy idea to
De Vries's dis- choose the experience of the breeders in the produc-
cussion of species- tion of new varieties, as a base on which to build an
forming by explanation of the processes of nature. In my opinion

Darwin was quite right, and he has succeeded in giv-
ing the desired proof. But the basis was a frail one, and would not
stand too close an examination. Of this Darwin was always 'well
aware. He has been prudent to the utmost, leaving many points
undecided, and among them especially the range of validity of his
several arguments. Unfortunately this prudence has not been
adopted by his followers. Without sufficient warrant they have laid
stress on one phase of the problem, quite overlooking the others.
Wallace has even gone so far in his zeal and ardent veneration for
Darwin, as to describe as Darwinism some things, which, in my
opinion, had never been a part of Darwin's conceptions.

"The experience of the breeders was quite inadequate to the
use which Darwin made of it. It was neither scientific, nor critically
accurate. Laws of variation were barely conjectured; the different
types of variability were only imperfectly distinguished. The breed-


ers' conception was fairly sufficient for practical purposes, but science
needed a clear understanding of the factors in the general process
of variation. Repeatedly Darwin tried to formulate these causes,
but the evidence available did not meet his requirements.

"Quetelet's law of variation had not yet been published. Mendel's
claim of hereditary units, for the explanation of certain laws of
hybrids discovered by him, was not yet made. The clear distinction
between spontaneous and sudden changes, as compared with the
ever-present fluctuating variations, is only of late coming into recog-
nition by agriculturists. Innumerable minor points which go to elu-
cidate the breeders' experience, were unknown in Darwin's time.
No wonder that he made mistakes, and laid stress on modes of
descent which have since been proved to be of minor importance
or even of doubtful validity.

"Notwithstanding all these apparently unsurmountable difficulties,
Darwin discovered the great principle which rules the evolution of
organisms. It is the principle of natural selection. It is the sifting
out of all organisms of minor worth through the struggle for life.
It is only a sieve, and not a force of nature, no direct cause of
improvement, as many of Darwin's adversaries, and unfortunately
many of his followers also, have so often asserted. It is only a
sieve, which decides which is to live, and what is to die. But evo-
lutionary lines are of great length, and the evolution of a flower, or
of an insectivorous plant is a way with many side-paths. It is the
sieve that keeps evolution on the main line, killing all, or nearly
all that try to go in other directions. By this means natural selec-
tion is the one directing cause of the broad lines of evolution.

"Of course, with the single steps of evolution it has nothing to
do. Only after the step has been taken, the sieve acts, eliminating
the unfit. The problem, as to how the individual steps are brought
about, is quite another side of the question" (De Vries, "Species
and Varieties," pp. 4-7, 1905).

The distinguished French zoologist (Professor in the University
of Paris), Delage, leader among French morphologists and experi-

Delage's esti- menters, voices his position concerning Darwinism in
mate of selection, the following concise phrases ("L'Heredite," 2d ed.,
p. 397, 1903) : "La selection naturelle est un principe admirable et
parfaitement juste. Tout le monde est d'accord aujourd'hui sur ce
point. Mais ou Ton n'est pas d'accord, c'est sur la limite de sa
puissance et sur la question de savoir si elle peut engendrer des
formes specifiques nouvelles. 11 semble bien demontrer aujourd'hui
qu'elle ne le peut pas."

* "A study of the recent discussion in the Contemporary Review
between Spencer and Weismann leads to the conclusion that neither


of these acknowledged leaders of biological thought supports his
position upon inductive evidence. Each displays his main force

Osborn's cham- m destructive criticism of his opponent; neither pre-
pionship of the sents his case constructively in such a manner as to
"unknown factors carry conviction either to his opponent or to others. In
of evolution." short) beneath the surface of fine controversial style
we discern these leaders respectively maintaining as finally estab-
lished theories which are less grounded upon fact than upon the
logical improbabilities of rival theories. Such a conclusion is deeply
significant; to my mind it marks a turning point in the history of
speculation, for certainly we shall not arrest research with any
evolution factor grounded upon logic rather than upon inductive
demonstration. A retrograde chapter in the history of science
would open if we should do so and should accept as established
laws which rest so largely upon negative reasoning. . . .

