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Would the Nazis have found Wallace’s version of evolution as useful as Darwin’s?

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Here and here? To ask such a question is to answer it, once you know the background: Of course not.

This week we noted the centenary of the passing of Alfred Russel Wallace, co-discoverer of natural selection, who accepted the evidence for design in nature and was banished from Darwin’s circle in consequence.

From the BBC, we learn:

On 7 November 2013, the Natural History Museum in London is unveiling a statue of the man who co-discovered the theory of evolution by natural selection.

David Attenborough advises us that he considers Wallace the “most admirable character in the history of science.”

Toffs and ‘crats think they can afford to say that now.

As science historian Michael Flannery explains,  a  true picture of Wallace would be an embarrassment just now because

Its is a fact worth more than a little notice that Wallace had considerably more actual field experience than Darwin. While Wallace communed with nature and lived with the indigenous peoples of South America and later the Malay Archipelago studying everything from beetles and butterflies to parrots and orangutans, Darwin was at home cutting his biological teeth on barnacles.  … Receipt of a letter from the other end of the planet at comfortable Down House showed Darwin in bold relief–here was Wallace the man of nature suffering from a malarial fever on a remote island writing to the comfortably domesticated Darwin about a theory that the Down House patriarch coveted as his and his alone, a member of Victorian high society who (except for his five-year voyage on The Beagle) had little first-hand experience with species save for his precious barnacels. All told, Wallace would accumulate twelve years of intimate intercontinental field experience, more than twice Darwin’s.

Also, why Darwin banished Wallace:

It was on the relation of natural selection to man that Wallace and Darwin would part company. In the April 1869 issue of The Quarterly Review Wallace, in a review of Charles Lyell’s Principles of Geology and his Elements of Geology, declared that the human brain simply could not be accounted for by the operations of natural selection. He concluded his essay by stating, “Let us fearlessly admit that the mind of man (itself the living proof of a supreme mind) is able to trace, and to a considerable extent has traced, the laws by means of which the organic no less than the inorganic world has developed. But let us not shut our eyes,” he added, “to the evidence that an Overruling Intelligence has watched over the action of those laws, so directing variations and so determining their accumulation, as finally to produce an organization sufficiently perfect to admit of, and even to aid in, the indefinite advancement of our mental and moral nature” (394).

Those harboring notions of theistic-friendly Darwinian evolution need only to honestly admit the harsh reaction of the Down House patriarch to reassess their position. Darwin was appalled, scratching a triple underscored NO in the margin. Darwin told Lyell he was “dreadfully disappointed” in Wallace. Writing to Wallace, Darwin “groaned” over his position on man and evolution ending with, ”Your miserable friend, C. Darwin.”

Wallace opens his chapter by agreeing that natural selection accounts for much in the natural world, even the human form. The unique properties of the brain, however, are another matter. Wallace proceeds to demonstrate that, Darwin’s elaborate speculations in his Descent of Man (1871) notwithstanding, particular features of the human intellect simply could not have been the product of natural selection. Humanity, in short, is more than the mere refinement of traits found in lower animals. Mathematical skill, musical and artist appreciation and ability, humor, the capacity for metaphysics, none of these could be explained by way of natural selection processes. This forms the context for his main thesis, namely, that humanity and its distinctiveness cannot be explained by Darwin’s strict materialism.

So far, nothing we’ve seen from the immense labours of evolutionary psychology has proven Wallace wrong.

Wallace was also just a more decent man than Darwin’s followers, actually, and that told against him in a Darwinizing world. For example,

One thing I learned from reading Flannery’s biography of Wallace is that he developed his passion for land reform as a result of his experiences as a land surveyor, surveying in areas where traditional common lands had been enclosed and country folk were left without resources. Opinions differ as to whether the move was necessary, but the suffering wasn’t.

… Darwin’s inner circle was very much pro-enclosure:

One can unearth scattered evidence in Spencer, Huxley and Sumner that they would temper the harshness of their doctrines. I suggest dismissing most of the temperance as double-talk. One may interpret the forked tongue of ambiguity by finding the bottom line. What all three did was devote major effort to defending concentrated ownership of land, even in the radically extreme and novel form it took in England after the vast enclosure movements of the early 19th Century.

Also unusually for his time and unlike Darwin, Wallace was not a racist. He had lived long enough among traditional peoples to know better.

Anyway, statues are expensive, but way cheaper than discussions based on fact.

