Darwin had first-hand experience of the power of artificial selection and he gave it pride of place in Chapter 1 of On the Origin of Species. He was softening his readers up to take delivery of his own great insight, the power of natural selection. If human breeders can transform a wolf into a Pekinese, or a wild cabbage into a cauliflower, in just a few centuries or millennia, why shouldn't the non-random survival of wild animals and plants do the same thing over millions of years? That will be the conclusion of my next chapter; but my strategy first will be to continue the softening-up process, to ease the passage towards understanding of natural selection.
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