RECORD: Hovey, Edmund Otis ed. 1909. Darwin memorial celebration. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 19, No. 1, Part 1 (31 July): 1-40.

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed (single key) by AEL Data, corrections by John van Wyhe 10.2007. RN1


[Plate I]

ANNALS N.Y. ACAD. SCL. VOLUME XIX, PLATE I.

PLATE I.

BRONZE BUST OF CHARLES DARWIN.

Presented to the American Museum of Natural History
By the New York Academy of Sciences,
12 February, 1909.

[page 1]

[ANNALS N. Y. ACAD. SCI., VOL. XIX, No. 1, Part I, pp. 1-40. 31 July, 1909.]

DARWIN MEMORIAL CELEBRATION.

BY EDMUND OTIS HOVEY,

Recording Secretary.

By invitation of the New York Academy of Sciences, the friends of science in New York City and vicinity gathered at the American Museum of Natural History on Friday, 12 February, 1909, to celebrate the centenary of the birth of the great English naturalist, Charles Robert Darwin, and the semi-centennial anniversary of the publication of his epoch making book "The Origin of Species." In preparation for the celebration, the following circular was sent out, under date of 31 October, 1908, to the members of the Academy and its affiliated societies and other selected addresses:

The investigations and publications of Charles Darwin have had a profound influence upon the progress of science in America as well as in all other parts of the world, but no important memorial of this great naturalist exists in this country. The one hundredth anniversary of Darwin's birth and the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of the "Origin of Species" fall within the year 1909, and the Council of the New York Academy of Sciences proposes that these events be suitably celebrated on Darwin's birthday, 12 February, 1909, when addresses are to be delivered by members of the Academy setting forth Darwin's achievements in different departments of science, and a bronze bust of Darwin is to be unveiled and presented to the American Museum of Natural History by the president of the Academy and accepted by the president of the Museum. It is also proposed to hold in connection with the celebration an exhibition at the Museum of Darwiniana and objects illustrating Darwin's theory of evolution through natural selection and his work in botanical, zoölogical and geological research.

A Darwin Memorial Committee to make all arrangements has been appointed as follows:

E. 0. Hovey, Chairman C. F. Cox W. D. Matthew
J. A. Allen H. E. Crampton T. H. Morgan
C. W. Beebe C. B. Davenport H. F. Osborn
C. L. Bristol Bashford Dean H. H. Rusby
N. L. Britton A. W. Grabau W. B. Scott
H. C. Bumpus W. T. Hornaday J. J. Stevenson
G. N. Calkins M. A. Howe C. W. Townsend
J. McK. Cattell J. F. Kemp W. M. Wheeler
F. M. Chapman F. A. Lucas E. B. Wilson

[page] 2

The Council considers the coming celebration a fitting occasion for a general expression of appreciation of Darwin's life and work and therefore invites all friends of science in New York and vicinity to join in the proposed commemoration and in erecting a suitable tribute to Darwin's memory in the Natural History Museum, the most appropriate place in this metropolis. * * * * *

EDMUND OTIS HOVEY
Secretary, New York Academy of Sciences
West 77th Street and Central Park, West

CHARLES F. Cox
PRESIDENT
New York, 31 October, 1908

The following invitation was sent out to the members of the American Museum of Natural History, the New York Zoölogical Society, the New York Botanical Garden and sister scientific societies throughout the world, as well as to all classes of members of the Academy and its affiliated societies:



The New York Academy of Sciences

invites you to attend its

exercises commemorating the

One Hundredth Anniversary of the Birth of
Charles Darwin


and the
Fiftieth Anniversary of the Publication of
"The Origin of Species"

American Museum of Natural History

Central Park, West, and Seventy-seventh Street

February the twelfth, nineteen hundred nine

at three o'clock p. m.

On the day of the celebration, the committee charged by the Council with making arrangements for the event carried out the following programme:

[page] 3

Programme

Presentation to the

American Museum of Natural History
of a

Bronze Bust of Darwin

By CHARLES FINNEY COX
President of the New York Academy of Sciences

Acceptance on behalf of
the Trustees of the Museum

By HENRY FAIRFIELD OSBORN

President of the American Museum of Natural History




Addresses

DARWIN AND GEOLOGY
BY JOHN JAMES STEVENSON

DARWIN AND BOTANY
BY NATHANIEL LORD BRITTON

DARWIN AND ZOÖLOGY
BY HERMON CAREY BUMPUS

In the course of the exercises, the Recording Secretary read greetings from several societies, including the following cablegram from Professor Arthur E. Shipley of Christ's College, Cambridge, England:

"Zoölogists dining in Darwin's room, Christ's, send greetings to the Academy."

The Committee was assisted in the carrying out of its plans by a special fund of about $51,750.00, the subscribers to which were

[page] 4

Adler, I. Donald, James M.
Allis, Edward Phelps, Jr. Doughty, Mrs. Alla
Amend, B. J. Douglas, James
Ansbacher, Mrs. A. B. Dudley, P. H.
Arthur, J. C. Dundas, Ralph Wurts
Avery, Samuel P. Dunn, Gano
Baekeland, L. H. Dwight, Jonathan, Jr.
Barron, George D. Earle, F. S.
Baskerville, Charles Emerson, Miss Julia T.
Baugh, Miss M. L. Emmet, Miss L. F.
Beckhard, Martin Estabrook, A. F.
Beller, A. Field, William B. Osgood
Bessey, Charles E. Ford, James B.
van Beuren, F. T. de Forest, Robert W.
Bijur, Moses Frissell, A. S.
Birkhahn, Robert C. Greer, David H.
Brinsmade, Charles Lyman Godfrey, Charles C.
Bristol, John I. D. Goodnow, Henry R.
Britton, N. L. Goodwin, A. C.
Brown, Addison Greenwood, Isaac J.
Brown, Edwin H. Gregory, W. K.
Brown, Joseph E. Halsted, Byron D.
Bumpus, H. C. Hammond, J. B.
Burgess, T. J. W. Haupt, Louis
Burroughs, C. W. Hazard, R. G.
Bush, Wendell T. Herrman, Mrs. Esther
Chamberlain, Leander T. Herter, Christian A.
Chubb, S. H. Hess, Selmar
de Coppet, E. J. Hewins, Miss Nellie P.
Corning, C. R. Hills, Alfred K.
Cox, C. F. Holt, Henry
Dahlgren, B. E. Hornaday, W. T.
Davenport, Charles B. Hovey, E. O.
Davis, William Gilbert Howe, H. M.
Davis, William T. Hubbard, Walter C.
Dean, Bashford Huntington, Archer M.
De Witt, William G. Hutter, Karl
Dinkelspiel, Mrs. Pauline Price Hyde, Frederic E.
Dodge, Cleveland H. Isaacs, Miss Alice M.
Dodge, Richard E. Jones, Dwight A.
Dominick, George F. Kane, John Innes

[page] 5

Kemp, J. F. Phipps, Henry
Kennedy, John S. Pumpelly, Raphael
Kinney, Morris Ramsperger, Gustavus
Klein, Edward N. E. Riederer, Ludwig
Kraemer, Henry Robb, J. Hampden
Kunz, George F. Rushy, H. H.
Lang, H. Russ, Edward
Langeloth, J. Sachs, Paul J.
Langmann, G. Sauter, Fred.
Levy, Miss Daisy Schniewind, F.
Lichtenstein, Paul Scrymser, James A.
Lieb, J. W., Jr. Senff, Charles H.
Loeb, Morris Smith, Mrs. Annie Morrill
Lowie, Robert H. Smith, E. E.
Lusk, Graham Stone, Miss Ellen J.
Marble, Manton Strauss, Frederick
Matthew, W. D. Streat, James
McMillin, Emerson Tesla, Nikola
Meltzer, S. J. Thaw, Benjamin
Milburn, John G. Thompson, Miss Anna F.
Miller, George N. Thorndike, Edward L.
Mills, D. O. Thorne, Samuel
Munn, John P. Townsend, C. H.
Nesbit, Abram G. Tuckerman, Alfred
Oettinger, P. J. Tweedy, Mrs. A. B.
Ogilvie, Miss Ida H. Van Tassell, F. L.
Osborn, Henry F. Walcott, Charles D.
Osborn, William Church Walker, James
Owens, W. W. Warburg, Paul M.
Palm, Charles Weiss, Mrs. Samuel W.
Parsons, John E. White, I. C.
Peckham, S. F. Williams, Henry S.
Pedersen, Frederick M. Wilson, Edmund B.
Petrunkevitch, Alexander Woodward, R. S.
Pfordte, 0. F.

The Academy gratefully acknowledges the coöperation of the American Museum of Natural History in making the exhibition a success. The exhibition was held from 12 February to 14 March inclusive in the Synoptic Hall (now known as the Darwin Hall) and the Hall of North American Forestry of the Natural History Museum, and it consisted of letters, writings and portraits of Charles Robert Darwin, and exhibits demonstrating various

[page] 6

aspects of the process of evolution of the human species, of other animals and of plants, with special reference to the Darwinian principle of natural selection. The exhibits were assembled and arranged by a subcommittee under the chairmanship of Professor Henry E. Crampton. The following general catalogue of the exhibition indicates its plan and scope.

A
VARIATION UNDER DOMESTICATION

The exhibits demonstrate the results obtained by man with plants and animals which have been under cultivation or domestication for many centuries. Beginning with a single original form, or "species," many different races and types that are stable and breed true from generation to generation have been produced by a process called technically "artificial selection." Domesticated and cultivated forms that vary so as to meet the "artificial" standards of human needs or fancies are kept for breeding purposes, while the less desired individuals are discarded. Sometimes the original progenitor of such races still occurs in a wild form, as in the fowls and pigeons.

