Alfred Russel Wallace

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"Alfred Wallace" redirects here. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_0

For the painter, see Alfred Wallis. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_1

Alfred Russel Wallace_table_infobox_0

Alfred Russel WallaceAlfred Russel Wallace_header_cell_0_0_0
BornAlfred Russel Wallace_header_cell_0_1_0 (1823-01-08)8 January 1823

Llanbadoc, Monmouthshire, Great BritainAlfred Russel Wallace_cell_0_1_1

DiedAlfred Russel Wallace_header_cell_0_2_0 7 November 1913(1913-11-07) (aged 90)

Broadstone, Dorset, England, United KingdomAlfred Russel Wallace_cell_0_2_1

NationalityAlfred Russel Wallace_header_cell_0_3_0 BritishAlfred Russel Wallace_cell_0_3_1
Known forAlfred Russel Wallace_header_cell_0_4_0 Alfred Russel Wallace_cell_0_4_1
AwardsAlfred Russel Wallace_header_cell_0_5_0 Alfred Russel Wallace_cell_0_5_1
FieldsAlfred Russel Wallace_header_cell_0_6_0 Exploration, evolutionary biology, zoology, biogeography, and social reformAlfred Russel Wallace_cell_0_6_1
Author abbrev. (botany)Alfred Russel Wallace_header_cell_0_7_0 WallaceAlfred Russel Wallace_cell_0_7_1

Alfred Russel Wallace OM FRS (8 January 1823 – 7 November 1913) was a British naturalist, explorer, geographer, anthropologist, biologist and illustrator. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_2

He is best known for independently conceiving the theory of evolution through natural selection; his paper on the subject was jointly published with some of Charles Darwin's writings in 1858. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_3

This prompted Darwin to publish On the Origin of Species. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_4

Like Darwin, Wallace did extensive fieldwork; first in the Amazon River basin, and then in the Malay Archipelago, where he identified the faunal divide now termed the Wallace Line, which separates the Indonesian archipelago into two distinct parts: a western portion in which the animals are largely of Asian origin, and an eastern portion where the fauna reflect Australasia. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_5

He was considered the 19th century's leading expert on the geographical distribution of animal species and is sometimes called the "father of biogeography". Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_6

Wallace was one of the leading evolutionary thinkers of the 19th century and made many other contributions to the development of evolutionary theory besides being co-discoverer of natural selection. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_7

These included the concepts of warning colouration in animals, and reinforcement (sometimes known as the Wallace effect), a hypothesis on how natural selection could contribute to speciation by encouraging the development of barriers against hybridisation. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_8

Wallace's 1904 book Man's Place in the Universe was the first serious attempt by a biologist to evaluate the likelihood of life on other planets. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_9

He was also one of the first scientists to write a serious exploration of the subject of whether there was life on Mars. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_10

Wallace was strongly attracted to unconventional ideas (such as evolution). Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_11

His advocacy of spiritualism and his belief in a non-material origin for the higher mental faculties of humans strained his relationship with some members of the scientific establishment. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_12

Aside from scientific work, he was a social activist who was critical of what he considered to be an unjust social and economic system (capitalism) in 19th-century Britain. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_13

His interest in natural history resulted in his being one of the first prominent scientists to raise concerns over the environmental impact of human activity. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_14

He was also a prolific author who wrote on both scientific and social issues; his account of his adventures and observations during his explorations in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia, The Malay Archipelago, was both popular and highly regarded. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_15

Since its publication in 1869, it has never been out of print. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_16

Wallace had financial difficulties throughout much of his life. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_17

His Amazon and Far Eastern trips were supported by the sale of specimens he collected and, after he lost most of the considerable money he made from those sales in unsuccessful investments, he had to support himself mostly from the publications he produced. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_18

Unlike some of his contemporaries in the British scientific community, such as Darwin and Charles Lyell, he had no family wealth to fall back on, and he was unsuccessful in finding a long-term salaried position, receiving no regular income until he was awarded a small government pension, through Darwin's efforts, in 1881. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_19

