RECORD: Frost, S. T. 1867. Darwin and Domestication. Harper's new monthly magazine 36 (Issue 211): 58-63.
REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed (single key) by AEL Data, corrections by John van Wyhe 8.2009. RN1
DARWIN AND DOMESTICATION.
FIVE centuries ago all science was searching for the Philosopher's Stone and the Elixir of Life. It did not find them, indeed, but it did discover acids—hydrochloric, sulphuric, and nitric; some medicines, many salts, matches, and other items of plain utility, and gunpowder, paper, the compass. Engraving, painting, and printing may be credited to the activity of thought and the habit of keen scrutiny which the glorious delusion excited. So the popular problem of Science, in this its age of adolescence, is the Origin of Species, the Origin and Succession of Life. The prospects of a solution—a scientific one at least—are certainly not positive or promising; but the value of the facts which will be developed incidentally by pushes of investigation thus stimulated is beyond all present estimate. Especially is this evident since the subject has placed itself upon grounds where discussion, though it may not attain the desired solution, is certain to call out needed facts. Novelty, boldness, and a play for speculation have been hitherto the chief attractions to its pursuit. Now for the first it promises practical results. What was a problem of Speculative Science is becoming a principle of domestic art. This result is mostly due, whether intentionally or not, to Darwin and his school.
Let us first, by way of introduction, give the outlines of the progress of that theory which has lately assumed a most unexpected form in the views of these philosophers; and then consider it in its new relation to the subject of Domestication. Investigation on this ground may or may not find a perch for wandering speculation; but it must afford improved and more intelligent views of the rearing of horses, cattle, sheep, and fowls; the limitations which Nature sets to the high breeding of animals and the overculture of fruits; how far disease is incident to domestication, and how far it may be avoided—points so little regarded or understood. It should find a remedy for the European Rinderpest, for the abortion in Herkimer dairies; it may give a favorable explanation of the unpleasant fact that sheep and peachtrees are becoming exotics, beef and apples luxuries, and pork poison—in short, failure and fabulous prices of meats and fruits, the common food of the world. But to begin.
We can readily understand how strong is the temptation to set up the theory of the transmutation of the species. The very earliest naturalists noticed how the grades of life seemed to pass insensibly one into another; but the upright apes were probably unknown, and the connecting link with man thus wanting, the theory lacked that fascination which was imparted when, with the discovery of the chimpanzee and gorilla, man also, as is claimed, was made to fall into the line. This is, indeed, the first ground afforded to the theory—a kind of obvious connection of life on the earth. This connection, as it first meets the eye, very liberally stated, would be somewhat as follows: If we should from a line beginning, say with the sponge, at the foot and ending with the highest type of man of the nineteenth century at the head, arranging all the intermediate forms in such a manner that each should stand between the two nearest like it, there would doubtless be revealed to any observer, however unscientific and unpracticed, a most surprising and evident
relation of each to its fellows, and through them to all. And when we should further find that increased knowledge tends to fill up occasional breaks, that we may almost anticipate unarranged and undiscovered life as we might legitimately supply missing bones to a strange skeleton, the line appears to become a chain, and separation into species like cutting links. For as they first meet the eye the costume, habits, manners, and personal appearance of the upright apes differ scarcely more from the Digger or Bushmen than these from their Caucasian brethren; the monkey is an easy step lower; the squirrel is much like the monkey; the bird is a quadruped using its fore-feet to beat the air instead of the earth, more like a monkey than a butterfly for all its wings; the reptile quadrupeds with their webbed feet are only one step from the fishes, which have parted with their hind-feet, but have two good arms in the shoulder fins; the snail is reduced to one organ of motion—but this is the result of bringing hands and feet together, and consolidating them into one, the curve of the back witnessing the process; and, lastly, the jelly-fish has no limb, and appears to be only a sponge with power to move by squeezing itself out. Remembering now that the sponge is claimed sometimes as animal, sometimes as vegetable life, and compromising by treating it as a connection between the two, the gradation is thus continued on through animals into plants, down through ferns, fungi, mildew, fermentation, froth, and what not.