Illustrations

1. Races of Indian Corn.
2. Races of Daffodils.
3. Different breeds of domestic fowls, together with their wild ancestor, the Jungle Fowl.
4. Different breeds of pigeons, with their probable common ancestor, the Rock Pigeon.
5. Different breeds of dogs.

B
VARIATION IN NATURE

The exhibits illustrate the universal fact of variation of groups of individuals under natural conditions. The differences between any two individuals may be very slight—the so called "fluctuating variations"—or they may be wider, as in the case of "mutations." The Laws of Variation may be expressed nearly always in precise mathematical form.

Illustrations

1. Races and closely-related species of American Thorn Trees.

[page] 7

2. Fluctuating variations in one species of a clam-like animal, Tellina.
3. Slight differences between and among different types of a kind of terrestrial snail, Helix.
4. Variable shells of the common scallop, Pecten, arranged also to show the general law of variation.
5. Varieties of the Tiger Cowry, from Malaysia.
6. "Mutations," or wide "deviations from type," in several species of birds.

C
STRUGGLE FOR EXISTENCE

The natural rate at which living organisms multiply is so rapid that only a small portion of the individuals which begin life can survive in the struggle for existence. The elimination of the unfit and the survival of only the fit are the results of the many-sided warfare in which all organisms must engage because of over-multiplication. Nevertheless, a form that has been introduced into a new locality may spread with remarkable rapidity, owing to a partial suspension of selection brought about by the exemption of the form from the severe struggle for existence under the conditions of its original habitat.

Illustrations

1. A demonstration of the results of the normal rapid rate of multiplication under the supposition that no elimination takes place—results which could not be produced in nature.
2. The Water Hyacinth, a plant which has been introduced into Florida, a new habitat, where it has multiplied at such a rate as to choke the streams.
3. A map showing the area of distribution of the English Sparrow in the year 1886, twenty-two years after its introduction into North America.
4. A map showing the spread of the Potato-Bug, during successive decades.
5. A demonstration of the struggle for existence of young plants grown from seeds planted in areas that overlap.
6. Photographs of the conditions in forests, where low-shrubbery is prevented from growing because of the lack of light in the shade of the large trees.
7. A group showing the Meadow-Mouse and its natural enemies and food-organisms; a demonstration of the complexity of the struggle for existence.

[page] 8

D
INSTINCTS

The "mental" operation of lower orders of animals, termed instinctive reactions, are well exemplified by the nest-building habits of birds and insects. The materials employed and the character of the nests display the adaptive nature of the instinctive adjustments to different environmental conditions. The behavior of crustaceans like the Spider-Crab illustrates another peculiar instinctive habit.

Illustrations

1. Nests of various species of birds.
2. Nests of various social insects.
3. A Spider-Crab allowed to decorate itself with various natural objects, so as to be inconspicuous through its resemblance to its surroundings.
4. The death-feigning instinct in Bluebirds.

E
NATURAL SELECTION AND COLORATION

Some striking results of the survival of the fittest are found in the adaptive coloration of several kinds of animals. Many organisms harmonize in color and form with their environment, others mimic natural objects of various kinds, gaining similar protection by such resemblances.

Illustrations

1. The Leaf-Butterflies and other insects, illustrating various kinds of protective resemblances and coloration.
2. Protective resemblance and color-adaptation in the Sargassum Fish and other lower vertebrates.
3. The uses of color in various species of birds.
4. A group showing the seasonal changes in the coloration of the Ptarmigan.

F
HYBRIDISM

When differing but related forms of animals or plants are crossed, the hybrid offspring may resemble one parent in some features, and the other

[page] 9

parent in different characteristics. Sometimes the hybrid offspring will exhibit "reversion," that is, it will differ from both its parents, and will resemble a remote ancestral form. The laws of inheritance have been much more adequately formulated since the time of Darwin, as in the case of Mendelian inheritance.

Illustrations

1. Specimens of hybrid plants together with their parents.
2. Examples of hybrid fowls.
3. The Darwinian instance of reversion in fowls.
4. The results of hybridization in mammalia.

G
THE FOSSIL RECORD

Following the identification by geologists of the relatively old and the relatively recent layers of rocks, the remains of animals and plants of earlier ages of the earth demonstrate the occurrence at first of simpler organisms, and the successive appearance of more and more complex groups. Sometimes the fossils constitute a comparatively complete series of ancestral species leading to modern kinds, as in the Horse and many invertebrates.

Illustrations

1. A series of specimens of fossil plants showing the succession of their appearance upon the earth.
2. The general succession of invertebrate groups.
3. The evolution of cephalopodous mollusks, Nautiloid and Ammonitoid types.
4. The evolution of several snail or gasteropod types:

a) Fulgur series.
b) Fusus series.
c) Paludina series.

5. The evolution of Lamp-Shells, or Brachiopods, as exemplified by Spirifer mucronatus.
6. Specimens of fossil-bearing rocks showing unmodified and metamorphosed conditions. In the latter case the fossils are destroyed.
7. The evolution of the Horse.
8. The evolution of the Camel.

[page] 10

H
GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION

Few organisms occur uniformly throughout the various continental areas of the earth. In general, land types differ more or less widely according to the degree of proximity of the areas where they occur, and their differences are usually regarded as due to their adaptation to the unlike natural conditions of different areas.

Illustrations

1. Specimens of the larger fungi as examples of invariable boreal and tropical plants.
2. The Land Tortoise of the Galapagos Islands, a form which is peculiar to this entirely isolated group of islands.
3. Several kinds of Ground-Squirrels from different localities in the United States.
4. Land Snails from valleys of the Society Islands, in the South Pacific Ocean. Each island possesses characteristic forms, and the different valleys of one and the same island often contain unique forms.

I
PRINCIPLES OF CLASSIFICATION

Resemblances displayed by different species of animals and plants are regarded as indications of common ancestry. It is therefore possible to classify organisms in a tree-like diagrammatic manner, into larger and smaller groups according to their fundamental similarities. The principle seems to be universal for all plants and all animals.

Illustrations

1. Living specimens of Cactus plants.
2. A typical series of Crustacea.

J
PRINCIPLES OF HOMOLOGY

Parts of organisms presenting the same fundamental plan of construction, though they differ in function, are spoken of as "homologous."

[page] 11

Illustrations

1. Mammalian limbs adapted for use in various ways, though they exhibit the same kind of skeletal framework.
2. Specimens illustrating the different forms of leaves of the ferns and their relatives.

K
PRINCIPLES OF EMBRYOLOGY

When an animal develops, it passes gradually from its early stages with their simple construction to the progressively complex stages of later and adult life. During this process, it closely resembles in an embryonic condition an adult organism of a lower order. The general principle of development is that an embryonic series of stages exhibited by any animal is a brief review or recapitulation of the ancestral history of its kind.

Illustrations

1. Models and specimens displaying the gill-slits of chick embryos, and their correspondence with the gill-slits of fishes.
2. Models showing the blood-vessels and the hearts of different classes of vertebrates, and some of the corresponding embryonic stages in the development of the heart in man.
3. Preparations showing the occurrence in a chick embryo of a primitive body-support, the notochord, which occurs in the adult in Amphioxus, a primitive relative of the vertebrates, and in vertebrates.
4. Models showing the development of the human brain, and its resemblance at various stages to the adult brains of lower mammalia.
5. The third eye or pineal body of an adult lizard, and the corresponding vestige in the embryonic human brain.

L
RUDIMENTARY AND VESTIGIAL ORGANS

Vestigial organs are remnants of once-useful parts, that have undergone regressive evolution. Rudimentary structures often occur in some forms, while in related species they reach a far higher degree of development.

[page] 12

Illustrations

1. A Prickly-pear Cactus and a New Zealand Bramble showing reduced leaves.
2. Insects exhibiting rudimentary and vestigial organs.

M
INSECTEATING PLANTS AND CLIMBING PLANTS

These plants display two different kinds of adaptations — one in respect to nutrition and the other in respect to the development of structures to afford support.

N
FERTILIZATION IN PLANTS

The exhibit demonstrates the peculiar nature of the process of fertilization, and the special mechanisms that these organisms have developed to bring about fertilization in various ways. The processes are adjusted intimately to the visits made by insects to flowers for nourishment.

O
THE DESCENT OF MAN

The general principles of evolution hold true for the attainment by the human species of its present place in nature. The exhibits demonstrate in a general manner the various stages reached by organisms nearly related to man, which the human species has surpassed.

Illustrations

1. A series of primate animals from the Lemurs to Man.
2. A series of crania of primate mammals, showing the gradual enlargement of the brain case and the relative reduction of the jaws.
3. A series of casts and models of the brains of various primates, showing the progressive evolution of the brain, and especially of the cerebrum.

[page] 13

DARWINIANA
Loaned by MR. CHARLES F. COX.

1. Page from original manuscript of "Descent of Man." Text of part of Page 309, Chapter VIII, Volume I. 1st edition, 1871.
2. Page from original manuscript of "Descent of Man." Text of part of Page 183, Chapter V, Volume I. 1st edition, 1871.
3. Two pages from the original manuscript of "Descent of Man." Text of part of Pages 42–43, Chapter II, Volume I. 1st edition, 1871.
4. Page from the personal journal of Charles Darwin, kept while on the "Beagle Voyage," 1831–1836.
5. Sixteen autograph letters. Miscellaneous.
6. Complete collection of letters to W. B. Tegetmeier, 1855–1880.
7. Letters to Albany Hancock, 1849–1854. (Concerning the discovery of the parasitical or complemental male Cirripedes.)

