Definition: beginning; in an early stage
Definition: beginning; in an early stage
Sentences Containing 'incipient'
A well-marked variety may therefore be called an incipient species; but whether this belief is justifiable must be judged by the weight of the various facts and considerations to be given throughout this work.
Hence it is the most flourishing, or, as they may be called, the dominant species--those which range widely, are the most diffused in their own country, and are the most numerous in individuals--which oftenest produce well-marked varieties, or, as I consider them, incipient species.
And this certainly holds true if varieties be looked at as incipient species; for my tables clearly show, as a general rule, that, wherever many species of a genus have been formed, the species of that genus present a number of varieties, that is, of incipient species, beyond the average.
Or the case may be put in another way, and it may be said, that in the larger genera, in which a number of varieties or incipient species greater than the average are now manufacturing, many of the species already manufactured still to a certain extent resemble varieties, for they differ from each other by a less than the usual amount of difference.
Nevertheless according to my view, varieties are species in the process of formation, or are, as I have called them, incipient species.
If this had been effected, who would have ever imagined that in an early transitional state they had been inhabitants of the open ocean, and had used their incipient organs of flight exclusively, so far as we know, to escape being devoured by other fish?
The one new point which appears to have struck many readers is, "That natural selection is incompetent to account for the incipient stages of useful structures."
On this head, Mr. Mivart remarks, "As, according to Mr. Darwin's theory, there is a constant tendency to indefinite variation, and as the minute incipient variations will be in ALL DIRECTIONS, they must tend to neutralize each other, and at first to form such unstable modifications that it is difficult, if not impossible, to see how such indefinite oscillations of infinitesimal beginnings can ever build up a sufficiently appreciable resemblance to a leaf, bamboo, or other object, for natural selection to seize upon and perpetuate."
It seems, even, that such an incipient transformation must rather have been injurious."
A reviewer, who agrees with Mr. Mivart in every detail, remarks on this structure: "It is impossible to believe that in any number of ages the first slight incipient tendency to grasp could preserve the lives of the individuals possessing it, or favour their chance of having and of rearing offspring."
With respect to the former, he says: "The explanation of their ORIGIN is deemed thoroughly unsatisfactory--utterly insufficient to explain the incipient, infinitesimal beginnings of structures which are of utility only when they are considerably developed."
So in hybrids themselves, there are some which never have produced, and probably never would produce, even with the pollen of the pure parents, a single fertile seed: but in some of these cases a first trace of fertility may be detected, by the pollen of one of the pure parent-species causing the flower of the hybrid to wither earlier than it otherwise would have done; and the early withering of the flower is well known to be a sign of incipient fertilisation.
For it would clearly be advantageous to two varieties or incipient species if they could be kept from blending, on the same principle that, when man is selecting at the same time two varieties, it is necessary that he should keep them separate.
It may be admitted that it would profit an incipient species, if it were rendered in some slight degree sterile when crossed with its parent form or with some other variety; for thus fewer bastardised and deteriorated offspring would be produced to commingle their blood with the new species in process of formation.
New species are formed by having some advantage over older forms; and the forms, which are already dominant, or have some advantage over the other forms in their own country, give birth to the greatest number of new varieties or incipient species.
The varieties, or incipient species, thus produced, ultimately become converted into new and distinct species; and these, on the principle of inheritance, tend to produce other new and dominant species.
On this same view we can understand how it is that in a region where many species of a genus have been produced, and where they now flourish, these same species should present many varieties; for where the manufactory of species has been active, we might expect, as a general rule, to find it still in action; and this is the case if varieties be incipient species.
Moreover, the species of the larger genera, which afford the greater number of varieties or incipient species, retain to a certain degree the character of varieties; for they differ from each other by a less amount of difference than do the species of smaller genera.
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