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To Lawson Tait   22 February [1876]

Summary

Herbert Spencer invented the term "survival of the fittest". CD used it but found "natural selection" more convenient.

He has often spoken of natural selection’s destruction of individuals which do not come up to "proper standards of structure", which comes to nearly the same thing as RLT’s suggested distinction.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Robert Lawson (Lawson) Tait
Date:  22 Feb [1876]
Classmark:  Randall House, Santa Barbara (dealers) catalogue XXV (1993)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-10406

To Lawson Tait   2 March 1876

Summary

Thanks RLT for his letter. CD took much trouble over his two cases [regrowth of amputated supernumerary digits, in Variation] but the evidence was shaky.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Robert Lawson (Lawson) Tait
Date:  2 Mar 1876
Classmark:  DAR 147: 527
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-10414

To Lawson Tait   25 March [1876]

Summary

RLT’s two articles in Spectator [4 Mar and 25 Mar 1876] greatly honour CD.

Tait has made a good point about "Survival of the Fittest".

Dr Rudinger’s extensive inquiries show that all eminent German surgeons are unanimous about non-growth of extra digit after amputation.

J. Kollmann has written regretting CD has given up atavism and extra digits [in 2d ed. of Variation]; gives new evidence of a rudimentary sixth digit in batrachians.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Robert Lawson (Lawson) Tait
Date:  25 Mar [1876]
Classmark:  DAR 221.5: 33
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-10428

To Lawson Tait   28 March 1876

Summary

James Paget’s scepticism about regrowth of digits. Suggests RLT experiment with amputation of digits, both extra and normal, of kittens and fowls. Fears they will fail to regrow, but, if regrowth is proved, it will be an important discovery.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Robert Lawson (Lawson) Tait
Date:  28 Mar 1876
Classmark:  Roy Davids Ltd (dealer) (1996)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-10434

To Lawson Tait   24 April 1876

Summary

The Royal Society have returned RLT’s Nepenthes paper and will not have it read because of unfavourable reports from referees.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Robert Lawson (Lawson) Tait
Date:  24 Apr 1876
Classmark:  DAR 202: 84
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-10470

To Lawson Tait   29 April [1876]

Summary

Sends Thiselton-Dyer’s suggestions for references to Nepenthes,

and gives his opinion on what will influence the Royal Society’s Council in considering RLT’s candidacy.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Robert Lawson (Lawson) Tait
Date:  29 Apr [1876]
Classmark:  DAR 221.5: 36
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-10484

To Lawson Tait   5 May 1876

Summary

CD sends the gist of an extremely negative report from the [Royal Society’s] physiological referee on the value of RLT’s modifications of Brücke’s process for isolating pepsin [see 10470].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Robert Lawson (Lawson) Tait
Date:  5 May 1876
Classmark:  Shrewsbury School, Taylor Library
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-10497

To Lawson Tait   6 August 1876

Summary

CD accepts membership in the Birmingham Natural History Society.

Thanks RLT for article. CD cannot quite agree that "under a theological point of view, the origin of evil is explained by survival".

Is glad RLT has not given up polydactylism.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Robert Lawson (Lawson) Tait
Date:  6 Aug 1876
Classmark:  DAR 221.5: 35
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-10571
Document type
letter (8)
Author
Addressee
Tait, Lawson[X]
Correspondent
Date
1876
02 (1)
03 (3)
04 (2)
05 (1)
08 (1)
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