[This page printed from http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/DarwinSacFeb2002.html]
8 February 2002 
© [Copyright; all rights reserved.] For a presentation [with slides] on February 10, 2002, at the "Darwin Day" activities, sponsored by HAGSA [The Humanist Association of the Greater Sacramento Area], Sacramento, California; for additional "Darwin Day" activities around the world, please see: http://www.darwinday.org/.
ABSTRACT: I am delighted to share what I hope are some unique insights into Charles R. Darwin (February 12, 1809 - April 19, 1882) and provide you with information to "solve the mystery behind the title of the talk." Darwin was fascinating and many have written much about him and there is a "Darwin Industry." Darwin was surrounded, inspired, and encouraged in much of his work by numerous individuals, including Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913), Charles Lyell (1797-1875), Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895), and his wife (and perhaps best friend) Emma Darwin (1808-1896), née Wedgwood. The years leading up to 2008 / 2009 will be interesting: 2008 will be the sesquicentennial of the joint Darwin-Wallace papers of 1858 at the Linnean Society meetings and then 2009 will be the bicentennial of Darwin's 1809 birth as well as the sesquicentennial of the publication of the first edition of what has become known as Origin. I attempt to understand and "humanize" Darwin and share that understanding as best I can: my wife, and best friend, have have visited Down House (Darwin's home in Kent, England) twice (1991 and 1999) as well as the Galápagos Islands (2000). My interest in Darwin has extended over decades and I have "doing Darwin" in the first person since October 4, 1990. Several videotapes, created for instructional purposes, are available via the World Wide Web. This brief paper (accompanied by slides) deals with some information concerning Charles R. Darwin and his research. [242 words]
Photo by Charles F. Urbanowicz, Natural History Museum, London (1999).
INTRODUCTION AND THE EARLY YEARS
THE VOYAGE OF HMS BEAGLE (1831-1836)
ALFRED RUSSEL WALLACE (1823-1913) AND THE BACKGROUND
1858 / 1859
ORIGIN & DESCENT
EPILOGUE: VICTORIAN TIMES AND THE YEAR 2002
WWW POSTSCRIPT (FEBRUARY 2002)
INTRODUCTION AND THE EARLY YEARS
"The fact is that Charles Darwin was in almost all respects a fairly standard example of the nineteenth century student, well off, active in field sports, working hard enough to avoid academic failure, but a long way from academic success." Peter Brent 1981, Charles Darwin: A Man Of Enlarged Curiosity (NY: Harper & Row), page 89.
I was not present in Sacramento at last year's 4th Annual Darwin Birthday Gala and I only know of Dr. Eric Meikle's title to the group ("Darwin in the 21st Century: New Challenges And Old") and I imagine some of what follows will be familiar to you as I "countdown" to 2008 and 2009 (while drawing upon information from 1858 and 1859). In every presentation or paper I write I do (#1) build on previous items of my own (and hence "repeat" myself) but I also (#2) attempt to add something new to every single item I present! Some of what you read below probably will be familiar but perhaps it will be placed within a new context; and some information, hopefully, will be brand new and you will remark "I never thought of that!" I have been to some of the parts of the world that Darwin visited and the photo that appears at the beginning of this paper (and which appeared in the February 2002 issues of Human Interest) was taken by me in 1999 in the Natural History Museum, London. (Perhaps in a future paper I shall include my photo of Sir Richard Owen, 1804-1892, from the same institution; he played an interesting role in Darwin's life. Additional Darwin "visuals" are referenced below and are available at http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/darwinvisualsonly.htm.)
Charles Robert Darwin was born on February 12, 1809, in Shrewsbury (England), one of six children born to Susannah Wedgwood (1765-1817), wife of Robert Waring Darwin (1768-1848). We obviously view Charles R. Darwin (in hindsight) as a scholar and scientist; as a child, however, Charles Darwin's father became frustrated with him, stating on one occasion that "You care for nothing but shooting, dogs and rat-catching, and you will be a disgrace to yourself and your family" (Julian Huxley and H.B.D. Kettlewell, 1965, Charles Darwin And His World, page 16). Today's cryptic title could well have been "Countdown to 2007 / 2008 / 2009" (and more), since 2008 will be the sesquicentennial of the joint Darwin-Wallace papers to the Linnean Society on July 1, 1858 and 2009 will be the sesquicentennial of the publication of the first edition of Origin as well as the bicentennial of Darwin's birth.
Another important date I could have added to the "countdown" would have been 2007 for that will be an anniversary of Darwin's first paper to the Geological Society of London. In 1836 Charles Darwin was proposed for membership in the scientific group and he was elected and admitted in November of that year (and eventually was the Secretary of that body of scientists). On 4 January 1837 he presented a paper on the geology of Chile and as two Darwin scholars have written of this 1837 event:
"The real red-letter day was 4 January 1837. In the evening he read his paper to the Geological Society, on Chile's coast as uplifted sea floor. It was his début, and friends and family rallied round. [His cousin and future brother-in-law] Hensleigh [Wedgwood, 1803-1891] was present, and of course Lyell [1797-1875]. Many of the geologists were brilliant orators who could enliven the dullest subject. But Darwin was a novice, and nervous. Standing in front of Lyell, the President, with rows of expert geologists on benches on either side, huge maps and diagrams or mountain sections behind them on the walls, he read his paper, heart in hand, pounding furiously. On the table were his oyster fossils and other pampas samples, collected a world away. Lyell lapped up the talk, but, he cautioned, 'do not flatter yourself that you will be believed, till you are growing bald, like me.' Darwin did not have to lose his hair first. In fact, his Cordilleras and coral reefs were so well received that he felt 'like a peacock admiring his tail [stress added].'" Adrian Desmond and James Moore, 1991, Darwin (NY: Warner Books), pages 207-208; and see R.B. Freeman, 1978, Charles Darwin: A Companion (Folkestone, Kent, England: Dawson), page 149.
The year 2007 will also be the tricentennial of the birth of the Swedish botanist Carl von Linné (1707-1778), also known as Linnaeus. In the year 1907, upon the bicentennial of Linnaeus's May 23, 1707 birth, the Swedish Academy of Sciences presented a medal to Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817-1911), long a friend and supporter of Charles Darwin. The Academy declared Hooker "the most illustrious living exponent of botanical science" (Michael P. Branch, 2001, John Muir's Last Journey: South to the Amazon and East To Africa [Washington, D.C./Covelo, CA: Island Press/Shearwater Books], page 153). Hooker and John Muir (1838-1914) took a botanical trip through California in 1877 (so the year 2007 could be considered the 130th anniversary of that trip!).
Going back in time, please consider Darwin as a novice! Born in 1809, he was still a very young man when he took his voyage on HMS Beagle in 1831-1836 and the events of 1837, 1858, and 1859 came long after Charles Darwin completed his formal education. Incidentally, not only will the year 2009 be the sesquicentennial of Origin, it is also the sesquicentennial of Charles Darwin receiving the prestigious "Wollaston Medal" from the same Geological Society of London. Simon Winchester wrote an excellent book entitled The Map That Changed The World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology (NY: HarperCollins) detailing the life of Smith (1769-1839) who was the first to receive the prize in 1831:
"To be a recipient of the Wollaston Medal is to become the equal of a Nobel laureate, in a discipline for which (despite its universal and elemental nature, and in common with mathematics) Alfred Nobel [1833-1896] puzzingly and shamefully left no bequest. The Wollaston is the Oscar of the world of rocks, fought for gamely, campaigned for bitterly, and if awarded, then accepted with the secure knowledge that career and reputation are guaranteed for life [stress added]." Simon Winchester, 2001, The Map That Changed The World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology (NY: HarperCollins), page 282.
As a child, after his mother Susannah Wedgwood died in 1817, Charles Darwin's father sent him to a local boarding school; Charles Darwin then followed his bother Erasmus (1804-1881) to Edinburgh University in Scotland and then to Cambridge University. While a Cambridge student Darwin, read the work of the German naturalist Friedrich Humboldt (1769-1859) and began learning Spanish for a trip to Tenerife (the largest of the Canary Islands off the northwest coast of Africa). In 1881, Charles Darwin would describe Baron von Humboldt as "the parent of a grand progeny of scientific travelers" since his works not only inspired Darwin but also inspired Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) (R.B. Freeman, 1978, Charles Darwin: A Companion, page 168).
Darwin was an extremely important individual for a variety of reasons: his travels and data and experiments all contributed to the more than twenty books he published. The theories and ideas he proposed influenced a variety of disciplines, from anthropology to zoology as well as business and biology, ecology, geology, and the general social sciences. In essence, his "theory" of natural selection (dealing with populations of individuals) states that all living organisms within a population go through a life cycle of birth, growth, reproduction, and then death. There is variation within a population and not all individual organisms survive; those that are better adapted to their environment survive to reproduce and pass on their characteristics to their offspring. Perhaps somewhat paradoxically, while Darwin stressed the range of variation in populations, in 1991 the distinguished Ernst Mayr pointed out that it was truly the "individual" that became important as a result of Darwin's theory!
