Darwin: A Life in Poems: Ruth Padel: irobot-roomba.info: Books
Posted in books, C.R. Darwin, evolution, literature, poetry | 2 Replies .. Thomas Huxley and Alfred Wallace, examine the complex trading relationships of the. Alfred Russel Wallace and Charles. Darwin has become one of the most famous relationships in the history of science. It could so easily have degenerated into. Ask most folks who came up with the theory of evolution, and they'll tell you it was Charles Darwin. In fact, Alfred Russel Wallace, another.
The words of faith have for too long Covered the world with darkness,— Away! Away with the old! We know there is a constant struggle, An eternal fight on earth, That every beautiful thing will fall to dust, That every golden thing will age: Such is the world.
We want to do without dreams! Why trust in empty froth? The world is rough. What good there is, Has been achieved by mankind, Which, with fearless spirit Has conquered the earth, the beasts. What is the point of God? The thirst for faith and knowledge They shall be in eternal strife; Many an Eppur si muove!
Wirf deine Heuchlermaske ab, Natur! Wirf ab den Tand, mit dem du dich umzogen! Was treibst du nur, nach deinem Flittergold Mit kindisch gierdevollen Blick zu streben? Cast aside your hypocrite mask, Nature! Throw away the frippery with which you surround yourself! You have deceived enough beings With your cunningly appropriated marks of God!
What sort of mother are you? You lead towards the light Your children, only to cast them down again! Does it not please you To see how your own children die? The flower who wets her lips with death, You made tempting to the eyes, You incited beings against beings, To send each other into the night. Because the swift bird wants to eat, Must they be scattered in their droves? Oh quiet, you vain dreamers!
Looking for peace and quiet in nature? Traitor, why do you lure so sweetly, Why make the farewell from life so hard? I do not consider it a hasty generalization, but rather as an ingenious hypothesis strongly supported by some striking facts and analogies, but which remains to be proven by more facts and the additional light which more research may throw upon the problem. It furnishes a subject for every student of nature to attend to; every fact he observes will make either for or against it, and it thus serves both as an incitement to the collection of facts, and an object to which they can be applied when collected.
I should like to take some one family [of beetles] to study thoroughly, principally with a view to the theory of the origin of species. By that means I am strongly of opinion that some definite results might be arrived at.
His conclusion that "Every species has come into existence coincident both in space and time with a closely allied species" has come to be known as the "Sarawak Law". Wallace thus answered the question he had posed in his earlier paper on the monkeys of the Amazon river basin. Although it contained no mention of any possible mechanisms for evolution, this paper foreshadowed the momentous paper he would write three years later.
Although his friend Charles Darwin had written to him in expressing support for transmutation, Lyell had continued to be strongly opposed to the idea.
Around the start ofhe told Darwin about Wallace's paper, as did Edward Blyth who thought it "Good! Wallace has, I think put the matter well; and according to his theory the various domestic races of animals have been fairly developed into species. Uses my simile of tree [but] it seems all creation with him. Darwin had already shown his theory to their mutual friend Joseph Hooker and now, for the first time, he spelt out the full details of natural selection to Lyell.
Darwin Correspondence Project
Although Lyell could not agree, he urged Darwin to publish to establish priority. Darwin demurred at first, then began writing up a species sketch of his continuing work in May Publication of Darwin's theory By FebruaryWallace had been convinced by his biogeographical research in the Malay Archipelago of the reality of evolution.
As he later wrote in his autobiography: The problem then was not only how and why do species change, but how and why do they change into new and well defined species, distinguished from each other in so many ways; why and how they become so exactly adapted to distinct modes of life; and why do all the intermediate grades die out as geology shows they have died out and leave only clearly defined and well marked species, genera, and higher groups of animals?
He used this house as a base camp for expeditions to other islands such as Gilolo. It then occurred to me that these causes or their equivalents are continually acting in the case of animals also; and as animals usually breed much more quickly than does mankind, the destruction every year from these causes must be enormous in order to keep down the numbers of each species, since evidently they do not increase regularly from year to year, as otherwise the world would long ago have been crowded with those that breed most quickly.
