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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. T. Goodale   26 February [1874]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Feb. 26

Dear Sir

I have not strength from ill-health to discuss the point raised in your letter.—2 I do not think the difficulty is greater for evolution than for ordinary growth. Every organism is developed from a single cell. Look at a man with an additional & abnormal finger   here we see new bones formed. I am much obliged for your kind offer to send me the book, but I do not care to see it.—

Dear Sir | yours faithfully | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from W. T. Goodale, 11 February 1874.
In his letter to CD of 11 February 1874, Goodale had queried an objection to development theory raised in Mark Hopkins 1873, and based on the observation that no bone of the skeleton came into direct contact with any other bones; since they, and other systems, could not have grown from a single point, they must (if development theory were true) have all existed in a single cell, which Mark Hopkins took to be impossible.


Hopkins, Mark. 1873. An outline study of man; or, the body and mind in one system. New York: Scribner, Armstrong, & Company.


Has not the strength to discuss WTG’s letter, and points out that every organism develops from a single cell.

Does not wish to see the Book WTG offered.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Walter T. Goodale
Source of text
Stephen R. Marzilli (private collection)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9313F,” accessed on 24 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 22