"In daily life we largely proceed essentialistically (typologically) and become aware of variations only when we compare individuals. He [or she!] who speaks of 'the Prussian,' 'the Jew,' 'the intellectual' reveals essentialistic thinking. Such language ignores the fact that every human is unique; no other individual is identical to him [or her!]. It was Darwin's genius to see that this uniqueness of each individual is not limited to the human species but is equally true for every sexually reproducing species of animal and plant. Indeed, the discovery of the importance of the individual became the cornerstone of Darwin's theory of natural selection. It eventually resulted in the replacement of essentialism by population thinking, which emphasized the uniqueness of the individual and the critical role of individuality in evolution. Darwin no longer asked, as had Agassiz, Lyell, and the philosophers, 'What is good for the species?' but 'What is good for the individual?' (Ghiselin 1969). And variation, which had become irrelevant and accidental for the essentialist, now became one of the crucial phenomena of living nature [stress added]." Ernst Mayr, 1991, One Long Argument: Charles Darwin and the Genesis of Modern Evolutionary Theory (Harvard University Press), page 42.
The individual is key and various individuals are interested in "Darwin" and we now have areas of research that are called "Darwinian Medicine" as well as "Evolutionary Psychology." Consider, if you will, some of the following statements: "According to one Darwin expert, being fit, smart and strong all matter, but the species that thrive are the ones that are most adaptable [stress added]." Bob Rosner, The San Francisco Sunday Chronicle, April 22, 2001, page CL11. In that same month, one could also read the following: "Even amid a slowdown, the U.S. economy supports a healthy commercial Darwinism in which stronger stores devour the weak [stress added]". (Lorrie Grant, One Store's Death Is Another's Opportunity. April 16, 2001, USA Today, page 8B.) In December 2001, one could also read in Business Week of a "Darwinian appoach" to business issues (involving "layoffs" in the current economic times) (Louis Lavelle, 2001, Commentary. Business Week, December 3, 2001, page 45) and, unfortunately, in reading about the "Enron debacle or disaster" (my term) on December 12, 2001, The New York Times wrote of "a Darwinian Enron" and the quote from an Enron person that "There was a Darwinism for ideas, for projects" (David Barboza, 2001, Victims and Champions of a Darwinian Enron. The New York Times, December 12, 2001, page C5). Unfortunately, I don't think the people at Enron "really" knew about Darwin and his ideas and the role that the overall environment plays in "natural" and "cultural" selection. In order to survive, all individuals (and the overall population, or "the company") must (a) be aware of and (b) adapt to the ever-changing world as well as (c) pay attention, and abide by, the "rules" of the surrounding environment! On February 4, 2002, The New York Times had the following:
"The report, issued Saturday [2 February 2002], concluded that Enron executives intentionally manipulated profits....It described across-the-board failures of controls at almost every level, as a culture of self-enrichment at the expense of shareholders emerged." Jonathan D. Glater, 2002, The New York Times, page 1.
The distinguished American Anthropologist Gregory Bateson (1904-1980) wrote the following:
"The unit of survival [or adaptation] is organism plus environment. We are learning by bitter experience that the organism which destroys its environment destroys itself. If, now, we correct the Darwinian unit of survival to include the environment and the interaction between organism and environment, a very strange and surprising identity emerges: the unit of survival turns out to be identical with the unit of mind [italics in original; stress added]." Gregory Bateson, 1972, Steps To An Ecology of Mind (NY: Ballantine Books), page 483.
Some business minds did not realize this.
We must all learn to adapt to the ever-changing environment and there is in fact a "Darwin Industry" which is part of the current environment and "Darwin interpretations" change with the times! As Gillian Beer pointed out in the second edition (2000) of her most readable Darwin's Plots:
"Darwin has grown younger in recent years. He is no longer the authoritative old man with a beard substituting for God. Instead his work and life are again in contention and debate. Sociologists, microbiologists, linguists, sociobiologists, philosophers, feminists, psychologists, biographers, geneticists, novelists, poets, post-colonialists, have their say [stress added]." Gillian Beer, 2000, Darwin's Plots: Evolutionary Narrative In Darwin, George Eliot and Nineteenth-Century Fiction (Second Edition) (Cambridge University Press), page xvii.
One can definitely "read" into Darwin whatever one chooses, as Michael Ruse points out:
"We have a veritable Hegelian contradiction. Darwinism is sexist. Darwinism is feminist. How can this be? The obvious answer is that, in some sense, Darwinism is simply a clotheshorse on which people will hang any ideology that they find comforting. You are a sexist? Darwinism will accommodate you. You are a feminist? Darwinism will accommodate you, too [stress added]." Michael Ruse, 1998, Is Darwin Sexist? (And If It Is, So What?). A House Built on Sand: Exposing Postmodernist Myths About Science (NY: Oxford University Press), edited by Noretta Koertge (pages 119-129), page 121.
So there very well could have been a "Darwinian Enron" interpretation by someone and Darwin can be invoked by anyone! A few years ago there was a delightful book (I wish I had written) entitled Dear Mr. Darwin: Letters On The Evolution of Life And Human Behavior, wherein the author has Darwin saying:
"I am so glad you have taken the time and trouble to write to me. It is one of the saddest aspects of human existence that, as soon as one passes away, it is generally assumed that the deceased has no further interest in what he or she spent a great part of life investigating. From what you tell me of the Darwin industry of scholars in your day, busy seeking out every nuance of my life and thoughts, I have to conclude that there is indeed life after death [stress added]." Gabriel Dover, 2000, Dear Mr. Darwin: Letters On The Evolution of Life And Human Behavior (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson), page 3.
THE VOYAGE OF HMS BEAGLE (1831-1836)
Charles Darwin graduated from Cambridge in 1830 and was invited on a trip around the world on HMS Beagle (1831-1836). The trip changed his life and after returning Darwin never left England again. When he set sail in 1831 (at the age of 22), Darwin was a young and relatively inexperienced naturalist; when Charles Darwin returned to England in 1836, he was a careful, deliberate, and experienced individual and in 1877 he received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Cambridge.
In 1831, the HMS Beagle was to return to surveying duties and the Captain of the Beagle, Robert FitzRoy (1805-1865) wanted a traveling companion (a gentleman to accompany him) and Darwin was eventually chosen by FitzRoy to be the "gentleman naturalist" on board (with no navy duties to perform). Darwin, however, conducted a great deal of research and in April 1832 Robert McCormick (1800-1890), who was the official naturalist on HMS Beagle, was "invalided out" back to England and Darwin was the naturalist for the rest of the voyage.
FitzRoy and Darwin shared some common beliefs (but were at odds on some issues!). Darwin had complained that the lectures on Geology at Edinburgh were so dull that he later recalled that they "completely sickened me of that method of learning" and it made him resolve never to read a book on that subject (Gertrude Himmelfarb, 1959, Darwin And The Darwinian Revolution, page 29) and so FitzRoy presented Darwin with volume I of Lyell's celebrated Principles of Geology (volume I had just been published in 1830). It was to be a gift that had an impact far beyond FitzRoy could have envisaged:
"FitzRoy had made a present to him [Charles Darwin] of the first volume before they left England, a gift reflecting FitzRoy's interest in the subject, and also the fact that he had met Lyell some months earlier when the geologist asked for several observations to be made in South America on his behalf. Teasingly, FitzRoy gave Darwin another present at the same time in the shape of an English grammar. Like [mate and assistant surveyor, John Lort] Stokes [1812-1885], he put little faith in a Cambridge education. Inscribed in the front and dated 1831, the grammar went into the poop cabin locker along with Lyell." Janet Browne, 1995, Charles Darwin - Voyaging: Volume I Of A Biography, page 186.
On April 30, 1865, FitzRoy slashed his throat, believing that he had unleashed Darwin upon the world! As Thomson has written, FitzRoy "finished it all, by cutting his throat. Thus ended the brilliantly inventive, partly-mad life of one of the most highly intellectual naval officers of the century." Keith S. Thomson, 1995, HMS Beagle: The Story of Darwin's Ship (NY: W.W. Norton), page 208.
In attempting to understand some of the individuals Darwin was involved with, I have been to FitzRoy's home in London (38 Onslow Square, SW7), as well as the London area where Charles Darwin and Emma Wedgwood (1808-1896) lived after they were married on January 31, 1839 (110 Gower Street, WC1), and where Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895) maintained his residence (38 Marlborough Place, NW). I have also been to Down House, Luxted Road, Downe, Kent (where Mr. and Mrs. Charles Darwin moved to in September 1842) as well as the Galápagos Islands (2000), Sydney, Australia (1970-1971 and 2001), Hobart, Tasmania (2001), as well as New Zealand (1971 and 2002). The following is most appropriate for thinking about Darwin, as well as this paper:
"The Russians have a proverb: He lies like an eyewitness. Few eyewitnesses see it all, fewer still understand all the implications. And their reports are always personal. Yet what they see is essential. History begins with people caught in the moment-by-moment rush of events. The correspondent on the scene shares the jolt of joy or horror in watching the world change in an instant. Personal bias becomes part of the story, and often makes the account more vivid [stress added]." David Colbert [Editor], 1997, Eyewitness to America: 500 Years of America in the Words of Those Who Saw It Happen (NY: Pantheon Books), page xxvii.
