The discussion closes with the sentence: "So that it is not improbable that a longer period than 300 million years has elapsed since the latter part of the Secondary period." This passage is omitted in the later editions of the 'Origin,' against the advice of some of his friends, as appears from the pencil notes in my father's copy of the second edition.) of years (not that I think it is probably wrong), and my not having (by inadvertance) mentioned Wallace towards the close of the book in the summary, not that any one has noticed this to me. I have now put in Wallace's name at page 484 in a conspicuous place. I cannot refer you to tables of mortality of children, etc. etc. I have notes somewhere, but I have not the LEAST idea where to hunt, and my notes would now be old. I shall be truly glad to read carefully any MS. on man, and give my opinion. You used to caution me to be cautious about man. I suspect I shall have to return the caution a hundred fold! Yours will, no doubt, be a grand discussion; but it will horrify the world at first more than my whole volume; although by the sentence (page 489, new edition (First edition, page 488.)) I show that I believe man is in the same predicament with other animals. It is, in fact, impossible to doubt it. I have thought (only vaguely) on man. With respect to the races, one of my best chances of truth has broken down from the impossibility of getting facts. I have one good speculative line, but a man must have entire credence in Natural Selection before he will even listen to it. Psychologically, I have done scarcely anything. Unless, indeed, expression of countenance can be included, and on that subject I have collected a good many facts, and speculated, but I do not suppose I shall ever publish, but it is an uncommonly curious subject. By the way, I sent off a lot of questions the day before yesterday to Tierra del Fuego on expression! I suspect (for I have never read it) that Spencer's 'Psychology' has a bearing on Psychology as we should look at it. By all means read the Preface, in about 20 pages, of Hensleigh Wedgwood's new Dictionary on the first origin of Language; Erasmus would lend it. I agree about Carpenter, a very good article, but with not much original...Andrew Murray has criticised, in an address to the Botanical Society of Edinburgh, the notice in the 'Linnean Journal,' and "has disposed of" the whole theory by an ingenious difficulty, which I was very stupid not to have thought of; for I express surprise at more and analogous cases not being known. The difficulty is, that amongst the blind insects of the caves in distant parts of the world there are some of the same genus, and yet the genus is not found out of the caves or living in the free world. I have little doubt that, like the fish Amblyopsis, and like Proteus in Europe, these insects are "wrecks of ancient life," or "living fossils," saved from competition and extermination. But that formerly SEEING insects of the same genus roamed over the whole area in which the cases are included.
Farewell, yours affectionately, C. DARWIN.
P.S.--OUR ancestor was an animal which breathed water, had a swim bladder, a great swimming tail, an imperfect skull, and undoubtedly was an hermaphrodite!
Here is a pleasant genealogy for mankind.
CHARLES DARWIN TO C. LYELL. Down, January 14th .
...I shall be much interested in reading your man discussion, and will give my opinion carefully, whatever that may be worth; but I have so long looked at you as the type of cautious scientific judgment (to my mind one of the highest and most useful qualities), that I suspect my opinion will be superfluous. It makes me laugh to think what a joke it will be if I have to caution you, after your cautions on the same subject to me!
I will order Owen's book ('Classification of the Mammalia,' 1859.); I am very glad to hear Huxley's opinion on his classification of man; without having due knowledge, it seemed to me from the very first absurd; all classifications founded on single characters I believe have failed.