12 July 2008

Darwin's defining moment, Wallace's wake-up call.

Neville Hawcock writing in the Financial Times Defining Moments column publishes a brief, thoughtful acount of Darwin breaking cover in 1858. Wallace's Rottweiler and other members of the pack wil be delighted with Mr Hawcock's last paragraph:
The result, fewer than 18 months later, was On the Origin of Species, and a revolution in human thought that reverberates to this day.

That revolution would still have happened without Wallace’s intervention: the creationist view had long been crumbling. But it would have happened later, and perhaps not under Darwin’s banner. If next year is Darwin’s year, it is thanks to Wallace’s wake-up call.

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