Exploring the thoughts and comments of this blog..very helpful in understanding Wallace and his time….
by Greg Mayer
The first publication of natural selection as a general mechanism of evolutionary change was a joint paper by Darwin and Wallace read to the Linnean Society in 1858. It was not a coauthored paper, but rather the simultaneous publication under a single heading of separate works by the two authors. So why does everyone know Darwin’s name, but hardly anyone knows Wallace’s?
In a piece published last week, “Why does Charles Darwin eclipse Alfred Russel Wallace?“, the BBC’s Kevin Leonard tries to answer that question.
My first reaction to the question is usually to say “But everyone does know about Wallace!” But I do find that even many biologists—especially if they are not evolutionary biologists—know little or nothing about Wallace. And in the culture at large, Darwin is well-known while Wallace is virtually invisible. (Since, at least in the United States, “Darwin” is a curse…
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