"The first step then towards progress is the straightforward con-
fession of the limits of our knowledge and of our present failure
to base either Lamarckism or neo-Darwinism as universal princi-
ples upon induction. The second is the recognition that all our
thinking still centres around the five working hypotheses which
have thus far been proposed; namely, those of Buff on, Lamarck, St.
Hilaire, Darwin, and Nageli. Modern criticism has highly differ-
entiated, but not essentially altered these hypothetical factors since
they were originally conceived. Darwin's 'survival of the fittest'
we may alone regard as absolutely demonstrated as a real factor,
without committing ourselves as to the 'origin of fitness.' The
third step is to recognise that there may be an unknown factor or
factors which will cause quite as great surprise as Darwin's." . . .

"The general conclusion we reach from a survey of the whole
field is, that for Buffon's and Lamarck's factors we have no theory
of heredity, while the original Darwin factor, or neo-Darwinism,
offers an inadequate explanation of evolution. If acquired varia-
tions are transmitted, there must be, therefore, some unknown
principle in heredity; if they are not transmitted, there must be
some unknown factor in evolution." (Osborn, H. F., "The Un-
known Factors of Evolution," in Wood's Holl Biological Lectures,
pp. 79, 80, 81, 98, and 99, 1894.)

5 Davenport, C. B., "Animal Morphology in its Relation to Other
Sciences," Congress of Arts and Sciences, Vol. V, pp. 244-257, 1906.
In this paper are pointed out in admirable manner the present-
moment problems, interests, and points of view of evolution biolo-

' Henry de Varigny, in "La Nature et La Vie," 1905, says that for
many adaptations "il n'y a pas a se dissimuler que, dans beaucoup


de cas, cette explication [of the adaptation] est purement verbale;
nous constatons un resultat. nous 1'exprimons en essayant de 1'inter-
preter ; mais le mecanisme reste obscur. . . . Dans beaucoup de cas,
1'adaptation est un phenomene que 1'on constate sans peine mais
qui dans 1'etat actuel de nos connaissances, reste sans explication"
(p. 184 and p. 185).

Klebs, Georg, "Willkiirliche Entwicklungsanderungen bei Pflan-
zen," 1903. An interesting, suggestive, and valuable account of
Klebs's conclu- experiments, and their significance, on altering the
sion from expert- developmental phenomena of plants. Although he is
ments on plants, strongly opposed to any vitalistic theory which attrib-
utes to life an independence of physico-chemical laws, Klebs does
not accept the Darwinian explanation of adaptiveness. Darwin
"betrachtet die Zweckmassigkeit selbst als den wesentlichsten Faktor
der Artbildung, indem nach seiner Meinung die natiirliche Zucht-
wahl aus der Menge der richtungslos auftretenden variationen nur
die zweckmassigkeiten Merkmale zur Ausbildung und weiteren
Entfaltung bringt. Daher stammt die friiher so verbreitete und
heute uns sonderbar erscheinende Meinung, dass die Deutung
eines Merkmales als eines zweckm'dssigen schon als eine Erklarung
fiir sein Entstehen und seine Ausbildung angenommen wurde. Die
Geltung der Darwin'schen Theorie muss seit den Arbeiten Nagelis,
de Vries, u. a. jedenfalls eingeschrankt werden. Das eigentliche
Problem der Artbildung muss, wie wir spater sehen werden in
anderer Weise, formuliert werden" (p. 3).