Biography Alfred Russel Wallace_section_0

Early life Alfred Russel Wallace_section_1

Alfred Wallace was born in the Welsh village of Llanbadoc, near Usk, Monmouthshire. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_20

He was the eighth of nine children of Thomas Vere Wallace and Mary Anne Greenell. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_21

Mary Anne was English; Thomas Wallace was probably of Scottish ancestry. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_22

His family, like many Wallaces, claimed a connection to William Wallace, a leader of Scottish forces during the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 13th century. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_23

Thomas Wallace graduated in law but never practised law. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_24

He owned some income-generating property, but bad investments and failed business ventures resulted in a steady deterioration of the family's financial position. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_25

His mother was from a middle-class English family from Hertford, north of London. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_26

When Wallace was five years old, his family moved to Hertford. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_27

There he attended Hertford Grammar School until financial difficulties forced his family to withdraw him in 1836 when he was aged 14. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_28

Wallace then moved to London to board with his older brother John, a 19-year-old apprentice builder. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_29

This was a stopgap measure until William, his oldest brother, was ready to take him on as an apprentice surveyor. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_30

While in London, Alfred attended lectures and read books at the London Mechanics Institute (current Birkbeck, University of London). Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_31

Here he was exposed to the radical political ideas of the Welsh social reformer Robert Owen and of Thomas Paine. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_32

He left London in 1837 to live with William and work as his apprentice for six years. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_33

At the end of 1839, they moved to Kington, Hereford, near the Welsh border, before eventually settling at Neath in Glamorgan in Wales. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_34

Between 1840 and 1843, Wallace did land surveying work in the countryside of the west of England and Wales. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_35

By the end of 1843, William's business had declined due to difficult economic conditions, and Wallace, at the age of 20, left in January. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_36

One result of Wallace's early travels is a modern controversy about his nationality. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_37

Since Wallace was born in Monmouthshire, some sources have considered him to be Welsh. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_38

However, some historians have questioned this because neither of his parents was Welsh, his family only briefly lived in Monmouthshire, the Welsh people Wallace knew in his childhood considered him to be English, and because Wallace himself consistently referred to himself as English rather than Welsh (even when writing about his time in Wales). Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_39

One Wallace scholar has stated that the most reasonable interpretation is therefore that he was an Englishman born in Wales. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_40

After a brief period of unemployment, he was hired as a master at the Collegiate School in Leicester to teach drawing, mapmaking, and surveying. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_41

Wallace spent many hours at the library in Leicester: he read An Essay on the Principle of Population by Thomas Robert Malthus, and one evening he met the entomologist Henry Bates. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_42

Bates was 19 years old, and in 1843 he had published a paper on beetles in the journal Zoologist. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_43

He befriended Wallace and started him collecting insects. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_44

His brother William died in March 1845, and Wallace left his teaching position to assume control of his brother's firm in Neath, but his brother John and he were unable to make the business work. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_45

After a few months, Wallace found work as a civil engineer for a nearby firm that was working on a survey for a proposed railway in the Vale of Neath. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_46

Wallace's work on the survey involved spending a lot of time outdoors in the countryside, allowing him to indulge his new passion for collecting insects. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_47

Wallace persuaded his brother John to join him in starting another architecture and civil engineering firm, which carried out a number of projects, including the design of a building for the Neath Mechanics' Institute, founded in 1843. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_48

William Jevons, the founder of that institute, was impressed by Wallace and persuaded him to give lectures there on science and engineering. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_49

In the autumn of 1846, John and he purchased a cottage near Neath, where they lived with their mother and sister Fanny (his father had died in 1843). Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_50

During this period, he read avidly, exchanging letters with Bates about Robert Chambers' anonymously published evolutionary treatise Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, Charles Darwin's The Voyage of the Beagle, and Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_51

