The views of de Vries and others as to the importance of " saltatory variation," the soundness of which was still by no means generally accepted in 1910, may be gathered from the articles Mendelismvi and Variation.
A due appreciation of the far-reaching results of " correlated variation " must, it appears, give a new and distinct explanation to the phenomena which are referred to as " large mutations," " discontinuous variation " and " saltatory evolution."
The first exponent of the theory of sudden appearance of new parts and new types, to our knowledge, was Geoffroy St Hilaire, who suggested saltatory evolution through the direct action of the environment on development, as explaining the abrupt transitions in the Mesozoic Crocodilia and the origin of the birds from the reptiles.
The essence of Waagen's law is orthogenesis, or evolution in a definite direction, and, if there does exist an internal hereditary principle controlling such orthogenetic evolution, there does not appear to be any essential contradiction between its gradual operation in the " mutations of Waagen " and its occasional hurried operation in the " mutations of de Vries," which are by their definition discontinuous or saltatory (Osborn, 1907).
This varying rate of evolution has (illogically, we believe) been compared with and advanced in support of the "mutation law of De Vries,"or the theory of saltatory evolution, which we may next consider.