From Charles Lyell [after 3 October 1860]1
wish to understand you can do so— I merely think that the general public would have been rather more carried along with you if you had in such cases as the eye referred to two or more causes at work some unknown giving rise to variation & even occasionally to the great miracle & mystery of mysteries progression & one well known namely Natural Selection.
ever affectly ys | Cha Lyell
My work on antiquity of Man is entirely suspended tho‘ materials have accumulated but as new Edn. of the Manual has stopped it so may now new or 10th. Ed. of the Principles tho’ each of them will afford opportunity of giving to the world nearly all I can say on the subject2
I have just found the passage in Hooker about extinction in St. Helena which astonished me— See—Review of Decandolles Geographie Bot— Hooker’s Journal of Botany, vol. 8. p. 54.3
In the separate copy given to me it is in page—31 note that J Hooker seems to say that only a few species of plants out of several hundreds have survived. As Hooker is absent I cannot ask him but do look at the passage— it will be p 85(?) of Journal— vol. 8.4
He rather puzzles me by saying in same note that the island was first botanized half a century ago— It was discovered in 1505 I think, & I suppose the forests burnt down long before “it was first botanized—
CD would have carried the public more if he had explained adaptations by multiple causes, some unknown and some well known, i.e., natural selection.
Discusses Hooker’s views of extinction on St Helena.
Work on antiquity of man suspended.
Stopped by 11th edition of Principles of geology .
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2937,” accessed on 30 September 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2937