Vaguely thinking over the enormous and constant destruction which this implied, it occurred to me to ask the question, why do some die and some live? And the answer was clearly, on the whole the best fitted live In this way every part of an animals organization could be modified exactly as required, and in the very process of this modification the unmodified would die out, and thus the definite characters and the clear isolation of each new species would be explained.
Wallace had once briefly met Darwin, and was one of the correspondents whose observations Darwin used to support his own theories. Although Wallace's first letter to Darwin has been lost, Wallace carefully kept the letters he received. On 18 JuneDarwin received the essay from Wallace.
While Wallace's essay obviously did not employ Darwin's term "natural selection", it did outline the mechanics of an evolutionary divergence of species from similar ones due to environmental pressures. In this sense, it was very similar to the theory that Darwin had worked on for twenty years, but had yet to publish.
Darwin sent the manuscript to Charles Lyell with a letter saying "he could not have made a better short abstract! Even his terms now stand as heads of my chapters Wallace's essay was presented to the Linnean Society of London on 1 Julyalong with excerpts from an essay which Darwin had disclosed privately to Hooker in and a letter Darwin had written to Asa Gray in Fortunately, Wallace accepted the arrangement after the fact, happy that he had been included at all, and never expressed public or private bitterness.
Darwin's social and scientific status was far greater than Wallace's, and it was unlikely that, without Darwin, Wallace's views on evolution would have been taken seriously. Lyell and Hooker's arrangement relegated Wallace to the position of co-discoverer, and he was not the social equal of Darwin or the other prominent British natural scientists.
However, the joint reading of their papers on natural selection associated Wallace with the more famous Darwin. This, combined with Darwin's as well as Hooker's and Lyell's advocacy on his behalf, would give Wallace greater access to the highest levels of the scientific community.
When Wallace returned to the UK, he met Darwin. Although some of Wallace's iconoclastic opinions in the ensuing years would test Darwin's patience, they remained on friendly terms for the rest of Darwin's life. Over the years, a few people have questioned this version of events. In the early s, two books, one written by Arnold Brackman and another by John Langdon Brooks, even suggested not only that there had been a conspiracy to rob Wallace of his proper credit, but that Darwin had actually stolen a key idea from Wallace to finish his own theory.
These claims have been examined in detail by a number of scholars who have not found them to be convincing. In one incident in that particularly pleased Darwin, Wallace published the short paper "Remarks on the Rev. Haughton's Paper on the Bee's Cell, And on the Origin of Species" in order to rebut a paper by a professor of geology at the University of Dublin that had sharply criticised Darwin's comments in the Origin on how hexagonal honey bee cells could have evolved through natural selection.
Bowlerhave suggested the possibility that in the paper he mailed to Darwin, Wallace was not discussing selection of individual variations at all but rather group selection. Others have noted that another difference was that Wallace appeared to have envisioned natural selection as a kind of feedback mechanism keeping species and varieties adapted to their environment.
The action of this principle is exactly like that of the centrifugal governor of the steam engine, which checks and corrects any irregularities almost before they become evident; and in like manner no unbalanced deficiency in the animal kingdom can ever reach any conspicuous magnitude, because it would make itself felt at the very first step, by rendering existence difficult and extinction almost sure soon to follow. A Necessary Unity, and other scholars have continued to explore the connection between natural selection and systems theory.
The Colours of Animals InDarwin wrote to Wallace about a problem he was having understanding how some caterpillars could have evolved conspicuous colour schemes.
- He Helped Discover Evolution, And Then Became Extinct
- Alfred Russel Wallace
Darwin had come to believe that sexual selectionan agency to which Wallace did not attribute the same importance as Darwin did, explained many conspicuous animal colour schemes. However, Darwin realised that this could not apply to caterpillars. Wallace responded that he and Henry Bates had observed that many of the most spectacular butterflies had a peculiar odour and taste, and that he had been told by John Jenner Weir that birds would not eat a certain kind of common white moth because they found it unpalatable.