Such a view requires comparative anatomy not to be too critical, but the connection will really bear closer and more scientific inspection. If anatomy spoils some fine fancies—that, for example, that the apes, like man, have the power to walk erect, by showing that they have in fact nothing whatever corresponding to the human foot, but only two pair of hands, that walking is a term altogether misapplied to them, as to the bear—it yet furnishes some favorable facts, showing that the human arm, the ox's foreleg, the bat's and bird's wing, and the whale's fin are the same kind of structure; the same shoulder-blade, arm, fore-arm, wrist, hand, finger bones, and collar-bone when the shoulder-blades need to be kept apart. Again, there is a certain projection of the lower part of the face, forming what is called the facial angle, formed by drawing a line from the prominent centre of the forehead to the most advanced part of the lower jawbone, amounting, as was claimed, to a definite measure of intellectual development. There is, perhaps, some significance in the formation, but the rule, the greater the angle the greater the intellect, is too often spoiled by facts. The rule would require that the ape, for instance, should be reckoned altogether superior to the dog in point of intelligence, for the facial line of the first is near that of man, while that of the dog is almost at right angles with it. This rule of the facial angle, indeed, applies better to the development theory, for it seemingly varies in proportion as the mouth is required to do the work of the hands. In man the projection of the mouth and lower face is least, and this fits the fact that the hands feed the mouth; greater with the ape, where the ministration of the hands is less perfect, and we here find the mouth projected and elongated into a snout as if by the act of reaching; in the quadruped still more, there being little use of the fore-paws as hands, and most of all in the bird, where the face, unassisted by the hands, extends out to a pointed bill, which is hands and mouth in one.
It might be claimed that the formation of the face matches in each instance the effect that the use of the mouth would tend to produce; and this atmitted as a consequence ends, of course, in the somewhat startling principle that the habits of the animal determine its structure, and not the structure the habits—a point which one may apparently prove, but will never believe.
We have thus stated fairly the three points of view, which may be called the obvious, the anatomical, and the facial. But in resting an argument upon these it must always be remembered that gradation, however perfect, does not necessarily imply progression through the grades. There is no necessity, for instance, because the ape may look like man, and in some respects be made like man, that therefore he can ever become man. There are no grounds even for a likelihood. Nature is not obliged to make man obviously unlike every other animal in order to free him from the suspicion of family relationship. The steps in the arrangement and succession of animal life may be very regular, and apparently and really very close, and yet their fixedness and distinctness in no way affected. It has been said there may be two distinct readings of Don Quixote before the third brings you to the real book and the real author. First, it reads well in childhood as a nursery story; secondly, somewhat later as a satire; but finally a lively, reliable treatise on mental philosophy and human nature. So in the experience of every naturalist there are three stages of observation. First, objects observed are few, and all appear different. Afterward, when they have become vastly multiplied, and when the intervals have been filled, there is a temptation to consider them as all connected. After this there is a third stage, where observation any way worthy of a name really begins. Then it is found that the obvious resemblance is often no resemblance at all, any more than individuals are alike in nature because of an accidental likeness in form and feature. Let us treat the gorilla and Bushman as one if we need assurance that they are two. Like positive and negative electricity, they may tend together until they touch, and then they straightway repel. Bring them both equally in contact with a higher development, as the Caucasian, or what is fairer, attempt to advance each a degree forward, the gorilla to a Bushman, the Bushman to a Kaffir
and the resemblance is spoiled at once. We shall find that the obvious qualities of the former are also inherent, those of the latter merely adventitious. In the case of the one there is an evident adaptation to changed circumstances—an improvement if the influences are carefully applied, with indications that look like a restoration to a previous state; in the other, every disturbing influence, however cautiously managed, is a violence to its nature, and if continued ends in deterioration and destruction. So with any two species which may seem to resemble. Even while you are looking they begin to differ; treat them as one, and they show a difference in planes of life more difficult to be done away than any distance.