BOOKS

8. Researches in Natural History. 1st edition, 1839.
9. Researches in Natural History and Geology. 2nd edition, 1845. 2 copies.
10. Zoölogy of the Voyage of H. M. S. Beagle. Edited by Charles Darwin. London, 1840. 3 vols.
11. Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs. 1st edition, 1842.
12. The Structure of Coral Reefs. 2nd edition, 1874.
13. Observations on Volcanic Islands. 1st edition, 1844.
14. Observations on Coral Islands. 2nd edition, 1876.
15. Coral Reefs, Volcanic Islands, South America. United edition, 1851.
16. Geological Observations on South America. 1st edition, 1846.
17. Monograph on the Cirripedia,— Lepadidæ. 1st edition, 1851.
18. Monograph on the Cirripedia,— Balanidæ. 1st edition, 1854.
19. Fossil Lepadidæ and Balanidæ. 1st edition, 1851–1854.
20. "The Origin of Species." One of the 1250 copies of the 1st edition, November 24, 1859.
21. On the Origin of Species. 1st edition, 1859.
22. On the Origin of Species. 2nd edition, 1860. 2 copies.
23. On the Origin of Species. 3rd edition, 1861.
24. On the Origin of Species. 4th edition, 1866.
25. On the Origin of Species. 5th edition, 1869.
26. On the Origin of Species. 6th edition, 1882.

[page] 14

27. Naturalist's Voyage Round the World. 1st edition, 1860.
28. The Fertilization of Orchids. 1st edition, 1862.
29. The Fertilization of Orchids. 2nd edition, 1877.
30. On the Movements and Habits of Climbing Plants. 1st edition, 1865.
31. On the Movements and Habits of Climbing Plants. 2nd edition, 1875. 2 copies.
32. Animals and Plants under Domestication. 1st edition, 1868. 2 vols.
33. Animals and Plants under Domestication. 2nd edition, 1875. 2 vols.
34. The Descent of Man. 1st edition, 1871. 2 vols. 3 copies.
35. The Descent of Man. 2nd edition, 1874. 2 copies.
36. On the Expression of the Emotions. 1st edition, 1872.
37. On Insectivorous Plants. 1st edition, 1875.
38. Cross and Self Fertilization of Plants. 1st edition, 1876.
39. Cross and Self Fertilization of Plants. 2nd edition, 1888.
40. The Different Forms of Flowers. 1st edition, 1877.
41. The Movements of Plants. By Charles and Francis Darwin. 1st edition, 1880.
42. Vegetable Mould and Earth-worms. 1st edition, 1881.
43. Vegetable Mould and Earth-worms. 1882.

WORKS TO WHICH CHARLES DARWIN CONTRIBUTED OR WHICH CONTAIN
WRITINGS OF HIS NOT ELSEWHERE PUBLISHED.

44. Voyages of the Adventure and the Beagle. 3 vols. & appendix. London, 1839. Volume III by Charles Darwin.
45. The Admiralty Manual of Scientific Enquiry. London, 1849. "Geology" by Charles Darwin.
46. Flowers and their Unbidden Guests. By Kerner. London, 1878. Prefatory letter by Charles Darwin.
47. Life of Erasmus Darwin. London, 1879. Prefatory notice by C. Darwin.
48. Prehistoric Europe. By James Geikie. London, 1881. Quotes letters from Charles Darwin on Southampton gravels.
49. Studies in the Theory of Descent. By Weismann. London, 1882. Prefatory note by Charles Darwin.
50. The Fertilization of Flowers. By Müller. London, 1883. Preface by Charles Darwin.
51. Mental Evolution in Animals. By Romanes. New York, 1884. Posthumous essay on "Instinct" by Charles Darwin.
52. Darwinism. By Alfred Russel Wallace. London, 1889.
53. "Miscellaneous and Hitherto Uncollected Writings of Charles Darwin." Compiled by C. F. Cox, New York, 1904.

[page] 15

54. "Life and Letters of Charles Darwin." Edited by his son Francis Darwin. Original edition, 1886. Extra-illustrated with more than 400 portraits, autograph letters, etc.
55. "More Letters of Charles Darwin." Edited by his son Francis Darwin. Original edition, 1903. Extra-illustrated with about 200 portraits.
56. "Pedigree of the Family of Darwin." Compiled by H. Burke, Esq., F. S. A., 1888.
57. Catalogue of the Library of Charles Darwin, now in the Botany School, Cambridge.
58. Portrait. Photograph from life by Maull & Fox, about 1854, print from recently restored negative.
59. Portrait. Photograph from life by Maull & Fox, about 1854. Print from recently restored negative.
60. Portrait. Proof of wood-engraving, made in 1889 by G. Kruell, after photograph made from life by Maull & Fox, about 1854.
61. Portrait. Woodcut from "Harper's Magazine" of October, 1884, after photograph from life by Maull & Fox, about 1854.
62. Portrait. Photograph from life by Mrs. Cameron, 1868.
63. Portrait. Engraving on steel by C. H. Jeens, published in "Nature," June 4, 1874, from photograph from life by O. J. Rejlander, about 1870.
64. Portrait. Woodcut from "London Graphic" of July 29, 1882, after photograph from life by O. G. Rejlander, about 1870.
65. Portrait. Proof of wood-cut from "Century Magazine" of January, 1883, after photograph by Capt. Darwin, about 1874.
66. Portraits. Two copies (one loaned by President H. F. Osborn) of proof etching by G. Mercier, published 1890, after the painting made from life in 1875 by W. Ouless, R. A.
67. Portrait. Woodbury-type from photograph from life by Lock & Whitfield. Published in "Men of Mark" by Sampson, Low & Co., 1876.
68. Portrait. Proof etching by Leopold Flameng, published 1883, after painting from life by Hon. John Collier, made for the Linnæan Society in 1881.
69. Portrait. Proof wood-engraving, made in 1889 by G. Kruell, after a photograph made from life by Elliott & Fry, 1881.
70. Portraits. Three photographs from life, by Elliott & Fry, 1881.
71. Portrait. Engraving by S. Hollyer, after photograph from life by Elliott & Fry, 1881.
72. Portrait. (Property of H. F. Osborn.)

[page] 16

73. Portraits of Darwin's contemporaries. Eighty transparencies.
74. Interior of Darwin's Library. (Property of H. F. Osborn.)

The exercises of the afternoon were held around the bust as a center. The President of the Academy, Mr. Charles F. Cox, called the meeting to order at about a quarter after three o'clock and delivered the following address:

THE INDIVIDUALITY OF CHARLES DARWIN.
By CHARLES F. COX.

We are assembled, at the invitation of an organization devoted to the dissemination of scientific knowledge, under the hospitable roof of an institution maintained for the promotion of systematic observation, for the purpose of honoring the memory of one of the greatest of seers. Charles Darwin, whose birthday we celebrate, was a man of the clearest mental vision born into a generation scientifically blind. He first, of those in his day accounted wise, was able to see all nature unfolding according to uniform and verifiable law. The outlook of other men called by his contemporaries scientists and philosophers was, as a rule, limited and obscured by a narrowing and hampering doctrine of supernatural intervention. It is hard for us, who are privileged to contemplate with admiring minds the harmonious interrelations of all natural phenomena, to realize that only fifty years ago it was commonly regarded as both irrational and immoral to believe that one great principle underlay the origin, maintenance, diversification and development of living forms and that that principle was discoverable through human investigation. During the ages previous to the memorable year 1859 a few bold thinkers, now and then, had ventured to suggest a theory of general evolution, but they had failed to supply it with a substantial foundation of proof, or to assign to it a reasonable and intelligible cause, and had been, consequently, one and all, overwhelmed and suppressed by the powerful and prevalent dogma of special creation. Naturalists had been for centuries active in the collection of facts, but, until Darwin came, the various attributes and activities of living things remained disconnected and unexplained. Indeed, it was impossible that they should have been correlated and elucidated as long as the domain of science was in thralldom to tyrannical authority and originality of thought was little less than a crime. For a hundred years prior to Darwin even professed students of nature were not free to see what lay under their very eyes. The scientific

[page] 17

world was awaiting a liberator. Finally the revolution was proclaimed and the first decisive blow struck by the publication of "The Origin of Species" on the twenty-fourth of November, 1859. It was no hasty and ill-considered stroke. Events had been shaping themselves to this end since the twenty-seventh of December, 1831, when the little brig Beagle sailed from Plymouth harbor, bearing the unknown and youthful Charles Darwin to the discovery of a new world — not, however, an unexplored continent to be claimed for commerce and civilization, but a vastly greater and more valuable realm of thought to be opened to knowledge and conquered for intellectual freedom. Darwin, like the prophets of old, in preparation for his exalted mission, betook himself to the uninhabited wilderness, away from the domination of other minds, in order that he might draw inspiration from untrammeled and clarifying communion with nature. In his narrow cabin on the broad Atlantic, on the desert plains of Patagonia, on desolate and unpeopled islands of the Pacific, in the dark and solemn forests of the tropics, and on the summits of the bleak and barren Andes he gained the coveted prize of wisdom which had been denied him in the populous halls of two great universities, where his free spirit had rebelled against the rigid conventionality of classical education.

Although a born investigator, he had been driven and harassed for fourteen years by unthinking instructors devoid of both the ability and the disposition to consider his natural endowments and inclinations and who, with one or two exceptions, according to his own later judgment, wasted their time upon an unappreciative and discouraging pupil. He says of himself that he was slow in learning, but a review of his productive life clearly shows that, if he was dull in any respect, it was solely in the matter of accepting ideas at second hand. It happened, merely, that what most of his teachers were prepared to impart he was not constituted to receive; and so one of the acutest observers the world has ever known was thought to be inattentive and unreceptive. During all the school days of his childhood, passed in his native town of Shrewsbury, not only were his superb mental gifts wholly unrecognized, but no attempt was ever made to find out if he had any such gifts. He spent seven useless years at Dr. Butler's so-called "great school," but, apparently, the head master never came to know his talented pupil, for the educational system which prevailed in that institution had no reference to "the discovery of the exceptional man." The one ceaseless effort of his schoolmasters was to crowd him into the common mold.

