The Heretic in Darwin s Court

Author: Ross A. Slotten
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231130110
Format: PDF, Docs
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During their lifetimes, Wallace and Darwin shared credit and fame for the independent and near-simultaneous discovery of natural selection. Their rivalry, usually amicable but occasionally acrimonious, forged modern evolutionary theory. Yet today, few people today know much about Wallace. This book explores the controversial life and scientific contributions of the Victorian traveler, scientist and spiritualist. His twelve years of often harrowing travels in the western and eastern tropics place him in the pantheon of the greatest explorer-naturalists of the nineteenth century. Tracing his discovery of natural selection, the book then follows the remaining fifty years of Wallace's eccentric and entertaining life. In addition to his divergence from Darwin on two fundamental issues--sexual selection and the origin of the human mind--he pursued topics that most scientific figures of his day conspicuously avoided, including spiritualism, phrenology, mesmerism, environmentalism, and life on Mars.--From publisher description.

Alfred Russel Wallace

Author: Michael A. Flannery
Publisher: Discovery Inst
ISBN: 9780979014192
Format: PDF, Mobi
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For years Alfred Russel Wallace was little more than an obscure adjunct to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. Remembered only for prompting Darwin to write On the Origin of Species in 1859 by writing his own letter proposing a theory of natural selection, Wallace was rightly dubbed by one biographer “the forgotten naturalist.” In 1998 Sahotra Sarkar bemoaned Wallace's “lapse into obscurity,” noting that "at least in the 19th century literature, the theory of evolution was usually referred to as 'the Darwin and Wallace theory'. In the 20th century, the theory of evolution has become virtually synonymous with Darwinism or neo-Darwinism.” While the complaint still has a ring of truth, a decade of recent interest in Wallace has done much to bring him back from history's crypt of forgotten figures. This shouldn't suggest unanimity of opinion, however. Some regard him as a heretic, others as merely a misguided scientist-turned-spiritualist, still others as a prescient figure anticipating the modern Gaia hypothesis. Perhaps Martin Fichman's phrase hits closest and most persistently to the truth—“the elusive Victorian.” Can the real Wallace be found? If so, what might we learn in that rediscovery? The provocative thesis of this new biography is that Wallace, in developing his unique brand of evolution, presaged modern intelligent design theory. Wallace's devotion to discovering the truths of nature brought him through a lifetime of research to see genuine design in the natural world. This was Wallace's ultimate heresy, a heresy that exposed the metaphysical underpinnings of the emerging Darwinian paradigm.

Infinite Tropics

Author: Alfred Russel Wallace
Publisher: Verso
ISBN: 9781859844786
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Culled from his books, articles and letters, this collection comprises Wallace s best and most important writing.

In Darwin s Shadow

Author: Michael Shermer
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198033813
Format: PDF, Docs
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Virtually unknown today, Alfred Russel Wallace was the co-discoverer of natural selection with Charles Darwin and an eminent scientist who stood out among his Victorian peers as a man of formidable mind and equally outsized personality. Now Michael Shermer rescues Wallace from the shadow of Darwin in this landmark biography. Here we see Wallace as perhaps the greatest naturalist of his age--spending years in remote jungles, collecting astounding quantities of specimens, writing thoughtfully and with bemused detachment at his reception in places where no white man had ever gone. Here, too, is his supple and forceful intelligence at work, grappling with such arcane problems as the bright coloration of caterpillars, or shaping his 1858 paper on natural selection that prompted Darwin to publish (with Wallace) the first paper outlining the theory of evolution. Shermer also shows that Wallace's self-trained intellect, while powerful, also embraced surprisingly naive ideas, such as his deep interest in the study of spiritual manifestations and seances. Shermer shows that the same iconoclastic outlook that led him to overturn scientific orthodoxy as he worked in relative isolation also led him to embrace irrational beliefs, and thus tarnish his reputation. As author of Why People Believe Weird Things and founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, Shermer is an authority on why people embrace the irrational. Now he turns his keen judgment and incisive analysis to Wallace's life and his contradictory beliefs, restoring a leading figure in the rise of modern science to his rightful place.

Alfred Russel Wallace

Author: Alfred Russel Wallace
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199683999
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Presents the letters of the great Victorian naturalist who, while on his journey in the Malay Archipelago, derived the theory of evolution independent of Darwin.