This position of the theory, founded on the connection of life on the earth, as it was the first, so it has been the most popular and most tenable. If a perfect succession could be established from the very simplest to the highest forms, the great point was judged to be gained. The origin was, of course, still unprovided for, but the connection once admitted, it seemed more plausible to talk of "primordial germs," "fertile cells," and "electro - chemical developments." Any specific fact or principle, by means of which this progression through the grades should be produced, was never claimed to be established. Some of the methods devised were simply extravagant, without being ingenious. The following reveals a specific for turning fish into birds, devised by De Maillet, in his work, "Telliamid"—his own name reversed. "It may have happened," says he, "as we know it often does happen, that flying-fishes fell into brambles or pastures, from which it was impossible to return to the sea by the effort which brought them from it, and that in this state they acquired a greater power of flight. Their large fins, no longer bathed in the waters of the sea, divided and opened in drying; the separated fin-rays prolonged themselves, and became covered with barbs; these lengthened, and the membrane gradually covered itself with down of the same color, and this down increased. The subventral fins, which, as well as the larger fins, assisted their promenade in the sea, became feet, and served them for walking upon earth. Some other small changes took place in their shape. The beak and neck of some were lengthened, of others shortened, and so of the other parts of the body." Nature must have been more submissive in those days. Now the truth is, that no such examples or indications of any organs becoming diminished or annihilated, and others produced for the discharge of new functions, in the life of bird, beast, or fish have ever been found, and any and every attempt to devise them has failed, and fallen back upon the old ground of probabilities, tendencies, and analogies. Here the argument, from its very nature, could not be conclusively established, and, for the same reason, could not be conclusively refuted. When means were asked for by which Nature should do what was claimed to be so reasonable and proper, we were referred to "primordial germs," "efforts of internal sentiments," "influence of subtle fluids," "acts of organization," which sound like pass-words in alchemy.
But Darwin has given to the subject a new interest and definite character. He claims to show how species are changed by causes constantly at work before every body's eyes. The three words of his theory are, Selection, Domestication, Reversion. First, he assumes that in the order of nature many more individuals are born than can possibly survive; that in the struggle for life which follows any one stronger than the others, or in any way profitable to itself, survives while others are destroyed; and this principle, which he claims to be universal and constant, he calls Natural Selection. Then from the strong principle of inheritance every selected variety will tend to propagate its new and modified form. This selection, which saves the strong and destroys the weak, improves the stock, and this improvement long continued develops a higher and finally different form. The process is almost inconceivably slow, requiring vast duration for appreciable progress. But Darwin does not, like his predecessors, virtually beg the question by asking for unmeasured time, which, in the nature of human observation and comparison, can not be afforded. He points to domestication, and claims that observation of it will enable us to understand the method of Nature in selection. What man in domestication accomplishes by keeping the finest of the flock, Nature does much more slowly and perfectly, making no false steps, no improper haste. Reversion, in his use, relates to the tendency which animals in a state of domestication show to return to the condition of the wild species from which they may have sprung.
Thus Selection is a means of change; Domestication is an illustration of selection; and Reversion a test of domestication. So much for the statement; let us now consider it. There is no fact in nature more obvious, and which together with its consequences is more interesting, than the starting-point—thisMalthusism—that many more of her wild children are born than can possibly live; and that violence, not disease, does the intended work. Nature at first seems actually wanton and wasteful. No animal dies what may be termed a natural death—and yet, after all, what is more unnatural than death from disease. A single tree in a single year may seed well a thousand acres for forest harvest, and though not one seed may fall without notice or purpose, not one shall grow to fruit or shade. Swarms of flies, acres of grasshoppers, clouds of locusts may leave eggs in numbers which tax notation to express, but the numbers next year be no greater than the product, perhaps, of a single insect. The pools of the pond are black with tadpoles, whose mission fulfilled would bring the plagues of Pharaoh to our very doors; the shallows swarm
with young fishes just striking out; the nests of "Ugudwash the Sunfish," over which the parent is sullenly brooding, hold myriads more; if one in a thousand grow to finger length, how will the pond contain them? When after a few hours of incubation those beads shall burst which you see tangled in that raft of Cluny lace anchored in the cove to the osier grass, what legions of tiny monsters will be let loose! Of the first brood of all the robins' nests which I have kept observing not one, I am confident, is now upon the wing. The next hatching will doubtless do better; but when the season is over, and the migratory birds have reached their southern limit, the old will outnumber the young; and when they all return together another spring there will be few remaining of this year's young. Now what is the purpose, and what may be the results of this destruction? Is it selection? We answer: first and chiefly, food. Nature has other pets as dear to her, though less amiable in our eyes, as the poor, simple, helpless redbreast. Cats, owls, skunks, black-snakes, foxes, the weasel and his cousins, all have appetites and filial claims. As the pools shrink with dryness and the tadpoles huddle and flutter like fishes in the net, they are gobbled up by the night-heron,* who has patiently sat out the long day in the tops of the hemlocks; or speared by that blue crane's† bill which you see thrust out of that nest pitched into the top of the old alder cluster, looking like an Irishman's hat with the stem of his old pipe sticking beyond the rim; or may be shoveled up by the ducks like corn grains. Sometimes the pools suddenly become dry, and then in a few hours a dark jelly, and then a gum over the bottom. The eggs left by the clouds of insects, with the rich gluten which embalms them, will afford unctuous feasts for climbers and burrowers with the sharpest beaks, eyes, toes, and appetites; and the swallows above and the fishes below, with unnumbered monsters which the microscope creates, will spoil the beaded lace. In these instances, taken just at hand, we may see Nature's universal method. Let us now inquire, Is there any principle of selection tending to change species in all this destruction?