Exploration and study of the natural world Alfred Russel Wallace_section_2

Inspired by the chronicles of earlier and contemporary travelling naturalists, including Alexander von Humboldt, Ida Laura Pfeiffer, Charles Darwin and especially William Henry Edwards, Wallace decided that he too wanted to travel abroad as a naturalist. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_52

In 1848, Wallace and Henry Bates left for Brazil aboard the Mischief. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_53

Their intention was to collect insects and other animal specimens in the Amazon Rainforest for their private collections, selling the duplicates to museums and collectors back in Britain in order to fund the trip. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_54

Wallace also hoped to gather evidence of the transmutation of species. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_55

Wallace and Bates spent most of their first year collecting near Belém, then explored inland separately, occasionally meeting to discuss their findings. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_56

In 1849, they were briefly joined by another young explorer, botanist Richard Spruce, along with Wallace's younger brother Herbert. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_57

Herbert left soon thereafter (dying two years later from yellow fever), but Spruce, like Bates, would spend over ten years collecting in South America. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_58

Wallace continued charting the Rio Negro for four years, collecting specimens and making notes on the peoples and languages he encountered as well as the geography, flora, and fauna. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_59

On 12 July 1852, Wallace embarked for the UK on the brig Helen. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_60

After 25 days at sea, the ship's cargo caught fire and the crew was forced to abandon ship. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_61

All of the specimens Wallace had on the ship, mostly collected during the last, and most interesting, two years of his trip, were lost. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_62

He managed to save a few notes and pencil sketches and little else. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_63

Wallace and the crew spent ten days in an open boat before being picked up by the brig Jordeson, which was sailing from Cuba to London. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_64

The Jordeson's provisions were strained by the unexpected passengers, but after a difficult passage on very short rations the ship finally reached its destination on 1 October 1852. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_65

After his return to the UK, Wallace spent 18 months in London living on the insurance payment for his lost collection and selling a few specimens that had been shipped back to Britain prior to his starting his exploration of the Rio Negro until the Indian town of Jativa on Orinoco River basin and as far west as Micúru (Mitú) on the Vaupés River. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_66

He was deeply impressed by the grandeur of the virgin forest, by the variety and beauty of the butterflies and birds, and by his first encounter with Indians on the Uaupés River area, an experience he never forgot. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_67

During this period, despite having lost almost all of the notes from his South American expedition, he wrote six academic papers (which included "On the Monkeys of the Amazon") and two books; Palm Trees of the Amazon and Their Uses and Travels on the Amazon. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_68

He also made connections with a number of other British naturalists. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_69

From 1854 to 1862, age 31 to 39, Wallace travelled through the Malay Archipelago or East Indies (now Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia), to collect specimens for sale and to study natural history. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_70

A set of 80 bird skeletons he collected in Indonesia and associated documentation can be found in the Cambridge University Museum of Zoology. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_71

Wallace had as many as a hundred assistants who collected on his behalf. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_72

Among these, his most trusted assistant was a Malay by the name of Ali who later called himself Ali Wallace. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_73

While Wallace collected insects, many of the bird specimens were collected by his assistants including around 5000 collected and prepared by Ali. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_74

Wallace's observations of the marked zoological differences across a narrow strait in the archipelago led to his proposing the zoogeographical boundary now known as the Wallace line. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_75

Wallace collected more than 125,000 specimens in the Malay Archipelago (more than 83,000 beetles alone). Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_76

Several thousand of them represented species new to science. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_77

One of his better-known species descriptions during this trip is that of the gliding tree frog Rhacophorus nigropalmatus, known as Wallace's flying frog. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_78

While he was exploring the archipelago, he refined his thoughts about evolution and had his famous insight on natural selection. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_79

In 1858 he sent an article outlining his theory to Darwin; it was published, along with a description of Darwin's own theory, in the same year. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_80

Accounts of his studies and adventures there were eventually published in 1869 as The Malay Archipelago, which became one of the most popular books of scientific exploration of the 19th century, and has never been out of print. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_81

