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advocated by the Director of the Geological Survey and no less publicly discussed by many other authoritative writers has been intentionally and systematically ignored; he must not ascribe ill motives for a course of action which is the only proper one; and, finally, if any one but myself were interested, I should say that he had better not waste his time in raking up the errors of those whose lives have been occupied not in talking about science, but in toiling, sometimes with success and sometimes with failure, to get some real work done.

The most considerable difference I note among men is not in their readiness to fall into error, but in their readiness to acknowledge these inevitable lapses. The Duke of Argyll has now a splendid opportunity for proving to the world in which of these categories it is hereafter to rank him.


Dear Professor Huxley: A short time before Mr. Darwin's death I had a conversation with him concerning the observations which had been made by Mr. Murray upon coral reefs, and the speculations which had been founded upon those observations. I found that Mr. Darwin had very carefully considered the whole subject, and that while, on the one hand, he did not regard the actual facts recorded by Mr. Murray as absolutely inconsistent with his own theory of subsidence, on the other hand, he did not believe that they necessitated or supported the hypothesis advanced by Mr. Murray. Mr. Darwin's attitude, as I understood it, toward Mr. Murray's objections to the theory of subsidence was exactly similar to that maintained by him with respect to Professor Semper's criticism, which was of a very similar character; and his position with regard to the whole question was almost identical with that subsequently so clearly defined by Professor Dana in his well-known articles published in the "American Journal of Science" for 1885.

It is difficult to imagine how any one, acquainted with the scientific literature of the last seven years, could possibly suggest that Mr. Murray's memoir published in 1880 had failed to secure a due amount of attention. Mr. Murray, by his position in the Challenger office, occupied an exceptionally favorable position for making his views widely known; and he had moreover the singular good fortune to secure from the first the advocacy of so able and brilliant a writer as Professor Archibald Geikie, who in a special discourse and in several treatises on geology and physical geology very strongly supported the new theory. It would be an endless task to attempt to give references to the various scientific journals which have discussed the subject, but I may add that every treatise on geology which has been published since Mr. Murray's views were made known has dealt with his observations at considerable length. This is true of Professor A. H. Green's "Physical Geology" published in 1882; of Professor Prestwich's "Geology, Chemical and Physical"; and of