From Charles Kingsley 1 November 1867
Eversley Rectory, | Winchfield.
My dear Mr. Darwin
I have just found a letter written to you 5 years ago, & never sent.1 Do me the honour to read it— & even if you do not answer it, think over it
Yours ever attached | C Kingsley
Eversley March 23/62 My dear Mr. Darwin,
Will you kindly give me your views of an old puzzle of mine? I am told that man is the highest mammal—wh. I dont deny. But that is supposed to include the theory of his being the highest possible mammal—wh. I do deny.
I see two imperfections in man as he is
1. The existence of the mammæ in the male, shewing that the sexes are not yet perfectly separated.
2. The ditrematous condition, wh. he has in common with the other mammals.2
That the specialty of organs increases as you rise in the scale, is, I suppose an acknowledged law—3 And therefore, while I see, both in male & female, two difft. secretions passing through the one orifice of the urethra, I cannot but suspect imperfection, & look forward to some higher tri-trematous race.
It is noteworthy, that the fact of the 2 secretions (urinary & sexual) passing through the same orifice) has been in all ages, Brahmin, Buddhist, Monastic, & What not, the physical ground of the contempt of sex, & of all that belongs to sex. No physical fact has played a more important part in the history of religion— Wh. is, & always will be, the main history of the human mind.
Tell me what you think of this. You I can speak to as I can to no other man—4
Yours ever faithfully | C. Kingsley
Sends a letter he wrote in 1862 [see 3482].
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5664,” accessed on 25 May 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-5664