Copyright
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

. (page 7 of 38)
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 7 of 38)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


diese Ursache fur sich vollkommen ausreicht und daher die Mit-
wirkung einer zweiten andersartigen Ursache ausschliesst, und
andrerseits durch den ferneren Umstand, dass Anfange von Organen
bis zu der Grosse, wo sie in Gebrauch kommen und ihre Ntitzlich-
keit zu erproben vermogen, mangeln, obgleich sie durch die Ernah-
rungseinfliisse in Menge hervorgebracht werden mussten.

"5. Die Eigenschaften der Organismen mussten in Folge der
naturlichen Zuchtwahl um so constanter sein, je niitzlicher sie sind,
und Einrichtungen, die keinen Vortheil gewahren, konnten keine
Bestandigkeit erlangen. Im Widerspruche hiermit gehoren gewisse.
rein morphologische, mit Rucksicht auf den Nutzen indifferente
Merkmale zu den allerbestarttligsten.



64 DARWINISM TO-DAY.

"6. Aus der Selectionstheorie, nach welcher von den eintretenden
richtungslosen Veranderungen bloss die niitzlichen festgehalten wiir-
den, lassen sich weder die Divergenz der Reihen in den organischen
Reichen, noch die bestehenden Liicken in und zwischen den Reihen
erklaren, indem vielmehr eine netzformige Anordnung der Sippen
zu Stande kommen miisste.

"7. Ebenso widersprechen jener Theorie das Nichtvorhandensein
der von ihr behaupteten gegenseitigen Anpassung der Bewohner eines
Landes und die bestehenden Naturalisationen fremder Erzeugnisse.

"Diese Einwurfe gegen die Selectionstheorie, die ich hier bloss
ganz allgemein formulirt habe, sollen im folgenden des Naheren
begriindet werden."

14 Wolff, G., "Beitrage zur Kritik der Darwin'schen Lehre," 1898.
From this caustic attack on the Darwinian position, I quote as fol-
lows (pp. 56-57) :

"Wenn wir sagen, die Selektion schafft Zweckmassiges dadurch,

dass eben nur das Zweckmassige erhalten wird, das andre zu Grunde

geht, so wird in dieser Fassung das Zweckmassige

Wolff's attack natiirlich vorausgesetzt, aber nicht sein Zustandekom-
on the selection- men g^rt. Dass Zweckmassiges iiberhaupt da war,
ists' assumption ... , ,-.

of the appearance ist im hochsten Grade unwahrschemhch und unver-
at the right time standlich. Mochte auch unter den vielen Variie-
of the needed rungen manchmal etwas Zweckmassiges zufallig
variation, vorgekommen sein, so ist die Wahrscheinlichkeit eines

solchen Eintreffens so gering, dass ich nicht das Recht
habe, diesen Faktor als einen gegebenen in meine Rechnung ein-
zusetzen. Diese Wahrscheinlichkeit sucht nun der Darwinismus
dadurch zu vergrossern, dass er alle moglichen Falle annimmt. unter
welchen natiirlich auch das Zweckmassige als Spezialfall enthalten
sein muss. Der Darwinismus sucht also den Treffer sich dadurch
zu sichern, dass er den ganzen Gluckshafen mit nach Hause nimmt.

"Um ein Beispiel zu nehmen : es sei von Vorteil, dass die Schna-
belform entsteht, wie sie beim Kreuzschnabel vorhanden ist. Der
Darwinismus nimmt an, dass durch glikkliche Variierung ein bezw.
mehrere oder sogar viele gekreuzten Schnabel auftraten. Sagt nun
der Gegner: das spontane Auftreten einer Schnabelkreuzung scheint
mir so unwahrscheinlich, dass ich diese Voraussetzung eben nicht
zugebe, so antwortet der Darwinist: unter alien moglichen Schnabel -
variierungen ist auch der gekreuzte, darf ich alle, so darf ich auch
diesen voraussetzen ; da aber die Variierung, wie die Beobachtung
lehrt, nach alien Richtungen beliebig wirkt, so sind alle Variierungen
moglich, folglich darf ich auch jene spezielle voraussetzen.