It is certain that destruction of life in the various species is almost wholly effected in the earlier stages, the egg (taking the bird because perhaps the most helpless), the fledgeling, and the yet immature and unskillful young. Although any animal, even in its strength and vigor, may sometimes be made a victim, it is certain that when the periods just mentioned are passed the struggle for life is no longer so desperate, and nature grants it at last, if not rest, at least tolerable safety against the enemies of its kind. The chances for escape to the parents compared with the young is twenty to one. When animals are hunted, the young are generally destroyed, while the old escape. General Putnam's wolf was known for several seasons by the track of one foot that had been caught in a trap. Year after year her young, for which she hunted the sheepfolds, had all been shot. When left alone she would go away to the western woods, and return the next season with a new litter of whelps. All helpless animals increase fast; and, in the economy of natural life, they simply raise young for food to rapacious enemies. Now destruction at these periods is altogether indiscriminate, giving no opportunity for selection or system. If the crow, the weasel, the cuckoo, and the score of egg-suckers could break only the weaker eggs, leaving the strong to be hatched—if the black-snake devoured only the weakest nestlings, and his patient vigils at the burrows gained him only the least vigorous of young squirrels, rabbits, and mice—if the hawk seized only imperfect partridges, the heron could spear only the less promising tadpoles—selection claimed by Darwin would be the undoubted result. But food, not selection, is the purpose of this destruction, and sound and imperfect, strong and weak, are all involved together.
Neither is there ground for the theory in the assertion that the young are the offspring of the strongest males; for almost all animals breed in solitary pairs, and each householder is strongest upon his own ground. Only a few of all animals breed in the herd or the flock; not one of the quadrupeds civilization has left us do now or ever did. Even the bison and deer, and the few that herd for safety, naturally pair during the breeding season, and seek safety in retirement rather than numbers. Concubinage in domestication is caught from civilization: it was not so in the beginning. The instances that could possibly apply are very exceptional. The only result of destruction of life any way looking to selection is the fact that the young, the old, and weak being cut off, the breeding is done by those parents only of the most perfect health and vigor. One would very naturally say that this would tend to fix the species rather than change them—to act as an offset to deterioration; unless indeed an animal, the most perfect of its kind, should for that very reason tend to become something else.
But our most practical question is this: Is domestication a natural and permanent condition of animal life? Does it fairly illustrate any method of Nature? Or is it in a very certain and positive sense unnatural—liable, unless kept near a certain line, to disease, on the one hand, or reversion on the other? We are surely receiving some very plain and severe suggestions from disease in cattle and failure in fruit which should beget inquiry and instruction. Nature—by which we mean the Almighty—has given to each species an appointed line of life, keeping on which it best fulfills its character. But it has also added an adaptability, by which in the exigencies of existence the line may become a zone; but this zone, although it may be wider or narrower in differ-
* The qua-bird of Audubon.
† The skeuck the Indians called him. So indeed he calls himself.
ent species, has in each case most definite limits, and species which have the greatest adaptability have been appointed to be useful to man in a state of domestication. Taking this very limited and definite adaptability for a capacity for unlimited change and progression is Darwin's fundamental error, and our cattle-breeders and fruit-growers, assuming or acting upon the same error, are bringing about degeneracy and disease in domestic animals, and rare varieties, which means rarity and failure in fruit. The truth is, domestication has no power whatever to change the character of species. Even the adaptability we have mentioned is made available chiefly by developing one quality inordinately at the expense of the others—often at the expense of endurance. Take, for instance, the varieties of dogs. I have hunted with a pointer whose scent, as to fineness and discrimination, was a wonder to old sportsmen. His instinct seemed intelligence also. All his mould and movements showed his breeding. The light fell off in flakes from his silky sides as they gracefully swayed with a motion which in "curs of low degree" was a dog-trot. He was deaf and blind to any but his master, and scentless for every thing but the special game he hunted. But he was a babe in the wood. The briers cut and tore his tender skin, the end of his tail was whipped raw and bleeding in a day's coursing, and he easily became chilled and stiffened with exposure. He is doubtless the last of his race, his progeny taking back a generation or so nearer nature. The greyhound gets his speed and sight at the expense of his strength and scent; while the fox-hound, who can detect a taint in the west wind, will not see an object until he pokes his nose against it. Every well-defined artificial breed is only an instance of some one quality inordinately developed. In all the varieties there is no one quality that every one does not possess in a greater or less degree. So with cattle and sheep. The Merino has wool, but no mutton; the Southdown mutton, but coarse wool; each quality at the expense of the other.