Receiving no sympathy and little assistance from those who should have been the guides and advisers of his boyhood, he developed "a strong taste for long solitary walks" and cultivated the habit of stealing time for more or less surreptitious collecting in several departments of natural history.

[page] 18

Thus he became, in all important respects, self-taught and, driven to his own resources, his natural inclination to consider his path of life as lying far aside from the common highway was confirmed and strengthened. This sense of solitariness followed him to the end of his life and was, no doubt, an important factor in the formation and preservation of his extraordinary individuality and faith in his own powers. Darwin's followers may therefore bless even the obtuseness and shortsightedness of his preceptors who failed to spoil him by their unwise treatment.

When, in 1825, Doctor Robert Darwin concluded that his son Charles was lacking in natural aptitude for scholarship, he sent him to Edinburgh University, intending that he should follow in the footsteps of his father and of his grandfather by becoming a physician. But here, again, the young man found himself unable to receive what was offered him on the strength of ancient authority. The instruction dispensed in that hoary institution was, to him, perfunctory and uninspiring and he was once more forced to seek the real enlargement of his knowledge by self-directed methods. In this way he appears to have obtained, at Edinburgh, some sort of acquaintance with the fundamental principles of scientific research, but, as the learning thus acquired was not in the line of his intended profession, it was not appreciated by his family and friends. Accordingly, after two sessions spent at that university, it was decided that his regular studies had been entirely misdirected and he was therefore withdrawn and sent to Cambridge. There he was still worse misguided in the endeavor to educate him in theology. Again was repeated the old story of an uncongenial curriculum ostensibly conformed to but in reality shirked and avoided in favor of natural history privately followed by side paths. The unwilling student wished to be obedient to his father's direction, but native bent proved stronger than conventional rule — the call of destiny louder than the voice of filial duty.

His father, in most things a wise man, saw in his son's insect- and bird-hunting proclivity a tendency to the life of "an idle sporting man" and was sorely grieved and disappointed when he was obliged to concede the failure of his plan to connect the house of Darwin with the Church of England. Fortunately, however, the troublesome student came under the influence, at Cambridge, of a teacher endowed with more than ordinary discernment and, in this particular matter, with somewhat unusual independence and courage and he took the budding naturalist and his lawless pursuits under his patronage and protection. To the faith and friendship of Professor J. S. Henslow Darwin was indebted for his appointment to the Beagle expedition, and to Professor Henslow, who robbed the church to enrich science, the world owes an incalculable debt of gratitude for the discovery, if not for the development, of one of its loftiest geniuses.

[page] 19

Others besides Henslow, however, contributed to the fixation of Darwin's inborn talents and abilities, but Darwin never admitted that he received, either at Edinburgh or at Cambridge, any thing like systematic mental training. He was, from the beginning of his school days to the end of his university life, a person set apart for individual preparation for a special and peculiar career. When he bade farewell to Christ's College, Cambridge, in the summer of 1831, his actual education was yet to be acquired, but not through human instruction. He has himself declared: "I have always felt that I owe to the voyage the first real training or education of my mind."

It was therefore no professional scientist who eagerly accepted the unsalaried post of naturalist to the Beagle expedition around the world, but a modest, though confident, youth of twenty-two whose most important article of outfit was the first volume of the first edition of Lyell's "Principles of Geology," which had been published the year before, the second volume of which was not issued until after Darwin had reached South America. Thus it was providentially ordered that during the formative period covered by this epoch-making voyage, Darwin should remain as free as possible from human influences. If, instead of proceeding, raw as he was, directly from the seclusion of the university to the isolation of the voyage, he had directed his steps to the metropolis and had there mingled with the leaders in scientific thought, it is quite possible, if not probable, that he would have fallen under their authority and would have accepted the orthodox beliefs of his time. If that had been the case, we might be dominated to-day by the prohibitive doctrine of the immutability of species, instead of enjoying that freedom of thought and liberty of investigation to which Darwin made us heirs. But, happily for the intellectual world, during the five years which Darwin spent on the Beagle, under the intimate tutelage of mother nature, he laid, for our benefit, as well as for his own, the solid foundations of his never failing habit of mind in which open-eyed teachableness ever supplemented unwavering honesty of purpose and fearlessness of approach.

After Darwin's return from the circumnavigation of the globe, he resided, for a little more than five years, in London, and that was the only portion of his life during which he was in actual personal contact with any considerable number of his fellowmen. Even then, however, he was mostly engaged with his own thoughts, for he was arranging his collections and preparing for publication the results of his observations made while on the Beagle voyage. It was at the very beginning of this residence in London (July, 1837), while the things he had seen in South America and the Pacific Islands were still fresh in his memory that he opened his first note-book

[page] 20

for facts in relation to the origin of species, about which he says he "had long reflected." For twenty-two years thereafter Mr. Darwin continued to pursue this revolutionizing subject with unexampled patience and, except as to two or three intimate friends, entirely within the privacy of his own mind.

In September, 1842, he went into retirement at Down, an out-of-the-way village in Kent. There, partly compelled by ill-health, he dwelt as a recluse for forty years, serenely contemplating nature and diligently gathering information, but seldom emerging into the world from which his richly-stored and phenomenally creative intellect had little to gain but to which it never ceased to give, during the remainder of his life. Bare knowledge he welcomed from any source, but opinions and deductions he invariably produced for himself. What he wrote to H. W. Bates, who complained of a want of advice is true of Darwin himself: "Part of your great originality of views," he said, "may be due to the necessity of self-exertion of thought." What has been said by his son Francis is equally true of Mr. Darwin — one of his most striking characteristics was "that supreme power of seeing and thinking what the rest of the world bad overlooked."

Mr. Darwin was what we are accustomed to call a genius, but I know of no good definition of a genius but a man of insight. The person who by his natural acuteness of perception is able to see into and through problems which to other men are baffling or insoluble, has the highest right to be considered inspired. Darwin's wonderful endowment in this respect constituted him, by divine right, a leader of men. The world has always justly honored its standard bearers and we are here to pay homage to the name of one of the most attractive and commanding of them all. In other parts of this city and of this land, our fellow-citizens are gathering to-day to pay grateful tribute to the estimable character, and to recall the memorable deeds of a great emancipator. We likewise are celebrating the beneficent acts of a man, simple and modest as that other, who, at a critical period, spoke courageous words which conferred freedom on millions of his fellow creatures. It is altogether fitting that the birthdays of these two benefactors should be the same.

We now dedicate this monument, in this appropriate place, not only to the honor and memory of Charles Darwin the great thinker, whose life and personality we admire, but also to the encouragement and guidance of all who may hereafter frequent these halls — as a testimony to the power of self-reliance and independence of mind which Charles Darwin preëminently exemplified and illustrated. May this portrait of a noble truth-seeker which we now unveil, signify, for all time to come, to him who would advance the boundaries of scientific knowledge, that nature will yield up her secrets only when appealed to directly and in humility and purity of spirit.

[Plate II]

PLATE II.



THE ACADEMY BUST OF DARWIN.
Right side of the model.

[page] 21

At the close of his address, President Cox gave the signal for unveiling the bust,1 and turning to President Henry Fairfield Osborn said

President Osborn:

On behalf of the New York Academy of Sciences, I have the honor of presenting this bust to the American Museum of Natural History and of asking your acceptance of it, in the hope that it may stand in this place for many generations to come as evidence of the high esteem in which the life and work of Charles Darwin are held by the men of science of this country, and also as a token of the cordial relations existing between the Academy of Sciences and the Museum of Natural History, which you yourself have done much to establish and promote.

In response to the address of President Cox and the presentation of the bust, President Osborn replied as follows:

ACCEPTANCE OF THE PORTRAIT OF DARWIN.

BY HENRY FAIRFIELD OSBORN,
President of the American Museum of Natural History.

The bronze bust of Charles Darwin presented by the New York Academy of Sciences is accepted by the Trustees of the American Museum of Natural History with a three-fold meaning.

First, as a noble work of art conveying in its fidelity of portraiture a striking likeness of the great naturalist, with the far-seeing vision of his deep-set eyes controlled by a great brain in which the powers of observation and of reason were developed far beyond the average. Personal recollection of Darwin's face and head strengthens the first impression that this latest work of William Couper will be welcomed by naturalists everywhere as a singularly grand and impressive likeness. The second reason why this gift is welcome is that it memorializes in a manner most grateful to the Trustees and Scientific Staff of this Museum that the scientific men of New York appreciate the work that is being carried on here for the promotion of natural science, that the combination of multi-

1The bust is of bronze, of heroic size, and is mounted upon a pedestal of polished gneissoid granite from Stony Creek, Connecticut. The bust was prepared expressly for the Academy by the New York sculptor William Couper from photographs and other data. The portrait represents the naturalist in the full maturity of his powers and rather past middle life.

[page] 22

cipal and private munificence with the ardor of exploration and research and devotion to public scientific education for which this institution stands meets the approval and support of the members of the New York Academy of Sciences, the oldest and most dignified of all the scientific associations in this great city. This gift will encourage the Museum to renewed efforts both in the sphere of pure science and in the sphere of popular education.

