Sends Asa Gray letter: "nearly as mad as ever in our English eyes". Bates's paper is admirable. The act of segregation of varieties into species was never so plainly brought forth. Darwin is a little sorry that his present work is leading him to believe rather more in the direct action of physical conditions. Regrets it because it lessens the glory of natural selection and is so confoundedly doubtful. Hooker laid too much stress on importance of crossing with respect to origin of species; but certainly it is important in keeping forms stable. If only Owen could be excluded from Council of Royal Society Falconer would be good to put in. Darwin must come down to London to see what he can do. Falconer's article in Journal of the Geological Society [18 (1862): 348–69] shows him coming round on permanence of species, but he does not like natural selection. Sends Lythrum salicaria diagram.
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