Great thread on Wallace here save one thing. Darwin wasn't a racist or anyone else. Racism is a invention of modern establishments to delegitimize opinions on identities in mankind. it suggests those opinions come from a place of nate or even if not the error is practically evil. No such thing as racism and Darwin clearly said all men were from the same tribe and so intellectually equal at birth. Yes he said women were intellectually inferior by nature but even thats just a opinion. it is wrong says the bible and me. Wallace was just like everyone else who was close to primitive peoples. they are primitive but its just because of education etc and in great motivations there is no difference. The 'isms's is a invention of the left wing to stifle criticisms, right or wrong, about identities. It accuses motives based merely on rejected conclusions. its a evil thing in our time and BY THE WAY its the same mechanism used to accuse creationism(s) or any pro creator of being not scientific whatsoever or somewhat. Its accusation based on prior rejection of accusations. same folks using the same tricks to stifle the truth. Robert Byers
Its is a fact worth more than a little notice that Wallace had considerably more actual field experience than Darwin.
Wallace, indeed, was one of the few people with more field experience that Darwin, but, then again, Wallace may have had more field experience than, well, everyone. There’s a reason he’s sometimes known as the Father of Biogeography. I’m not sure what’s supposed to be embarrassing about that. I’ve always found it interesting that the two co-founders of the theory of natural selection were two of the leading experts on biogeography. Darwin spent five years circumnavigating the globe studying biogeography.  And while living in England, Darwin used his wealth to regularly communicate with naturalists around the world and collected specimens from them (Wallace was one of the naturalists Darwin corresponded with). Plants, insects, and animals came pouring in from around the world, and much of Darwin’s house was turned into a lab.
Darwin was at home cutting his biological teeth on barnacles.
He was hardly “cutting his biological teeth” on barnacles - he’d had a couple decades of experimentation and research by that point. And there’s a very good reason he was so interested in barnacles. Barnacles were long held to be an odd and curious animal because of the way it developed. By studying barnacles he was investigating the relationship between taxonomy, ontogeny, phylogeny, and comparative anatomy. Darwin’s work also helped establish barnacles as arthropods.
Also unusually for his time and unlike Darwin, Wallace was not a racist. He had lived long enough among traditional peoples to know better.
While Wallace was astonishingly egalitarian for his time, he would be considered quite racist by today’s standards. And from what I’ve seen he was no less racist than Darwin, and probably more-so. For instance, in his book “The Action of Natural Selection on Man”, Wallace writes: “The red Indian in North America and in Brazil; the Tasmanian, Australian, and New Zealander in the southern hemisphere, die out, not from any one special cause, but from the inevitable effects of an unequal mental and physical struggle. The intellectual and moral, as well as the physical qualities of the European are superior; the same powers and capacities which have made him rise in a few centuries from the condition of the wandering savage with the scanty and stationary population, to his present state of culture and advancement.” (pg17) While Darwin believed that many aboriginal peoples may go extinct (due to what had been occurring for several centuries, and what Darwin had seen first hand during his travel around the world), he didn’t attribute it to innate lesser intelligence, and also didn’t see it as necessarily “inevitable”, and even saw a possible way to cease the genocides that had been long occurring: “As man advances in civilisation, and small tribes are united into larger communities, the simplest reason would tell each individual that he ought to extend his social instincts and sympathies to all the members of the same nation, though personally unknown to him. This point being once reached, there is only an artificial barrier to prevent his sympathies extending to the men of all nations and races.” Note how Wallace uses the fact that not too long ago Europeans lived like many aboriginal people - but has since advanced - as evidence of their superior intelligence. Darwin saw it a different way. To Darwin, the fact that Europeans lived like aboriginal peoples a short period ago was evidence that modern aboriginal peoples may not be less intelligent as was commonly thought. And that in different conditions, their mental abilities would greatly improve. Darwin often wrote of aborigines as “stunted in growth” but with a “power of improvement” if in improved conditions. While guilty of paternalism, he did see them as potentially as intelligent as Europeans. Of the Fuegians, for instance, he writes of their conditions: “How little can the higher powers of the mind come into play: what is there for imagination to paint, for reason to compare, for judgment to decide upon?” Darwin spends a great deal of time in Descent of Man arguing that the advancement of civilization in Europe was due to cultural, not biological, evolution (although there are a few times he seems to waffle on that idea and suggest that some groups are indeed mentally inferior; he may have been unsure himself if the differences were wholly cultural or partially innate): “The western nations of Europe, who now so immeasurably surpass their former savage progenitors, and stand at the summit of civilization, owe little or none of their superiority to direct inheritance from the old Greeks, though they owe much to the written works of that wonderful people.” In other words, the quick rise of European “superiority” was not due to Europeans being smarter, or to being biological descendents of the Greeks (i.e. biological evolution), but from their culture being passed on (i.e. cultural evolution). As for the claim that “He had lived long enough among traditional peoples to know better,” it was the very people he lived with in the Malay that he argued were among the most inferior human race: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S095.htm goodusername
Of somewhat related note to the Nazi's, I just finished watching this interesting book review, of a well researched book, that dispels many of the false modern myths surrounding Pope Pius XII being in cahoots with the Nazis: Hitler, the War and the Pope http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYkFWl4O4tU bornagain77

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