Wednesday, November 04, 2015

A Snail Mail Flame War, Darwin v Mivart

If you have ever participated on a e-mail list, or internet discussion group, you have seen or engaged in "flame war"

I saw today that these are not as new as I had thought. Charles Darwin was provoked to rage by accusations by the Catholic zoologist St George Jackson Mivart. They exchanged hundreds of letters until C.R. Darwin finally demanded that Mivart stop writing.

The full record of 1874 was just published by the Darwin Correspondence Project. Earlier years are already published. The dispute between Darwin and Mivart had been brewing for years, and boiled over in 1874.

The introduction to volume 22 of the Correspondence discussing this and other interesting events is on-line.