Outline of the Evidence
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This chapter presents the extracts from the first four chapters of The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex. This book was first published in 1871, in two volumes. The human implications of the Origin were of course self-evident, and the cause of much of the immediate controversy. When Darwin finally got around to writing his own book about man, the ideas were neither surprising nor shocking. He, who wishes to decide whether man is the modified descendant of some pre-existing form would, probably first enquires whether man varies, however slightly, in bodily structure and in mental faculties. The chapter explains how far the bodily structure of man shows traces, more or less plain, of his descent from some lower form. The embryo itself at a very early period can hardly be distinguished from that of other members of the vertebrate kingdom.