Darwin's letter to his critic

Gus Bovona

Active member
Just heard about a letter that Darwin wrote to a critic of On the Origin of Species. Darwin shows the exact right attitude and approach you should take if you are interested in the truth.

Dear Sir

I received this morning your Review & have just read it. I thank you most cordially for it. There have been many reviews in England, opposed to me, but yours is the single one which seems to me perfectly fair & just & candid. I literally agree to every word you say. I admit there are no direct proofs of the greater modifications which I believe in.— I most fully admit that I by no means explain away all the vast difficulties. The only difference between us is that I attach much more weight to the explanation of facts, & somewhat less weight to the difficulties than you do.— I am conscious that I always jump at any theory which groups & explains facts; & attach too little weight to unexplained difficulties. Your mind is more cautious & I fear that the world would say more philosophical. The first part of your Review gives a really quite admirable condensation of my views.

Your fifth objection (p. 21) shows me that you think my idea of the spreading of the dominant species & their subsequent multiplication not satisfactory.—

Allow me again to express to you my cordial thanks. I never thought that I shd. read an opposed Review perfectly fair & just! I shall send it to Lyell, Hooker & Huxley to read.

With sincere respect | I remain yours very faithfully | C. Darwin

Would you like to possess a copy of my Journal of Researches during the voyage of H.M.S. Beagle I shd be truly proud to send it you?— How should I send it.?
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
Darwin seemed like a fairly decent joe even when reading his "Origin of Species". He seemed willing to take criticism of his theory quite well - a trait that is missing in his advocates.
Maybe if his critics weren't such incorrigible gits...
 

Temujin

Well-known member
Darwin seemed like a fairly decent joe even when reading his "Origin of Species". He seemed willing to take criticism of his theory quite well - a trait that is missing in his advocates.
It's certainly missing in his detractors on this site. The irrelevant personal attacks on this inoffensive country gentleman are relentless.
 
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