Smack-down, Victorian style

19 May 2010
Charles Darwin

Ah, those eloquent Victorian gentlemen and ladies. A selection from Charles Darwin's Origin of Species, Chapter VII, "Miscellaneous Objections to the Theory of Natural Selection": 

A distinguished zoologist, Mr. St. George Mivart, has recently collected all the objections which have ever been advanced by myself and others against the theory of natural selection, as propounded by Mr. Wallace and myself, and has illustrated them with admirable art and force. When thus marshalled, they make a formidable array; and as it forms no part of Mr. Mivart's plan to give the various facts and considerations opposed to his conclusions, no slight effort of reason and memory is left to the reader, who may wish to weigh the evidence on both sides.

Modern translation:

Some Mivart guy thinks he's got all the arguments against my theory – but gee, funny, he forgets to give you the evidence against his claims. So, allow me.

Rather wordy, those 19th-centurians, but I do like their style!

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