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To Charles Lyell   11 October [1859]

Summary

CL’s comments on Origin. Mentions corrections to last chapter suggested by CL.

Comments on lack of peculiar bird species on Madeira and Bermuda. Emphasises importance of American types in Galapagos.

Denies necessity of continued creation of primitive "Monads".

Denies need for new powers and any principle of improvement.

Discusses gradations of intellectual powers.

Adaptive inferiority and extinction of groups of species and genera.

Asserts that climate is less important than the struggle with other organisms.

Suggests an experiment involving primroses and cowslips.

The chapter on hybridisation.

Rudimentary organs.

Gives opinion of Lamarck’s work.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  11 Oct [1859]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.172)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2503

To Charles Lyell   20 October [1859]

Summary

Comments on CL’s letters.

Discusses foreign animals naturalised in Australia and elsewhere.

Affirms man’s capacity to survive in Eocene climate.

Comments on American types.

Denies necessity for "continued intervention of creative power".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  20 Oct [1859]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.173)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2507

To Charles Lyell   25 October [1859]

Summary

Discusses P. S. Pallas’ theory of origin of domestic dog breeds. CD believes domestic dogs descended from more than one aboriginal wild species but ultimately "we believe all canine species have descended from one parent and the only question is whether the whole or only part of difference in our domestic breeds has arisen since man domesticated them".

Races of man offer great difficulty. The doctrine of Pallas and Agassiz that there are several species "does not help us" in the least.

Hopes Henry Holland will not review Origin.

CD’s and CL’s difference on "principle of improvement" and "power of adaptation" is profound. Improvement in breeds of cattle requires neither. Urges him to reread first four chapters of Origin carefully. Natural selection is not to be contrasted with "improvement": every step involves improvement in relation to the conditions of life. There is no need for a "principle" to intervene.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  25 Oct [1859]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.174)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2510

To Charles Lyell   31 [October 1859]

Summary

Further discussion of origin of domestic dog breeds.

Effects of crossing separate races.

Comments on rate of artificial and natural selection.

The origin of pigeon breeds.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  31 [Oct 1859]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.175)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2513
Document type
letter (4)
Author
Addressee
Lyell, Charles[X]
Correspondent
Date
1859
10
11 (1)
20 (1)
25 (1)
31 (1)
letter