Friedlander ("Entdeckung eines 'Atlantischen Palolo,' " etc., Biol.
Centralbl., Vol. XXI, pp. 352-366, 1901) refers to the Darwinian
explanation of Zweckmassigkeit as follows :

"Der ganze Darwinismus im weiteren, also auch vordarwin'schen
Sinne der Descendenzliypothese, mit oder ohne Betonung der Selek-
Friedlander's tionstheorie, und samt den allseitig als fertig und
discussion of sichtr festgestellt gedachten Stammbaumen aller Or-
adaptation. ganismen, wurde, wenn auch alles damit sonst seine

Richtigkeit hatte, unsere Gesamterkenntnis keineswegs in so iiber-
massigem Grade bereichern, wie man friiher wahnte und vor allem
nicht in dem Masse, als dass es sich lohnte, auf die Herstellung
der zudem immer problematischen Stammbaume sonderliche Zeit und
Miihe zu verwenden. Zweitens aber haben die neueren Experimental-
forschungen Arten der Zweckmassigkeit an den Tag gebracht, welche
aus rein logischen Griinden durch die Selektionstheorie durchaus
nicht, auch nicht einmal scheinbar, 'erklart' werden konnen. Nun
ist aber doch gerade die vermeintliche 'Erklarung' der organischen
Zweckmassigkeit oder sogen. 'Anpassungsvollkommenheit' die
Hauptstarke des eigentlichen Darwinismus. Wie die Sache jetzt


liegt, miissten die Verteidiger des Darwinismus annehmen, dass die
organische Zweckmassigkeit zwei vollkommen verschiedene Wurzeln
habe. Die eine ware die alte Darwin'sche oder darwinistische
da namlich, wo diese logischerweise moglich ist; obwohl ja auch
hier die Erklarung die nicht recht befriedigende Form hat, dass
gesagt wird, die Zweckmassigkeit ruhre daher, dass die weniger
zweckmassigen Formen ausgestorben seien. Die zweite Wurzel der
orgahischen Zweckmassigkeit, wie sie sich namentlich in den Selbst-
regulationserscheinungen aussert und zwar auch unter solchen
Bedingungen, die in der freien Natur kaum jemals vorkommen und
daher fur das 'Bestehender Art' nicht von irgend welcher Bedeutung
sein konnen diese zweite Wurzel der Zweckmassigkeit ist der
eigentliche Stein des Anstosses. Die Thatsachen sind hartnackig,
eine darwinistische Scheinerklarung ist hier unmoglich und die an
sich doch so ausserst interessanten Erscheinungen, sowie die ganze
experimentelle Forschungsmethode ist bei den eigentlichen Dar-
winisten nicht in gutem Ansehen ; aus dem sehr begreiflichen Grunde,
weil jene Thatsachen fur die betreffende Richtung unbequem sind.
Eine Reihe sicher festgestellter Thatsachen aus dem Gebiete der
sogen. Selbstregulation beweist also, dass es organische Zweck-
massigkeiten und obendrein typische Beispiele von solchen giebt,.
welche dem Darwin'schen Erklarungsschema vollkommen trotzen.
Nun aber hat die organische Zweckmassigkeit im ganzen ein so
einheitliches Geprage, dass ein doppelter Ursprung von vorn herein
ausserst unwahrscheinlich ist. Hieraus folgt dann weiter, dass die
darwinistische Betrachtungsweise in der Wirklichkeit wahrscheinlich
auch in den Fallen nicht zutrifft, wo sie logisch wenigstens die
Moglichkeit einer Erklarung oder Quasierklarung darzubieten
scheint. Endlich aber sollten auch diejenigen, denen die Bedenken
gegen die darwinistischen Schlussfolgerungen nicht recht eingehen
wollen, nachgerade doch wenigstens das einsehen, dass der Teil der
Biologic, der sich allenfalls im darwinistischen Sinne behandeln
Hesse oder doch in Sinne jener Richtung nach Darwin'schen Prin-
zipien behandelt werden kann, dass dieser Teil nur ein kleines
und vergleichsweise auch unwichtiges Gebiet umfasst."