Considering Darwin as eyewitness, one may consider the following words from two Darwin scholars (in 1991):
"...well heeled, imperturbably Whig, a privately financed world traveler who had spent five years aboard HMS Beagle as a dining companion to the aristocratic captain. He had a private fortune in prospect and a reputation as an up-and-coming geologist. He also had an enduring wish to escape 'abominable murky' London, to live in a rustic parish like his clerical friends, so vilified by the mob." Adrian Desmond and James Moore, 1991, Darwin: The Life Of A Tormented Evolutionist, pages xvii-xviii.
As contextual background for non-United Kingdom individuals, the following lengthy quote concerning "Whigs" and "Tories" of Darwin's day is most appropriate:
"For a hundred years after the close of the seventeenth century, the English government was the most 'liberal' in the world and a shining example to Continental devotees of progress. During that century there had been hardly any constitutional conflict in England, nor had any movement of importance arisen to cry out for drastic alterations in the established order. The situation changed towards the end of the eighteenth century, and when the twenty years of the Napoleonic Wars were over, the demand for parliamentary reform once more began to exercise in the minds of the voteless. ... Slowly by imperceptible degrees, the king, from wielding independent power, became merely a symbol of power. The ideological breach was reflected most strongly in the various debates over the reforms of the voting process. This was particularly noticeable in the reform [Bill] of 1832, which can be said to have marked the complete breakthrough of liberal ideas in English politics. There was no clear dividing line between the two loose-knit grouops which, under the old party names of Whigs and Tories, ruled the English parliament at the beginning of the nineteenth century. By and large, however, they represented tendencies which by mid-century had come to be known as Conservatism and Liberalism. Tories clung more tenaciously than Whigs to existing situations and institutions; with the monarch still to a certain extent acting independently, the Commons (except in the formation of a government and in budgetary matters) was, broadly speaking on an equal footing with the Lords, the Church, local government (which was more or less in the hands of the land-owning aristocracy), and with agriculture. The Tories represented the landowners in particular, though the social borderline was far less sharply defined than the political one. The Whigs, who had held a position of permanent though slender minority for decades after the French Revolution  had already made demands before the revolution for a reform of the composition of the Commons, and in the 1830s vigorously renewed this demand. They strove to secure religious tolerance and were effective in getting the Tory government to abolish laws dictated by religious prejudice--emancipation of Nonconformists in 1828 and Catholics in 1829. ... When the Whigs, early in 1830, reached the positon of power which--save for two major breaks, in 1841-45 and 1874-80--they were to hold for more than half a century, the party comprised politicians of varying interests and opinions. ... In the 1830s the core of the Whig party was a small group of theorists and reformers who made use of the political quarterly Edinburgh Review group as their mouthpiece from which to air their views and disseminate their ideas [stress added]." Herbert Tingsten, 1965 [Viktoria Och Viktorianerna], 1972 English translation, Victorian And The Victorians: The Personalities, Politics, and Scandals of An Era (USA: Delacorte Press/Seymour Lawrence), pages 168-170.
This was the context of Darwin's decision to leave England to travel on HMS Beagle. Darwin was invited, observed, took notes, and he went on HMS Beagle for his trip around the world!
After conducting research in South America (for several years), Darwin went to the Galápagos Islands, some 600 miles west of the South American nation of Ecuador (and currently one of the 22 provinces of Ecuador) and Darwin was to write about the islands as follows:
"The natural history of these islands is eminently curious, and well deserves attention. Hence, both in space and time, we seem to be brought somewhat near to that great fact--that mystery of mysteries--the first appearance of new beings on this earth [stress added]." Charles Darwin, 1845, The Voyage of the Beagle [Edited by Leonard Engel, 1962, NY: Doubleday], pages 378-379.
The 1937 Hungarian-American Nobel Prize winner (in Physiology/Medicine) was Albert Szent-Györgyi (1893-1986) and he once stated that a scientist should "see what everybody else has seen and then think what nobody has thought" and it has been written that "nobody did this better than Charles Darwin, who first realized that the evolution of life took place by Natural Selection" (J. Livingston and L. Sinclair, 1967, Darwin And The Galapagos, n.p.). In my opinion, and in the opinion of many others, "nobody did this better than Charles Darwin." Others went to the Galápagos Islands, perhaps most notably Louis Aggasiz (1807-1873) of glacial fame and saw the same "things" that Darwin saw, but did not "think" what Darwin thought. Aggasiz, the distinguished Swiss-American scientist, was "without a doubt, the greatest and most influential naturalist of nineteenth-century America" (Stephen J. Gould, 1983, Hen's Teeth And Horse's Toes: Further Reflections In Natural History, page 108). Gould has written about Aggasiz as follows:
"A Swiss by birth, he [Aggasiz] was the first great European theorist in biology to make America his home. He had charm, wit, and connections aplenty, and he took the Boston Brahmins by storm. He was an intimate of Emerson, Longfellow, and anyone who really mattered in America's most patrician town. He published and raised money with equal zeal and virtually established natural history as a professional discipline in America; indeed [Gould continues], I am writing this article in the great museum [at Harvard University] that he built" (Stephen J. Gould, 1983, Hen's Teeth And Horse's Toes: Further Reflections In Natural History, page 108).
Gould pointed out that brilliant as Aggasiz was, he had a certain way of viewing the world. In June of 1872, thirty-three years after Darwin's HMS Beagle publication, Aggasiz visited the Galápagos Islands, viewing the same natural phenomena that Darwin observed. Darwin saw nature and change and thought about it and Aggasiz saw nature and stability and thought about it in his way: Aggasiz did not see changes through time and he did not see natural selection. Aggasiz died in 1873 and his 1860 remarks on Darwin's Origin probably held true after his visit to the Galápagos Islands: "I shall therefore consider the transmutation theory [of Darwin] as a scientific mistake, untrue in its facts, unscientific in its method, and mischievous in its tendency [stress added]." (R.B. Freeman, 1978, Charles Darwin: A Companion, page 18).
We observe behaviors and things through our eyes and interpret what we see according to our theoretical (and philosophical) framework(s) and facts do not speak for themselves:
"Facts are not really like boulders that have been detached and shaped and deposited exclusively by the play of forces of non-human nature. They are like flaked and chipped flints, hewn stones, bricks or briquettes. Human action has had a hand in making them what they are, and they would not be what they are if this action had not taken place. ... Facts are, in truth, exactly what is meant by the Latin word facta from which the English word is derived. They are 'things that have been made [stress added]." Arnold J. Toynbee, 1964, A Study Of History: Reconsiderations, Volume 12, page 250).
Where Aggasiz saw no "transmutations" Darwin eventually wrtoe about the Galápagos Islands as follows:
"Seeing this gradation and diversity of structure in one small, intimately related group of birds, one might really fancy that from an original paucity of birds in this archipelago, one species have been taken and modified for different ends [stress added]." Charles Darwin, 1845, The Voyage of the Beagle [Edited by Leonard Engel, 1962, NY: Doubleday], page 381.
In July of 2000, my wife and I cruised through the Galápagos Islands and the islands are truly amazing (please see web references). One may read of Darwin's visit to the Galápagos as follows:
On Darwin's last day in the Galápagos, the official supervising the nearby British penal colony declared that he could tell on which island a tortoise originated by its distinctive shell pattern. 'I did not for some time pay sufficient attention to this statement,' Darwin wrote, 'and I had already partially mingled together the collections from two of the islands.' ... Later he wrote that the distribution of Galápagos animals, combined with the similarities between South American fossils and living species in the same region, were 'the factual origin of all my views.' Although the fossils nagged at him from the beginning, other naturalists back home in England had to point out the significance of the finches. In time, Darwin would write of the Galápagos in the 1839 edition of his Journal of Researches: 'The natural history of these islands is eminently curious, and well deserves attention. Here, both in space and time, we seem to be brought somewhere near to that great fact--that mystery of mysteries--the first appearance of new beings on this earth" [stress added]." Michael Sims, 1997, Darwin's Orchestra: An Almanac of Nature in History and the Arts (NY: Henry Holt & Co.), page 321-322.
"When the Vice-Governor remarked that he could tell from which island any tortoise had been brought, Darwin pricked up his ears. He had been carelessly mixing up his specimens from different islands, never dreaming that the islands would have been 'differently tenanted'; he quickly mended his way [Calder continued]. He examined the mockingbirds collected by himself and his shipmates, and found to his astonishment that all the birds from one island belonged to one species and all from another to a different species. But he had hopelessly muddled most of his specimens of the finches that were to make the Galapagos and himself jointly famous [stress added]." Nigel Calder, 1973, The Life Game: Evolution And The New Biology, pages 45-46
"Who can blame him? They are small birds, the males being black and the females brown. When you glimpse them flitting among the thirsty trees of the Galapagos it is hard to acknowledge the impact such modest birds had on the human mind and its religious beliefs." Nigel Calder, 1973, The Life Game: Evolution And The New Biology, page 82.