This production of improved breeds by the cultivation of a single quality, although in a sense unnatural, is, no doubt, safe and beneficial within certain limits. The danger is in assuming that the improvement may be continued indefinitely. In theory it gives such doctrines as Darwin's Selection; in practice it ends in rotten fruits and Rinderpest—for these are only reduced conditions, not special diseases. In the murrain of Northern Italy in Virgil's time, in subsequent plagues which history chronicles, in the present European Rinderpest, in the "cattle fevers" of our Government Reports, there has been nothing like a remedy discovered; and with reason, for there was no special malady. It was something worse—a general reduced condition of the breed brought about by overtaxing the adaptability of nature. Take the abortion in the dairies of Northern and Western New York, which is our present Rinderpest. The dairy cow first produced from two hundred and fifty to three hundred pounds of cheese; now seven hundred is the figure aimed at. These figures alone explain the disease.
The cow is fed, housed, reared, and treated solely with reference to one quality—milk. The calf is killed ("deaconed" is the technical phrase) as soon as its flesh obtains sufficient consistency to cling to the bones until it reaches the New York markets—a practice most unnatural and injurious to the mother. Then she is made to drink the whey from her own milk*—a habit which will compare favorably with those of her city cousins in the New York distilleries. But not merely in special but general treatment. She is kept unnaturally warm, for part of the milk would go to caloric to resist natural cold; her food is cut and ground lest a portion of muscular power be lost in mastication; it is steamed to save digestion; and we may next hear of some economy in the respiratory action, and all to increase the milk. The reasoning is, that greater exposure and expenditure would ask more food and give less milk, therefore avoid the former and you save the latter. There is here just a superficial and misused truth, with an offset quite overlooked. The healthful reaction against natural exposure and expenditure, though it may consume a part of the heat-making agencies, as milk and fat, produces like exercise which also consumes them—a constitutional vigor altogether necessary to the health of the animal and the permanence of the stock. In the case of breeding cows, this exhaustion of vigor naturally appears first in the form we have mentioned, and this is our dairy Rinderpest. Three generations of such treatment and the animal is hardly a cow—the seven hundred pounds is certainly not cheese. A judicious State Commission, made up of our best knowledge, has the care of the disease, and a skillful microscopist is making examinations. Where so little satisfactory knowledge has been acquired, and so much needed, no means should be omitted; but one is reminded of a Greek soothsayer consulting and inspecting the entrails, and we may be sure with equally valuable results. My neighbor carries away the prizes with his Spanish fowls. They are as high-blooded as Hidalgos—indeed, so pure that only one egg in four will hatch; and that, for all the hen fever, must be put out to nurse to a plain barn-yard biddy. How aptly they are called prize-fowls!
Diseases in domestication are, in general, nature overtaxed, and none the less true for some direct form. Potatoes may rot because the season is moist; but a hardy plant, like a healthy man, is not ruined by getting wet. But must we therefore renounce Short-Horns, mealy Mercers, and fancy fruits? We probably shall not, at least since slow by-and-bys, like permanency and vigor, will not be weighed against
* See Government Report.
