Letter From Thoreau to Darwin

Essay by RoscoeHigh School, 11th gradeF, March 1997

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Dear Charles Darwin,

Hello, I have recently read your theory on natural

selection and the Origin of Species. Although each of us

approach life differently, for example your ambition being on

a different level than mine and your formal learning more

than I feel is needed, I admire how much you have learned

from nature.

I say that if one advances confidently in the direction of

his dreams and endeavors to live the life which he has

imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common

hours. Although you weren't a prominent scientist, you took

on the challenge of learning from nature, that which what

others have not. You didn't go on a scientific expedition or

live like all the other scientists, instead you boarded the

boat, H.M.S. Beagle, and brought with you only the

necessities. You learned more as an individual on that trip

than most scientists do with all their intricate tools.

I, like

you, gave up luxuries at a point in my life in order to live

deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see

if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not , when I

came to die, to discover that I had not lived.

Following the advice of my friend Emerson, I, like you,

went out and experienced nature as a transparent eyeball,

observing as much as I could. I noticed the Pickerel under the

ice in the pond, I never pondered the possibility of the

different kinds of Pickerel to be originated from the same

species. When you were observing nature in the Galapagos

Islands, you saw all the different types of plants and animals

and postulated that some of the different species of each

came from a single ancestor.

Emerson, whom I mentioned previously,