But oh! what work there is before we shall understand the genealogy of organic beings!
With respect to the Apteryx, I know not enough of anatomy; but ask Dr. F. whether the clavicle, etc., do not give attachment to some of the muscles of respiration. If my views are at all correct, the wing of the Apteryx (113/3. "Origin of Species," Edition VI., page 140.) cannot be (page 452 of the "Origin") a nascent organ, as these wings are useless. I dare not trust to memory, but I know I found the whole sternum always reduced in size in all the fancy and confined pigeons relatively to the same bones in the wild Rock-pigeon: the keel was generally still further reduced relatively to the reduced length of the sternum; but in some breeds it was in a most anomalous manner more prominent. I have got a lot of facts on the reduction of the organs of flight in the pigeon, which took me weeks to work out, and which Huxley thought curious.
I am utterly ashamed, and groan over my handwriting. It was "Natural Preservation." Natural persecution is what the author ought to suffer. It rejoices me that you do not object to the term. Hooker made the same remark that it ought to have been "Variation and Natural Selection." Yet with domestic productions, when selection is spoken of, variation is always implied. But I entirely agree with your and Hooker's remark.
Have you begun regularly to write your book on the antiquity of man? (113/4. Published in 1863.)
I do NOT agree with your remark that I make Natural Selection do too much work. You will perhaps reply that every man rides his hobby-horse to death; and that I am in the galloping state.
LETTER 114. TO C. LYELL. 15, Marine Parade, Eastbourne, Friday 5th [October, 1860].
I have two notes to thank you for, and I return Wollaston. It has always seemed to me rather strange that Forbes, Wollaston and Co. should argue, from the presence of allied, and not identical species in islands, for the former continuity of land.
They argue, I suppose, from the species being allied in different regions of the same continent, though specifically distinct. But I think one might on the creative doctrine argue with equal force in a directly reverse manner, and say that, as species are so often markedly distinct, yet allied, on islands, all our continents existed as islands first, and their inhabitants were first created on these islands, and since became mingled together, so as not to be so distinct as they now generally are on islands.