7 Jacques Loeb, in a recent address ("Recent Development of
Biology," Congress of Arts and Sciences, Vol. V, p. 17, 1906), takes
this attitude toward the problem of species-forming: "The theory

Loeb's attitude * heredity of Mendel and de Vries is in full har-
toward the prob- mony with the idea of evolution. The modern idea
lam of species- of evolution originated, as is well known, with
Lamarck, and it is the great merit of Darwin to have
revived this idea. It is, however, remarkable that none of the
Darwinian authors seemed to consider it necessary that the trans-


formation of species should be the object of direct observation. It
is generally understood in the natural sciences either that direct
observation should form the foundation of our conclusions or
mathematical laws, which are derived from direct observations. This
rule was evidently considered superfluous by those writing on the
hypothesis of evolution. Their scientific conscience was quieted by
the assumption that processes like that of evolution could not be
directly observed, as they occurred too slowly, and that for this
reason indirect observations must suffice. I believe that this lack
of direct observation explains the polemical character of this liter-
ature, for wherever we can base our conclusions upon direct obser-
vations polemics become superfluous. It was, therefore, a decided
progress when de Vries was able to show that the hereditary
changes of forms, so-called 'mutations,' can be directly observed, at
least in certain groups of organisms, and secondly, that these
charrges take place in harmony with the idea that for definite
hereditary characteristics definite determinants, possibly in the form
of chemical compounds, must be present in the sexual cells. It seems
to me that the work of Mendel and de Vries and their successors
marks the beginning of a real theory of heredity and evolution. If
it is at all possible to produce new species artificially, I think that
the discoveries of Mendel and de Vries must be the starting point."

' Schmankewitsch, A., Zeitschr. f. wiss. Zool., Vol. XXV, p. 103,
1875 ; also Zeitschr. f. wiss. Zool., Vol. XXIX, p. 429, 1877.

* Adelung, Zool-Centralbl., Vol. VI, p. 757, 1899. (A review of
Anikin's paper, which is in Russian.)

10 Kellogg, V. L., "A New Artemia, and Its Life-Conditions,"
Science, N. S., Vol. XXIV, 594-596, 1906.

11 Klebs, G., "Willkurliche Entwickelungsanderungen bei Pflan-
zen," 1903.

"Tower, W. L., "Evolution in Chrysomelid Beetles of the Genus
Leptinotarsa," Pub. No. 48, Carnegie Institution of Washington.

"The phenomenon of variation primarily owes its existence to the
fact that community of descent and heredity tends to produce the
exact counterpart of the parent organisms; the process of develop-
ment, however, is not carried out under absolutely constant or uni-
form conditions, but in a world wherein there exist changing environ-
mental states in endless proximity. This results in the turning
aside in the line of development from the parental standard, per-
haps ever so little or only in one character; but in this we have
deviation or variation" (p. 298).

"In the explanation of origin of variation in organisms the only
issumption we need make is that the original unit of organic matter
was possessed of the attributes which characterise organic matter


to-day motion, sensation, growth, and reproduction. This assump-
tion cannot meet with any serious objection unless we change our
ideas and definition of organic units. Granted the existence of one
single organic unit endowed as above, there is no reason for intro-
ducing further complications by the explanation of phenomena
through undemonstrable hypotheses, because the fact of variation in
organic units can be explained solely through their existence in a
natural world surrounded by varying conditions of existence"
(p. 299).

"In the third chapter, where colour characters are used as sub-
jects, it is demonstrated that variation is directly produced by
stimuli that from relatively invariable parents, stimuli produce
variable offspring; and again in the fifth chapter it is shown that
variations arise in direct response to stimuli" (p. 300).

"I maintain, therefore, that all organic variations are responsive
to stimuli, and are not due to inherent tendencies or latencies, or
the product of mystic elements" (p. 300).

13 Montgomery, T. A., in a recent book of much interest ("Anal-
ysis of Racial Descent in Animals," 1906), explains clearly his belief
in the inevitable production of variation (even that called blastogenic
or congenital), and the influence on heredity (through this varia-
tion) by the influences of environment.

14 Brooks, W. K., "The Foundations of Zoology," p. 43, 1899. A
most thoughtful and keen discussion of many of the conspicuous
problems of "philosophical biology," written in lucid and epigram-
matic style. In many ways Brooks stands at the head of American
philosophical biologists.