It was praised by scientists such as Darwin (to whom the book was dedicated), and Charles Lyell, and by non-scientists such as the novelist Joseph Conrad, who called it his "favorite bedside companion" and used it as source of information for several of his novels, especially Lord Jim. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_82

Return to England, marriage and children Alfred Russel Wallace_section_3

In 1862, Wallace returned to England, where he moved in with his sister Fanny Sims and her husband Thomas. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_83

While recovering from his travels, Wallace organised his collections and gave numerous lectures about his adventures and discoveries to scientific societies such as the Zoological Society of London. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_84

Later that year, he visited Darwin at Down House, and became friendly with both Charles Lyell and Herbert Spencer. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_85

During the 1860s, Wallace wrote papers and gave lectures defending natural selection. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_86

He also corresponded with Darwin about a variety of topics, including sexual selection, warning colouration, and the possible effect of natural selection on hybridisation and the divergence of species. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_87

In 1865, he began investigating spiritualism. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_88

After a year of courtship, Wallace became engaged in 1864 to a young woman whom, in his autobiography, he would only identify as Miss L. Miss L. was the daughter of Lewis Leslie who played chess with Wallace. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_89

However, to Wallace's great dismay, she broke off the engagement. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_90

In 1866, Wallace married Annie Mitten. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_91

Wallace had been introduced to Mitten through the botanist Richard Spruce, who had befriended Wallace in Brazil and who was also a good friend of Annie Mitten's father, William Mitten, an expert on mosses. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_92

In 1872, Wallace built the Dell, a house of concrete, on land he leased in Grays in Essex, where he lived until 1876. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_93

The Wallaces had three children: Herbert (1867–1874), Violet (1869–1945), and William (1871–1951). Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_94

Financial struggles Alfred Russel Wallace_section_4

In the late 1860s and 1870s, Wallace was very concerned about the financial security of his family. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_95

While he was in the Malay Archipelago, the sale of specimens had brought in a considerable amount of money, which had been carefully invested by the agent who sold the specimens for Wallace. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_96

However, on his return to the UK, Wallace made a series of bad investments in railways and mines that squandered most of the money, and he found himself badly in need of the proceeds from the publication of The Malay Archipelago. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_97

Despite assistance from his friends, he was never able to secure a permanent salaried position such as a curatorship in a museum. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_98

To remain financially solvent, Wallace worked grading government examinations, wrote 25 papers for publication between 1872 and 1876 for various modest sums, and was paid by Lyell and Darwin to help edit some of their own works. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_99

In 1876, Wallace needed a £500 advance from the publisher of The Geographical Distribution of Animals to avoid having to sell some of his personal property. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_100

Darwin was very aware of Wallace's financial difficulties and lobbied long and hard to get Wallace awarded a government pension for his lifetime contributions to science. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_101

When the £200 annual pension was awarded in 1881, it helped to stabilise Wallace's financial position by supplementing the income from his writings. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_102

Social activism Alfred Russel Wallace_section_5

John Stuart Mill was impressed by remarks criticising English society that Wallace had included in The Malay Archipelago. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_103

Mill asked him to join the general committee of his Land Tenure Reform Association, but the association dissolved after Mill's death in 1873. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_104

Wallace had written only a handful of articles on political and social issues between 1873 and 1879 when, at the age of 56, he entered the debates over trade policy and land reform in earnest. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_105

He believed that rural land should be owned by the state and leased to people who would make whatever use of it that would benefit the largest number of people, thus breaking the often-abused power of wealthy landowners in British society. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_106

In 1881, Wallace was elected as the first president of the newly formed Land Nationalisation Society. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_107

In the next year, he published a book, Land Nationalisation; Its Necessity and Its Aims, on the subject. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_108

He criticised the UK's free trade policies for the negative impact they had on working-class people. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_109

In 1889, Wallace read Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy and declared himself a socialist, despite his earlier foray as a speculative investor. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_110

After reading Progress and Poverty, the best selling book by the progressive land reformist Henry George, Wallace described it as "Undoubtedly the most remarkable and important book of the present century." Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_111

