To T. H. Huxley 25 December 1
Down Bromley Kent
My dear Huxley
One part of your note has pleased me so much that I must thank you for it. Not only Sir H. H. but several others have attacked me about analogy leading to belief in one primordial created form.2 (By which I mean only that we know nothing as yet how life originates). I thought I was universally condemned on this head.— But I answered, that though perhaps it would have been more prudent not to have put it in, I would not strike it out, as it seemed to me probable & I give it on no other grounds.— You will see in your mind the kind of arguments which made me think it probable; & no one fact had so great an effect on me, as your most curious remarks on the apparent homologies of the heads of Vertebrata & Articulata.—3
You have done a real good turn in the Agency business (I never before heard of a hard-working unpaid agent besides yourself) in talking with Sir H. H; for he will have great influence over many. He floored me from my ignorance about bones of Ear,4 &I made a mental note to ask you what the facts were.—
With hearty thanks & real admiration for your generous zeal for the subject.— | Yours most truly | C. Darwin
You may smile about the care & precautions I have taken about my ugly M.S.5 It is not so much the value I set on them; but the remembrance of the intolerable labour, for instance in tracing the History of the Breeds of Pigeons.—
Henry Holland and others have attacked his reasoning from analogy to one primordial created form – by which CD means only that we know nothing of how life originated. The reasoning seems probable to him, so he has kept it in.
- Letter no.
- Charles Robert Darwin
- Thomas Henry Huxley
- Sent from
- Source of text
- Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 90)
- Physical description