Darwin and Modern Science: Essays in Commemoration of the Centenary of the Birth of Charles Darwin and of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Publication of the Origin of Species

By A. C. Seward | Go to book overview

I
INTRODUCTORY LETTER

FROM SIR JOSEPH DALTON HOOKER, O.M., G.C.S.I., C.B., M.D., D.C.L., LL.D., F.R.S., ETC.

THE CAMP, near SUNNINGDALE, January 15, 1909.

DEAR PROFESSOR SEWARD,

The publication of a Series of Essays in Commemoration of the century of the birth of Charles Darwin and of the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of "The Origin of Species" is assuredly welcome and is a subject of congratulation to all students of Science.

These Essays on the progress of Science and Philosophy as affected by Darwin's labours have been written by men known for their ability to discuss the problems which he so successfully worked to solve. They cannot but prove to be of enduring value, whether for the information of the general reader or as guides to investigators occupied with problems similar to those which engaged the attention of Darwin.

The essayists have been fortunate in having for reference the five published volumes of Charles Darwin's Life and Correspondence. For there is set forth in his own words the inception in his mind of the problems, geological, zoological and botanical, hypothetical and theoretical, which he set himself to solve and the steps by which he proceeded to investigate them with the view of correlating the phenomena of life with the evolution of living things. In his letters he expressed himself in language so lucid and so little burthened with technical terms that they may be regarded as models for those who were asked to address themselves primarily to the educated reader rather than to the expert.

I may add that by no one can the perusal of the Essays be more vividly appreciated than by the writer of these lines. It was my privilege for forty years to possess the intimate friendship of Charles

-1-

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