"Der Gegner wiirde jetzt vielleicht so erwidern : Gewiss, moglich
sind alle Variierungen, aber gegeben ist deren doch immer nur eine



DARWINISM ATTACKED. 65

begrenzte Anzahl. Die Zahl aller moglichen Variierungen ist = ,
die Zahl der gegebenen ist eine endliche Grosse. Die Wahrschein-
lichkeit des Eintretens einer speziellen zweckmassigen Variierung
(in unserm Beispiel der zweckmassigen Schnabelkreuzung) ist End-
liches dividiert durch Unendliches, d. h. eine Zahl, welche sich der
Null ohne Ende nahert; mithin ist die Wahrscheinlichkeit, dass
unter den gegebenen Fallen sich eine giinstige Variierung befindet,
so ungeheuer klein, dass nicht die geringste wissenschaftliche Be-
rechtigung besteht, den betreffenden Fall vorauszusetzen. Und nun
wiirde' allerdings demjenigen Darwinisten, welchem die Kiihnheit
fehlte, die Zahl der ihm zur Verfugung stehenden Variierungen ein-
fach = oo zu setzen, wohl kaum etwas andres iibrig bleiben, als sich
darauf zu berufen, dass es eine Sorte von Variierungen giebt, bei
denen die Zahl der gegebenen Falle gross genug ist, um alle mogli-
chen zu enthalten, gross genug also, um die Voraussetzung jedes
einzelnen wissenschaftlich zu rechtfertigen, namlich diejenigen Vari-
ierungen, welche nur in graduellen Veranderungen bestehen, bei
denen es sich also nur darum handelt, dass ein Vorhandenes grosser
oder kleiner wird. Hier ist die Zahl der moglichen Falle gleich 2,
die der gegebenen ebenfalls, die Wahrscheinlichkeit, sich unter den
gegebenen zu befinden, ist also fur jeden der moglichen Falle
gleich i."

10 Kronig, "Das Dasein Gottes und das Gliick des Menschen," p.
109, 1874.

16 Weismann, Aug., "On Germinal Selection as a Source of Defi-
nite Variation," trans. McCormack, p. 3 (preface), 1896.

17 Pfeffer, Georg, "Die Umwandlung der Arten," 1894.

18 Wolff, G., "Der gegenwartige Stand des Darwinismus," 1896;
also, "Beitrage zur Kritik der Darwin'schen Lehre," 1898.

19 Morgan, T. H., "Evolution and Adaptation," 1903.

20 Kellogg and Bell, "Studies of Variation in Insects," Proc.
Wash. Acad. Sci., Vol. VI, pp. 203-332, 1904. The following is
quoted from pp. 330-332 :

"Insects are bilaterally symmetrical and metameric animals. There
are thus right and left and fore and aft structural correlations. Do the
Example of non- var i a tio ns > continuous and discontinuous, show similar
correlated varia- bilateral and metameric correlation ? Evidence regard-
bility in bilater- ing this question will be found on many pages in the
ally repeated present paper, right and left correlation, at least, hav-
ing been considered and briefly discussed in connection
with almost all of the various cases studied. And the evidence is
curiously conflicting. For example, in the male black ant in which
were studied the variations of the venation and number of hooks, a
close correlation in the variation conditions of right and left wings



66 DARWINISM TO-DAY.

exists. On the other hand, in the honey-bee the bilateral correla-
tion of variation seems surprisingly small (see pp. 214-222). In
the case of variations in pattern, also, there is no uniformity among
the various cases studied. In Hippodamia convergens (p. 257 et
seq.) the two elytra show pattern-variations quite independently;
in Diabrotica soror (p. 274 et seq.), on the contrary, there seems
to be a marked right and left correlation in the elytral pattern-
variation. In the cases of the variation in number of tibial spines
on the right and left hind tibiae of locusts (p. 301) and cicadas (p.
306), we have simply made a brief statement, in each case, of the
actual conditions of correlation, leaving the reader to draw his own
conclusions. In the case of the variation in actual and relative
length of the antennal segments of the scale insect, Ceroputo yuccas
(?) (p- 3io), there is a surprising lack of correlation between the
right and left antennas.

