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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Struthers   21 March 1874

Down. | Beckenham, Kent.

March 21. 1874.

My dear Sir.

Some one has sent me the Aberdeen paper of Feb. 24. & you must allow me to have the satisfaction of expressing my unbounded admiration of your Lecture.1 I do not think the Argument on Evolution could be put better.2 & I have been greatly interested by your discussion on Education—3

With great respect, I remain | Yours very faithfully. | Ch. Darwin.


Struthers, one of the earliest advocates in Scotland for the theory of natural selection, had given an address on evolution to the Medical Students’ Society in Aberdeen; it was reported in the Aberdeen Daily Free Press, 24 February 1874. The clipping sent to CD is now in DAR 226.2: 66–7. There is also a reprint of the report, inscribed by Struthers to CD, in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL; CD wrote, ‘Read in newspaper’ on it.
Struthers’s address involved anatomical demonstrations illustrated by dissections and drawings; in each case he asked whether the facts were best explained by evolution or by design.
In his address, Struthers suggested that the superiority of philosophy, military prowess, and, increasingly, of commerce and manufactures in Germany depended upon the widespread scientific and technical education in that country; in addition, this scientific education, he claimed, made the German people less prejudiced against evolution than the British. He concluded by advocating that the universities devote themselves to the specialised and practical teaching of the sciences in order to provide teachers capable of teaching science in schools.


Comments on JS’s lecture on evolution ["Address on evolution", Aberdeen Daily Free Press 24 Feb 1874].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Struthers
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 147: 506
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9369,” accessed on 7 December 2021,

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