IT is a remarkable illustration of the apparently fitful manner in which our knowledge of Nature increases, that the event which has probably been more fruitful than any other during the present century in inducing practical advances in the study of Natural History, was the promulgation of a pure theory, the publication, namely, by Mr. Darwin and Mr. Wallace, of the doctrine of the Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection. We say a pure theory, because the genesis of a new species is a phenomenon which never has yet, and probably never will, come consciously under the cognizance of man. We see forms of animal and vegetable life die out before our eves, but their birth is not within our ken. As Mr. Darwin has pointed out, even should a new species suddenly arise, we have no means of recognising it as such. As a matter of fact, new plants and animals are constantly being discovered in all parts of the globe. Even in our own small and well-searched island, the additions within the last twenty years of more or less conspicuous flowering plants to our native flora are not inconsiderable; but no naturalist suggests any other interpretation of this, than that either they have been overlooked before, have been recently introduced from other countries, or that the seeds have been buried for ages in the soil. None the less, however, does it seem possible, or even probable, that we may eventually arrive at a correct solution of the problem by a rigorous induction from known facts.
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BENNETT, A. The Genesis of Species * . Nature 3, 270–273 (1871). https://doi.org/10.1038/003270a0