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Alfred Wallace, Darwin’s suppressed co-theorist was “an iconoclast not only in his scientific opinions but in his cultural and political ones”…

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David Klinghoffer introduces a vid clip on Darwin’s banished co-theorist Alfred Russel Wallace’s iconoclastic views (Evolution News & Views, January 30, 2012):

Wallace was an iconoclast not only in his scientific opinions but in his cultural and political ones as well, as this brief clip of interviews with Wallace scholar and ENV contributor Michael Flannery demonstrates. Unlike Darwin, he passionately resisted the racism and ethnocentrism of his day and denounced the eugenic thinking advanced by Darwin’s cousin Francis Galton. He was a socialist, albeit of a libertarian type. He firmly insisted on women’s equality and even (it sounds like) superiority to men. When you learn about his life, you find that not one platitude about intelligent design in the Darwinist arsenal — ID’s scientific, political, cultural, religious associations, you name it — is left standing.

Actually, Wallace was such an original thinker and iconoclast that he never really attracted the sort of following that would have kept his name alive, apart from routine putdowns by Darwinists.

Needless to say, those who kept his legacy under wraps are hardly very happy that the ID folk are examining and publicizing it now.


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Routine putdowns? Kept his name under wraps? Not something I have noticed. I have been aware of Russel's role since I was about 11. He is, it is true, eclipsed by Darwin in popular association - not least by the ongoing catch-all term of "Darwinist" applied still by critics of evolutionary theory, though deprecated by the theorists themselves. He may have played some small part in his own 'downfall' in the entitling of his own work on Natural Selection: "Darwinism". I for one am glad to see ENV and UD acknowledging the contribution of another great Victorian naturalist and humanist to the intellectual capital of the world. Chas D

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