Thursday, November 7, 2013

Alfred Russel Wallace (8 January 1823 – 7 November 1913)

Alfred Russel Wallace died1 on this day in 1913. That's exactly one hundred years ago.

Jerry Coyne has posted a guest article by Andrew Berry that should be required reading for everyone who admires Wallace but wonders why he didn't get much credit for natural selection [A guest post for Wallace Day].

The IDiots over on Evolution News & Views (sic) have, of course, an entirely different version of the truth [Counter the History Deniers: Get Out the Word on Alfred Russel Wallace; We've Got the Resources You Need]. Here's what David Klinghoffer has to say about historical truth.
Today is the 100th anniversary of the death of Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913), co-discoverer with Charles Darwin of the theory of evolution by natural selection.

If you follow us at all at ENV you'll already know that the scientific and scholarly communities have done a terrible disservice to Wallace's legacy by airbrushing out the fact that he broke with Darwin over what University of Alabama science historian Michael Flannery calls "intelligent evolution." That is, Wallace's steadily more certain and detailed view that an "overruling intelligence" guided the evolutionary process. He anticipated major elements of the modern theory of intelligent design. Oh, the irony! It burns! It burns!

Well, the massive effort by scientists, journalists, bloggers and others to defend Darwinian theory often proceeds by such airbrushing. You can fight back and counter the censors by passing along the historical truth to friends, students, and teachers, online and in person.


It's time everyone agreed to be honest about Wallace -- about the important historical truth that one of the two men to first spell out the modern theory of evolution came to reject that theory as an adequate explanation of life's development, in favor of proto-intelligent design. Toward that end, please join us in refuting the history deniers.
You just can't make this stuff up. Every time you think that the IDiots can't get any worse, along comes one of them to show you that you were being far too optimistic.

1. I refuse to use the stupid phrase "passed away."