Adaptation, complex and cor-
related, not explicable by
selection, 144 ; Friedlander's
discussion of, 392 ; lack of, in
egg-laying habit of Phrygani-
dia calif ornica, 68; the great
need of explaining, 380; not
all explicable by Lamarckism,

Amphimixis, Weismann's prin-
ciple of, 180

Anosia, mimicry of, by Basi-
larchia, 49

Anti-Darwinism, present-day, 4

Baldwin, J. M., theory of ortho-
pi asy, 208

Basilarchia, mimicry of Anosia
by. 49

Bateson, W., records of discon-
tinuous variation, 33 ; sugges-
tion that mutations are Men-
delian recessives, 351

Battle of the parts, Roux's
theory of, 201

Biologists, many not satisfied
with the selection theory, 89

Biophor, 195

Brown-Sequard, experiments on
guinea pigs, 290

Buffon, theory of ultimate
structure of protoplasm, 216

Bumpus, H., example of in-
creased variability due to
emancipation from selection,
56; references to papers by, 69

Burbank, Luther, belief in La-
marckism, 272 ; scientific as-
pects of work of, 310

Callosamia promethea, Mayer's

experiments with, 120
Carcinus, Weldon's selection

experiments on, 158
Castle, W. S., discussion of

mutations theory, 364

Chance, law of, variation accord-
ing to, 32-59

Characters, numerous, useful
only in highly perfected state,
49 ; species, of no utility, 38

Colour and pattern of insects,
Piepers' antagonism to selec-
tion explanation of, 69

Conn, H. W., discussion of the
chances of death, 83; discus-
sion of selective value, 182;
statement of objection to se-
lection, based on trivial char-
acters, 40

Cope, E. D., belief in ortho-
genetic evolution, 323 ; claim-
ing that natural selection can-
not make new characters, 185 ;
theory of orthogenesis, 285

Correlation, references to papers
on, 184

Crab, hermit and polyp, sym-
biosis of, 23

Crabs, Weldon's experiments on,

Cunningham, J. T., criticism of
Weldon's experiments on
crabs, 161 ; discussion of
orthogenesis, 326 ; experiments
on flatfishes, 296; explanation
of secondary sexual charac-
ters, 354 ; theory to explain sec-
ondary sexual differences, 124

Dall, W., belief in sudden
species-change, 330

Darwin, C., attitude toward de-
terminate variation, 34; basis
of theory of sexual selection,
112; explanation of descent,
13 ; on race origin from sports,
357; theory of sexual selec-
tion, in; theory of ultimate
structure of protoplasm, 218

Darwinism attacked, 25; attack
on, by Dennert, 7; concilia-




tory defence of, 164 ; death-bed
of, i; defended, 129; defined,
2, 10 ; not synonymous with
organic evolution, 2, 3; pres-
ent standing of, 374; upheld
by Lankester, 389

Davenport, C. B., discussion of
mutations theory, 367

Death-bed of Darwinism, I

Death indiscriminate, 80

Defence of Darwinism, 129

Degeneration, complete, not ex-
plicable by selection, 77, 146;
example of progressive, not
explicable by natural selection,
100; explanation of, by pan-
mixia, 190; Lamarckian ex-
planation of, 192 ; Plate's La-
marckian explanation of, 147;
Tayler's Darwinian explana-
tion of, 147; Weismann's dis-
cussion of, 77

Delage, Y., criticism of Del-
bceuf's law, 72 ; criticism of
organic selection, 210; esti-
mate of selection, 93, 390 ; ma-
chine theory of protoplasm,
225 ; theory of general varia-
tion. 289

Delbceuf's law, Delage's criti-
cism of, 72

Dennert, E., attack on Darwin-
ism, 7

Descent, Darwinian explanation
of, 13; evidences for, 17; evi-
dences of, references, 23 ; his-
tory of theory of, references.
22; natural selection the final
arbiter in, 374; relations to
theology, references, 23; theo-
ries of, 187; theory of, de-
fined, 1 1 ; theory of, dis-
tinguished from theory of nat-
ural selection, 17; theory of,
history, of. n; theory, given
validity by Darwin, 12; theory,
relation to pedagogy, 21 ;
theory, relation to sociology,
21 ; theory, relation to theology
and philosophy, 20