An Elusive Victorian

Author: Martin Fichman
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226246154
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Codiscoverer of the theory of evolution by natural selection, Alfred Russel Wallace should be recognized as one of the titans of Victorian science. Instead he has long been relegated to a secondary place behind Darwin. Worse, many scholars have overlooked or even mocked his significant contributions to other aspects of Victorian culture. With An Elusive Victorian, Martin Fichman provides the first comprehensive analytical study of Wallace's life and controversial intellectual career. Fichman examines not only Wallace's scientific work as an evolutionary theorist and field naturalist but also his philosophical concerns, his involvement with theism, and his commitment to land nationalization and other sociopolitical reforms such as women's rights. As Fichman shows, Wallace worked throughout his life to integrate these humanistic and scientific interests. His goal: the development of an evolutionary cosmology, a unified vision of humanity's place in nature and society that he hoped would ensure the dignity of all individuals. To reveal the many aspects of this compelling figure, Fichman not only reexamines Wallace's published works, but also probes the contents of his lesser known writings, unpublished correspondence, and copious annotations in books from his personal library. Rather than consider Wallace's science as distinct from his sociopolitical commitments, An Elusive Victorian assumes a mutually beneficial relationship between the two, one which shaped Wallace into one of the most memorable characters of his time. Fully situating Wallace's wide-ranging work in its historical and cultural context, Fichman's innovative and insightful account will interest historians of science, religion, and Victorian culture as well as biologists.

The Wonderful Century

Author: Alfred R. Wallace
Publisher: Cosimo, Inc.
ISBN: 1602064180
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The Wonderful Century, originally published in 1898, is a unique book, offering a retrospective of the grand scope of the 19th century. In it, British biologist and explorer ALFRED RUSSEL WALLACE (1823-1913) discusses what he considers the successes of the last hundred years, including advances made in modes of travel, mechanization, photography, the analysis of light, physics, the study of dust, chemistry, astronomy, glaciers, geology, evolution, and medicine. He also covers those areas of study that have not been advanced as much as he believes they should have been. Among the curious topics in the "Failure" section of the book are phrenology, hypnotism, and the fallacy of vaccination. It will be amusing to modern readers that many of the areas that Wallace thought needed to be elucidated better in the future have since been proven false. History buffs as well as readers wishing to be entertained by the skewed views of the past will find this book a joyous and engaging read.

Island Life

Author: Alfred Russel Wallace
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022604517X
Format: PDF
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Alfred Russel Wallace is best known as the codiscoverer, with Charles Darwin, of natural selection, but he was also history’s foremost tropical naturalist and the father of biogeography, the modern study of the geographical basis of biological diversity. Island Life has long been considered one of his most important works. In it he extends studies on the influence of the glacial epochs on organismal distribution patterns and the characteristics of island biogeography, a topic as vibrant and actively studied today as it was in 1880. The book includes history’s first theory of continental glaciation based on a combination of geographical and astronomical causes, a discussion of island classification, and a survey of worldwide island faunas and floras. The year 2013 will mark the centennial of Wallace’s death and will see a host of symposia and reflections on Wallace’s contributions to evolution and natural history. This reissue of the first edition of Island Life, with a foreword by David Quammen and an extensive commentary by Lawrence R. Heaney, who has spent over three decades studying island biogeography in Southeast Asia, makes this essential and foundational reference available and accessible once again.

On the Organic Law of Change

Author: Alfred Russel Wallace
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674726022
Format: PDF
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Marking the centennial of Alfred Russel Wallace's death, James Costa presents an elegant edition of the "Species Notebook" of 1855-1859, which Wallace kept during his Malay Archipelago expedition. Presented in facsimile with text transcription and annotations, this never-before-published document provides a window into the travels, trials, and genius of the co-discoverer of natural selection. In one section, headed "Note for Organic Law of Change"--a critique of geologist Charles Lyell's anti-evolutionary arguments--Wallace sketches a book he would never write, owing to the unexpected events of 1858. In that year he sent a manuscript announcing his discovery of natural selection to Charles Darwin. Lyell and the botanist Joseph Hooker proposed a joint reading at the Linnean Society of his scientific paper with Darwin's earlier private writings on the subject. Darwin would go on to publish On the Origin of Species in 1859, to much acclaim; pre-empted, Wallace's first book on evolution waited two decades, but by then he had abandoned his original concept. On the Organic Law of Change realizes in spirit Wallace's unfinished project, and asserts his stature as not only a founder of biogeography and the preeminent tropical biologist of his day but as Darwin's equal.