"We have not attempted to determine the mathematical expression
(coefficient of correlation) for any of the cases studied. The data
presented, however, will enable any biometrician, who sees an
advantage in doing this, to do it. But without checking our results
by the use of that method there seems, on the whole, to be a sur-
prising lack of that fine degree of correlation in variation which
we should expect to find existing, if we believe that the actual
existing conditions of structure and pattern in these bilaterally sym-
metrical animals are an expression of the result of the action of
a rigorous natural selection. If one condition of pattern or structure
is the most advantageous (of the many conditions which selection
among a host of fluctuating variations could have established),
surely this condition ought to be pretty closely similar on both sides
of the insect. That as much bilateral variety as actually exists,
in many of the species examined by us, should exist a variety
comparable in certain cases even with the degree of variety revealed
by the comparison of considerable series of individuals is a state of
affairs that only confirms us in the belief that these innumerable
small continuous variations, on which for so long the thorough-
going selectionists have put their faith as the sufficient bases for
natural selection's species-forming work, are clearly not competent
to serve as such bases. If these 'continuous' variations are the foun-
dation stones of new species, some other agents than selection must
be found or invoked to build several courses on them, to produce
some cumulation of them, before natural selection finds them of
that life-and-death worth which is the prerequisite for her potent
interference."

" Henslow, the botanist, has maintained a constant attitude of
antagonism to natural selection on the basis of his belief that the



DARWINISM ATTACKED. 67

complex correlations of floral structures cannot possibly be accounted
for by the natural selection of fortuitous variations. Henslow's

_ , observations and ideas are exploited in detail in

tagonism to selec- two books called, "The Origin of Floral Structures

tion as explain- through Insect and Other Agencies," 1895, and

er of floral com- - The Origin of Plant Structures by Self- Adaptation

to the Environment," 1895.

22 Wolff, G., "Beitrage zur Kritik der Darwin'schen Lehre," p.
6, 1898.

2 " Wolff, G., "Beitrage zur Kritik der Darwin'schen Lehre," 1898.
I quote the following, pp. 6-8:

"Solche Erscheinungen, welche der Erklarung durch die Selek-
tionstheorie widerstreben, weil sie hier eine gesetzmassige kom-
plizierte Veranderung der Formen voraussetzen wiirde,
WolfFpobjectionstatt sie zu erklaren, sind aber nicht etwa nur verein-
to the necessary ze it e Falle, sondern von solchen wird die ganze
fdenUcalTnd co- F rm g esta l tun g beherrscht, wie z. B. von symme-
incident varia- trischer Anlage. Auch brauchen wir uns bei dieser
tion in repeated Betrachtung nicht nur auf solche Gebilde zu be-
structures as schranken, die in geringer Mehrheit vorhanden sind,
^ea ers, sea es, sondern es giebt j a Gebilde, die in hundert-, ja tau-
sendfacher Anzahl an einem und demselben Or-
ganismus sich finden, wie Schuppen, Haare, Federn. Betrachten
wir z. B. gerade die Federn. Wie viel Millionen Variierungen
musste eine Reptilienschuppe durchmachen, bis sie sich in eine
Feder verwandelt hatte, vollends noch in ein so kompliziertes Gebilde
wie z. B. die Schwanzfeder des Pfaues. Aber dies ware immer
noch nach der Selektionstheorie erklarlich. Nicht erklarlich dage-
gen ware, dass die anderen Schwanzfedern immer gleichzeitig
dieselben Variierungen durchmachten. Ein Gesetz, welches ein
einheitliches Variieren dieser Hautgebilde vorschreibt, giebt es
nicht, denn es variieren ja nicht alle gleich. Es entstehen viele
gleiche Flaumfedern, viele gleiche Schwanzfedern etc., an einigen
Stellen bleiben die Schuppen sogar erhalten, namlich an den hinteren
Extremitaten.