Wallace opposed eugenics, an idea supported by other prominent 19th-century evolutionary thinkers, on the grounds that contemporary society was too corrupt and unjust to allow any reasonable determination of who was fit or unfit. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_112

In the 1890 article "Human Selection" he wrote, "Those who succeed in the race for wealth are by no means the best or the most intelligent ..." In 1898, Wallace wrote a paper advocating a pure paper money system, not backed by silver or gold, which impressed the economist Irving Fisher so much that he dedicated his 1920 book Stabilizing the Dollar to Wallace. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_113

Wallace wrote on other social and political topics including his support for women's suffrage, and repeatedly on the dangers and wastefulness of militarism. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_114

In an essay published in 1899 Wallace called for popular opinion to be rallied against warfare by showing people: "...that all modern wars are dynastic; that they are caused by the ambition, the interests, the jealousies, and the insatiable greed of power of their rulers, or of the great mercantile and financial classes which have power and influence over their rulers; and that the results of war are never good for the people, who yet bear all its burthens". Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_115

In a letter published by the Daily Mail in 1909, with aviation in its infancy, he advocated an international treaty to ban the military use of aircraft, arguing against the idea "...that this new horror is "inevitable," and that all we can do is to be sure and be in the front rank of the aerial assassins—for surely no other term can so fitly describe the dropping of, say, ten thousand bombs at midnight into an enemy's capital from an invisible flight of airships." Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_116

In 1898, Wallace published a book entitled The Wonderful Century: Its Successes and Its Failures about developments in the 19th century. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_117

The first part of the book covered the major scientific and technical advances of the century; the second part covered what Wallace considered to be its social failures including: the destruction and waste of wars and arms races, the rise of the urban poor and the dangerous conditions in which they lived and worked, a harsh criminal justice system that failed to reform criminals, abuses in a mental health system based on privately owned sanatoriums, the environmental damage caused by capitalism, and the evils of European colonialism. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_118

Wallace continued his social activism for the rest of his life, publishing the book The Revolt of Democracy just weeks before his death. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_119

Further scientific work Alfred Russel Wallace_section_6

Wallace continued his scientific work in parallel with his social commentary. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_120

In 1880, he published Island Life as a sequel to The Geographic Distribution of Animals. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_121

In November 1886, Wallace began a ten-month trip to the United States to give a series of popular lectures. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_122

Most of the lectures were on Darwinism (evolution through natural selection), but he also gave speeches on biogeography, spiritualism, and socio-economic reform. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_123

During the trip, he was reunited with his brother John who had emigrated to California years before. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_124

He also spent a week in Colorado, with the American botanist Alice Eastwood as his guide, exploring the flora of the Rocky Mountains and gathering evidence that would lead him to a theory on how glaciation might explain certain commonalities between the mountain flora of Europe, Asia and North America, which he published in 1891 in the paper "English and American Flowers". Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_125

He met many other prominent American naturalists and viewed their collections. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_126

His 1889 book Darwinism used information he collected on his American trip and information he had compiled for the lectures. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_127

Death Alfred Russel Wallace_section_7

On 7 November 1913, Wallace died at home in the country house he called Old Orchard, which he had built a decade earlier. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_128

He was 90 years old. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_129

His death was widely reported in the press. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_130

The New York Times called him "the last of the giants belonging to that wonderful group of intellectuals that included, among others, Darwin, Huxley, Spencer, Lyell, and Owen, whose daring investigations revolutionised and evolutionised the thought of the century." Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_131

Another commentator in the same edition said: "No apology need be made for the few literary or scientific follies of the author of that great book on the 'Malay Archipelago'." Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_132

Some of Wallace's friends suggested that he be buried in Westminster Abbey, but his wife followed his wishes and had him buried in the small cemetery at Broadstone, Dorset. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_133

Several prominent British scientists formed a committee to have a medallion of Wallace placed in Westminster Abbey near where Darwin had been buried. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_134