Finally the gift is welcome because it permanently associates the name of the great naturalist with the Museum and especially with one of our newer exhibition halls, which is especially devoted to the exposition of the great general phenomena of biology, as seen in the structure, the embryonic development, the adaptness in color and form, the marvelous diversity but yet unity of the animal world, to the true interpretation of which Charles Darwin devoted his life.

Further to cement the name and spirit of Darwin with the exhibition in the midst of which this splendid portrait will be placed, it gives me great pleasure to announce that the Trustees have unanimously voted to name this hall after the illustrious naturalist, "Darwin Hall," and have prepared and placed here on this centennial day two bronze tablets which will be a permanent record of the time and place of this dedication.

At the close of President Osborn's address the following addresses were delivered, setting forth Darwin's relations to the three subdivisions of natural science — geology, botany and zoölogy — in pursuit of which he expended his great energies.

DARWIN AND GEOLOGY.

BY PROFESSOR JOHEN JAMES STEVENSON.

Charles Darwin was born in a time of intellectual unrest. Explorers, students of chemistry and workers in mines had been adding to actual knowledge for nearly one third of a century and thoughtful men had been forced to recognize the worthlessness of many conceptions which had long passed current. Nowhere was this unrest more manifest than among the younger geologists; but they were compelled to express themselves cautiously for, fettered by a false chronology, the church dignitaries who controlled the universities rebuked investigation and branded as infidels those who recorded obnoxious facts. Little more than a year prior to Darwin's birth, the Geological Society of London had been founded as a protest against subjective study of this globe, but already many adherents to the principles

[Plate III]

PLATE III.

THE ACADEMY BUST OF DARWIN.
Left side of the model.

[page] 23

of that society had appeared on the continent, proclaiming that actual knowledge of conditions must precede attempts to explain them.

The development of opinion was so rapid that before Darwin reached his majority the geological pendulum had made its great swing from the doctrine of cataclysms to that of uniformity; from the belief that this globe is less than 6,000 years old to an abiding faith that its age cannot be measured in years. It was amid such conditions that, toward the close of his university studies, he came under the influence of Henslow and Sedgwick, the latter being engaged at that time along with Murchison in an effort to unravel the tangle of Welsh geology. Some have said that these men taught him how to observe; not so, he was already a keen observer, and they merely led him into wider fields.

In 1831, Captain Fitzroy was assigned to command H. M. S. Beagle, a little brig of 240 tons, and was commissioned to complete the coast survey of southern South America as well as to run a line around the globe. When he expressed the wish to be accompanied by a naturalist, Darwin, then only twenty-two years old, promptly volunteered his services, which were accepted, and he was enrolled as a supernumerary member of the staff. The Beagle left England on December 27, 1831, and returned on October 2, 1836, bringing with it Charles Darwin, now grown intellectually to man's stature and bearing a notable cargo of material collections, as well as of accumulated observations. There was no haste in publication; aside from some very brief communications to societies, nothing appeared until 1839, when the Journal of Researches was printed. Owen's descriptions of the fossil mammalia were issued in 1840, with an introduction by Darwin, and the final publication of results was made in three. parts, dated 1842, 1844, and 1846. Thus early in his career, Darwin showed that caution which characterized him throughout life, an indifference to priority which was the outgrowth of his love of accuracy.

Part 2 of the "Geological Observations," dated 1844, relates chiefly to volcanic islands. In most cases the stay at those was brief and the studies were fragmentary; yet Darwin saw enough to let him discuss the origin of volcanic cones, to determine some cardinal points respecting the distribution of the islands, to distinguish submarine from subaërial lava flows and to prove that experimental studies on metamorphosis of limestones had led to very nearly true conceptions of the process.

As the coast survey of southern South America was the important object of Captain Fitzroy's expedition, there was ample time for a good reconnaissance of that region and Darwin spent nearly six months in studying the pampas from the Parana and Uraguay rivers southward almost to Magellan's Strait. A synopsis was given as an introduction to Owen's memoir, but the

[page] 24

details did not appear until 1846, when they were published as Part 3 of the "Geological Observations." The whole subject was discussed attractively in the second edition of the Journal of Researches.

The superficial deposit of the great plains is a "reddish argillaceous earth," containing concretions of indurated marl, which at times become continuous layers or even replace much of the red earth. In the northerly part of the plains area, this pampas deposit, which passes downward into sands, limestones and clays of late Tertiary age, yielded no marine shells to Darwin; its infusoria, studied by Ehrenberg, proved to be partly marine, partly freshwater, while the manly concretions resemble some freshwater limestones seen in Europe; but this paucity of invertebrate life was unimportant, for the whole of that region proved to be one vast cemetery, in which the skeletons of gigantic extinct mammals are so numerous that a line could not be drawn in any direction without passing through some bones. In northern Patagonia the red deposit is bound closely to an overlying gravel, containing marine forms belonging to species now existing on the coast, while in southern Patagonia marine shells occur in the pampas deposit itself.

Darwin believed that this pampas material was deposited within a vast estuary, into which great rivers carried from the surrounding region carcasses of the animals whose skeletons were entombed in muds tranquilly accumulating on the bottom. All conditions go to show that the mammalia became extinct after the sea had received its present fauna, and there is nothing to suggest that a period of overwhelming violence swept away and destroyed the inhabitants of the land; everything supports the contrary belief. The only noteworthy change in conditions has been a gradual elevation of the continent; but that was not enough to modify the climate or to bring about a change in the land fauna.

Several of the important genera collected by Darwin had been found in North America long prior to his time. This similarity of the Quaternary faunas induced him to speculate on the causes which had divided the American continent into two well-defined and somewhat contrasting zoölogical provinces. He does not hesitate to suggest recent elevation of the Mexican platform or, more probably, recent submergence of the West Indian Archipelago as a conceivable cause of this separation. It seems to him most probable that the elephants, the mastodons, the horses and the hollow-horned ruminants of North America "migrated, on land since submerged near Bering Straits, from Siberia into North America, and thence, on land since submerged in the West Indies, into South America, where for a time they mingled with forms characteristic of that southern continent and have since become extinct." Had this American Museum of Natural History existed in Darwin's day, study of the remarkable exhibits in its Mammal

[page] 25

Hall would have enabled him to extend his list of extinct forms common to both continents; and possibly he might have anticipated some of the all-important generalizations for which the world is indebted to the former president of this academy who now is president of the museum.

Nothing in South America, east or west, escaped Darwin; from glaciers to peat bogs, from earthquakes to climatal variations, everything was important; but what impressed him most on both sides of the continent were the evidences of extremely slow secular movement in the earth's crust. This was the preparation for that study of the coral islands which resulted in his chief contribution to philosophical geology.

Many voyagers prior to 1833 had observed and had tried to account for the strange atolls, or low ring-like coral reefs, each inclosing a lagoon which communicates with the sea by a narrow channel; but Darwin discovered other forms of reefs which were equally perplexing. Many islets of rock are fringed by coral growth, while vast barrier reefs, separated from the land by channels of varying depth, extend at times for hundreds of miles along coasts. All explanations by previous observers were defective, as they seemed to ignore these types as well as other features, not less important.

Reef-making corals can not endure exposure to the air and they can not thrive at a depth of more than 20 fathoms, so that their vertical range is about 115 feet; yet hooks and anchors brought up coral rock and sand from many hundreds of feet below the limit of growth; in a great number of instances, the atolls or ring-like reefs are mere peaks rising with abrupt slopes from "fathomless" abysses. Coral-bearing areas within the Indian and Pacific Oceans are of vast extent, there being chains of archipelagos 1,000 to 1,500 miles long. The reefs are rudely circular or elliptical in the islands, but are linear along the coasts; in the one case, the reef incloses a lagoon, in the other, a lagoon-like channel separates the reef from the coast. These are fundamental elements of the problem, not one of which may be neglected in the solution. A clue to the explanation was found by this keen observer, when he saw an islet of old rock, fringed with coral, rising from the lagoon of an atoll, so that the atoll-ring resembled in many respects the barrier reef of a continent and the lagoon itself resembled the lagoon-like channel seen on the Australian and other coasts.

Chamisso's suggestion that coral reefs had been formed on banks of sedimentary material seemed wholly incompetent to meet the conditions, for the areas are too vast, and Darwin was compelled to believe that the atolls rest on rocky bases; but even on this supposition, it appears incredible that peaks of several great mountain chains should all come to within less than 180 feet of the surface and that not one rose any higher. The long study in South America had prepared him to seek an explanation in mobility

[page] 26

of the earth's crust; but it was clear that elevation could not bring about the conditions, as that would destroy the corals themselves; subsidence alone can account for the phenomena. And thus Darwin presents his case:

If then the foundations of the many atolls were not uplifted into the requisite position, they must of necessity have subsided into it; and this at once solves every difficulty, for we may safely infer from the facts given in the last chapter, that during a subsidence the corals would be favorably circumstanced for building up their solid framework and reaching the surface, as island after island slowly disappeared. Thus areas of immense extent in the central and most profound parts of the oceans might become interspersed with coral islets, none of which would rise to greater height than that attained by detritus heaped up by the sea, and nevertheless they might all have been formed by corals which absolutely require for their growth a solid foundation within a few fathoms of the surface. …. The rocky bases slowly and successively sank beneath the level of the sea, while corals continued to grow upward.

The origin of the ring as well as that of the barrier reef seemed to be easily explained by this hypothesis. The corals on the outer side of the reef grew with greater rapidity than did those within, as the supply of food is constant; those on the inner side became starved and eventually the interior growth ceased, and the lagoon was shallowed by wind-drifted material from the shores.

