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Letter 7462a

Darwin, C. R. to Mivart, St G. J.

28 Jan [1871]


He has found passage on false belief, Variation 2: 414, and does not think the whole with context is dogmatic. [Encloses copy of the passage.]


Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.

Jan 28th

My dear Sir

Though I may appear bothersome I must thank you cordially for yourletter: it has given me in [every] way sincere pleasure.—f1 I havetold Murray to send you a copy of Dom. Animals, as I thought you wdnot object to keep a copy for my sake.—f2 I have found passage‘false-belief’— The whole with context does not sound to medogmatic.— One of my Boys has copied passage.—f3


Animal and Plants Voll 2. page 414

On the other hand it is certain that the ancon and mauchamp breedsof sheep, and almost certain that the niata cattle, turnspitand pug-dogs, jumper and frizzled fowls, short faced tumblerpigeons, hook-billed ducks &c, and with plants a multitude ofvarieties, suddenly appeared in nearly the same state as we now seethem. The frequency of these cases is likely to lead to the falsebelief that natural species have often originated in the same abruptmanner. But we have no evidence of the appearance or at least of thecontinued procreation under nature of abrupt modifications ofstructure and various general reasons could be assigned against such ab[el]ief: for instance, without separation a single monstrousvariation would almost certainly be soon obliterated by crossing.

Postmark: JA 28 71
DAR 249: 96–7



CD refers to the letter from St G. J. Mivart, 26 January 1871.
CD refers to his publisher, John Murray. Mivart had said that hedid not have a copy of Variation (letter from St G. J. Mivart, 26 January 1871).
See letter to Francis Darwin, [after 21 January 1871], n. 2, letterto St G. J. Mivart, 23 January [1871], andletter from St G. J. Mivart, 26 January 1871.
CD also discussed ancon and Mauchamp sheep in Variation 1: 100.
On niata cattle, see also Variation 1: 89–91.
On turnspit dogs, see also Variation 1: 17.
See also Variation 1: 230.
See also Variation 1: 152–3.
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