skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project



Varieties of pigeon
Varieties of pigeon
Image from the Biodiversity Heritage Library. Digitised by Smithsonian Libraries


It was crucial to Darwin’s theories of species change that naturally occurring variations could be inherited.  But at the time when he wrote Origin, he had no explanation for how inheritance worked – it was just obvious that it did.  Darwin’s attempt to describe how heredity might work, his 'provisional hypothesis of Pangenesis’, was published in 1868 in his book, Variation of animals and plants under domestication

Read more