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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Edouard Bergson   13 October 1875

Down | Beckenham. Kent.

Oct 13— 75.

Dear Sir.

I am much obliged for your kind expressions towards me, I fully agree with what you say about the impossibility of distinguishing between animal & vegetable organisms.1 This is well shown by Häckel having formed an intermediate kingdom—2 There is therefore no difficulty in believing that some low animal was descended from some low vegetable form. But it seems to me hopeless to speculate about organisms which lived at so remote a period

As I have many letters to write I hope you will excuse my brevity.

Dear Sir. | Yours faithfully. | Ch. Darwin.


Ernst Haeckel’s kingdom Protista included various single-celled organisms such as rhizopods and diatoms; in his phylogenetic tree, it was depicted as the central kingdom with Plantae and Animalia on either side (see Haeckel 1866, 2: plate 1).


Haeckel, Ernst. 1866. Generelle Morphologie der Organismen. Allgemeine Grundzüge der organischen Formen-Wissenschaft, mechanisch begründet durch die von Charles Darwin reformirte Descendenz-Theorie. 2 vols. Berlin: Georg Reimer.


Comments on difficulty of distinguishing between lower animal and vegetable organisms.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Edouard Bergson
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 143: 111
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10195,” accessed on 28 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 23