More Wallace and Darwin

If you haven’t had enough of Wallace and Darwin yet, head on over to the Beagle Project Blog where there is a guest post by George Beccaloni that summarizes Wallace’s involvement in the events that occurred on July 1, 1858. I don’t agree with his hypothesis about why Wallace was forgotten or ignored for a time (it seems that lately there are many more people who ask “But what about Wallace?” if you fail to mention his contributions when discussing natural selection), but it is still a good read.

Also focusing on Wallace, the blog Mystery of Mysteries put up part one of a series on Wallace defending Darwin’s priority in discovering natural selection. Wallace’s deference to Darwin, I think, played a major part in why his own role was so often diminished, although Darwin was certainly given pride of place by Lyell & Hooker during the Linnean Society meeting that occurred 150 years ago yesterday.

John also has a few remarks on the “Darwin Year,” seeking to put Darwin’s work in the greater context of naturalists trying to work out the problem of the origin of species. I have some minor quibbles about it but it still drives home the point that many other researchers came up with ideas that anticipated parts of Darwin’s synthesis. Darwin was not always aware of them (like the earlier development of natural selection by Wells and Matthew) but he did bound together a huge body of information into something more influential than any of the ideas were alone.

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