"Wir konnen noch weiter gehen. Eine Masse von einzelnen Zel-
len musste bei den verschiedenen Differenzierungen, bei Entstehung
des Darms, des Nervensystems, der Muskulatur etc. in ganz genau
der gleichen Weise variieren. Wenn wir hier die Selektionstheorie
zur Erklarung herbeiziehen wollen, so ist die Kompliziertheit des
einzelnen Variierungsinkrementes so gross, dass damit die ganze
weitere Erklarung uberfliissig wird.

"Interessant sind ferner solche homodynamen Gebilde, die nicht
zu gleicher Zeit auftreten, wie der dritte halbzirkelformige Kanal



63 DARWINISM TO-DAY.

im Gehororgan der Wirbeltiere, welcher bekanntlich erst in der
Klasse der Fische auftritt. Dieser dritte Kanal ist den beiden
andern vollig gleich, hat Crista, Ampulle, Macula etc., ist aber
spater entstanden ; die namlichen zufalligen Variierungen, die
stattfanden bei der Entstehung der beiden ersten Kanale, mussten
viele Generationen spater ganz genau in derselben Art sich wieder-
holen ! Dass diese Variierungen wieder auftreten, dies erklart die
Darwinsche Lehre nicht; denn die Selektion kann ja keinen Ein-
fluss auf die Variierung ausiiben.

"Aehnlich sind die Resultate der Kowalevskyschen Untersuch-
ungen iiber fossile Huftiere zu betrachten, welche sich auf die im
Lauf der phylogenetischen Entwicklung stattgehabten Umwand-
lungen des Extremitatenskelettes dieser Tiere beziehen. Hier kann
bekanntlich eine allmahlich eintretende Verringerung der Anzahl
der Metatarsal- und Metakarpalknochen sowie der Phalangen
verfolgt werden. Diese Verringerung tritt zuerst an den hintern,
erst spater an den vordefn Extremitaten auf!"

" A moth, Phryganidia calif arnica, whose larvae live abundantly
on the oak trees in California, shows very clearly how a conspicuous
Example of mal- disadvantage does not seem to interfere much with
adaptation in egg- successful life; for the "success" of this moth is only
laying habit of too well proved by the serious injuries which it pro-
Phryganidia call- d uceSi because of its great numbers, on the beautiful
trees it infests. For several years the live-oaks and
white oaks of the Santa Clara Valley were defoliated to a dangerous
extent. The life history of the moth is told in detail in "The
Californian Phryganidian," by Kellogg and Jack, Proc. Cal. Acad.
Sci., Ser. 2, Vol. V, pp. 562-570, 1895. From this account I quote the
following: "Although most abundant on the live-oaks (Q.agri folia),
the larvae attack other oaks. We have found them on Quercus
lobata, Q. kelloggii, Q. dumosa, and Q. douglasii. The live-oaks in
this vicinity begin to put out new leaves about January I, but in
the case of many of the trees badly defoliated by the larvae in the
autumn, new leaves appeared much earlier than the first of Janu-
ary. The wintering of the insect in a larval condition is only possi-
ble in the evergreen oaks, and they are thus the natural and usual
host of the pest. At the time of the hatching of the first of the
autumn brood of eggs (latter part of November), the leaves of the
deciduous oaks begin to fall. But, oddly, the eggs were found to
be deposited on the leaves of both the white oak and Douglas's oak
(deciduous oaks), and the larvae hatched only to die of starvation.
By this suicidal means the pest aids in depleting its own numbers.
The new leaves of the deciduous oaks appear about April i. before
the eggs for the summer brood of larvae are deposited. These eggs,



DARWINISM ATTACKED. 69

therefore, can safely be laid on the leaves of these trees, but the
eggs laid by the fall moths on the foliage of these trees give up their
young to certain destruction."

