Thanks for criticism of his paper [on Variation].
If external conditions induce variability, what is the internal cause?
Does not agree with Duke of Argyll that "Origin of Species" is an incorrect term.
Sees playfulness of animals as a mark of the Deity's creative playfulness.
Will visit soon.
My dear Sir
let me thank you very much for your candid critcisms on my paper:
they shew me where I have not only failed to convey my meaning but I
think failed in reasoning also. Still on carefully reading your
chapters 22 & 23 in y
I wished to imply < > paper is so cramped???? that I have not expressed myself clearly.
1.) With regard to variation I wish for no better guide than yourself. What I meant to imply was, that if external circumstances,—especially you add perhaps, lots of food,—induce variation; What is the link between the former & the latter? upon what in the body do they act? if, on reproductive system, how? What is the internal cause of variability < > offspring? This I < > from your book is a question at present unanswerable. With regard to the Duke of Argyll saying your term ``Origin of Species'' is incorrect; it seems to me optional upon what link in the chain you set your finger & call it the ``Origin''.!
<2.> With regard to ``Grotesque & Fun'', I said that we are not called
upon to say whether the Deity sees or appreciates the grotesque
forms of organisms; but what I should look upon as intentional
is the love of fun: in the creature, & for its benefit.— the
playfulness of animals seems referable to law as much as everything
else; if at least the stereotyped way in which all of the same species
amuse themselves is any ground for assuming it e.g. Flies pirouetting
near the ceiling— gnats on a summer even
I shall hope to find you at home about 12.45
yrs very sincerely | Geo: Henslow
- f1 6063.f1See letter from George Henslow, 20 March 1868 and nn. 1 and 2. CD evidently returned Henslow's article (Henslow 1867) with his comments, but these have not been found.
- f2 6063.f2Henslow refers to Variation 2: 250--92. The chapters concern the causes of variability and the direct action of external conditions.
- f3 6063.f3For Henslow's discussion of the causes of variation, see Henslow 1867, p. 270. Henslow had argued that no one could explain the immediate origin of variation.
- f4 6063.f4See Henslow 1867, p. 269. Henslow refers to George Douglas Campbell and Campbell 1867, p. 230.
- f5 6063.f5For Henslow's remarks on humorous and grotesque elements in nature, see Henslow 1867, pp. 268--9.
- f6 6063.f6The Tuesday following 28 March 1868 was 31 March. CD returned to Down on 1 April (see `Journal' (Correspondence vol. 16, Appendix II)).