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The Darwin -Wallace myth of 1858

The Darwin -Wallace myth of 1858 A careful reading of the 1858 papers by Charles Darwin and Alfred R. Wallace reveals that Wallace did not present a complete nomological theory of evolution and cannot be considered a co-discover of the theory of evolution by natural selection. Darwin must have misinterpreted Wallace’s manuscript and became paranoid that Wallace came up with the same detailed theory he conceived and worked on for more than two decades. Darwin biased both Hooker and Lyell about Wallace having presented exactly the same theory that he had been developing for the past two decades, and they further biased readers of the published papers. The central point in Wallace’s paper was that modifications observed under domestication are not true evolutionary changes as they reverted back to the original condition if the domesticated form became feral. This forms the origin of the myth that both Darwin and Wallace discovered the theory of evolution by natural selection. Wallace did advocate the cause of selective agents, but not the other essential causes for phyletic evolution. Charles Darwin alone must be credited with the development of this new paradigm of biological evolution which proved to be one of the major changes in human thinking. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Proceedings of the Zoological Society Springer Journals

The Darwin -Wallace myth of 1858

Proceedings of the Zoological Society , Volume 62 (1) – Oct 22, 2009

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 by Zoological Society, Kolkata
Subject
Life Sciences; Conservation Biology/Ecology; Biodiversity; Animal Genetics and Genomics; Animal Anatomy / Morphology / Histology; Zoology ; Life Sciences, general
ISSN
0373-5893
eISSN
0974-6919
DOI
10.1007/s12595-009-0001-9
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

A careful reading of the 1858 papers by Charles Darwin and Alfred R. Wallace reveals that Wallace did not present a complete nomological theory of evolution and cannot be considered a co-discover of the theory of evolution by natural selection. Darwin must have misinterpreted Wallace’s manuscript and became paranoid that Wallace came up with the same detailed theory he conceived and worked on for more than two decades. Darwin biased both Hooker and Lyell about Wallace having presented exactly the same theory that he had been developing for the past two decades, and they further biased readers of the published papers. The central point in Wallace’s paper was that modifications observed under domestication are not true evolutionary changes as they reverted back to the original condition if the domesticated form became feral. This forms the origin of the myth that both Darwin and Wallace discovered the theory of evolution by natural selection. Wallace did advocate the cause of selective agents, but not the other essential causes for phyletic evolution. Charles Darwin alone must be credited with the development of this new paradigm of biological evolution which proved to be one of the major changes in human thinking.

Journal

Proceedings of the Zoological SocietySpringer Journals

Published: Oct 22, 2009

References