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The Descent of Man

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The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex or The Descent of Man as it is commonly referred to was first published in 1871, twelve years after The Origin of Species. The book extrapolated Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection to humans and outlined in detail the theory of sexual selection. The book is considered to this day a great deal more controversial than his earlier works as it clearly implies that humanity evolved from a lower form of life namely animals, essentially limiting the power of God and challenging widely held beliefs at the time.

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Full Text by Chapter

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1 - The Evidence of the Descent of Man from Some Lower Form
  • Chapter 2 - On the Manner of Development of Man from Some Lower Form
  • Chapter 3 - Comparison of the Mental Powers of Man and the Lower Animals
  • Chapter 4 - Comparison of the Mental Powers of Man and the Lower Animals Continued
  • Chapter 5 - On the Development of the Intellectual and Moral Faculties During Primeval and Civilised Times
  • Chapter 6 - On the Affinities and Genealogy of Man
  • Chapter 7 - On the Races of Man
  • Chapter 8 - Principles of Sexual Selection
  • Chapter 9 - Secondary Sexual Characters in the Lower Classes of the Animal Kingdom
  • Chapter 10 - Secondary Sexual Characters of Insects
  • Chapter 11 - Insects, Continued -- Order Lepidoptera -- Butterflies and Moths
  • Chapter 12 - Secondary Sexual Characters of Fishes, Amphibians, and Reptiles
  • Chapter 13 - Secondary Sexual Characters of Birds
  • Chapter 14 - Birds Continued
  • Chapter 15 - Birds Continued
  • Chapter 16 - Birds Concluded
  • Chapter 17 - Secondary Sexual Characters of Mammals
  • Chapter 18 - Secondary Sexual Characters of Mammals Continued
  • Chapter 19 - Secondary Sexual Characters of Man
  • Chapter 20 - Secondary Sexual Characters of Man Continued
  • Chapter 21 - General Summary and Conclusion
Figure 48 from The Descent of Man
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