From Richard Owen1 12 November 1859
I thank you in advance for your kind recollection of me, and shall welcome your work with the close & continuous perusal you recommend,—but which it certainly would have had on its own merits. I am, and have been, disposed to believe in the operation of existing influences or causes in the “ordained becoming and incoming of living species'.2
No attempt, therefore, to demonstrate the nature of such continuously operative creating forces can be ‘heterodox’, in any way, to my feelings. I have, indeed, received grave rebukes from some Masters in Philosophy for publishing my present state of belief in such terms as the subjoined extract from ‘Palæontology’, in Encyclo. Brita.3 To wh. remonstrances I reply that I am free to to test any propounded idea of a present operating creative—i.e. species-making, force, by the conditions of any given species under immediate study & to express the result of my considerations on the equivalency or otherwise of the hypothetical cause to the effects produced & under review
For the application of your rare gifts to the solution of this supreme question I shall ever feel my very great indebtedness.
Will welcome CD’s work [Origin] with a "close & continuous perusal".
Believes in the "operation of existing influences or causes in the ordained becoming and incoming of living species" and so could not regard CD’s attempt to demonstrate the nature of such influences as "heterodox".
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2526,” accessed on 27 February 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2526