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lent example of this class of difficulties is to be found in Mr. Mivart's chapter on “Independent Similarities of Structure.” Mr. Mivart says that these cannot be explained by an “absolute and pure Darwinian,” but “that an innate power and evolutionary law, aided by the corrective action of natural selection, should have furnished like needs with like aids, is not at all improbable" (p. 82). I do not exactly know what Mr. Mivart means by an “absolute and pure Darwinian;” indeed Mr. Mivart makes that creature hold so many singular opinions that I doubt if I can ever have seen one alive. But I find nothing in his statement of the view which he imagines to be originated by himself, which is really inconsistent with what I understand to be Mr. Darwin's views. I apprehend that the foundation of the theory of natural selection is the fact that living bodies tend incessantly to vary. This variation is neither indefinite, nor fortuitous, nor does it take place in all directions, in the strict sense of these words. Accurately speaking, it is not indefinite, nor does it take place in all directions, because it is limited by the general characters of the type to which the organism exhibiting the variation belongs. A whale does not tend to vary in the direction of producing feathers, nor a bird in the direction of developing whalebone. In popular language there is no harm in saying that the waves which break upon the sea-shore are indefinite, fortuitous, and break in all directions. In scientific language, on the contrary, such a statement would be a gross error, inasmuch as every particle of foam is the result of perfectly definite forces, operating according to no less definite laws. In like manner, every variation of a living form, however minute, however apparently accidental, is inconceivable except as the expression of the operation of molecular forces or “powers” resident within the organism. And, as these forces certainly operate according to definite laws, their general resultis, doubtless, in accordance with some general law which subsumes them all. And there appears to be no objection to call this an “evolutionary law.” But nobody is the wiser for doing so, or has thereby contributed, in the least degree, to the advance of the doctrine of evolution, the great need of which is a theory of variation. When Mr. Mivart tells us that his “aim has been to support the doctrine that these species have been evolved by ordinary natural laws (for the most part unknown), aided by the subordinate action of ‘natural selection’” (pp. 332–3), he seems to be of opinion that his enterprise has the merit of novelty. All I can say is that I have never had the slightest notion that Mr. Darwin's aim is in any way different from this. If I affirm that “species have been evolved by variation (a natural process, the laws of which are for the most part unknown), aided by the subordinate action of natural selection,” it seems to me that I enunciate a proposition which constitutes the very pith and marrow of the first edition of the “Origin of Species.” And what the evolutionist stands in need of just now, is not an iteration of the fundamental principle of Darwinism, but some light upon the questions, What are the limits of variation 2 and, If a variety has arisen, can that variety be perpetuated, or even intensified, when selective conditions are indifferent, or perhaps unfavourable to its existence? I cannot find that Mr. Darwin has ever been very dogmatic in answering these questions. Formerly, he seems to have inclined to reply to them in the negative, while now his inclination is the other way. Leaving aside those broad questions of theology, philosophy, and ethics, by the discussion of which neither the Quarterly Reviewer nor Mr. Mivart can be said to have damaged Darwinism—whatever else they have injured—this is what their criticisms come to. They confound a struggle for some rifle-pits with an assault on the fortress. In some respects, finally, I can only characterise the Quarterly Reviewer's treatment of Mr. Darwin as alike unjust and unbecoming. Language of this strength requires justification, and on that ground I add the remarks which follow.
careful enumeration of all those points upon which, during the course of thirteen years of incessant labour, Mr. Darwin has modified his opinions. It has often and justly been remarked, that what strikes a candid student of Mr. Darwin's works is not so much his industry, his knowledge, or even the surprising fertility of his inventive genius; but that unswerving truthfulness and honesty which never permit him to hide a weak place, or gloss over a difficulty, but lead him, on all occasions, to point out the weak places in his own armour, and even sometimes, it appears to me, to make admissions against himself which are quite unnecessary. A critic who desires to attack Mr. Darwin has only to read his works with a desire to observe, not their merits, but their defects, and he will find, ready to hand, more adverse suggestions than are likely ever to have suggested themselves to his own sharpness, without Mr. Darwin's selfdenying aid. Now this quality of scientific candour is not so common that it needs to be discouraged; and it appears to me to deserve other treatment than that adopted by the Quarterly Reviewer, who deals with Mr. Darwin as an Old Bailey barrister deals with a man against whom he wishes to obtain a conviction, per fas aut mosas, and opens his case by endeavouring to create a prejudice against the prisoner in the minds of the jury. In his eagerness to carry out this laudable design, the Quarterly Reviewer cannot even state the history of the doctrine of natural selection without an oblique and entirely unjustifiable attempt to depreciate Mr. Darwin. “To Mr. Darwin,” says he, “and (through Mr. Wallace's reticence) to Mr. Darwin alone, is due the credit of having first brought it prominently forward and demonstrated its truth.” No one can less desire than I do, to throw a doubt upon Mr. Wallace's originality, or to question his claim to the honour of being one of the originators of the doctrine of natural selection; but the statement that Mr. Darwin has the sole credit of originating the doctrine because of Mr. Wallace's reticence is simply ridiculous. The proof of this is, in the first place, afforded by Mr. Wallace himself, whose noble freedom from petty jealousy in this matter smaller folk would do well to imitate, and who writes thus:– “I have felt all my life, and I still feel, the most sincere satisfaction that Mr. Darwin had been at work long before me and that it was not left for me to attempt to write the ‘Origin of Species.' I have long since measured my own strength, and know well that it would be quite unequal to that task.” So that if there was any reticence at all in the matter, it was Mr. Darwin's reticence during the long twenty years of study which intervened between the conception and the publication of his theory, which gave Mr. Wallace the chance of being an independent discoverer of the importance of natural