Mentions his Plutonic view of earth history.
Cites Lyell's opinions on loess.
CD doubts contemporaneousness of extinct great animals with ice period.
Cites applicability of Forbes's theory of glacier structure to structure of volcanic obsidian.
CD is falling astern in the geological race for knowledge.
Down near Bromley | Kent
I received your letter of the 29
Your news about the passage of trachyte is very interesting to me; & I shall be very curious to read, when published, Haidingers views on plutonic Geology: seeing that the earth gets hotter with an increasing depth & seeing from how many points, liquefied volcanic rocks have or do come to the surface, I cannot, (not knowing the full reasons) give up yet the old plutonic view.— With respect to the Löess, have you read what Lyell says in his later Editions of the Principles, & in his Paper in the Edin: New Phil: Journal, July 1834, & in the Proceedings of the Geolog: Soc: No. 36 & No 43.—
With respect to the contemporaneousness of the now extinct great animals, with the ice
Period, are you aware that in N. America, it can be clearly shown that they
lived quite subsequently to the boulder-period. (V. Lyell in some late numbers
of the Geolog. Proc:) & this is the case with one of
the monsters of S. America.
As you attend to volcanic rocks, let me call your attention to the probability of the
zoned-glacier-structure of Forbes (to whom I have lately sent some specimens) throwing
light on certain streams of lava of the obsidian & trachytic streams: I
have given some facts in my small volume on Volcanic
Should you at any time come to England, I shall be happy to see you here, at my quiet country house; but if you expect any information from me, you will be disappointed, for I find myself falling far astern in the geological race of knowledge,—to an extent, which when I was strong, I had hoped, would not have happened for some years.—
With respect to passages in my letters, I feel almost certain that they contain nothing new or worth publishing; & they were written without care & with personal allusions to myself, which are not fit for any eye, but a correspondent's: Pray, therefore, if you do publish any passage, be cautious, for I repeat, I am almost sure, there can be nothing worthy of anyone's seeing.
Believe me | Yours very truly | C. Darwin
- f1 794.f1Wilhelm Karl Haidinger, who proposed that saline solutions at high pressures and temperatures percolating through rocks would lead to the chemical transformation of calcite to dolomite (Haidinger 1848). This was verified experimentally by Adolf von Morlot.
- f2 794.f2C. Lyell 1840a, 1: 286.
- f3 794.f3C. Lyell 1834. This paper was read to the Geological Society on 7 May 1834, but not printed in full by them, Charles Lyell later communicated supplementary observations to the Society (Proceedings of the Geological Society of London 2 (1833–8): 83–5, 221–3). Lyell described loess as a recent alluvial deposit, laid down gradually.
- f4 794.f4C. Lyell 1842.
- f5 794.f5A reference to Macrauchenia patachonica. CD believed that his specimen was in a later formation than that containing the erratic boulders found in the valley of the Santa Cruz (South America, p. 97).
- f6 794.f6See Falconer 1846 (read at meetings of the Royal Asiatic Society on 1 and 8 June 1844). Hugh Falconer's printed statements on the former climate of India are less definite than CD suggests, he actually stated that he considered the present climate of India to be as warm, if not warmer than it had been in the Tertiary period (p. 109). Falconer may have expressed his belief in a former temperate climate in India more strongly in private communications to CD and others. See also CD's manuscript note, dated ‘Nov /44/’, about the relationship of large mammals and cold climates: ‘Falconer colder in India [’——‘del] Last period colder & yet more great quadrupeds’ (DAR 205.9: 189).
- f7 794.f7See letter to J. D. Forbes, 11 October , and Volcanic islands, pp. 70–1.