The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication
by Charles Darwin and Harriet Ritvo
Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Edition: Volumen 1, 1998
The publication of Darwin's On the Origin of Species in 1859 ignited a public storm he neither wanted nor enjoyed. Having offered his book as a contribution to science, Darwin discovered to his dismay that it was received as an affront by many scientists and as a sacrilege by clergy and Christian citizens.
In response to those who insisted that species were distinct since creation, Darwin pointed to breeders of pigs and pigeons. In reply to those who protested that human intervention is one thing and natural selection another, he argued, "If organic beings had not possessed an inherent tendency to vary, man could have done nothing." To counter those who scorned his descriptions of species in exotic places, he submitted local evidence of cabbages and cauliflower.
During the seven years which have elapsed since the publication in 1868 of the first edition of this Work, I have continued to attend to the same subjects, as far as lay in my power; and I have thus accumulated a large body of additional facts, chiefly through the kindness of many correspondents. Of these facts I have been able here to use only those which seemed to me the more important. I have omitted some statements, and corrected some errors, the discovery of which I owe to my reviewers. Many additional references have been given. The eleventh chapter, and that on Pangenesis, are those which have been most altered, parts having been re- modelled; but I will give a list of the more important alterations for the sake of those who may possess the first edition of this book.