jueves, 20 de mayo de 2010

Alfred Russel Wallace

Wallace’s place in the biology textbooks throughout the world is as the “other guy” that figured out Natural Selection at the same time as Darwin. History remembers him as the man whose presence forced Darwin to finally publish his masterpiece On the Origin of Species (1859) after 20 years since he first conceived of the Theory of Natural Selection. The fact that both Wallace and Darwin independently came up with the same mechanism for Evolution also strengthened the argument for Evolution as a whole. The question that begs to be asked and for which I can only speculate is, why do we celebrate only Darwin as the Father of Evolution?

These first two evolutionists did not, however, agree on everything. While Darwin is remembered as a staunch Atheist, Wallace not only believed in God, but also saw places for God to exist within the Theory of Natural Selection. Wallace felt that the “higher moral faculties” that humans possessed could not possibly be explained through the mechanism of Natural Selection and thus Wallace postulated that this was the place for God. “He concluded that some sort of godly force must intervene to create these capacities. Darwin was horrified at this suggestion, writing to Wallace, ‘I hope you have not murdered too completely your own and my child.’”

Looking back on this disagreement, scientists now stand on the side of Darwin and that kindness and other sorts of moral faculties could enable an individual to interact more effectively within its community and thus leave more offspring. This, however is a recent development and could not be the reason for why Darwin and not Wallace. I would, in fact, goes as far to say that I would have expected the opposite to be true and that Wallace would be revered, because he left room for God’s presence within Evolution, which would have been less radical.

Why Darwin is a question to continue to be pondered throughout the quarter and my life, but what is true is that Wallace acted as the catalyze to Darwin’s Reaction, but like every catalyze, was left unchanged in the end.

Full Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/09/magazine/09babies-t.html?pagewanted=6&sq=Alfred%20Russel%20Wallace&st=cse&scp=1

Darwin Rocks. Wallace is kinda cool too.


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