Indeed, in Darwin's own 19th century publication The Voyage of the Beagle, he had the following:
"I have not as yet noticed by far the most remarkable features in the history of this archipelago; it is, that the different islands to a considerable extent are inhabited by a different set of beings. My attention was first called to this fact by the Vice-Governor, Mr. Lawson, declaring that the tortoises differed from the different islands, and that he could with certainty tell from which island one was brought. I did not for some time pay sufficient attention to this statement, and I had already partially mingled together the collections from two of the islands. I never dreamed that islands, about fifty or sixty miles apart, and most of them in sight of each other, formed of precisely the same rocks, placed under a similar climate, rising to a nearly equal height, would have been differently tenanted; but we shall soon see that this is the case. It is the fate of most voyagers, no sooner to discover what is most interesting in any locality, than they are hurried from it; but I ought, perhaps, to be thankful that I obtained sufficient material to establish this most remarkable fact in the distribution of organic beings [stress added]." Charles Darwin, 1845, The Voyage of the Beagle [Edited by Leonard Engel, 1962, NY: Doubleday], page 394.
Darwin, and HMS Beagle, finished work in the Galápagos Islands and continued on to Tahiti, New Zealand, Australia, touched briefly once again in South America, and headed home to England, landing at Falmouth, Cornwall, on October 2, 1836. All of his writings are fascinating to read; for example, one can read the following about New Zealand for December 21, 1835:
"Early in the morning we entered the Bay of Islands, and being becalmed for some hours near the mouth, we did not reach the anchorage till the middle of the day. The country is hilly, with a smooth outline, and is deeply intersected by numerous arms of the sea extending from the bay." Charles Darwin, 1845, The Voyage of the Beagle [Edited by Leonard Engel, 1962, NY: Doubleday], page 416.
On January 9, 2002, my wife and I anchored in the Bay of Islands, saw the hills that Darwin described, and went through the house of James Busby.
"James Busby arrived in May 1833 at the Bay of Islands, where there was a small settlement of Europeans. He settled at Waitangi. His main duties were to protect 'well-disposed' traders and settlers, to check 'outrages' on the Maori, and to apprehend escaped convicts." Claudia Orange, 1989, The Story of a Treaty (Wellington: 2001 BWB Books, Ltd. edition], page 10.
Darwin wrote of his interestion with Busby, and although he write "Mr. Bushby, the British resident" (The Voyage of the Beagle, page 420), once again we visited a home where a young Charles Darwin walked.
Over the years 1831-1836 Darwin took part in a voyage around the globe and allowed him to "see what everybody else has seen and then think what nobody has thought. " Other eminent Victorians would also explore and gather information about the world about them, including Alfred Russel Wallace as well as Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895) and the zeitgesit or the environment was an expanding one!
"The Victorians' fascination with the past was thus the product of an age obsessed with change, desperately hoping that history itself might supply the reassurance that could no longer be derived from ancient beliefs. ... The Victorians' obsession with history was fueled by an immense extension of the range of past events open to their investigations." Peter J. Bowler, 1989, The Invention of Progress: The Victorians and the Past (Oxford: Basil Blackwood), page 3.
The words from the 19th century physician and author Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1885) seem most appropriate for considering the impact of the words and images of Charles Darwin: "The mind, once expanded to the dimensions of larger ideas, never returns to its original size" and the "larger idea" that Darwin gave us was natural selection!
As Darwin grew older, he became independently wealthy and was able to devote his time and energies (such as they were) to those questions which he found interesting. He did not need to obtain a salaried position or a career to support his family for upon his father's death in 1848, Charles Darwin inherited approximately 45,000 pounds. This substantial amount, combined with the 13,000 pounds he received from his father upon his marriage in 1839 to his cousin Emma Wedgwood (1808-1896) and the 5,000 pound dowry that Emma Wedgwood brought into the marriage, provided Mr. and Mrs. Charles Darwin with quite a bit of capital at all times. When Charles Darwin died in 1882, he had nearly quadrupled his inheritance and his estate was estimated to be approximately 282,000 pounds. This was done by investments in railroads; in Darwin's day, railroads developed and replaced the canal system of transportation in the British Isles.
ALFRED RUSSEL WALLACE (1823-1913) AND THE BACKGROUND
In 1980, Arnold Brackman wrote A Delicate Arrangement: The Strange Case of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace and had the following on Alfred Russel Wallace:
"In this remote area of the world, Wallace unlocked the secret of the origin of species--descent and divergence through natural selection. Darwin notwithstanding, Wallace was the first to develop fully a coherent thesis to explain evolution. His impact on history is incalculable. The fascinating, unaswerable question--raised by Darwin's intimate friends themselves--is whether Darwin would ever have written Origin had there never been a Wallace [stress added]." Arnold G. Brackman, 1980, A Delicate Arrangement: The Strange Case of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace (NY: Times Books), pages 194-195.
It is interesting to read Wallace's own words on the topic, for as he was quoted in 1916:
"Since the death of Darwin [in 1882], I have found myself receiving credit and praise for a misapprehension. It has been stated...that Darwin and myself discovered 'Natural Selection' simultaneously, while a more daring few have declared that I was the first to discover it, and I gave way to Darwin! What is often forgotten by the Press and the public is, that the idea occurred to Darwin in 1838, nearly twenty years earlier than to myself (in February 1858); and that during the whole of that twenty years he had been laboriously collecting evidence [stress added]." (J. Marchant, 1916, Alfred Russel Wallace: Letters and Reminiscences (Cassell), n.p., as cited in Amabel Williams-Ellis, 1966, Darwin's Moon: A Biography of Alfred Russel Wallace (London and Glasgow: Blackie), page 219.
It was not only Wallace who contributed to the eventual publications of Charles R. Darwin (notably their joint papers in 1858 and Darwin's celebrated "Origin" in 1859), but other individuals had their geneaological connections to Darwin: his grandfather Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802) played a role as well as the English economist Robert Malthus (1766-1834), a 1788 graduate of Cambridge and a Church of England clergyman. In 1798 Malthus published (anonymously) the celebrated volume entitled An Essay on the Principles of Population. It was a gloomy little work and Matlhus and his ideas have been summarized as follows:
Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834): "English economist [and cleric!]. His Essay on the Principle of Population 1798 (revised 1803) argued for population control, since populations increase in geometric ratio and food supply only in arithmetic ratio, and influenced Charles Darwin's thinking on natural selection as the driving force of evolution. Malthus saw war, famine, and disease as necessary checks on population growth" [stress added]." Sarah Jenkins Jones (Editor), 1996, Random House Webster's Dictionary of Scientists, page 317.
Malthus wrote that the growth in a population would always exceed the growth in the available food supply and human beings have to be kept down through various means, including war, disease, plagues, crime, famine, or the like. In 1798 Malthus published the book anonymously and it was greeted by a storm of outrage; in the subsequent and enlarged edition of 1803 its tone was slightly modified, but it was a pessimistic view of the human condition. Malthus revised the book several times and it was probably the 1826 edition with which Darwin was most familiar with. (R. Keynes, 1983, Malthus and Biological Equilibria. Malthus Past And Present [London: Academic Press), page 360).
Malthus was observing the industrial revolution in England: technology was rampant, population was increasing, and there were problems. The population for all of Europe, as an example, was only 140 million in the year 1750 and it would almost double to 266 Million a century later. In London of 1750, two-out-of-every three children born in that year did not survive to their fifth birthday; Malthus was writing in reaction to other works and the complete title of his anonymous publication is worth considering for it was entitled An Essay on the Principle of Population, As It Affects The Future Improvement Of Society With Remarks On The Speculations Of Mr. Godwin, M. Condorcet, And Other Writers. Malthus was writing in reaction to Condorcet!
"The Marquis de Condorcet (1743-94), who contributed on mathematical subjects to the Encyclopédie, became perpetual secretary of the Académie des Sciences and supported Turgot's reforms and freedom of trade. He advanced probability theory (applying it outside the mechanical sciences) and wrote for a popular audience. In his General Picture of Science, which has for its Object the Application of Arithmetic to the Moral and Political Sciences (1783) Condorcet argued that a knowledge of probability, 'social arithmetic', allowed people to make rational decisions, instead of relying on instinct and passion. Condorcet was a great believer in the possibility of indefinite progress through human action, seeing the key in education. He believed that acquired characteristics could be inherited and thus that education could have a cumulative effect [stress added]." Jeremy Black, 1999, History of Europe: Eighteenth Century Europe, Second Edition (NY: St. Martin's Press), page 320.
