To George Maw 28 February 1
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
My dear Sir
I am much obliged for the curious Lily: I do not think it comes under my case, for I suppose it is not capable of propagation by bulbs.—2
When Dr Hooker comes here next he shall see it, so it shall be made best use of.—3 I am glad you stick to your view, though I think ultimately you will have to give it up.4 It is an old theory of mine, that no one can be a good & original observer unless he forms a multitude of theories & destroys a multitude of theories. Publication of theories is another question.
Almost the best papers I have ever read on Coal are some lately published in late numbers of Sillimans American Journal by Lesquereux.—5 They would be worth your reading & you will like them all the better, as they give the “Origin of Species” a few little unpleasant kicks.—6
I have the pleasure of knowing Mr Crotch only by a little correspondence.7 I am told he is a bold advocate of mutability of Species.—
My dear Sir | Yours sincerely | C. Darwin
Thanks GM for a curious lily.
Recommends some papers on coal.
Gives his opinion on the importance of forming theories if one is to be a good and original observer.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4018,” accessed on 23 July 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-4018