The medallion was unveiled on 1 November 1915. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_135

Theory of evolution Alfred Russel Wallace_section_8

Early evolutionary thinking Alfred Russel Wallace_section_9

Unlike Darwin, Wallace began his career as a travelling naturalist already believing in the transmutation of species. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_136

The concept had been advocated by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Erasmus Darwin, and Robert Grant, among others. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_137

It was widely discussed, but not generally accepted by leading naturalists, and was considered to have radical, even revolutionary connotations. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_138

Prominent anatomists and geologists such as Georges Cuvier, Richard Owen, Adam Sedgwick, and Charles Lyell attacked it vigorously. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_139

It has been suggested that Wallace accepted the idea of the transmutation of species in part because he was always inclined to favour radical ideas in politics, religion and science, and because he was unusually open to marginal, even fringe, ideas in science. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_140

He was also profoundly influenced by Robert Chambers' work, Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, a highly controversial work of popular science published anonymously in 1844 that advocated an evolutionary origin for the solar system, the earth, and living things. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_141

Wallace wrote to Henry Bates in 1845: Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_142

In 1847, he wrote to Bates: Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_143

Wallace deliberately planned some of his fieldwork to test the hypothesis that under an evolutionary scenario closely related species should inhabit neighbouring territories. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_144

During his work in the Amazon basin, he came to realise that geographical barriers—such as the Amazon and its major tributaries—often separated the ranges of closely allied species, and he included these observations in his 1853 paper "On the Monkeys of the Amazon". Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_145

Near the end of the paper he asks the question, "Are very closely allied species ever separated by a wide interval of country?" Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_146

In February 1855, while working in Sarawak on the island of Borneo, Wallace wrote "On the Law which has Regulated the Introduction of New Species", a paper which was published in the Annals and Magazine of Natural History in September 1855. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_147

In this paper, he discussed observations regarding the geographic and geologic distribution of both living and fossil species, what would become known as biogeography. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_148

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". Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_149

Wallace thus answered the question he had posed in his earlier paper on the monkeys of the Amazon river basin. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_150

Although it contained no mention of any possible mechanisms for evolution, this paper foreshadowed the momentous paper he would write three years later. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_151

The paper shook Charles Lyell's belief that species were immutable. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_152

Although his friend Charles Darwin had written to him in 1842 expressing support for transmutation, Lyell had continued to be strongly opposed to the idea. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_153

Around the start of 1856, he told Darwin about Wallace's paper, as did Edward Blyth who thought it "Good! Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_154

Upon the whole! Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_155

... 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." Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_156

Despite this hint, Darwin mistook Wallace's conclusion for the progressive creationism of the time and wrote that it was "nothing very new ... Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_157

Uses my simile of tree [but] it seems all creation with him." Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_158

Lyell was more impressed and opened a notebook on species, in which he grappled with the consequences, particularly for human ancestry. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_159

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. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_160

Although Lyell could not agree, he urged Darwin to publish to establish priority. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_161

Darwin demurred at first, then began writing up a species sketch of his continuing work in May 1856. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_162

Natural selection and Darwin Alfred Russel Wallace_section_10

See also: Publication of Darwin's theory Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_163

By February 1858, Wallace had been convinced by his biogeographical research in the Malay Archipelago that evolution was real. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_164

He later wrote in his autobiography: Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_165

According to his autobiography, it was while he was in bed with a fever that Wallace thought about Malthus's idea of positive checks on human population and had the idea of natural selection. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_166

His autobiography says that he was on the island of Ternate at the time; but historians have said that based on his journal he was on the island of Gilolo. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_167

From 1858 to 1861, he rented a house on Ternate from the Dutchman Maarten Dirk van Renesse van Duivenbode, which he used as a base for expeditions to other islands such as Gilolo. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_168

Wallace describes how he discovered natural selection as follows: Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_169

Wallace had once briefly met Darwin, and was one of the correspondents whose observations Darwin used to support his own theories. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_170

Although Wallace's first letter to Darwin has been lost, Wallace carefully kept the letters he received. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_171