For a full understanding (and appreciation) of Darwin's work, one should also be aware of European intellectual history. Numerous individuals contributed to the work of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace, who was also inspired by a reading of Humboldt and Malthus. A 2001 publication by Peter Raby entitled Alfred Russel Wallace: A Life (Princeton University Press) wrote of Wallace in 1844 when working as a schoolmaster and living in Leicester, England:
"His teaching and supervision duties still left him several hours a day free, and, with little money to spare for the first time in his life, he paid his subscription to the town library. New horizons opened before him: he read William Prescott's History of the Conquest of Mexico and History of the Conquest of Peru, and William Robertson's History of America, and, at last, Alexnader von Humboldt's Personal Narrative of Travels in South America, the first book that gave him a desire to visit the tropics. Humboldt was the great inspiration of nineteenth-century travellers. Darwin had read his Travels aboard the Beagle: 'I formerly admired Humboldt, I now almost adore him.'29 [Footnote #29: "Darwin to J.S. Henslow, 18 May 1832 (Darwin Collection, I, 237 on page 297 in Raby.]. Humboldt gave such a vivid impression of the tropical forest and from every page flowed the sense of quest, and discovery. But perhaps the 'most important' book Wallace read at this time, as he suggests in My Life [1908, by Alfred Russel Wallace], was Thomas Malthus's Essay on the Principles of Population, which he admired for its 'masterly summary of facts and logical indusction to conclusions': 'It was the first work I had yet read treating of any of the problems if philosophical biology, and twenty years later gave me the long-sought clue to the effective agent in the evolution of organic species.'30 [Footnote #30: "ML, 123-4" on page 298 in Raby.] [stress added]." Peter Raby, 2001, Alfred Russel Wallace: A Life (Princeton University Press), page 21.
Interested and intelligent individuals gathered information, and received inspiration, from various sources. For an excellent overview on four recent Wallace books (including the aforementioned Raby), please see the February 2002 issue of Natural History and Richard Milner's article entitled "What's it All About Alfred? Historians Rediscover The Quirky Genius of Alfred Russel Wallace" (pages 74-75).
1858 / 1859
Darwin was galvanized into publishing his views of "natural selection" after he received a fateful letter from Alfred Russel Wallace in June of 1858. Brackman's statement above that " The fascinating, unaswerable question--raised by Darwin's intimate friends themselves--is whether Darwin would ever have written Origin had there never been a Wallace" is really a moot one, for Darwin would have published something. He had too much evidence, and too many scientific friends, to allow him to "sit" on his evidence!
The letter from Wallace, that Darwin received on 18 June 1858, resulted in the July 1858 presentation to The Linnean Society and eventual publication in August of 1858. The 1858 letter, however, was not the first Darwin-to-Wallace-to-Darwin interaction through the mails since they had corresponded earlier in the 1850s when Wallace was in Malaysia. Upon Wallace's 1855 article entitled "On the Law which has regulated the Introduction of New Species" (in The Annals And Magazine Of Natural History) Sir Charles Lyell, a senior scientist of the times, promptly sent Darwin the article. Lyell, along with the botanist Joseph Hooker, began to pressure Darwin into publishing something: they both had been warning Darwin that someone might publish before him!
"When, in 1858, Alfred Russel Wallace sent in his essay on the same problem, it was Hooker who arranged with Charles Lyell that their friend should not be pre-empted, and that Darwin's and Wallace's papers were presented together to the Linnean Society." Richard Drayton, 2000, Nature's Government: Science, Imperial Britain, and the 'Improvement' of the World (New Haven: Yale University Press), page 179.
The joint Darwin and Wallace papers (with Darwin as first author) was dated 30 June 1858, read to the Linnean Society on 1 July 1858, and eventually published on 20 August 1858. Consider the following:
"Taken in the order of their dates, they consist of: I. Extracts from a MS. work on species, by Mr. Darwin, which was sketched in 1839, and copies in 1844, when the copy was read by Dr. Hooker, and its contents afterwards communicated to Sir Charles Lyell. ... II. An abstract of a private letter addressed to Professor Asa Gray [1810-1888], of Boston, U.S., in October 1857, by Mr. Darwin....III. An Essay by Mr. Wallace, entitled 'On the tendency of varieties to depart indefinitely from the originasl type.' This was written at Ternate in February 1858, for the perusal of his friend and correspondent Mr Darwin, and sent to him with the expressed wish that it should be forwarded to Sir Charles Lyell, if Mr. Darwin thought it sufficiently novel and interesting." Gavin De Beer, 1958, Evolution By Natural Selection: Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace (Cambridge University Press), pages 257-258.
Neither Wallace nor Darwin were present at the meeting: Wallace was still in Malaysia and Charles Darwin was in the village of Down, where Emma and Charles Darwin's child (Charles Waring) had just died from scarlet fever. These joint papers were presented on their behalf by Sir Charles Lyell and Sir Joseph Hooker and actually read by the Secretary to the assembled society. On this 1858 presentation Sir Gavin De Beer has written the following:
"On 1 July 1858 Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace made the first public statement of their theory of evolution by natural selection before the LinneanSociety of London, and their papers were published on 20 August of the same year. The eighteen pages which they covered were among the most pregnant ever printed, and deserve to rank with those of Isaac Newton, since they provide for the realm of living beings the first general principle capable of universal application [stress added]." Gavin De Beer, 1958, Evolution By Natural Selection: Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace (Cambridge University Press), page 1.
It must be pointed out that just as we view Darwin (in hindsight) as the genius he was, so the meeting held on July 1, 1858 was viewed differently in that year and it was reported by the President of the Society that "no particularly important papers had been read" in 1858:
"With all the weight of their position, Sir Charles Lyell and Dr. Joseph Hooker then advised the secretary of the influential and respectable Linnean Society that they wanted an important communication to be made at the Society's next convenient meeting. The secretary was to prepare to receive two papers--one from Mr. C. Darwin and one from Mr. A.R. Wallace. They requested that the secretary should be good enough to read them both out and it was hoped that the Fellows would give them the most careful consideration. After all this the announcement of a great new scientific hypothesis to the Fellows of the Linnean Society fell flat. Perhaps no more unsuccessful scientific meeting was ever held. ... Mr. Bell [the President of the Linnean Society at that time: "professionally a dentists and vocationally a zoologist"], however, managed to delight posterity for when, at the end of his term of office, he summed up the Society's transactions for 1858, he remarked that it was a year when no particularly important papers had been read. The [1858 Linnean Society] meeting then was an outstanding anticlimax, and researches into the contemporary press prove that it passed virtually unnotices [stress added]." Amabel Williams-Ellis, 1966, Darwin's Moon: A Biography of Alfred Russel Wallace (London and Glasgow: Blackie), pages 143-145.
There has been conjecture about June of 1858 and a conspiracy theory has developed wherein Darwin-Lyll-Hooker conspired to Darwin's advantage (and Wallace's disadvantage) but Raby (2001) does a nice job when he writes that "Never has an intriguing theory been built on slenderer evidence, or on its admittedly intriguiging absence" (Peter Raby, 2001, Alfred Russel Wallace: A Life [Princeton University Press], page 288). It does little good to elaborate on this point beyond my own interpretation of the events of June 1858: events which continue to "humanize" Charles R. Darwin.
The conspiracy debate, for some, develops around the postal system of the times and the letters that Wallace mailed out to Henry W. Bates (1825-1892), traveller with Wallace to South America (and a naturalist in his own right) as well as Charles R. Darwin. As one author wrote in 1972:
"It is only reasonable to assume that Wallace's communication to Darwin arrived at the same time and was delivered to Darwin at Down House on 3 June 1858, the same day Bates's letter arrived in Leicester. If this sequence is correct, as it appears to be, we must ask ourselves what Darwin was doing with Wallace's paper during the two weeks between 4 June and 18 June. Without question he was stunned as he had never been before [stress added]." H. Lewis McKinney, 1972, Wallace and Natural Selection (Yale University Press), page 139.
"What was Darwin doing with Wallace's paper" in June 1858 McKinney asks? I point out (as others have done) that the tenth and last child of Charles and Emma Darwin was dying in June 1858 and I am sure Charles R. Darwin was more concerned with his family than his science!
Born on December 6, 1856, Charles Waring Darwin died on June 28, 1858. Emma and Charles Darwin had ten children but only seven reached their age of maturity. On September 23, 1842, Mary Eleanor was born in Down but she died within three weeks on the 10th of October. Henrietta Emma was born in 1843 and died in 1927. The information on the other children are as follows: William (1839-1914), Anne (1841-1851), Mary (1842), Henrietta ("Etty") Emma (1843-1927), George (1845-1912), Elizabeth (1847-1926), Francis (1848-1925), Leonard (1850-1943), Horace (1851-1928), and Charles Waring (1856-1858). It is a well known fact that when "Annie" died in 1851 Charles Darwin was devastated and he wrote in 1851:
"We have lost the joy of the household, and the solace of our old age. She must have known how we loved her. Oh, that she could now know how deeply, how tenderly, we do still and shall ever love her dear joyous face! Blessings on her!* ["*The words, 'A good and dear child,' from the descriptive part of the inscription on her gravestone. See the Athenum, Nov. 26, 1887."] " April 30, 1851." Francis Darwin [Editor], 1892, The Autobiography of Charles Darwin and Selected Letters Edited by Francis Darwin (NY: Dover Publications 1958 paperback edition), pages 88-89.
