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Darwin Correspondence Project

From B. W. Savile   27 September 1881

Shillingford Rectory. | Exeter.

Sept. 27th. 1881

Dear Sir—

Having obtained your address through my son in law Capt. Bogle R.E.—a brother officer of yr. son now quartered at Chatham, I venture on the liberty of asking you a question, not out of idle curiosity, but with a sincere desire to understand the doctrine of Evolution, about which I have read much during the last few years—

Though it seems to me difficult to reconcile “Evolution” with the Mosaic record of man being a separate act of Creative power—I do not think that it necessarily involves what are commonly called “Infidel” principles— I have learnt by the experience of many years study how differently sincere men interpret various passages of Scripture; and I think how often we misunderstand one another from not endevouring clearly to ascertain what each one really means.

This difficulty has long presented itself to my mind—

How life born of an egg, can evolve life born of a mammal?

If you could at your leisure favour me with a solution of this difficulty, you will oblige, Dear Sir, | Yours faithfully | B. W. Savile | Rector of Shillingford

Charles Darwin Esq


Finds it difficult to reconcile evolution with Mosaic record, but thinks it does not necessarily involve "infidel" principles.

Asks "How life born of an egg, can evolve life born of a mammal?"

Letter details

Letter no.
Bourchier Wrey Savile
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 177: 42
Physical description
3pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 13358,” accessed on 21 June 2018,