RECORD: Darwin, C. R. [1858.10.23-11.13]. Draft of Origin of species, Sect. VI, folio 211. CUL-DAR157.2. Edited by John van Wyhe (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed and edited by John van Wyhe. RN4

NOTE: See record in the Darwin Online manuscript catalogue, enter its Identifier here. Reproduced with permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library and William Huxley Darwin. "Lady Barlow has presented five-and-a-half sheets of the 1859 manuscript of The Origin of Species, noting that these were 'rescued from under the stairs at Down by my Aunt, Mrs Litchfield'." Cambridge University Reporter, Part 2, 1959, p. 1807. The pencilled number '2' added to the top left corner of this folio follows the '1' on folio 205 in CUL-DAR157.1 and continues on folios 212 ('3') and 213 ('4'). Compare the pencilled numbers added to the folios in CUL-DAR185.108.

See the introduction to the Origin of species drafts by John van Wyhe

The text of the draft corresponds to Origin, Chapter VI, Difficulties on theory, pp. 192-3. [word at page break in green]


[pencil insertion by Nora Barlow?:] 2


Sect VI. Means of Transition

family the branchiƦ had originally existed as organs merely for preventing the ova from being washed away.

Although we must be extremely cautious in concluding that any organ could not have been slowly formed by transitional grades, yet undoubtedly some grave grave cases of difficulty can be adduced advanced, some of which I shall hereafter in my future work discuss. Perhaps One of the gravest is that of neuter insects which have sometimes a very different structure & e from that of either the male or the fertile female; & yet these neuters never propagate their kind; I will say a few words on this head in the next section chapter. The Electric organs of fishes is a special case of difficulty; & it impossible to conceive by what steps the wondrous organs could have been forme produced; but as Owen & others have remarked the intimate structure of the electric organs closely resembles that of common muscle; & as it has lately been shown by that Rays have an



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Citation: John van Wyhe, ed. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

File last updated 24 November, 2023