The following has been written about both Charles and Emma Darwin:
"The death of Annie left a deep scar; neither Emma nor Charles would ever be the same again. Some of that merriment and gaiety that Aunt Jessie had so frequently admired in Emma was slowly subdued. And Emma, who had never fussed over children, who had allowed the boys to wander off through the woods alone, now became careful of their health." Edna Healey, 1986, Wives of Fame: Mary Livingstone, Jenny Marx, Emma Darwin (London: Sidgwick & Jackson), page 172.
The concept of "time" or looking at various "events" is a useful organizing principle. Anne Elizabeth Darwin, the second child of Charles and Emma Darwin was born on March 2, 1841 and died in April 1851. The death of "Annie" had always intrigued me: what impact did it have on Darwin's thinking processes? In 2001, a great-great grandson of Charles Darwin published a book entitled Annie's Box: Charles Darwin, his Daughter and Human Evolution (London: Fourth Estate) and consider the following:
"After Annie's death [in 1851], Charles set the Christian faith firmly behind him. He did not attend church services with the family; he walked with them to the church door, but left them to enter on their own and stood talking with the village constable or walked along the lanes around the parish. He did, though, still firmly believe in a Divine Creator. But while others had faith in God's infinite goodness, Charles found him a shadowy, inscrutable and ruthless figure." Randal Keynes, 2001, Annie's Box: Charles Darwin, his Daughter and Human Evolution (London: Fourth Estate), page 222.
I am looking forward to the American publication this interesting book by Keynes, under the title of Darwin, His Daughter, and Human Evolution (Riverhead Books).
Emma Darwin was 48 years of age when her last child was born in 1856:
"...on 6 December 1856, when she was forty-eight, her last child, Charles Waring, was born. The baby was backward, and never learned to walk or talk. ... The summer of 1858 brought much illness. The baby caught scarlet fever and died on 28 June; Etty, too, was taken seriously ill and for a year her life was in danger. Remembering the tragedy of Annie, Charles and Emma were distraught, and the apparent collapse of his scientific hopes at this time was the last straw [stress added]." Edna Healey, 1986, Wives of Fame: Mary Livingstone, Jenny Marx, Emma Darwin (London: Sidgwick & Jackson), page 173-175.
So much for the McKinney question of "What was Darwin doing with Wallace's paper in June 1858?" Darwin had more important things to worry about and Raby's 2001 book also conveys the following:
"A week later, torn with worry about his desperately ill child, who was dying from scarlet fever, he confessed his painful muddle to Lyell: this was a trumpery affair. He wanted to behave honourably, not be thought base and paltry. ... To cast Darwin in the role of some devious machiavellian scheme in a Renaissance revenge tragedy is absurd. No doubt part of him wanted his friends to say, 'Yes, you can publish something without being dishonourabble'; but his words are the words of a man in genuine turmoil, and he adopts much the same tone of miserable helplessness years later when confronted by Samuel [1835-1902] Butler's hostility. Darwin, unlike Huxley and Hooker, and unlike, more surprisingly Wallace, had no liking, no aptitude, for public controversy. His statement that 'all the labour consists in the application of the theory', on the other hand, could have come from the lips of Wallace [stress added]." Peter Raby, 2001, Alfred Russel Wallace: A Life (Princeton University Press), pages 289-290.
Raby is referring to the following letter written by Darwin to Lyell, 25-6 June 1858:
"Wallace says nothing about publication, and I enclose his letter. But as I had not intended to publish any sketch, can I do so honourably, because Wallace has sent me an outline of his doctrine? I would far rather burn my whole book, than that he or any other man should think that I had betrayed in a paltry spirit." ( Darwin to Lyell, 25-6 June 1858, CCD, 7, 129-30; as cited in Peter Raby, 2001, Alfred Russel Wallace: A Life (Princeton University Press), page 318.
As is probably well-known, Darwin did not "defend" himself in public and when Origin became a best seller, it was Thomas Henry Huxley who became known as "Darwin's Bulldog." When Origin was published in 1859, it was an immediate success and the following information should be of interest to all interested in Darwin. Every edition of Origin published in Charles R. Darwin's lifetime is different! He re-wrote every-single-one and all are different! The reason it is important to point out the various editions of Origin is demonstrated by the following chart, based on information in the excellent 1959 publication of Morse Peckham [Editor] entitledThe Origin Of Species By Charles Darwin: A Variorum Text). The concept of change is definitely vital to an understanding of Darwin, whether you are reading Darwin himself or reading about him and I include the following tabular information on Darwin's Origin in virtually everything I present or write:
Charles R. Darwin took great care not to write about Homo sapiens in Origin in 1859 and all he had to say about "man" in 1859 was:
"In the distant future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history. [Chapter XV: "Recapitulation And Conclusion"]
By the 6th edition of Origin in 1872, Darwin had re-written the above as follows:
"In the future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be securely based on the foundation already well laid by Mr. Herbert Spencer, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. Much light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history. [Chapter XV: "Recapitulation And Conclusion"]
With proper reading and an understanding of Charles R. Darwin's Origin (and how it came to be, including the various "changes" in all of the editions), one can truly appreciate Darwin's contriobution to science. Incidentally, it must be pointed out that although Darwin his perhaps most famous for Origin, in his lifetime he published "seventeen works in twenty one volumes, or fifteen if the three volumes of geology of the Beagle are treated as one" (R.B. Freeman, 1978, Charles Darwin: A Companion, page 77). It has been estimated that Darwin published some "seven thousand pages, about three million words" in his lifetime (John Bowlby, 1990, Charles Darwin: A New Life, page 5).
"While Darwin himself shied away from public controversy, T.H. Huxley became 'Darwin's bulldog', battling opponents from Bishop Wilberforce of Oxford to Richard Owen, the anatomist. It was only a matter of time before those who opposed Darwin decided that Joseph Hooker was also their enemy. Such intellectual strife became connected to less elevated conflict over resources for institutions. For Richard Owen, as Keeper of Natural History at the British Museum [in London], began after 1860 to push without rest for the unification of all national botanical, zoological, and geological collections into a New Museum of natural History. Struggles over ideas then easily merged into rivalry between professional collections." Richard Drayton, 2000, Nature's Government: Science, Imperial Britain, and the 'Improvement' of the World (New Haven: Yale University Press), pages 179-180.
Huxley was a physican, scientist, world-traveler (he had been to Australia and New Guinea), accomplished lecturer, and was an ardent supporter of Darwin and his ideas. In reading about Darwin and Huxley one sees a similiarity between Huxley and someone like John Muir (1838-1914) who is quoted as saying the following:
"'When we try to pick out anything by itself,' wrote wilderness wanderer John Muir, 'we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.' Thus did Muir, who founded the Sierra Club in 1892, become on of the first to define in 25 words or less what ecology is all about." (John G. Mitchell, 1970, Ecotactics: The Sierra Club Handbook for Environmental Activitists (NY: Pocket Books), p. 23.
Please consider the following from an 1868 lecture by Huxley:
"I weigh my words well when I assert, that the man who should know the true history of the bit of chalk which every carpenter carries about in his breeches-pocket, though ignorant of all other history, is likely, if he will think his knowledge out to its ultimate results, to have a truer, and therefore a better, conception of this wonderful universe, and of man's relation to it, than the most learned student who is deep-read in the records of humanity and ignorant of those of nature [stress added]." Thomas Henry Huxley, 1868, On A Piece Of Chalk. [Lecture delivered to the workingmen of Norwich during the meeting of the British Association.] E.H. K. McComb [Editor], 1910, Huxley's Autobiography And Selected Essays From Lay Sermons (NY: Longmans, Greens, and Co.], pages 62-89, page 64.
"Wherever the European has trod, death seems to pursue the aboriginal. We may look to the wide extent of the Americas, Polynesia, the Cape of Good Hope, and Australia, and we find the same result. Nor is it the white man alone that acts as the destroyer; the Polynesian of Malay extraction has in parts of the East Indian archipelago, thus driven before him the dark-coloured native. The varieties of man seem to act on each other in the same way as different species of animals--the stronger always extirpating the weaker [stress added]." Charles R. Darwin [1809-1882], 1839, The Voyage of the Beagle (Chapter 19: "Australia"), 1972 Bantam paperback edition (with "Introduction" by Walter Sullivan), page 376.
