The Origin of Species by means of natural selection or the preservation of favored races in the struggle for life, vol. 1 
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About this Title:
Vol. 1 of a two volume set. Perhaps Darwin’s greatest book in which he put forward the idea that all species evolve over time from common ancestors by a process which he called “natural selection.” It was based upon the evidence he had accumulated when he traveled on the H.M.S. Beagle for its 2nd voyage to survey South America between 1831-36.
The text is in the public domain.
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Table of Contents:
ADDITIONS AND CORRECTIONS
TO THE SIXTH EDITION.
AN HISTORICAL SKETCH
OF THE PROGRESS OF OPINION ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES.
PREVIOUSLY TO THE PUBLICATION OF THE FIRST EDITION OF THIS WORK.
ORIGIN OF SPECIES.
CHAPTER I.: VARIATION UNDER DOMESTICATION.
Causes of Variability.
Effects of Habit and of the Use or Disuse of Parts; Correlated Variation; Inheritance.
Character of Domestic Varieties; difficulty of distinguishing between Varieties and Species; origin of Domestic Varieties from one or more Species.
Breeds of the Domestic Pigeon, their Differences and Origin.
Principles of Selection anciently followed, and their Effects.
Circumstances favourable to Man’s Power of Selection.
CHAPTER II.: VARIATION UNDER NATURE.
Wide-ranging, much diffused, and common Species vary most.
Species of the Larger Genera in each Country vary more frequently than the Species of the Smaller Genera.
Many of the Species included within the Larger Genera resemble Varieties in being very closely, but unequally, related to each other, and in having restricted ranges.
CHAPTER III.: STRUGGLE FOR EXISTENCE.
The Term, Struggle for Existence, used in a large sense.
Geometrical Ratio of Increase.
Nature of the Checks to Increase.
Complex Relations of all Animals and Plants to each other in the Struggle for Existence.
Struggle for Life Most severe between Individuals and Varieties of the same Species.
CHAPTER IV.: NATURAL SELECTION; OR THE SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST.
Illustrations of the Action of Natural Selection, or the Survival of the Fittest
On the Intercrossing of Individuals.
Circumstances favourable for the production of new forms through Natural Selection.
Extinction caused by Natural Selection.
Divergence of Character.
The Probable Effects of the Action of Natural Selection through Divergence of Character and Extinction, on the Descendants of a Common Ancestor.
On the Degree to which Organisation tends to advance.
Convergence of Character.
Summary of Chapter.
CHAPTER V.: LAWS OF VARIATION.
Effects of the increased Use and Disuse of Parts, as controlled by Natural Selection.
Compensation and Economy of Growth.
Multiple, Rudimentary, and Lowly-organised Structures are Variable.
A Part developed in any Species in an extraordinary degree or manner, in comparison with the same Part in allied Species, tends to be highly variable.
Specific Characters more Variable than Generic Characters.
CHAPTER VI.: DIFFICULTIES OF THE THEORY.
Organs of extreme Perfection and Complication.
Modes of Transition.
Special Difficulties of the Theory of Natural Selection.
Organs of little apparent Importance, as affected by Natural Selection.
Utilitarian Doctrine, how far true: Beauty, how acquired.
Summary: the Law of Unity of Type and of the Conditions of Existence embraced by the Theory of Natural Selection.
CHAPTER VII.: MISCELLANEOUS OBJECTIONS TO THE THEORY OF NATURAL SELECTION.
CHAPTER VIII.: INSTINCT.
Inherited Changes of Habit or Instinct in Domesticated Animals.
Objections to the Theory of Natural Selection as applied to Instincts: Neuter and Sterile Insects.