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On the centennial of the passing of Alfred Russel Wallace, controversy continues

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Michael Flannery Science historian Michael Flannery, was invited to do a piece on Darwin’s co-theorist Alfred Russel Wallace, who accepted design in nature as a fact, in honour of the centennial of his passing on Nov. 7, 1913, a century ago, here:

When Wallace’s Ternate paper was read jointly with portions of Darwin’s work at the July meeting of the Linnaean Society in 1858, no one noticed any real difference. There were, however, important distinctions between the two concepts of natural selection from the start. For one thing, Wallace never thought much of Darwin analogy of domestic breeding as good examples of evolution in action since the very act of choice and selection demonstrated nothing more than unnatural selection. Most fancy breeds of pigeons, dogs, and livestock would, he argued, either revert to their original type or perish. More importantly, Wallace emphasized Darwin’s own principle of utility, namely, that organs or attributes arise and are maintained only if they afford the species a survival advantage in nature. When strictly applied, Wallace came to understand natural selection as having limited explanatory power on this basis. Maintaining rigorous adherence to Darwin’s own principle of utility but inclined to pursue scientific inquiry outside the bounds of methodological naturalism, Wallace’s break with Darwin was inevitable.

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Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913), 1862

Ad hominems and irrelevancies from Darwin’s modern day followers adorn the combox, as always, prompting a response from David Klinghoffer at Evolution News & Views here:

There’s no evidence that Beccaloni has grasped or wrestled with the argument for ID. Yet he compares it to saying that a beetle moves the sun through the sky. On that basis, he explicitly calls for a whitewash of Wallace’s advocacy: “his later fallacious belief should simply be ignored.” Beccaloni actually insists that concealing the truth, ignoring the break with Darwin over Wallace’s proto-ID view, is the responsible thing to do!

But if you are a tenured follower of Darwin with a lot of time on your hands, it is the responsible thing to do. After all, Wallace never joined the cult.

Wallace had to be discarded, because he was getting in the way of the intellectual fulfillment of the atheists. jstanley01
Wallace was right about the unlikelyness of selection working with glorious mutations producing glorious biology. its just lines of reasoning to go from artificial selection to natural selection and become convinced. All artifical selection shows is how bodies have within them potential to be different. Instead of mutations it should be seen as potential and this potential is very likely triggered by innate mechanisms to bring adaptation. anyways darwin and WAallace both just worked on a hunch and didn't demonstrate their conclusions using the scientific method. Robert Byers

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