More Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol. 1

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Author: Charles Darwin

Letter 104. To Asa Gray. Down, June 8th [1860].

I have to thank you for two notes, one through Hooker, and one with some letters to be posted, which was done. I anticipated your request by making a few remarks on Owen’s review. (104/1. "The Edinburgh Review," April, 1860.) Hooker is so weary of reviews that I do not think you will get any hints from him. I have lately had many more "kicks than halfpence." A review in the last Dublin "Nat. Hist. Review" is the most unfair thing which has appeared,—one mass of misrepresentation. It is evidently by Haughton, the geologist, chemist and mathematician. It shows immeasurable conceit and contempt of all who are not mathematicians. He discusses bees’ cells, and puts a series which I have never alluded to, and wholly ignores the intermediate comb of Melipona, which alone led me to my notions. The article is a curiosity of unfairness and arrogance; but, as he sneers at Malthus, I am content, for it is clear he cannot reason. He is a friend of Harvey, with whom I have had some correspondence. Your article has clearly, as he admits, influenced him. He admits to a certain extent Natural Selection, yet I am sure does not understand me. It is strange that very few do, and I am become quite convinced that I must be an extremely bad explainer. To recur for a moment to Owen: he grossly misrepresents and is very unfair to Huxley. You say that you think the article must be by a pupil of Owen; but no one fact tells so strongly against Owen, considering his former position at the College of Surgeons, as that he has never reared one pupil or follower. In the number just out of "Fraser’s Magazine" (104/2. See "Life and Letters," II., page 314.) there is an article or review on Lamarck and me by W. Hopkins, the mathematician, who, like Haughton, despises the reasoning power of all naturalists. Personally he is extremely kind towards me; but he evidently in the following number means to blow me into atoms. He does not in the least appreciate the difference in my views and Lamarck’s, as explaining adaptation, the principle of divergence, the increase of dominant groups, and the almost necessary extinction of the less dominant and smaller groups, etc.

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Chicago: Charles Darwin, "Letter 104. To Asa Gray. Down, June 8th [1860].," More Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol. 1, ed. Darwin, Francis, Sir, 1848-1925 and Seward, A. C. (Albert Charles), 1863-1941 and trans. Babington, B. G. (Benjamin Guy), 1794-1866 in More Letters of Charles Darwin Original Sources, accessed March 2, 2024, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4TNQFUXANGWFJQQ.

MLA: Darwin, Charles. "Letter 104. To Asa Gray. Down, June 8th [1860]." More Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol. 1, edited by Darwin, Francis, Sir, 1848-1925 and Seward, A. C. (Albert Charles), 1863-1941, and translated by Babington, B. G. (Benjamin Guy), 1794-1866, in More Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol. 1, Original Sources. 2 Mar. 2024. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4TNQFUXANGWFJQQ.

Harvard: Darwin, C, 'Letter 104. To Asa Gray. Down, June 8th [1860].' in More Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol. 1, ed. and trans. . cited in , More Letters of Charles Darwin. Original Sources, retrieved 2 March 2024, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4TNQFUXANGWFJQQ.