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Evolution - Originally considered an "Unscientific Religion"

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I was reading up on an interesting individual, and is the earliest father of the modern evolutionist theory. No, it is not Darwin, but Alfred Russel Wallace.




What is interesting is that he first proposed the idea of marco evolution, however he was not an athiest, but a spiritualist. His ideas of evolution caused a stir in the scientific community at the time due to the fact that he was considered a radical and due to his religious leanings and crazy ideas. It would seem the scientists of the time were critical of macro evolution because of the lack of evidence and how nonsensical it sounded, and that fossil evidence was againt such a notion.



Early evolutionary thinking

Unlike Darwin, Wallace began his career as a travelling naturalist already believing in the transmutation of species. The concept had been advocated by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Erasmus Darwin, and Robert Grant, among others. It was widely discussed, but not generally accepted by leading naturalists, and was considered to have radical, even revolutionary connotations.


Prominent anatomists and geologists such as Georges Cuvier, Richard Owen, Adam Sedgwick, and Charles Lyell attacked it vigorously.It has been suggested that Wallace accepted the idea of the transmutation of species in part because he was always inclined to favour radical ideas in politics, religion and science,and because he was unusually open to marginal, even fringe, ideas in science


He was also profoundly influenced by Robert Chambers' work, Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, a highly controversial work of popular science published anonymously in 1844 that advocated an evolutionary origin for the solar system, the earth, and living things.[62] Wallace wrote to Henry Bates in 1845.


His works funny enough though, influenced Darwin, the difference between him and Darwin however is that Alfred saw "design and purpose" in the workings of his evolutionary theory because of the patterns and seemingly obvious "direction" it had from an external source and creator, where as Darwin argued it was all random and not directed by anything, and of course because of this, Dawin was listened to by the scientific community, as opposed to Alfred, even though the theory at it's core, remained the same (showing an obvious anti-religous bias in the community, regardless of evidence for or against something).



Differences between Darwin's and Wallace's ideas on natural selection

Historians of science have noted that, while Darwin considered the ideas in Wallace's paper to be essentially the same as his own, there were differences. Darwin emphasised competition between individuals of the same species to survive and reproduce, whereas Wallace emphasised environmental pressures on varieties and species forcing them to become adapted to their local conditions, leading populations in different locations to diverge.


Both Darwin and Wallace agreed on the importance of natural selection, and some of the factors responsible for it: competition between species and geographical isolation. But Wallace believed that evolution had a purpose ("teleology") in maintaining species' fitness to their environment, whereas Darwin hesitated to attribute any purpose to a random natural process.



Darwin's social and scientific status was far greater than Wallace's, and it was unlikely that, without Darwin, Wallace's views on evolution would have been taken seriously.


All very interesting I thought, and just how fickle the scientific community seems to be when something doesn't fit a narrative.

Edited by EccentricM
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For me.  An interesting thread..  I am a FLS.  So I am at times surrounded by eveolution.  FLS is a highly respected branch of natural history.  However,whatever.  Without these individuals.  Perhaps going backwards.  Todays TV etc has made us aware of the natural world.  So. David Attenborour to some, talks a lot of rubbish.  David has lived a life in the naturalworld.  Yes he has been contacted many times by JW's.  He agrees that some supiour force nust extist, that something just can't come from nothing.  Davids problem is.  He just can't come to grips that such a loving, creative GOD canat the same time be so cruel.


Daewin, Walace.  Wells and the Huxleys.  These were all all greats in their days witin the scientific fields.  Their submissions purposed the theory of evolutioin.  Modern science has sadly missed out.  WHY?  In each case, these members of science have well established their beliefe in a grand creator.  Sadly the term evolution, evolved has become so distracted.

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