Perhaps you have heard something new concerning Charles Darwin or perhaps everything I've mentioned was old information; in either case, one can find a tremendous amount of information concerning Darwin; he had an impact, there is no denying that. He was conducting research and writing until the end of his life and while visiting a friend in London in December 1881, he suffered a mild heart seizure. On the 12th of February 1882, his 73rd birthday, he wrote to a friend that "my course is nearly run" (Julian Huxley and H.B.D. Kettlewell, 1965, Charles Darwin And His World, page 126). Darwin had a fatal heart attack on Wednesday April 19, 1882; although he wished to be buried in the village of Down, Kent, where he and his wife Emma had lived for forty years (1842-1882) it was not to be; on April 24, 1882, as a result of a request by various individuals, Charles R. Darwin was buried in Westminster Abbey, London. His final place is a few paces away from the resting places of Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), Sir Charles Lyell (1797-1875), Michael Faraday (1791-1867), and William Herschel (1792-1871). Darwin's pall bearers included the President of the Royal Society, the American Minister to the British Isles (Robert Lowell), the churchman Cannon Farrar, an earl, two dukes, and the three leading British biologists of the times who were among his closest scientific friends: Thomas Huxley (1825-1895), Sir Joseph Hooker (1817-1911). and Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913). Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) thought the occasion of Darwin's internment at the Abbey "worthy enough [to attend] to suspend his objections to religious ceremonies" (Gerturde Himmelfarb, 1959, Darwin And The Darwinian Revolution [NY: W.W. Norton & Co.], page 440).
Whenever you can, read everything in the original. Please read Darwin and form your own opinions (but you will have to do quite a bit of reading to form a "true" opinion of Darwin's point of view since it did change over time). Martin Gardner, Editor of the 1984 volume entitled The Sacred Beetle And Other Great Essays in Science includes Darwin's "Recapitulation and Conclusions" chapter from Origin in the collection of essays and also writes the following:
"Darwin himself, as a young biologist aboard H.M.S. Beagle, was so thoroughly orthodox that the ship's officers laughed at his propensity for quoting Scripture. Then 'disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate,' he recalled, 'but was at last complete. The rate was so slow that I felt no distress.' The phrase 'by the creator,' in the final sentence of the selection chosen here, did not appear in the first edition of Origin of Species. It was added to the second edition to conciliate angry clerics. Darwin later wrote, 'I have long since regretted that I truckled to public opinion and used the Pentateuchal term of creation, by which I really meant 'appeared' by some wholly unknown process [stress added].'" Martin Gardner [Editor], 1984, The Sacred Beetle And Other Great Essays in Science (NY: Prometheus Books), page 5.
The phrase "Darwin later wrote" by Gardner refers to a letter from Darwin to Joseph Hooker on 29 March 1863. Darwin continued his thoughts with the following sentence: "It is mere rubbish, thinking at present of the origin of life; one might as well think of the origin of matter." Neal C. Gillespie, 1979, Charles Darwin And The Problem of Creation [University of Chicago Press], page 8. All-of-this is well and good, but one must remember that Darwin was using the term "creator" as early as 1842 and again in 1844. Consider, if you will, the following:
From the essay of 1842: "There is a simple grandeur in the view of life with its powers of growth, assimilation and reproduction, being originally breathed into matter under one or few forms, and that whilst this our planet has gone circling according to fixed laws, and land and water, in a cycle of change, have gone on replacing each other, that from so simple an origin, through the power of gradual selection of influential changes, endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been evolved [stress added]." Gavin De Beer, 1958, Evolution By Natural Selection: Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace (Cambridge University Press), pages 87-88.
From the essay of 1844: "My reasons have now been assigned for believing that specific forms are not immutable creations. ... It accords with what we know of the laws impressed by the Creator on matter that the production and extinction of forms should, like the birth and death of individuals, be the result of secondary means. It is derogatory that the Creator of countless Universes should have made by individuals His will the myriads of creeping parasites and worms, which since the earliest dawn of life have swarmed over the land and in the depths of the ocean [stress added]." Gavin De Beer, 1958, Evolution By Natural Selection: Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace (Cambridge University Press), pages 252-253.
From the Origin of 1859: " Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely. the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved [stress added]."
It is clear, that re-writing does help and if one is familiar with Darwin, one knows of the differences. Read, read, read; and remember that reading is not the same thing as studying and it is not the same thing as thinking and it is not the same as understanding! The "countdown" to 2008 and 2009 is moving along; we will better "understand" the importance 2008 and 2009 if we read, study, and think about the ideas, behavior, and publications of Charles R. Darwin (1808-1882). I end by attempting to answer the question at the beginning of this paper, namely "Why are there so many different kinds of living things?" In his closing words of the 1860 edition of Origin Darwin had the following:
"Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object of which we are capable of conceiving, namely the production of higher animals directly follows. There is a grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved [stress added]."
EPILOGUE: VICTORIAN TIMES AND THE YEAR 2002
Much is often made of the "Victorian" times and the "strange" ways of various individuals. Queen Victoria (1819-1901), who was the reigning monarch for much of Darwin's time, is often subjected to ridicule because of her devotion to her husband, the consort Prince Albert (1819-1861) and her actions after his death in 1861:
"To keep the somber image of the Blue Room from affecting her further, the Queen ordered that the room be cleaned and restored to usefulness, but not until the 'sad but lovely image' was photographed. She did not want it to remain as a Sterzbezimmer--a death chamber--but intended to turn it into a room for her use that would nevertheless be a memorial. ... In each of their homes, his dressing room or study would be kept as it had been, even to the changing of the linens, the daily replacement of towels and nightclothes, and--in the dressing rooms--the bringing of hot water for shaving each morning, and a scouring of the unused chamber pot. Yet each room would continue to be used in some way by Victoria. At first her audiences in Albert's silent study or dressing room were disconcerting in the extreme to her Ministers." Stanley Weintraub, 1987, Victoria: An Intimate Biography [NY: E.P. Dutton], pages 305-306.
Consider the following from the year 2002:
"The stage is now set for a soap opera of historic proportions. It pits HP'S top brass against the children of beloved founders William Hewlett (1913-2001) and David Packard (1912-1996), who are so revered that to this day their offices are left open and look as they did when the founders were alive--from the funky linoleum floors to the loose change atop Hewlett's desk." Peter Burrows, 2002, Carly's Last Stand? Business Week, December 24, 2001, pages 62-70, page 64.
POSTSCRIPT (FEBRUARY 2002)
For-virtually-every web page I do I try to "update" the following information concerning "Darwin" and "Search Engines" on the World Wide Web. The following is provided for your edification:
On October 17, 2001, "search engine hits" for "Charles R. Darwin" resulted in the following information: Google had 120,000 items; Northern Light had 51,939 items; Alta Vista Search had 65,975,088 items; and MonkeySweat had numerous items!
On February 6, 2002, "search engine hits" for "Charles R. Darwin" resulted in the following information: Google had 118,000 items; "Power Search" by Northern Light had 2,556 items; Alta Vista Search had 40,131 items; and MonkeySweat had numerous items!
Two things should be obvious: (#1) interest in Darwin continues and (#2), obviously, just as with people, all "search engines" are not created equal and there is "cultural selection" involved in everything we do! How does one "evaluate" and "use" this wide range of information? One does it just as Darwin did, carefully, patiently, and slowly, for as Darwin wrote:
"False facts are highly injurious to the progress of science, for they often endure long; but false views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm, for every one takes a salutary pleasure in proving their falseness: and when this is done, one path towards error is closed and the road to truth is often at the same time opened." Charles R. Darwin, 1871, The Descent of Man And Selection in Relation to Sex[1981 Princeton University Press edition, with Introduction by John T. Bonner and Robert M. May], Chapter 21, page 385.
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REFERENCES CITED & ADDITIONAL REFERENCES
David Barboza, 2001, Victims and Champions of a Darwinian Enron. The New York Times, December 12, 2001, page C5.
Gregory Bateson, 1972, Steps To An Ecology of Mind (NY: Ballantine Books).
Gillian Beer, 2000, Darwin's Plots: Evolutionary Narrative In Darwin, George Eliot and Nineteenth-Century Fiction (Second Edition) (Cambridge University Press).
Jeremy Black, 1999, History of Europe: Eighteenth Century Europe, Second Edition (NY: St. Martin's Press).
John Bowlby, 1991, Charles Darwin : A New Life (NY: W.W. Norton).
Peter J. Bowler, 1989, The Invention of Progress: The Victorians and the Past (Oxford: Basil Blackwood).
Arnold G. Brackman, 1980, A Delicate Arrangement: The Strange Case of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace (NY: Times Books).
Michael P. Branch [Editor], 2001, John Muir's Last Journey: South to the Amazon and East To Africa [Washington, D.C./Covelo, CA: Island Press/Shearwater Books].
Peter Brent 1981, Charles Darwin: A Man Of Enlarged Curiosity (NY: Harper & Row).
Janet Browne, 1995, Charles Darwin - Voyaging: Volume I Of A Biography (NY: Alfred P. Knopf).
Peter Burrows, 2002, Carly's Last Stand? Business Week, December 24, 2001, pages 62-70.
Nigel Calder, 1973, The Life Game: Evolution And The New Biology (NY: Dell).
David Colbert [Editor], 1997, Eyewitness to America: 500 Years of America in the Words of Those Who Saw It Happen (NY: Pantheon Books).
Charles Darwin, 1845, The Voyage of the Beagle [Edited by Leonard Engel, 1962, NY: Doubleday].
Charles Darwin, 1845, The Voyage of the Beagle (NY: Bantam, 1972 edition).
