About the "Pall Mall." (224/1. "Pall Mall Gazette," August 22nd, 1868. In an article headed "Dr. Hooker on Religion and Science," and referring to the British Association address, the writer objects to any supposed opposition between religion and science. "Religion," he says, "is your opinion upon one set of subjects, science your opinion upon another set of subjects." But he forgets that on one side we have opinions assumed to be revealed truths; and this is a condition which either results in the further opinion that those who bring forward irreconcilable facts are more or less wicked, or in a change of front on the religious side, by which theological opinion "shifts its ground to meet the requirements of every new fact that science establishes, and every old error that science exposes" (Dr. Hooker as quoted by the "Pall Mall"). If theologians had been in the habit of recognising that, in the words of the "Pall Mall" writer, "Science is a general name for human knowledge in its most definite and general shape, whatever may be the object of that knowledge," probably Sir Joseph Hooker's remarks would never have been made.) I do not agree that the article was at all right; it struck me as monstrous (and answered on the spot by the "Morning Advertiser") that religion did not attack science. When, however, I say not at all right, I am not sure whether it would not be wisest for scientific men quite to ignore the whole subject of religion. Goldwin Smith, who has been lunching here, coming with the Nortons (son of Professor Norton and friend of Asa Gray), who have taken for four months Keston Rectory, was strongly of opinion it was a mistake. Several persons have spoken strongly to me as very much admiring your address. For chance of you caring to see yourself in a French dress, I send a journal; also with a weak article by Agassiz on Geographical Distribution. Berkeley has sent me his address (224/2. The Rev. M.J. Berkeley was President of Section D at Norwich in 1868.), so I have had a fair excuse for writing to him. I differ from you: I could hardly bear to shake hands with the "Sugar of Lead" (224/3. "You know Mrs. Carlyle said that Owen's sweetness reminded her of sugar of lead." (Huxley to Tyndall, May 13th, 1887: Huxley's "Life," II., page 167.), which I never heard before: it is capital. I am so very glad you will come here with Asa Gray, as if I am bad he will not be dull. We shall ask the Nortons to come to dinner. On Saturday, Wallace (and probably Mrs. W.), J. Jenner Weir (a very good man), and Blyth, and I fear not Bates, are coming to stay the Sunday. The thought makes me rather nervous; but I shall enjoy it immensely if it does not kill me. How I wish it was possible for you to be here!
LETTER 225. TO M.J. BERKELEY. Down, September 7th, 1868.
I am very much obliged to you for having sent me your address (225/1. Address to Section D of the British Association. ("Brit. Assoc. Report," Norwich meeting, 1868, page 83.))...for I thus gain a fair excuse for troubling you with this note to thank you for your most kind and extremely honourable notice of my works.
When I tell you that ever since I was an undergraduate at Cambridge I have felt towards you the most unfeigned respect, from all that I continually heard from poor dear Henslow and others of your great knowledge and original researches, you will believe me when I say that I have rarely in my life been more gratified than by reading your address; though I feel that you speak much too strongly of what I have done. Your notice of pangenesis (225/3. "It would be unpardonable to finish these somewhat desultory remarks without adverting to one of the most interesting subjects of the day,--the Darwinian doctrine of pangenesis...Like everything which comes from the pen of a writer whom I have no hesitation, so far as my judgment goes, in considering as by far the greatest observer of our age, whatever may be thought of his theories when carried out to their extreme results, the subject demands a careful and impartial consideration." (Berkeley, page 86.)) has particularly pleased me, for it has been generally neglected or disliked by my friends; yet I fully expect that it will some day be more successful. I believe I quite agree with you in the manner in which the cast-off atoms or so-called gemmules probably act (225/4. "Assuming the general truth of the theory that molecules endowed with certain attributes are cast off by the component cells of such infinitesimal minuteness as to be capable of circulating with the fluids, and in the end to be present in the unimpregnated embryo-cell and spermatozoid...it seems to me far more probable that they should be capable under favourable circumstances of exercising an influence analogous to that which is exercised by the contents of the pollen-tube or spermatozoid on the embryo-sac or ovum, than that these particles should be themselves developed into cells" (Berkeley, page 87).): I have never supposed that they were developed into free cells, but that they penetrated other nascent cells and modified their subsequent development. This process I have actually compared with ordinary fertilisation. The cells thus modified, I suppose cast off in their turn modified gemmules, which again combine with other nascent cells, and so on. But I must not trouble you any further.
LETTER 226. TO AUGUST WEISMANN. Down, October 22nd, 1868.
I am very much obliged for your kind letter, and I have waited for a week before answering it in hopes of receiving the "kleine Schrift" (226/1. The "kleine Schrift" is "Ueber die Berechtigung der Darwin'schen Theorie," Leipzig, 1868. The "Anhang" is "Ueber den Einfluss der Wanderung und raumlichen Isolirung auf die Artbilding.") to which you allude; but I fear it is lost, which I am much surprised at, as I have seldom failed to receive anything sent by the post.
As I do not know the title, and cannot order a copy, I should be very much obliged if you can spare another.
I am delighted that you, with whose name I am familiar, should approve of my work. I entirely agree with what you say about each species varying according to its own peculiar laws; but at the same time it must, I think, be admitted that the variations of most species have in the lapse of ages been extremely diversified, for I do not see how it can be otherwise explained that so many forms have acquired analogous structures for the same general object, independently of descent. I am very glad to hear that you have been arguing against Nageli's law of perfectibility, which seems to me superfluous. Others hold similar views, but none of them define what this "perfection" is which cannot be gradually attained through Natural Selection. I thought M. Wagner's first pamphlet (226/2. Wagner's first essay, "Die Darwin'sche Theorie und das Migrationsgesetz," 1868, is a separately published pamphlet of 62 pages. In the preface the author states that it is a fuller version of a paper read before the Royal Academy of Science at Munich in March 1868. We are not able to say which of Wagner's writings is referred to as the second pamphlet; his second well- known essay, "Ueber den Einfluss der Geogr. Isolirung," etc., is of later date, viz., 1870.) (for I have not yet had time to read the second) very good and interesting; but I think that he greatly overrates the necessity for emigration and isolation. I doubt whether he has reflected on what must occur when his forms colonise a new country, unless they vary during the very first generation; nor does he attach, I think, sufficient weight to the cases of what I have called unconscious selection by man: in these cases races are modified by the preservation of the best and the destruction of the worst, without any isolation.