Important Differences Between Darwin’s Writings and Alfred Russel Wallace’s

I have been reading about some of the important differences between Darwin’s writings and Wallace’s. Darwin’s was decidedly more materialistic. Additionally, “Although Wallace always claimed to follow Darwin, in fact he increasingly distanced himself from the anti-teleology so prevalent in Darwin’s approach to evolution; by contrast, he developed a comprehensive teleological counter-theory to Darwinian natural selection that may be appropriately be called INTELLIGENT EVOLUTION” (William Demski, 2008, p. ii, from the Foreword to _Alfred Russel Wallace’s Theory of Intelligent Evolution_ by Michael A. Flannery, Erasmus Press.)

Flanner is a Professor and Associate Director for Historical Collections at the Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He holds a master’s degree in history from California State University at Dominguez Hills and a library science degree from the University of Kentucky. His expertise in history helps to make _Alfred Russel Wallace’s Theory of Intelligent Evolution” an excellent read.

Another book worth noting is _The Heretic in Darwin’s Court: The Life of Alfred Russel Wallace_ by Ross A. Slotten, 2004, Columbia University Press.) Slotten’s book includes this passage from Wallace’s “The Limits of Natural Selection as Applied to Man” (in _Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection, 359-360_):

“Superior intelligence has guided the development of man in a definite direction, and for a special purpose just as man guides the development of many animal and vegetable forms….But even if my particular view should not be the true one, the difficulties I have put forward remain, and I think prove, that some more general and more fundamental law underlies that of ‘natural selection.’ …It is more probable, that the true law lies too deep for us to discover it; but there seems to me, to be ample indications that such a law does exist, and is probably connected with the absolute origin of life and organization” (as cited by Slotten, 2004, p. 4).


About dynamicbydesign

B.A.Ed, (English, Speech) University of Nebraska, 1993 M.S. (Psychology), University of Nebraska, 1999
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