Protective Mimicry


IN the last number of NATURE Mr. Murphy brings forward the following argument against natural selection, with reference to protective mimicry. He advances two classes of cases in which he urges the improbability of the occurrence of a first variation in the requisite direction. “One of these is the change of colour with the season of such animals as the ermine, which is brown in summer and white in winter. Had the ermine been either permanently brown or permanently white, there would have been nothing wonderful in it, but it seems impossible that the character of becoming white in the winter and brown in the summer could ever have originated in ordinary spontaneous variation, without a guiding intelligence.”

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DARWIN, F. Protective Mimicry. Nature 14, 329–330 (1876).

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