Early inquiries -Hereditary Genius-English Men of ScienceFamily records-Nature and Nurture-Experiments on Free Will -Pangenesis and transfusion of blood-Heredity concerned with deviations-Experiments on peas-Regression-Ancestral law
TH E publication in 1859 of the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin made a marked epoch in my own mental development, as it did in that of human thought generally. Its effect was to demolish a multitude of dogmatic barriers by a single stroke, and to arouse a spirit of rebellion against all ancient authorities whose positive and unauthenticated statements were contradicted by modern science.
I doubt, however, whether any instance has occurred in which the perversity of the educated classes in misunderstanding what they attempted to discuss was, more painfully conspicuous. The meaning of the simple phrase "Natural Selection" was distorted in curiously ingenious ways, and Darwinism was attacked, both in the press and pulpit, by persons who were manifestly ignorant of what they talked about. This is a striking instance of the obstructions through which new ideas have to force their way. Plain facts are apprehended in a moment, but the introduction of a new Idea is quite another matter, for it requires an alteration in the attitude and balance of