From Charles Lyell 15 June 1860
June 15— 1860
Your comparison of Selection to the Architect—variations to the stones, is what I deduced from some passages but cannot accept.1 The architect who plans beforehand & executes his thoughts & invents the Corinthian & other styles of architecture & then by means of machinery, living & inanimate, cranes & horses & even sometimes intelligent men (forman allowed some discretion & power of choosing) such an architect must not be confounded in his functions with the humble office of the most sagacious of breeders. As I have said all along it is the deification of Natural Selection.
Rejects CD’s comparison of natural selection with the architect of a building. The architect who plans and oversees construction should not be confused in his function with the wisest breeder. That would be to deify natural selection.
- Letter no.
- Lyell, Charles
- Darwin, C. R.
- Source of text
- Kinnordy MS, Charles Lyell’s journal VI, pp. 108–9
- Physical description
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2832A,” accessed on 20 January 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2832A