RECORD: Darwin, C. R. n.d. Abstract of R. Knox, Great artists and great anatomists, 1852. CUL-DAR71.60-61. Transcribed by Christine Chua, edited by John van Wyhe (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe 11.2020. RN2

NOTE: Darwin recorded reading this work in his 'Books Read' notebook (1838-1858) CUL-DAR120.

Reproduced with permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library and William Huxley Darwin. The volume CUL-DAR71 contains Darwin's abstracts of scientific books.




Great artists & Great anatomists by R. Knox

p 26 speaks in several [places] of De Blainville having run together the species of Rhinoceros & Elephant

[Between lines:] ask Waterton (in work [illeg] on Fossil Bones)

exactly [reason] of Falconer.

"chains of species occurring in time"

p. 207 Species mark an epoch in time not a distinct animal

p. 62. speaks as if he had figured (Leclurus & Memosis 1827) in the discussion & alludes [elsewhere] to his discovery of rudimentary teeth in whale's jaw & says to variety of organizations reposed much on their rudimentary organs.

p. 63 but he says there are varieties in adult man shadowing forth structures not found in embryo, as to extension of the supra-condyloid process a man rudiment in most human arms, but regular structures in all the feline tribe. This is case of species in Echidna & Hedgehog. – Explains it by "a great plan or scheme of Nature exists to which all organic beings are moulded." Rubbish


p. 72 Lamarck's view was that organization was the result of function & not function the necessary result of form.

Spix Joa. Bapt [Johann Baptist] in his Cephalogenesis 1815 has written on subject. I doubt whether worth reading.

Knox seems to consider Geoffroy as the great solver of the problems.

p. 104 admits that a plan or scheme must have existed as to creation of animals

p. 106 Illustrations of the Unity of organization the third eye-lid, a vestige in man, more in horse, & more in elephant & most in birds

[Between lines: (developed in Walrus I remember in Owen, annals of Nat. Hist vol. [illeg] 1855)

- muscles of nostrils in man.

foot of horse always prone yet a rudimentary pronator

p. 107 remarks on the repetition of primitive type in vertebræ, being unimportant (10 in fingers, stamens &c may thus not be due to dividing of cells



p. 109 The causes of specific & generic differences are unknown & remain for a future historian

p. 122 speaks of Vestiges as translation of Burmeister Geschichte der Schopfung


Speaks of Autenrieth as preceding Goethe

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File last updated 25 September, 2022