Discusses relationship between natural selection and more general laws. Law of gravity is not seen as requiring design. Mentions mathematicians' judgment of probability.
Notes gestation periods for hounds.
Etty is somewhat better.
Mentions his paper on fertilisation of orchids by insects [Collected papers 2: 32–5].
Down Bromley Kent
My dear Lyell
One word more upon the ``Deification'' of Natural Selection.
Attributing so much weight to it, does not exclude still more general laws
i.e. the ordering of the whole universe. I have said that
nat. selection is to the structure of organised beings, what the human
architect is to a building. The very existence of the human architect shows the
existence of more general laws; but no one in giving credit for a building to the human
architect, thinks it necessary to refer to the laws by which man has appeared. No
astronomer in showing how movements of Planets are due to gravity, thinks it necessary
to say that the law of gravity was designed that the planets
It is only owing to Paley & Co, as I believe, that this more special interference is thought necessary with living bodies.— But we shall never agree, so do not trouble yourself to answer.—
I have just got more returns about gestation of Hounds,—period differs at least from 61 to 74 days; just as I expected.—
Etty has been decidedly better these two or three last days. This day makes 7 weeks in bed!
Yours affect | C. Darwin
I was thinking of sending G. Chronicle to you on account of a paper by me on fertilisation of Orchids by insects, as it involves a curious point; & as you cared about my paper on Kidney Beans; but as you are so busy, I will not.—
- f1 2833.f1See letter to Charles Lyell, 14 [June 1860], and letter from Charles Lyell, 15 June 1860.
- f2 2833.f2William Paley and other natural theologians argued that the organisation and adaptations of living organisms indicated the existence of an intelligent creator.
- f3 2833.f3The source of CD's information has not been identified. See letters to Charles Lyell, 1 [June 1860] and 25 [June 1860].
- f4 2833.f4Henrietta Emma Darwin.
- f5 2833.f5See letter to Gardeners' Chronicle, [4--5 June 1860]. For CD's earlier paper on the fertilisation of kidney-beans, see Correspondence vol. 6, letter to Gardeners' Chronicle, 18 October  and Collected papers 1: 275--7.