Determinant, 95

DeVries, H., belief of, that
artificial races are not fixed
and constant forms, 87; dis-
cussion of geologic time and

species-forming, 54; discus-
sion of species-forming by
selection, 389; objection to
selection based on linear char-
acter of variation, 139; refer-
ences to discussions of muta-
tions theory by, 362; summing
up of discussion of compari-
son of natural and artificial
selection, 89; theory of muta-
tions, 337; theory of the ulti-
mate structure of protoplasm,


Dohrn, A., principle of change
of function, 168

Douglass, N. G., observations
on wall lizard, 123

Diirigen, observations on liz-
ards, 123

Eimer, Th., theory of ortho-
genesis, 282, 321

Emery, C., theory of primary
variations, 332; theory of the
origin of secondary sexual
characters, 353 ; theory to ex-
plain secondary sexual differ-
ences, 124

Evolution, defined, 10; organic,
not synonymous with Darwin-
ism, 2, 3 ; Osborn's champion-
ship of the unknown factors
of, 391 ; the unknown factors-
of. 377

Evolution study, prime needs of,

Fischer, experiments with but-
terflies, 296

Fleischmann, A., opposed to evo-
lution, 8

Friedlander, discussion of adap-
tation, 392

Friedman, H., theory of the con-
vergence of organisms, 8

Gallon, F., belief in hetero-
genesis, 332; discussion of
specific stability, 359; discus-
sion of variation according to
the law of chance, 61 ; law of
regression, 71 ; statement of
the law of regression. 97

Germ-cells, theories of ultimate
composition of, 268



Grinnell, Jos., study of geo-
graphic differences in the
chickadee, 225

Gulick, J. T., studies of Ha-
waiian land snails, 251 ; theo-
ries of isolation influence, 249

Haacke, W., discussion of in-
heritance of acquired char-
acters, 270; summary of Wag-
ner's theory, 253

Haeckel, E., champion of evolu-
tion, 130

Hatschek, B., theory of the
ultimate structure of proto-
plasm, 222

Henslow, G., experiment of sow-
ing of wheat, 80 ; references to
books antagonistic to selection,

Heterogenesis, 326; belief in, of
Dall, 330 ; Emery's theory of,
332; Korschinsky's theory of,
333 ; proposed by von K61-
liker, 330

Hutton, F. W., argument for
dualism, 23

Hyatt, A., experiments on
Planorbis, 295

Inheritance of acquired char-
acters, 263; Brown-Sequard's
experiments, 290 ; Cunning-
ham's experiments. 296; diffi-
culties in accepting, 267 ; ex-
periments with silkworms,
298; Fischer's experiments,
296; Haacke's discussion of,
270 ; Hyatt's experiments, 295 ;
logical proof of, 382; Mont-
gomery's explanation of, 306 ;
references to discussions of,

Insects, parthenogenetical varia-
tion in, 58; variation in, 62

Interbreeding, swamping favour-
able variations, 44

Intra-selection, Roux's theory of,
201 ; Plate's criticism of
Roux's theory of, 203

Isolation, biologic, 243 ; biologic,
example of, 243; geographic,
studied among past animals,
241 ; defined, 234 ; importance
of, in species-forming, 232;

not an all-sufficient agent of
species-forming, 242 ; physio-
logical, 245; references to dis-
cussions of, 253, 261 ; sexual,
245; theories, 232; various
means of effecting, 234

Jaeckel, theory of metakinesis,

Johannsen, W., experiments.

Online LibraryVernon L. (Vernon Lyman) KelloggDarwinism to-day; a discussion of present-day scientific criticism of the Darwinian selection theories, together with a brief account of the principal other proposed auxilary and alternative theories of species-forming → online text (page 37 of 38)