Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/32

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crease of jaws and teeth in sundry kinds of pet dogs, has caused great crowding of the teeth (The Factors of Organic Evolution, pp. 12, 13). And I then argued that if co-operative parts, small in number and so closely associated as these are, do not vary together, it is unwarrantable to allege that co-operative parts which are very numerous and remote from one another vary together. After making this rejoinder I enforced my argument by a further example—that of the giraffe. Tacitly recognizing the truth that the unusual structure of this creature must have been, in its more conspicuous traits, the result of survival of the fittest (since it is absurd to suppose that efforts to reach a high branch could lengthen the legs), I illustrated afresh the obstacles to co-adaptation. Not dwelling on the objection that increase of any components of the fore-quarters out of adjustment to the others would cause evil rather than good, I went on to argue that the co-adaptation of parts required to make the giraffe's structure useful, is much greater than at first appears. This animal has a grotesque gallop, necessitated by the great difference in length between the fore and the hind limbs. I pointed out that the mode of action of the hind limbs shows that the bones and muscles have all been changed in their proportions and adjustments; and I contended that, difficult as it is to believe that all parts of the fore-quarters have been co-adapted by the appropriate variations now of this part, now of that, it becomes impossible to believe that all the parts in the hind-quarters have been simultaneously co-adapted to one another and to all the parts of the fore-quarters: adding that want of co-adaptation, even in a single muscle, would cause fatal results when high speed had to be maintained while escaping from an enemy.

Since this argument, repeated with this fresh illustration, was published in 1886, I have met with nothing to be called a reply; and might, I think, if convictions usually followed proofs, leave the matter as it stands. It is true that, in his Darwinism, Mr. Wallace has adverted to my renewed objection and, as already said, contended that changes such as those instanced can be effected by natural selection, since such changes can be effected by artificial selection: a contention which, as I have pointed out, assumes a parallelism that does not exist. But now, instead of pursuing the argument further along the same line, let me take a somewhat different line.

If there occurs some change in an organ, say, by increase of its size, which adapts it better to the creature's needs, it is admitted that when, as commonly happens, the use of the organ demands the co-operation of other organs, the change in it will generally be of no service unless the co-operative organs are changed. If, for instance, there takes place such a modification