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nised as due to the wants and endeavours of the living forms in which they appear, instead of being ascribed to chance, or, in other words, to unknown causes, as by Mr. Charles Darwin's system. We shall have some idyllic young naturalist bringing up Dr. Erasmus Darwin's note on Trapa natans,1 and Lamarck's kindred passage on the descent of Ranunculus hederaceus from Ranunculus aquatilis2 as fresh discoveries, and be told, with much happy simplicity, that those animals and plants which have felt the need of such or such a structure have developed it, while those which have not wanted it have gone without it. Thus, it will be declared, every leaf we see around us, every structure of the minutest insect, will bear witness to the truth of the "great guess " of the greatest of naturalists concerning the memory of living matter.
I dare say the public will not object to this, and am very sure that none of the admirers of Mr. Charles Darwin or Mr. Wallace will protest against it; but it may be as well to point out that this was not the view of the matter taken by Mr. Wallace in 1858 when he and Mr. Darwin first came forward as preachers of natural selection. At that time Mr. Wallace saw
1 Les Amours des Plantes, p. 360. Paris, 1800.
2 Philosophic Zoologique, torn. i. p. 231. Ed. M. Martin. Paris, 1873
clearly enough the difference between the theory of " natural selection" and that of Lamarck. He wrote :—
"The hypothesis of Lamarck—that progressive changes in species have been produced by the attempts of animals to increase the development of their own organs, and thus modify their structure and habits—has been repeatedly and easily refuted by all writers on the subject of varieties and species, . . . but the view here developed renders such an hypothesis quite unnecessary . . . The powerful retractile talons of the falcon and the cat tribes have not been produced or increased by the volition of those animals, . . . neither did the giraffe acquire its long neck by desiring to reach the foliage of the more lofty shrubs, and constantly stretching its neck for this purpose, but because any varieties which occurred among its antitypes with a longer neck than usual at once secured a fresh range of pasture over the same ground as their shorter-necked companions, and on the first scarcity of food were thereby enabled to outlive them" (italics in original).1
This is absolutely the neo-Darwinian doctrine, and a denial of the mainly fortuitous character of the variations in animal and vegetable forms cuts at its root. That Mr. Wallace, after years of reflection, still adhered to this view, is proved by his heading a reprint of the paragraph just quoted from2 with the words "Lamarck's hypothesis very different from that
1 Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society. Williams & Norgate, 1858, p. 61.
1 Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection, 2d ed., 1871, now advanced ;" nor do any of his more recent works show that he has modified his opinion. It should be noted that Mr. Wallace does not call his work "Contributions to the Theory of Evolution," but to that of "Natural Selection."
Mr. Darwin, with characteristic caution, only commits himself to saying that Mr. Wallace has arrived at almost (italics mine) the same general conclusions as he, Mr. Darwin, has done j1 but he still, as in 1859, declares that it would be "a serious error to suppose that the greater number of instincts have been acquired by habit in one generation, and then transmitted by inheritance to succeeding generations,"2 and he still comprehensively condemns the "wellknown doctrine of inherited habit, as advanced by Lamarck."3
As for the statement in the passage quoted from Mr. Wallace, to the effect that Lamarck's hypothesis "has been repeatedly and easily refuted by all writers on the subject of varieties and species," it is a very surprising one. I have searched Evolution literature in vain for
1 Origin of Species, p. I, ed. 1872.
1 Origin of Species, 6th ed., p. 206. I ought in fairness to Mr Darwin to say that he does not hold the error to be quite as serious as he once did. It is now "a serious error" only; in 1859 it was "the most serious error."—Origin of Species, 1st ed., p. 209.
3 Origin of Species, 1st ed., p. 242 ; 6th ed., p. 233.
any refutation of the Erasmus Darwinian system (for this is what Lamarck's hypothesis really is), which need make the defenders of that system at all uneasy. The best attempt at an answer to Erasmus Darwin that has yet been made is "Paley's Natural Theology," which was throughout obviously written to meet Buffon and the "Zoonomia." It is the manner of theologians to say that such and such an objection "has been refuted over and over again," without at the same time telling us when and where; it is to be regretted that Mr. Wallace has here taken a leaf out of the theologians' book. His statement is one which will not pass muster with those whom public opinion is sure in the end to follow.
Did Mr. Herbert Spencer, for example, "repeatedly and easily refute" Lamarck's hypothesis in his brilliant article in the Leader, March 20, 1852? On the contrary, that article is expressly directed against those "who cavalierly reject the hypothesis of Lamarck and his followers." This article was written six years before the words last quoted from Mr. Wallace; how absolutely, however, does the word "cavalierly" apply to them!
Does Isidore Geoffrey, again, bear Mr. Wallace's assertion out better? In 1859—that is to say, but a short time after Mr. Wallace had written—he wrote as follows :—
"Such was the language which Lamarck heard during his protracted old age, saddened alike by the weight of years and blindness; this was what people did not hesitate to utter over his grave yet barely closed, and what indeed they are still saying—commonly too without any knowledge of what Lamarck maintained, but merely repeating at secondhand bad caricatures of his teaching.
"When will the time come when we may see Lamarck's theory discussed—and, I may as well at once say, refuted in some important points1—with at any rate the respect due to one of the most illustrious masters of our science? And when will this theory, the hardihood of which has been greatly exaggerated, become freed from the interpretations and commentaries by the false light of which so many naturalists have formed their opinion concerning it? If its author is to be condemned, let it be, at any rate, not before he has been heard." 2
In 1873 M. Martin published his edition of Lamarck's "Philosophic Zoologique." He was still able to say, with, I believe, perfect truth, that Lamarck's theory has "never yet had the honour of being discussed seriously."3
Professor Huxley in his article on Evolution is no less cavalier than Mr. Wallace. He writes :*—
1 I never could find what these particular points were. a Isidore Geoffrey, Hist. Nat. Gen., torn. ii. p. 407, 1859. 8 M. Martin's edition of the "Philosophic Zoologique" (Paris, 1873), Introduction, p. vi. 1 Encyclopaedia Britannica, 9th ed., p. 750.