To John Tyndall 8 September 1870
Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.
Sep 8th. 1870
My dear Tyndall
Your whole discourse strikes me as grand & most interesting.1 What you say about Pangenesis is quite correct, & your expression, “not only is the organism as a whole wrapt up” &c is most happy.2 What you say about me, coming as it does from you, has pleased me extremely, so much that there must be clouds of vanity in my mind to bring out such pleasant sensations as your remarks passed through them— you are a rash man to say a word for Pangenesis, for it has hardly a friend amongst naturalists, yet after long pondering (how true your remarks are on pondering) I feel a deep conviction that Pangenesis will some day be generally accepted. I have been particularly delighted by your “as if” argument. These words have lately been fired at me, & if I had been forced to answer, I should not have known what to say, now I cd answer by a round of your artillery.3 I have ventured to mark (p. 12. & 40) two sentences which seem to me not so perfectly lucid as all the rest. I may also mention that in the discussion on “the particles of our sky” I read 2 or 3 pages thinking that you referred to the atoms of the air: wd it not be well for blunderers to shew in the early part, that you refer to foreign particles?4
With hearty admiration & thanks, yours very truly | Ch. Darwin
P.S. I return the proofs by this post.
When in Brazil I was much struck with the frequent blue haze & I quote (p. 32 of my travels) Humboldt’s remark on “the thin vapour which, without changing the transparency of the air, renders its tints more harmonious & softens its effects”.5
It seemed to me that this phenomenon was much more strongly marked in the tropics than in our temperate regions—
On one day when the beautiful pale blue haze had come on very strong, the difference between the dew point & temperature by Daniel’s hygrometer6 had increased from 7o.5. to 17o—
CD finds JT’s discourse "grand and most interesting" [On the scientific use of the imagination (1870)]. Flattered by what JT says about him.
He is "a rash man to say a good word for Pangenesis for it has hardly a friend among naturalists".
CD is much struck with what JT says about "pondering" and delighted by his "as if" argument.
- Letter no.
- Darwin, C. R.
- Tyndall, John
- Sent from
- Source of text
- The Michael Faraday Museum at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, London, reference RI MS JT/2/10/458, spine title: Journal V111A 1858–71
- Physical description
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7319,” accessed on 26 July 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-7319