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Jerry Coyne stomps on Darwin’s co-discoverer Wallace but doesn’t get away with it


Anyway, he didn’t get the support he probably thinks he deserves.

Michael Flannery, (yes, him, the sympathetic Wallace biographer) writes to say,

Recently the fur was flying between Jerry Coyne and Alex Tsakiris at Skeptiko (imagine that!). While I don’t normally follow that site, my name and my work on Wallace came up and I was invited to reply to some errors and dismissive comments made by Dr. Coyne.

[Here’s Flannery’s reply:]

Coyne, dismissive of my book and Wallace’s contributions, insisted that the famed co-discoverer of natural selection never used biogeography as an argument in support of evolution and claimed that Darwin deserves preeminence in this regard, an assertion I find unsupportable by substantial historical evidence.

There appear to be only two possible reasons for Wallace’s conspicuous absence in Coyne’s book:

1. the author is ignorant of Wallace’s contributions in biogeography, or
2. Wallace doesn’t serve the author’s polemical purposes.

Aw look, Flannery, it’s the usual Darwin bullshout: “You can have facts, just give me Darwin.”


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