25 Mivart, St. G., "On the Genesis of Species," 1871.

26 Wolff, G., "Beitrage zur Kritik der Darwin'schen Lehre," p. 8
ff., 1898.

27 In Piepers, M. C, "Mimikry, Selektion und Darwinismus,"
1903, the author strongly antagonises the Darwinian explanation

p.. , of protective warning and mimicking colour patterns.

tagonism to selec- Piepers claims to show ( i ) that the so-called mimicry
tion explanation is a phenomenon or appearance whose biological
of colour and pat- va i ue j s greatly over-praised; (2) that the. causes of
this appearance are not entirely known, yet can in
most cases be very well explained without having recourse to this
natural selection theory; and (3) that, therefore, mimicry makes
natural selection in no wise necessary, and hence lends no basis
for its establishing. The author also, in a long discussion of nearly
one hundred pages, criticises adversely the selection theories and
Darwin in general. He holds that the Darwinian theory of species-
building from varieties is very ill-grounded, but finds also de
Vries's mutations-theory .incompetent to explain species, at least, in
the large degree in which they actually exist. The author presents
a theory or explanation of his own for species-forming, which is
essentially this: Variation is not simply a fluctuation about a stable
mean ; it is evolution in small steps. Evolution is the principle of
life ; it is determinate, i.e., progressive, yet with rapid, slow, or even
standstill periods. There are differences in the rapidity of evolu-
tion among similar groups, as classes, orders, families, genera,
species, races, even individuals, and the two sexes of a kind. This
accounts for the great variety of life. There is a great variety of
stages of evolution rather than a great variety of adaptation.

28 De Vries, Hugo, "The Evidence of Evolution," Science, N. S.,
Vol. XX, pp. 395-401, 1904.

29 Lankester, Prof. Ray, Address by, reported in the London Mail,
September, 1906.

* Ammon O., "Der Abanderungsspielraum," Naturw. Wochen-
schr., Vol. XI, pp. I37-M3. 149-155, 161-166, 1894.

81 Bumpus, H. C., "The Variations and Mutations of the Intro-
duced Sparrow, Passer domesticus," in Biological Lectures, Wood's
Holl Laboratory, 1897; also, "The Elimination of the Unfit as illus-
trated by the Introduced Sparrow, Passer domesticus," in Biological
Lectures, Wood's Holl Laboratory, 1899; also, "The Variations and
Mutations of the Introduced Littorina," Zool. Bull., Vol. I, pp. 247-
259, 1898.



CHAPTER IV.

DARWINISM ATTACKED (CONTINUED) : THE
THEORY OF NATURAL SELECTION (CON-
TINUED).

CERTAIN objections urged by various authors may be said
to concern themselves more with the character of the varia-
Objection based tions themselves and the possibilities of their
witatiT"(!Sl accumulation ty selection, than with the manner
non-qualitative of their occurrence. For example, de Vries 1
tJatTng^aria 8 - 110 " denies the species-forming capacity of Dar-
tions. winian selection of Darwinian (fluctuating)

variation, on the ground that these variations are only
"linear," and thus cannot afford a basis for the creation of
new forms. Already existing bodies, organs, and parts
can be enlarged or made smaller, made smoother or rougher,
made bluer or less blue, greener or less green, that is de-
veloped plus-ward or minus-ward, but by this nothing really
new is created. But, declares de Vries, the differentiation
of organs consists, taken by and large, in the development
of actually new characteristics ; therefore in such material as
that presented by the linear variations of Darwin, selection
cannot have the necessary basis for this production of new
characteristics.

Gustav Wolff 2 reiterates the same objection in his declara-
tion that while the theory of natural selection may get on
decently well when modifications embodying only quan-
titative changes in parts or organs are concerned, it is com-
pletely at a loss to account for modifications or adaptations
requiring as basis qualitative changes. Even the warmest



DARWINISM ATTACKED. 7'

advocates of the selection theory have to admit, says Wolff,
that they face a serious matter here. Weismann * is quoted
as follows: "Wenn man sich die Umwandlung deshalb in
grosseren Schritten mid durch Variationen von qualitativer
Natur geschehend denkt, so wird man iiber dieses Hindernis
nicht wegkommen. Ich glaube aber, dass man von den
Variationen grosseren Betrages, wie sie bei domestizierten
Tiefen und Pflanzen nicht selten vorkommen, bei den Pro-
zessen der Artumwandlung, wie sie in der freien Natur vor
sich gehen, vollstandig abgesehen hat, dass hier ilberhaupt
nicht qualitative sondern'nur quantitative Unterschiede der
Individuen das Material der Naturziichtung bilden, solche
aber sind immer vorhanden." Wolff holds that there can
simply be no doubt that if natural selection can do any
modifying at all it has at most to limit itself solely to work
possible on a basis of quantitative variation of already ex-
isting structures.