Darwin's hypothesis and the facts on which it was based have become so familiar that students sometimes express surprise that so much praise has been awarded to the author. The conditions as presented in his discussion are so clear that certainly no man could reach any other conclusion. That is true, but it is true only because Darwin marshalled his facts in a manner so masterly; in any event, it is always easy to do a thing, when another has done it well and told us how. But it must be remembered that a hypothesis of this sort, though normal enough in our day, was very abnormal in that day; indeed, it was contrary to Darwin's own underlying conceptions, for, though a uniformitarian, he had seen many phenomena which, for a time, made him only a halting disciple. Yet his hypothesis was a monumental contribution in support of the uniformitarian doctrine, which, under the leadership of Lyell, was gaining sturdy adherents. That the hypothesis met with uncompromising opposition need not be said. The material of coral origin extended to vast depths alongside of the islands, in some cases apparently to 4,000 feet. The upward growth of the reef was known to be extremely slow. If the subsidence and the upward growth kept pace, as was essential to the hypothesis, evidently the required period, belonging to the latest portion of the earth's existence, was immensely long. It is difficult now to understand how great moral courage was needed by the man who published such a doctrine; sixty years ago, the educated man

[page] 27

of Great Britain had not learned to distinguish between faith and prejudice.

This effort to explain the origin of coral reefs has been regarded, justly, as Darwin's especial contribution to geology. It has been opposed strenuously by careful students during the last twenty years and even now it is a bone of contention; but the most strenuous opponent concedes that it is logical and a fair induction from the facts as then known. Be it true or not, be it a competent explanation or not, no matter. In influence on geology it has been as far-reaching as the doctrine of natural selection has been on biology. It involves every important problem in dynamics of the earth's crust; in testing it, men have been led into paths of investigation, which, but for Darwin, might still be untrodden. The influence went farther. The hypothesis was presented at a time when men's minds were warped by prejudice, when men were extremists, when too many were defenders of dogmas in science and too few were searchers after truth. Darwin's discussion was a model of frankness; suggestions offered by his predecessors were dealt with courteously; he searched far and wide for objections to his own suggestions, and when objections were found, he stated them in detail, concealing nothing and urging further investigation. His conclusions were, for him, merely tabulations of observed facts. One can not overestimate the importance of this method; it was a chief factor in changing the tone of scientific literature, in leading to replacement of subjective by objective modes of investigation.

Darwin's work as geologist practically ended with these publications of the Beagle results. It is true that in later years he made some contributions possessing much interest, but they were merely incidental to studies in other directions; the greater part of his long life was devoted to biological problems. At the same time, his whole mode of thinking and of observing was that of the geologist, so that if one were treating of his later years the topic might well be the influence of geology upon Darwin. In his later works, one finds constantly recurring consideration of geological conditions as potent factors in biological change, while on the other hand he emphasized the influence of life as a factor in bringing about geological changes. To him nature was always one; and he, in great measure, was responsible for the broadness of view characterizing the geologists who were his contemporaries as well as for the remarkable change in attitude of the community toward scientific discussion. Nowadays, when workers are so many and knowledge is so increased, men have been forced into narrow lanes of investigation; students, perplexed by phenomena within their limited vision, too often think little and know less of what neighbors are doing. And this must continue until some important problems have been solved, at least in part, and some positive results have been obtained in many directions.

[page] 28

Then another Darwin will come, will gather loose strands floating in the wind and will weave from them a new system, once more binding nature studies into one and providing a safe platform, whence men may start anew to fathom the unknown by means of the known.

DARWIN AND BOTANY.

BY DR. NATHANIEL LORD BRITTON.

Considering the fact that Charles Darwin disclaimed the title of botanist, his contributions to the knowledge of plant life and its phenomena were certainly extraordinary. His investigations extended over a great range of topics, at one time or another practically covering the whole field of botanical research. In repeatedly stating that he was not a botanist, he evidently meant to imply that he was not a systematist, and it is true that his knowledge of plant taxonomy was the least of his scientific acquirements. In his first letter to Dr. Asa Gray, written in 1855, which was the commencement of a long correspondence, he almost apologized for asking questions! During that year he became keenly interested, however, in knowing more about the kinds of plants growing wild in the vicinity of his home, and in a letter to Dr. Hooker he complains about the dreadful difficulty of naming plants, though he apparently became quite enthusiastic in this pursuit and advised Dr. Hooker, "If ever you catch quite a beginner and want to give him a taste of botany, tell him to make a perfect list of some little field or wood." The facts just stated seem to indicate the extent of his taxonomic studies. He accepted, for the most part, the names of plants which he studied from the determinations of others.

Darwin was attracted to observations of natural objects as a young boy and he early considered plants; his juvenile collections were entomological, and his earlier investigations were mainly zoölogical and geological. As a pupil of Professor Henslow at Cambridge University he attended botanical lectures and took part in field excursions; he greatly enjoyed the field work, and from it his inspiration for investigation was doubtless derived.

As naturalist of the voyage around the world of the ship Beagle (1831–1836) his collections of plants made in South America and on the islands of the Pacific Ocean, and his observations upon the botanical features of the countries visited, contributed greatly to the knowledge of the flora of those regions. They were extensively utilized by Dr. Hooker in his "Flora Antarctica" and in his "Flora of the Galapagos Archipelago," as well as

[page] 29

by other authors in various contributions. Darwin's valuable by darwin is preserved in the museum of Cambridge University. That he collected assiduously at times during portions of this expedition, is evidenced by his having brought home specimens of 193 species of the 225 species which after his specimens had been studied, were known to inhabit the Galapagos Islands and by the fact that about 100 species new to science were represented in his Galapagos collection. He noticed the extraordinary distribution of species or races on the several islands of this group, many of them inhabiting only a single island, and he laid the foundation for all subsequent study of insular floras. The narrative of observations and experiences during this memorable voyage is replete with interesting facts and suggestions concerning plants, and his conclusion that "Nothing can be more improving to a young naturalist than a journey in distant countries," is one that should be reiterated by all teachers of natural science, and such experience should be sought by all students who propose engaging in investigation. Darwin is commemorated in botanical taxonomy by many species named in his honor. The beautiful barberry, Berberis Darwinii of Hooker, native of Chiloe, is occasionally seen in cultivation. Darwinia, an Australian genus of the myrtle family, named by Rudge in 1813, commemorates his grandfather, Erasmus Darwin.

The beginnings of Darwin's theory of descent of animals and plants from preëxistent species, with modifications, were made during the voyage of the Beagle, and from the year after his return to England, when, he tells us he opened the first note-book on the subject. For twenty-two years he was interrogating gardeners and breeders, botanists and zoölogists, and diligently observing plants and animals. He first thought of publishing on the theory of descent in 1839, but delayed for twenty years. During the studies which led up to the publication, in 1859, of "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life," Darwin closely observed a great number of wild and cultivated plants, with reference to variation in nature and under domestication, the struggle for existence due to competition for food and sunlight, the facts of geographic distribution, the succession of plant life on the earth as indicated by the fossils of successive geologic periods, and a great range of other facts and phenomena. The recorded observations of other botanists were also freely utilized and discussed. Nearly all the chapters of this epoch-making work contain conclusions drawn from his own botanical observations. He was especially impressed by the divergent views of different botanists relative to the taxonomic treatment of highly polymorphic genera such as Hieracium (hawk-weed), Rubus (blackberry), Quercus and Rosa, and he employed this consideration to great advantage in his argu-

[page] 30

ment for deritation during descent. Rudimentary organs were considered with much interest and readily explained by Darwin as vestiges of structures which were useful to the plant in rarlier stages of its existence. The facts of geographic distribution were eagerly examined as bearing on the theory of descent, and Darwin's writings a bound in speculations relative to their significance. He was inclined to combat the geotogic theory of former land connections of present existing continents, as not statisfactorily accounting for many features of geographic distribution though he ultimately agreed with this theory to some extent. He closely studied the natural means by which seeds are transported over great distances and also inquried into the vitality of seeds.

The title of the "Origin" was a subject of considerable doubt in his mind, and in 1857, two years before it was printed, he had proposed to call it "Natural Selection." The title "Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection" is, if taken literally, somewhat misleading and has occasioned considerable discussion. The subtitle — "Or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life" — is a more accurate statement of his theory. On November 23, 1856, he wrote to Dr. Hooker:

The formation of a strong variety, or species, I look at as almost wholly due to the selection of what may be incorrectly called chance variations. Again, the slight differences selected, by which a race or species is at last formed, stand, as I think can be shown in the far more important relation to its associates than to external conditions.

Darwin's great contribution to the subject of evolution was the incontrovertible proof adduced by him that living species are modified descendants of preëxisting species, and that the modifications are brought about by natural causes. His observations led him to the conclusion that the modifications were all minute, gradual and cumulative. We know that they may also be considerable and abrupt and that they are cumulative because favorable changes are preserved.

How, then, do the modifications or primordial variations, either large or small, arise? Is variation an innate essential quality, or is it induced by external environmental factors? Proof of, environmental agencies having at least something to do with it in plants seems to be accumulating, as the experimental work carried on by MacDougal and by Gager at the New York Botanical Garden appears to imply.

I think that we may now safely outline the methods of formation of species somewhat as follows: Through causes which are not yet at all well known, but by means of which agencies external to the germ-cells certainly may have a part, the offspring of a plant grown from seed differ more or

[page] 31

less from the parent (variation). The thus modified offspring, subjected to natural selection, ultimately perish if they are unadapted, but survive if they are adapted to their surroundings. Repetitions of this process finally bring the descendants of plants to differ materially from their ancestors (evolution). The-end of the process seems to be the development of organisms which are little or not at all subject to variation (monotypic genera). All genera of plants containing a large number of species are evidently subject to continued variation, and their species and races almost defy classification. Just what part the phenomena of hybridism take in the final result is not clear, but it may be pointed out that they are evidently unnecessary, because great groups, whole orders, in fact, of the fungi, are devoid of sexuality, and hybridism is therefore impossible among them; yet they are subject to variation like other plants and quite as difficult to classify.