Darwin was impressed by the idea. At a subsequent meeting of the Entomological Society, Wallace asked for any evidence anyone might have on the topic.
Darwin: A Life in Poems: irobot-roomba.info: Ruth Padel: Books
Warning coloration was one of a number of contributions Wallace made in the area of the evolution of animal coloration in general and the concept of protective coloration in particular.
In his book Tropical Nature and Other Essays, he wrote extensively on the coloration of animals and plants and proposed alternative explanations for a number of cases Darwin had attributed to sexual selection. Inhe wrote a critical review in Nature of his friend Edward Bagnall Poulton 's The Colours of Animals which supported Darwin on sexual selection, attacking especially Poulton's claims on the "aesthetic preferences of the insect world".
In it, he proposed the hypothesis that natural selection could drive the reproductive isolation of two varieties by encouraging the development of barriers against hybridisation.
Thus it might contribute to the development of new species.
German poems presented to Darwin | Darwin Correspondence Project
He suggested the following scenario. When two populations of a species had diverged beyond a certain point, each adapted to particular conditions, hybrid offspring would be less well-adapted than either parent form and, at that point, natural selection will tend to eliminate the hybrids.
Furthermore, under such conditions, natural selection would favour the development of barriers to hybridisation, as individuals that avoided hybrid matings would tend to have more fit offspring, and thus contribute to the reproductive isolation of the two incipient species. This idea came to be known as the Wallace effect later referred to as reinforcement. Darwin had not yet publicly addressed the subject, although Thomas Huxley had in Evidence as to Man's Place in Nature.
He explained the apparent stability of the human stock by pointing to the vast gap in cranial capacities between humans and the great apes. Unlike some other Darwinists, including Darwin himself, he did not "regard modern primitives as almost filling the gap between man and ape". Wallace was apparently the first evolutionist to recognize clearly that Shortly afterwards, Wallace became a spiritualist.
At about the same time, he began to maintain that natural selection cannot account for mathematical, artistic, or musical genius, as well as metaphysical musings, and wit and humour.
He eventually said that something in "the unseen universe of Spirit" had interceded at least three times in history. The first was the creation of life from inorganic matter.
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The second was the introduction of consciousness in the higher animals. And the third was the generation of the higher mental faculties in humankind. While some historians have concluded that Wallace's belief that natural selection was insufficient to explain the development of consciousness and the human mind was directly caused by his adoption of spiritualism, other Wallace scholars have disagreed, and some maintain that Wallace never believed natural selection applied to those areas.
Charles Lyell endorsed Wallace's views on human evolution rather than Darwin's. History of evolutionary thought In many accounts of the development of evolutionary theory, Wallace is mentioned only in passing as simply being the stimulus to the publication of Darwin's own theory.
One historian of science has pointed out that, through both private correspondence and published works, Darwin and Wallace exchanged knowledge and stimulated each other's ideas and theories over an extended period. But Wallace believed that evolution had a purpose "teleology" in maintaining species' fitness to their environment, whereas Darwin hesitated to attribute any purpose to a random natural process.
Scientific discoveries since the 19th century support Darwin's viewpoint, by identifying several additional mechanisms and triggers: Mutations in germ-line DNA i. These occur spontaneously, or are triggered by environmental radiation or mutagenic chemicals.
A recently discovered mechanism, which is likely to be more important than the others combined, is infections with viruses, which integrate their DNA into their hosts. Most of the mutations are harmful or lethal to the offspring, but a very small minority turn out to be advantageous, as novel proteins get produced that serve new functions.
Epigenetic mechanisms, where evolution can occur in the absence of change in DNA sequence, through various mechanisms including chemical modifications to the DNA bases. The dramatic reduction of competition among the surviving species makes newly evolved species more likely to survive. Wallace remained an ardent defender of natural selection for the rest of his life.