|This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:|
Please add a link to <http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/>, which is editing and publishing all of the correspondence of Charles Darwin. Asa Gray was a significant correspondent of Darwin. Eadp 14:17, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Gray and Charles Darwin met at Kew, introduced by Joseph Dalton Hooker.
Wilhelm Suksdorf  Sereno Watson, re Greene and Jones see HalfGig talk 19:44, 18 January 2015 (UTC) Gray + Sereno Watson - Edward L. Greene (botany) - Marcus E. Jones - all - to Gray and or Suksdorf
Gray and Special Creation
This passage under “Relationship with Darwin” troubled me because it seemed inconsistent with Gray’s support of Darwin.
Gray strongly objected to the idea of transmutation of species but not special creation. Perceiving law in the universe, he saw all species "that they not only had a Creator but have a Governor"..
“Special creation” rules out the ability of natural selection to produce new species. I was not able to consult the book referenced in the note, but I did find something written by Gray that supports his rejection of special creation. Arguing against the “anti-evolution” arguments of Dawson’s The Story of the Earth and Man, Gray clearly rules out “special creation” as an appropriate explanatory argument.
This belief [that evolution is “bad and irreligious”], and the natural anxiety with which [Dr. Dawson] contemplates their prevalence, may excuse a certain vehemence and looseness of statement which were better avoided, as . . . where he despairingly suggests that the prevalence of the doctrines he deprecates "seems to indicate that the accumulated facts of our age have gone altogether beyond its capacity for generalization, and, but for the vigor which one sees everywhere, might be taken as an indication that the human mind has fallen into a state of senility.
This is droll reading, when one considers that the "evolutionist" is the only sort of naturalist who has much occasion to employ his "capacity for generalization" upon "the accumulated facts" in their bearing upon the problem of the origin of species; since the "special creationist," who maintains that they were supernaturally originated just as they are, by the very terms of his doctrine places them out of the reach of scientific explanation.— Asa Gray, “The Attitude of Working Naturalists Toward Darwinism [VI-1]” original published in The Nation (October 16, 1873) and reprinted in Darwiniana