Observations on insectivorous plants occupied Darwin at intervals from 1860 until the publication of his volume on that subject in 1875. He commenced with the round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia) while staying at Ashdown Forest, and was soon intensely interested in the exquisite sensitiveness of the leaf-glands to nitrogenous substances. His studies were continued over most of the plants of the sundew family, and to others known to entrap insects or other small animals. He discovered that the leaves of Drosera and of Diona'a secreted a ferment when supplied with various kinds of nitrogenous food and he closely observed the movements of their glands and tentacles and recorded them in detail. Experiments were also made on these plants with a great variety of non-nitrogenous substances. Darwin pointed out the remarkable parallelism between the digestive powers of the secretions of the Droseracete and those of the gastric juices of animals. The sacs of the aquatic bladder-worts (Utricularia) and the leaves of butter-worts (Pinguicula) were also closely studied. His book is replete with records of careful observations and ingenious deductions. Nepenthes had already been shown by Dr. Hooker to secrete digestive fluids in its pitcher-like leaves, and Sarracenia was suspected of similar activity by Darwin and by others, although he did not regard this as proven.

As early as 1838 or 1839 Darwin was attracted to observe the processes of pollination and noticed the dimorphic flowers of Linunt flavunt. He had concluded at that time that cross-fertilization was potent in holding species stable and constant. He obtained a great deal of information on this topic in 1841 by reading Sprengle's "Entdeckte Geheimniss der Natur," which stimulated him to continued investigations during summers and he became especially interested in the methods of pollination of the wild orchids growing about, his home. This study of pollination of orchids resulted in the publi-

[page] 32

cation, in 1862, of his book on that subject, and in it his detailed observations are recorded. Some of his closest observational work was done on this subject of cross-pollination, and he examined a great many species and grew thousands of plants from seed; reaching the broad generalization that cross-fertilization is beneficial to a species and self-fertilization is injurious. The phenomena do not now, however, appear to have as important a relation to evolution as they were formerly supposed to have, and Darwin later expressed regret that he had not given more attention to the processes of self-fertilization.

His interest in showing that cross-fertilization was beneficial led him to investigate closely the various structural features of flowers which necessitate this process to a greater or less degree, such as diœcism, monœcism, polygamy and heterostyly; his observations and speculations are presented in the volume entitled "Different Forms of Flowers and Plants of the Same Species," published in 1877. He records that making out the meaning of heterostyled flowers gave him very great pleasure. A chapter of the book is devoted to cleistogamic flowers, which are necessarily self fertilized and produce seed abundantly. This work is largely a revision and rearrangement of several papers previously published in the Journal of the Linnœan Society.

"The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication," Darwin's largest work, appeared in 1868, published in two volumes. As bearing on this topic, he had studied, among plants, for many years, the cereal grains, garden vegetables, edible fruits, ornamental trees and ornamental flowers. In the preface he again discusses natural selection and defines it as "This preservation, during the battle for life, of varieties which possess any advantage in structure, constitution or instinct," noting that Herbert Spencer had well termed the same process "The Survival of the Fittest." But the bulk of the work is given to the consideration of selection by man — artificial selection, by which races useful to us, economically or esthetically, have been preserved and modified, some of them having originated in very remote times and been taken advantage of by uncivilized man. A chapter is devoted to the phenomena of bud-variation, in which many cases of branches of plants different in one respect or another from other branches on the same plant are described in detail. Many of these have been taken advantage of by horticulturists for the propagation of valuable races. He did not reach any definite conclusion as to the cause of these interesting occurrences; but recently acquired knowledge of mutation seems to indicate that they are of that category, differing from seminal mutations in that a cell in the axil of a leaf is affected rather than a germ-cell. In these volumes we find Darwin's most detailed discussion of heredity, of variability and of hybridism and the last chapter outlines his provisional hypothesis

[page] 33

of pangenesis, an ingenious supposition, applying to living matter the general features of the atomic theory, with an additional inherent power of reproduction of the atoms or "gemmules" as he termed the hypothetical ultimate particles.

The movements of plants and of their various organs were also studied by Darwin for many years. His first essay on this topic appeared in 1865 and ten years later he revised and enlarged it as a book under the title "The Movements and Habits of Climbing Plants," using, as always, not only his own detailed and extensive observations, but also the published writings of other botanists, among them the paper on tendrils by Hugo de Vries, who was destined subsequently to throw such a flood of light on the phenomena of variation. Darwin grouped climbing plants into twiners, leaf-climbers, tendril-bearers, hook-climbers and root-climbers. He maintained that the climbing habit has been developed to enable vines to reach the light and free air; tropical forests show conclusively that this is the case. He showed that circumnutation, the bending of growing tips successively to all points of the compass, is a general phenomenon among flowering plants, and he thought it of high importance to them. The sensitiveness of tendrils to external influences interested him deeply, and he made many original experiments upon them. Following the subject much further he published in 1880 the work entitled "The Power of Movement in Plants," a treatise abounding in records of original observations on seedlings and parts of mature plants, including further studies of circumnutation, of the sensitiveness of plants to light and to other forces and of the phenomena of geotropism and apogeotropism, which he regarded as modified phenomena of circumnutation.

The value of the impulse given by Darwin to botanical investigation in all its branches is beyond estimation; his power of exact observation and record has seldom been equaled and certainly never excelled; his deductions were highly philosophical, and most of them have stood the test of thirty years' inquiry and criticism; he was searching for truth and his absolute honesty in research is plainly evidenced by his repeated criticism of his own conclusions.

The immense number of plant species which had been described and named, and the lack of any complete index to them led Darwin to provide in his will for complete enumeration of the names of published species of flowering plants. This great work was prepared at the library of the Royal Gardens, Kew, England, and published in 1895 in four large quarto volumes, to which several supplements have since been added. This "Index Kewensis" is a great boon to all investigators, and is quite indispensable to those who have to take plant names into consideration.

[page] 34

DARWIN AND ZOOLOGY.

BY DR. HERMON C. BUMPUS.

This is an assembly composed substantially of members and friends of the New York Academy of Sciences, united to do homage to one whose genius has been long felt in our meetings, and whose influence is now recognized in every field of intellectual endeavor. The example of Darwin's precision in observing, of his wisdom in interpreting and of his truthfulness in recording the phenomena of nature has transformed zoölogy—the subject assigned to me—from prosaic description to acute speculation, from a merely interesting study to an aggressive science.

This change took place in an incredibly short space of time, and it may be worth while, on an occasion such as this, to examine the condition of scientific academies and similar organizations in America at the time of the publication of the "Origin of Species," to note the first center of appreciative acceptance and to trace the spread of the belief in Darwinism as it betrayed itself in the publications of the time.

Fifty years ago there were in America five leading centers of organized scientific activity.

In Philadelphia were the American Philosophical Society, founded by Franklin and then well along in its second century of "promoting useful knowledge," and the Academy of Natural Sciences, approaching its semi-centennial.

In Boston were the adolescent Boston Society of Natural History, approaching its thirtieth birthday, and the mature American Academy of Arts and Sciences, founded in 1780.

In New Haven was the Connecticut Academy, founded in 1786.

In Washington, although the National Institution for the Promotion of Science (founded in 1840) and the Smithsonian Institution had been publishing for eleven years, men of science apparently did not unite in an academic way until the Philosophical Society of Washington was organized in 1871. Even the National Academy was not incorporated until 1863, four years after the announcement of the "Origin of Species."

In New York, this academy (then called the Lyceum of Natural History) was meeting at Fourteenth Street, at a point now occupied by the headquarters of Tammany Hall. 0f those then attending its meetings, but one now remains.

The dominant mind at Philadelphia was that of Leidy, thirty-six years of age. Cope was a boy of nineteen. In Washington, were Joseph Henry,

[page] 35

sixty-two; Bache, sixty-three; Baird, thirty-six, and others attached to the Smithsonian Institution, and the great government surveys. Baird was often a contributor to the publications of the New York Lyceum of Natural History.

In New York was Torrey, a man of sixty-three, and among others two young men, Theodore Nicholas Gill — the senior member of this academy — and Daniel Giraud Elliot, now honoring this museum with his presence — both born in New York, and both in their early twenties. Not only have these two — early identified with the scientific publications of this academy — witnessed the change that has taken place during the past fifty years, but their long series of contributions to science admirably illustrate the strange power that has been exerted upon zoölogical work in general, and descriptive zoölogy in particular, by him who came into being one hundred years ago.

In New Haven were James Dwight Dana, forty-six, Daniel C. Gilman, twenty-eight, and the Sillimans.

In Boston, were Agassiz, adored by the people — preëminent among teachers — the studious lovable Gray, at one time (1836) librarian of this academy, and Jeffries Wyman. Both Agassiz and Gray were about the age of Darwin. Jeffries Wyman was a few years their junior; of him Lowell has written:

He widened knowledge and escaped the praise

He toiled for science, not to draw men's gaze.

Under the influence of these, Agassiz, Gray, Jeffries Wyman, there gathered at Cambridge, at about this time, what we would now informally and affectionately call "a bunch of boys." Shaler, eighteen; Verrill (who has come down from New Haven to be with us this afternoon) and Packard, twenty; Morse, Hyatt and Allen — our Dr. Allen — twenty-one; Scudder, twenty-two.