Charles R. Darwin, 1859 (as well as): 1860 (2nd edition), 1861 (3rd), 1866 (4th), 1869 (5th), and 1872 (6th), On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life [Note: this is the on-line version of the 1859 edition]. [Note: Publishers, locations, and introductions vary.]
Charles R. Darwin, 1871, The Descent of Man And Selection in Relation to Sex (1981 Princeton University Press edition, with Introduction by John T. Bonner and Robert M. May).
Francis Darwin [Editor], 1892, The Autobiography of Charles Darwin and Selected Letters Edited by Francis Darwin (NY: Dover Publications 1958 paperback edition).
Gavin De Beer, 1958, Evolution By Natural Selection: Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace (Cambridge University Press).
Adrian Desmond and James Moore, 1991, Darwin (NY: Warner Books).
Gabriel Dover, 2000, Dear Mr. Darwin: Letters On The Evolution of Life And Human Behavior (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson).
Richard Drayton, 2000, Nature's Government: Science, Imperial Britain, and the 'Improvement' of the World (New Haven: Yale University Press).
R.B. Freeman, 1978, Charles Darwin: A Companion (Folkestone, Kent, England: Dawson).
Martin Gardner [Editor], 1984, The Sacred Beetle And Other Great Essays in Science (NY: Prometheus Books).
Michael T. Ghiselin 1969, The Triumph of the Darwinian Method (Berkeley: University of California Press).
Neal C. Gillespie, 1979, Charles Darwin And The Problem of Creation (University of Chicago Press).
Jonathan D. Glater, 2002, The New York Times, page 1 and A18.
Stephen J. Gould, 1980, Darwin's Middle Road. The Panda's Thumb: More Reflections In Natural History (NY: W.W. Norton), pages 59-68.
Lorrie Grant, 2001, One Store's Death Is Another's Opportunity. April 16, 2001, USA Today, page 8B.
Edna Healey, 1986, Wives of Fame: Mary Livingstone, Jenny Marx, Emma Darwin (London: Sidgwick & Jackson).
Gerturde Himmelfarb, 1959, Darwin And The Darwinian Revolution (NY: W.W. Norton & Co.).
Sarah Jenkins Jones (Editor), 1996, Random House Webster's Dictionary of Scientists.
Richard Darwin Keynes, 1983, Malthus and Biological Equilibria. Malthus Past And Present, edited by Dupaquier et al. Dupaquier, J. et. al, (London; Academic Press) pages 359-364.
Randal Keynes, 2001, Annie's Box: Charles Darwin, his Daughter and Human Evolution (London: Fourth Estate).
Randal Keynes, 2002, Darwin, His Daughter, and Human Evolution (Riverhead Books).
J. Marchant, 1916, Alfred Russel Wallace: Letters and Reminiscences (Cassell).
Lewis McKinney, 1972, Wallace and Natural Selection (Yale University Press).
Louis Lavelle, 2001, Commentary. Business Week, December 3, 2001, page 45.
Ernst Mayr, 1991, One Long Argument: Charles Darwin and the Genesis of Modern Evolutionary Theory (Harvard University Press).
E.H. K. McComb [Editor], 1910, Huxley's Autobiography And Selected Essays From Lay Sermons (NY: Longmans, Greens, and Co.)
Richard Milner, 2002, What's it All About Alfred? Historians Rediscover The Quirky Genius of Alfred Russel Wallace. Natural History (New York), pages 74-75.
John G. Mitchell, 1970, Ecotactics: The Sierra Club Handbook for Environmental Activitists (NY: Pocket Books).
Claudia Orange, 1989, The Story of a Treaty (Wellington: 2001 BWB Books, Ltd. edition].
Morse Peckham [Editor], 1959, The Origin Of Species By Charles Darwin: A Variorum Text (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press).
Peter Raby, 2001, Alfred Russel Wallace: A Life (Princeton University Press).
Bob Rosner, 2001, The San Francisco Sunday Chronicle, April 22, 2001, page CL11.
Michael Ruse, 1998, Is Darwin Sexist? (And If It Is, So What?). A House Built on Sand: Exposing Postmodernist Myths About Science (NY: Oxford University Press), edited by Noretta Koertge (pages 119-129).
Michael Sims, 1997, Darwin's Orchestra: An Almanac of Nature in History and the Arts (NY: Henry Holt & Co.).
Keith S. Thomson, 1995, HMS Beagle: The Story of Darwin's Ship (NY: W.W. Norton).
Herbert Tingsten, 1965 [Viktoria Och Viktorianerna], 1972 English translation, Victorian And The Victorians: The Personalities, Politics, and Scandals of An Era (USA: Delacorte Press/Seymour Lawrence).
Arnold J. Toynbee, 1964, A Study Of History: Reconsiderations, Volume 12 (NY: Oxford University Press).
Stanley Weintraub, 1987, Victoria: An Intimate Biography (NY: E.P. Dutton).
Amabel Williams-Ellis, 1966, Darwin's Moon: A Biography of Alfred Russel Wallace (London and Glasgow: Blackie).
Simon Winchester, 2001, The Map That Changed The World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology (NY: HarperCollins).
WWW REFERENCES (Urbanowicz):
2002 http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/SP2002DarwinPerceptionsUO.html [Images of Charles R. Darwin (Built on Various Foundations); paper submitted for a June 2002 meeting.]
2001a http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/SelfTesting/DarwinTestTwo.htm ["Darwin Self-Test" of November 2001]
2001b http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/FA2001Unitarian.html (Darwin, Dying, and Death: Philosophical Perspective[s], November 4).
2001c http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/DarwinForum2001.html (On Darwin At The 21st Century. For the CSU, Chico Anthropology Forum, October 25.)
2001d http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/DarwinRetFacOct2001.html [October 19, 2001} Charles R. Darwin: Comments on a Fulfilled Life.]
2001e http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/WordsOnAnnie'sBox.html [September 2001 words on Annie's Box].
2000a http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/Darwin2000.html [November 2000 presentation with listing of Urbanowicz papers relating to Darwin to that date, including numerous other WWW references].
2000b http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/darwinvisualsonly.htm (Charles Darwin-Related Visuals Only) [November 10]).
2000c http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/SoAmGIslands.html (South American Visuals Only [November 3]).
2000 Darwin 2000-2001 [Self]Test One ["Darwin Self-Test" of January 2000]
WWW VIDEO REFERENCES:
2001 http://rce.csuchico.edu/rv/Darwin/Darwin3.ram [Charles Darwin: - Part Two: The Voyage (2001). ~Twenty-two Minutes. Darwin from South America, through the Galápagos Islands, and back to England.] Edited by Ms. Vilma Hernandez and Produced by Ms. Donna Crowe: Instructional Media Center, CSU, Chico. Available via the Internet with REAL PLAYER [http://www.real.com/player/index.html.
1999 http://rce.csuchico.edu/rv/Darwin/DarwinVoyage.ram [Charles Darwin: - Part One: The Voyage (1999). ~Twenty-two Minutes. Darwin sailing from England to South America.] Produced and Edited by Ms. Donna Crowe: Instructional Media Center, CSU, Chico. Available via the Internet with REAL PLAYER [http://www.real.com/player/index.html.
1997 http://www.rce.csuchico.edu/rv/Darwin/DarwinReflections.ram [Charles Darwin: Reflections - Part One: The Beginning (1997). ~Seventeen Minutes. Darwin in England]. Produced and Edited by Ms. Donna Crowe: Instructional Media Center, CSU, Chico. Available via the Internet with REAL PLAYER [http://www.real.com/player/index.html.
Other WWW References:
http://darwin.ws/day/ [Darwin Day Home Page]
http://www.galapagos.org/cdf.htm [Charles Darwin Foundation, Inc.]
http://www.aboutdarwin.com/ [About Darwin.com]
http://www.gruts.demon.co.uk/darwin/index.htm [The Friends of Charles Darwin Home Page]
wysiwyg://5/http://www.iexplore.com/multimedia/galapagos.jhtml [The Galápagos Islands!]
http://www.natcenscied.org [The National Center for Science Education]
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/ [September 2001 PBS Television Series on "Evolution"]
http://www.dimensional.com/~randl/scopes.htm [The Scopes "Monkey Trial," or "A 1925 Media Circus"]
http://xroads.virginia.edu/~UG97/inherit/1925home.html [Inherit} 1925]
http://www.uib.no/zoo/classics/new_species.txt (Alfred Russell Wallace 1855 paper)
http://www.uib.no/zoo/classics/varieties.html (Alfred Russell Wallace 1858 paper)
http://homepages.iol.ie/~spice/alfred.htm (Alfred Russel Wallace: 1823-1913)
http://www.darwinawards.com/ [Official Darwin Awards} "...showing us just how uncommon common sense can be." Wendy Northcutt, 2000, The Darwin Awards: Evolution in Action (Dutton).
to the Department of Anthropology;
to California State University, Chico.
[This page printed from http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/DarwinSacFeb2002.html]
Copyright © 2002; all rights reserved by Charles F. Urbanowicz
8 February 2002 by cfu