Darwin-Hooker Letters : Letter from Darwin, C. R. to Hooker, J. D. on 14 Mar [1862]

Darwin, C. R.

Darwin-Hooker Letters

Thinks Hooker is a bit hard on Asa Gray. Bates's letter is that of a true thinker. Asks to see Hooker's to Bates. Point raised in it is most difficult. "There is one clear line of distinction; – when many parts of structure as in woodpecker show distinct adaptation to external bodies, it is preposterous to attribute them to effect of climate etc. – but when a single point, alone, as a hooked seed, it is conceivable that it may thus have arisen." His study of orchids shows nearly all parts of the flower co-adapted for fertilisation by insects and therefore the result of natural selection. Mormodes ignea "is a prodigy of adaptation".


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