Of the five centers of scientific activity, youth was certainly the characteristic of the school at Boston. It is therefore safe to predict that the germ of the new truth in biological science would find a more favorable medium in Boston than here in New York or farther south.

The infection was immediate, indeed "pre-immediate." The period of incubation extended over about ten years, ending in an acute epidemic from 1871–1876, which affected lyceums, associations and academies indiscriminately. Convalescence then began, since which the American body-scientific has enjoyed good health and has shown many periods of remarkable growth.

[page] 36

The "Origin of Species" was published in London late in November, 1859. The following month, Asa Gray, long intimately acquainted with Darwin, and anxious that Americans should see promptly the significance of the new theory, wrote for Silliman's Journal a review of the book, before a single copy of the "Origin" had reached this country. He predicted that the work would produce great discussion — it did. A copy arrived, it was carefully reviewed, but before the review could be gotten through the press, a second edition was announced, and within three months two American editions were advertised.

Gray gave his first review in December. In January, Professors Agassiz, Parsons and Rogers are recorded as having discussed the "Origin and Distribution of Species" at a meeting of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences on Beacon Street. Gray was present. In February, Agassiz began his open opposition to the theory of Darwin, stating at the Boston Society of Natural History that, while Darwin was one of the best naturalists in England, his great knowledge and experience had been brought to the support of an ingenious but fanciful theory. In these discussions Professor Rogers valiantly upheld Darwin's views. In March, Agassiz continued to oppose Darwin, and in April, Gray and Parsons made their reply. In May, they were at it again. Then followed the admirable essay of Parsons, Professor of Law at Harvard, and the unfortunate advance sheets of the third volume of Agassiz's "Contributions." Then came Gray's Atlantic Monthly articles, and thus ended the first year.

Among the records of the learned societies of New York, Philadelphia and Washington, I can find nothing to indicate that there was any particular interest in the disturbances that were going on in and about Boston. Professor Dana, easily the dominant figure in science at New Haven, was in poor health and out of the country, but it was generally considered that his intensely idealistic views would probably have prevented him from accepting a theory that was felt by many to be grossly materialistic. The infection therefore was local and remained local about Boston for a full decade.

In 1861 Agassiz doubtless discussed the matter before the National Academy in a paper on the "Individuality of Animals," but I have been unable to find a copy of the paper.

In 1863 Jeffries Wyman, in his review of Owen's monograph on the "Aye-aye" gave inference of his adherence to the theories of Darwin, and indicated the impossibility of there being any neutral ground.

In 1865 Morse came to New York from Salem to be the guest of this academy, but the formal paper that he presented did not contain even a remote allusion to the discussions that were going on in what was then considered America's educational center.

[page] 37

In 1867 Hyatt's paper on "Parallelism" appeared. This I believe to be the first distinctly evolutionary contribution from the zoölogical side. In this year, 1867, Professor Newberry, later and for twenty-three years the president of this academy, delivered his address at the Burlington meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, betraying in this a singular nobleness of character toward those to whose advanced views he felt that the scientific world could not entirely subscribe, and admirably illustrating what he interpreted to be the prevailing opinion as shown by the following quotation:

Although this Darwinian hypothesis is looked upon by many as striking at the root of all vital faith, and is the bête noire of all those good men who deplore and condemn the materialistic tendency of modern science, still the purity of life of the author of the "Origin of Species," his enthusiastic devotion to the study of truth, the industry and acumen which have marked his researches, the candor and caution with which his suggestions have been made, all combine to render the obloquy and scorn with which they have been received in many quarters, peculiarly unjust and in bad taste.

This was also the first year of the American Naturalist, edited, by those four pupils of Agassiz — Packard, Morse, Hyatt and Putnam — of whom two are still spared. The introduction of the charming first volume of this characteristic American publication is sufficient proof that at the time of its issue even the younger men felt that there were two distinct schools of thought relative to the "Origin of Species." Those who are familiar with the introduction will remember that it is illuminated with one of Morse's inimitable sketches, a snail peering through a binocular microscope, symbolical, doubtless, of the slowness of perception of those who clung to this archaic instrument and possibly also of those who clung to archaic ideas.

The following year, 1868, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, which in 1860 had elected Darwin to membership, published the first important direct contribution to the subject of evolution made by one not directly under the influence of the Boston academies. This contribution, "On the Origin of Genera," was made by Cope, who for several years had been submitting papers to the academy of a descriptive and semi-speculative character, anti largely dealing with the classification of reptiles. I believe that I am perfectly safe in saying that no academy in America has ever published a paper that reflects more to its credit than this extraordinary essay of Cope. It is apologetically issued as a fragment, but in it there is shown an intimate acquaintance with anatomical detail that is almost supernatural, an independence of thought that is extraordinary, a power of analysis that stuns the reader, an estimate of the weak and the strong points of the Darwinian theory that is masterly, an agility of logic that marked its author

[page] 38

as a dangerous antagonist, an energy to reach the truth, and an impetuosity to convince others of truth, that was prophetic, indeed, that was completely demonstrative of pent-up mental power which must have been most disturbing to those of his academy who had nestled down into positions of comfortable intellectuality.

We now enter upon five years of acute activity.

On December 15, 1871, Cope attended a meeting of the American Philosophical Society, and presented his paper on "The Method of Creation of Organic Forms." In a fortnight a reply was given, which began with a quotation from Job: "I am a brother to dragons and a companion to owls," and continued for several pages in attempted explanation and demonstration of the falsity of Darwin's theories, and ended with the author's conviction that the only good that can come from these theories is the fact that they must bring about their own defeat. Cope replied immediately and was then replied to, and so on. But why follow the discussion?

The spell was being felt even farther south. Within two months of the date of its founding, the Philosophical Society of Washington listened to a paper by Professor Gill, in which it was stated that if the doctrine of evolution was accepted at all, it must involve man.

This was also the date of Dr. Allen's paper on the "Geographical Variation of North American Birds," a philosophical as well as descriptive article, an important contribution to the then scant literature of distribution, a paper which established a distinct method of zoölogical research that has reflected the highest credit on its author and on the institutions with which he has been connected.

It was also in this year that Morse published his paper on "Adaptive Coloration."

In January, 1872, the New York Academy made its first direct contribution to the subject of evolution by publishing a brief paper on the "Carpus and Tarsus of Birds." I hope that Professor Morse, now forty-five years a member of this academy, is present at this gathering, for the fifty years that have passed since the appearance of the "Origin of Species" exactly synchronize with the period of his devotion to the principles enunciated therein. If, among the volumes of this academy from 1859–1876, one binding shows more signs of use than the others, take down the book, and you will find that it opens to this article by Professor Morse; a contribution to zoölogy, to comparative anatomy, to embryology and to the theory of evolution. It is a refreshing spot, but somewhat out of place in an arid expanse of descriptions of new species and revised classifications.

Another paper issued by the academy in 1872, and characteristic of the new thought of the time, was by Benj. M. Martin on the "Unity of the General Forces of Nature," but this was physical rather than biological.

[page] 39

If one were forced to accept the presidential addresses of the American Association for the Advancement of Science as indicative of the advancement of science in American associations, the address of 1873, delivered by one who said he thought that natural selection had died with Lamarck, would be sadly misleading. He writes:

In Darwin we have one of those philosophers whose great knowledge of animal and vegetable life is transcended only by his imagination. In fact, he is to be regarded more as a metaphysician with a highly-wrought imagination than as a scientist.

But this is only the beginning of the gloom that anticipated the dawn.

Although in 1874 Dr. Elsberg, in a "Contribution to the Doctrine of Evolution," addressed this academy (and also the American Association for the Advancement of Science), in favor of the principles of Darwin, although Cope continued to sustain his earlier contentions, and general workers were beginning to make original observations in favor of the principles of organic descent, the reviewers of the deliberations of scientific gatherings gave little promise of anything like a general acceptance of the beliefs in which we are interested.

In 1875, the retiring president of the American Association said:

I fear that the unhappy spirit of contention still survives, and that there are a few who fight for victory rather than for the truth.

One of the vice-presidents at this meeting declined to "enter on the vast field of discussion … opened up by Darwin and others," and resolved to avoid the use of the word "evolution," "as this has recently been employed in so many senses as to have become nearly useless for any scientific purpose."

Thus closed five years of struggle.

The year 1876, the centennial of political independence in America, marked also the dawn of intellectual independence and scientific freedom. It was the year of Brooks's first Salpa paper, and of his paper on pangenesis. Cope explicitly stated that the law of natural selection was now generally accepted, and the then librarian of this academy, Louis Elsberg, submitted his paper on the plastidule hypothesis, as nonchalantly as though he were discussing the lingual ribbon.

It was under these really blessed conditions that the American Association met in Buffalo and listened to a vice-presidential address fully worthy the title of the organization. Edward S. Morse had demonstrated his ability as an investigator in his paper of 1872, already mentioned, but the simple, straightforward, patient and kindly manner in which he addressed his audience in 1876, the thoroughness with which he scanned the work of

[page] 40

others, the fairness with which he acknowledged the value of their results, and his concluding passages, in which he indicated the important bearing that the theories of descent had upon the social problems of the day, render his address a fit conclusion of a distinct epoch in the history of American science.

Since 1876, practically every zoölogical worker has sought to make some contribution that might strengthen his faith in a rational evolution of organic life and activities. It may be that such contributions will prove insufficient. It may be that Darwinism as a thing will ultimately fail of proof, but to those in the future who may inquire for the reason for these exercises and for the erection of this monument, Darwinism as a method will ever be a sufficient reply.


This document has been accessed 6350 times

Return to homepage

Citation: John van Wyhe, editor. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (http://darwin-online.org.uk/)

File last updated 2 July, 2012