Variation also of whatever kind is subject to Galton's * law
of regression. This is, put briefly, that the young of
Galton's law parents varying from the mean of their species
of regression. or race tend to vary also in the same direction
but less so than the parent, so that the mean or mode among
the young is nearer the species or race type (mean or mode)
than the parental type was. Or as Morgan " has stated it :
"The facts of observation show that when a new variety ap-
pears its descendants are more likely, on the average, to
produce proportionately more individuals that show the same
variation, and some even that may go still farther in the
same direction. If these latter are chosen to be the parents
of the next generation, then once more the offspring may
show the same advance ; but little by little the advance slows
down, until before long it may cease altogether. Unless,
then, a new kind of variation appears, or a new standard of
variation develops of a different kind, the result of selection
of fluctuating variations has reached its limit. Our experi-



72 DARWINISM TO-DAY.

ence seems, therefore, to teach us that selection of fluctuating-
variations leads us to only a certain point, and then stops in
this direction. We get no evidence from the facts in favour
of the view that the process, if carried on for a long time,
could ever produce such great changes, or the kind of
changes, as those seen in wild animals and plants."

There is something inherent in the make-up of the organ-
ism and something inevitably incident to the phenomena of
variation which prohibit, even in the most favourable cases,
the indefinite movement of variation. Johannsen,' pro-
fessor of plant physiology in the University of Copenhagen,
finds that beans bred in pure lines, i. e., not crossed, conform
perfectly with Galton's law of regression. And Johannsen
holds that this regression must be a serious brake on the
species-modifying, i. e., species-forming, activity of natural
selection. That is, while the species mode can be moved in
one direction or another by pure line breeding it can be so
moved only very slowly. And this same law of regression
will tend to break up a "mixed population" resulting from
crossed and miscellaneous breeding into distinct pure lines ;
that is, each independent form-type tends to be constant, not
constantly moving, i. e., transforming. New types must
arise chiefly then through (a) the crossing of races or
species (= hybridisation) or (b) through mutations.

Delage 7 in his criticism of selection makes the point that
because the causes of variation are more feeble than the
Deia e'scriti- causes * nxitv ( as evidenced by the massing of
cismof Delboenfs variations around and close to the mean or mode,
and their increasing scarcity as they recede in
any direction from the mode (species type)), the species
tends always to stand still rather than to change. If in the
first generation a thousandth of the individuals vary in the
same way, in the second generation only i-iooo of the
thousandth part will show the same variation, reasons
Delage. But, as pointed out in chapter vi ("Darwinism De-



DARWINISM ATTACKED. 75

fended"), this criticism was long ago met by Delboeuf, who
claimed to show mathematically that, however feeble may be
the number of varying individuals compared with those
non-varying, the number of the varying will always be
increasing and will finish by being greater than that of the
individuals holding to the type. Delage holds "Delboeuf's
law" to be false as- regards its attempted general applica-
tion to the selection of variation, conceding it to hold true
only in the hypothetical case where a persistent active modi-
fying cause influences for some reason but a part of the
individuals of a species. And Delage cannot conceive of a
cause endowed with such an attribute.

An objection that has been often made to the natural

selection theory may be put in the following general form :

It may be granted that selection can make evolu-

Selection may *

produce evolution tion, i. e., adaptive change or progress, but this

change) bnt not W *^ ^ C ^ ne * n SUC ^ a WEy ES tO ^ eave a con "

species (discon- tinuous chain or series. How is the chain

tinuous series^ t- i i n A n 1

broken into species ? Are all our species simply
the existent ends of series or chains? But we see many
chains or series of discontinuous but obviously connected
species. Natural selection can make evolution but not
species. Darwin himself couched this objection more con-
cisely as follows: "Why, if species have descended from
other species by fine gradations, do we not everywhere see
innumerable transitional forms? Why is not all nature in



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 7 of 38)