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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Otto Hahn   16 December 1880

Reutlingen | Würtemberg | Germany

16 December 1880

Dear Sir!

I thank you for your kind letter of 4. Novbr. and send you now my book “Die Meteoriten und ihre organismen”.1

Professor Dr. Quenstedt (Tübingen) declared, that he had never seen such structure in any mineral or rock: the same declared that the corals and minerals of my book are veritable corals and crinoids.2

It is now the beginning of life on earth—the beginning of the earth itself nearly sure and it is found a confirmation for your immortal discoveries.

I am dear Sir Your | faithfull | Dr Otto Hahn


CD’s letter has not been found. CD’s copy of Die Meteorite (Chondrite) und ihre Organismen (Meteorites (chondrites) and their organisms; Hahn 1880) is in the Darwin Library–Down. Hahn believed he had found various organisms in a stony (chondritic) meteorite.
No publication by Friedrich August Quenstedt with these comments has been identified.


Hahn, Otto. 1880. Die Meteorite (Chondrite) und ihre Organismen. Tübingen: H. Laupp’schen Buchhandlung.


Sends his book [Die Meteorite und ihre Organismen (1880)]. Claims to have discovered the beginning of life on earth, which confirms CD’s theory.

Letter details

Letter no.
Otto Hahn
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 166: 83
Physical description
ALS 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12917,” accessed on 7 October 2022,