some obvious immediate excellence; and yet, if these qualities be not kept constantly in view, unless it be borne in mind that the condition has definite limits, that though one quality may be developed at the expense of another, the latter must not be lost—then we shall see degeneracy and decay. This may be the rule and accepted method, just as cholera only will promote cleanliness. And, doubtless, this death of animals and plant is a mercy and safety to man. Since unhealthiness, unless it break out in rot and Rinderpest, will accumulate a hidden poison. One of these two may be considered as a natural condition. We may breed cattle and raise fruits within safe limits, if content with plain flavors and coarser fibre. Or the peach shall not please us unless with ripeness, its sweet-blooded tissues cease clinging to the brown stone, which alone, for all the added art of lusciousness and coloring, yet keeps its homely native integrity; and the grape must weep its own wine like the overfull clusters of Shiraz, the "smell of apples" refine its aroma, though it delighted the monarch who took tribute of odors from Seba, from whose "garden flowed out spices upon the north wind;" the ox forfeit the majesty of his strength for rounded joint and softened outline; until, having drained the native life from each overwrought variety, we renounce it for another, as a Sybarite flings down an exhausted pleasure. Only let us fully understand the terrible methods of gentle Nature when she institutes her lustral rites. Our property in cattle is nearly two thousand millions. A Rinderpest can double our war debt.
As disease limits domestication on the one hand, so reversion on the other. The importance of determining this tendency is admitted by Darwin, who expresses surprise that any shall doubt the permanency of the domesticated state. "Does any one suppose," says he, "that the present heavy breed of English cart-horses can not be indefinitely continued?" It doubtless can; but the question does not touch his theory, that change and improvement in domestication is a type of selection in nature.
For his use the question should be, Can the changes which produced the cart-horse from the ordinary animal be continued indefinitely? They doubtless can not. The Short Horns of the Thorndale herd begin their pedigree within the present century. It is not at all supposable that the treatment which has produced this much-admired stock can be continued for another fifty years with proportionate results in the same line of breeding. All that is possible or desirable is to keep them up to their present point.
Instances of reversion are sufficiently frequent, and often very interesting. Pigs which have lived for a single summer in a small acorn woods become as wild as the game they associate with, and the hogs of the Western States that have the range of forests and prairies are as wild and ferocious as the boars of the Black Forest. I have known a litter of dogs raised in the woods, the mother having made for herself "a kennel beneath the rock," like the canine character in Christabel. The circumstance invested the locality with a certain savageness, for they kept up the wild predatory character. It was supposed that the young dogs would have superior instinct and scent for hunting, and some were captured wild as wolf-whelps. The goose is, perhaps, the best instance at once of thorough domestication and ready reversion. It has been in the human family since housekeeping was first set up. Its profile is poised on Egyptian obelisks; it swam about the junks in the Celestial rivers; Cyrus used to send them around to his friends with his card and compliments; the geese cackled when the heavy Gauls were blundering up the Tarpeian Rock; and finally, specimens in the markets attest their own antiquity.
They will thrive in a pasture like sheep, with water enough for drinking, but not for swimming. While other animals have much the same habits in the tame as in the wild state, the goose almost ceases to fly, in many instances even to swim; yet in a few weeks they will resume habits laid aside for thousands of years, and mingling with wild flocks, accompany them in vast journeys from the tropic to the pole, not in a single flight, not in long stretches—no more does the wild goose, which takes two months after passing our latitude to reach its breeding-place, and unless compelled to span some region in a single flight, like that from Long Island Sound to the Northern Lakes, prefers to work northward slowly with the season, keeping near the thermal line. I know of an instance, well authenticated, where eggs of the tame duck were placed in a wild duck's nest near Alexander's Station, on James's Bay, and the young carefully observed. They did not fly as soon as the others, but, after a little, readily enough, and left with the rest. Domestication is not a permanent condition, and, what with disease on the one hand and Reversion on the other, illustrates no method of Nature. It is an unfixed balance which better knowledge will more duly preserve, and if the Darwinian theory become a means to this end, that famous doctrine will have no uncertain use.
Its facts in Natural History are invaluable; they are presented with a modesty which all must admire; and the theory, though wrong, as it seems to us, in each of its three main points, is yet entertaining, and in its probable effects upon religious faith not dangerous. By infidels it has been welcomed, by Christians feared, as a new and powerful weapon against the Bible, and the services of philosophers, with less faith than Darwin, have been relied upon by the latter to demolish him, as if there were gain in an iconoclast who afterward sets up his own image. Indeed, after the revelations of science and those of the Written Word have been placed so often in seeming antagonism, and yet always reconciled without compromise, simply by better understanding, in the sight of Christian and infidel, which is the more contemptible—the confidence of the one or the cowardice of the other?
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Citation: John van Wyhe, editor. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (http://darwin-online.org.uk/)
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