In the first letter, dated 1 May 1857, Darwin commented that Wallace's letter of 10 October which he had recently received, as well as Wallace's paper "On the Law which has regulated the Introduction of New Species" of 1855, showed that they thought alike, with similar conclusions, and said that he was preparing his own work for publication in about two years time. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_172

The second letter, dated 22 December 1857, said how glad he was that Wallace was theorising about distribution, adding that "without speculation there is no good and original observation" but commented that "I believe I go much further than you". Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_173

Wallace believed this and sent Darwin his February 1858 essay, "On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely From the Original Type", asking Darwin to review it and pass it to Charles Lyell if he thought it worthwhile. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_174

Although Wallace had sent several articles for journal publication during his travels through the Malay archipelago, the Ternate essay was in a private letter. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_175

Darwin received the essay on 18 June 1858. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_176

Although the essay did not use Darwin's term "natural selection", it did outline the mechanics of an evolutionary divergence of species from similar ones due to environmental pressures. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_177

In this sense, it was very similar to the theory that Darwin had worked on for 20 years, but had yet to publish. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_178

Darwin sent the manuscript to Charles Lyell with a letter saying "he could not have made a better short abstract! Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_179

Even his terms now stand as heads of my chapters ... he does not say he wishes me to publish, but I shall, of course, at once write and offer to send to any journal." Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_180

Distraught about the illness of his baby son, Darwin put the problem to Charles Lyell and Joseph Hooker, who decided to publish the essay in a joint presentation together with unpublished writings which highlighted Darwin's priority. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_181

Wallace's essay was presented to the Linnean Society of London on 1 July 1858, along with excerpts from an essay which Darwin had disclosed privately to Hooker in 1847 and a letter Darwin had written to Asa Gray in 1857. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_182

Communication with Wallace in the far-off Malay Archipelago involved months of delay, so he was not part of this rapid publication. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_183

Wallace accepted the arrangement after the fact, happy that he had been included at all, and never expressed bitterness in public or in private. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_184

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. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_185

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. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_186

However, the joint reading of their papers on natural selection associated Wallace with the more famous Darwin. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_187

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. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_188

The reaction to the reading was muted, with the president of the Linnean Society remarking in May 1859 that the year had not been marked by any striking discoveries; but, with Darwin's publication of On the Origin of Species later in 1859, its significance became apparent. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_189

When Wallace returned to the UK, he met Darwin. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_190

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. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_191

Over the years, a few people have questioned this version of events. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_192

In the early 1980s, 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. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_193

These claims have been examined in detail by a number of scholars who have not found them convincing. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_194

Shipping schedules show that, contrary to these accusations, Wallace's letter could not have been delivered earlier than the date shown in Darwin's letter to Lyell. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_195

Defence of Darwin and his ideas Alfred Russel Wallace_section_11

After Wallace returned to England in 1862, he became one of the staunchest defenders of Darwin's On the Origin of Species. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_196

In one incident in 1863 that particularly pleased Darwin, Wallace published the short paper "Remarks on the Rev. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_197

S. Haughton's Paper on the Bee's Cell, And on the Origin of Species" 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. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_198

An even longer defence was a 1867 article in the Quarterly Journal of Science called "Creation by Law". Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_199

It reviewed the book The Reign of Law by George Campbell, the 8th Duke of Argyll which aimed to refute natural selection. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_200

After an 1870 meeting of the British Science Association, Wallace wrote to Darwin complaining that there were "no opponents left who know anything of natural history, so that there are none of the good discussions we used to have." Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_201

Differences between Darwin's and Wallace's ideas on natural selection Alfred Russel Wallace_section_12

Historians of science have noted that, while Darwin considered the ideas in Wallace's paper to be essentially the same as his own, there were differences. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_202

Darwin emphasised competition between individuals of the same species to survive and reproduce, whereas Wallace emphasised environmental pressures on varieties and species forcing them to become adapted to their local conditions, leading populations in different locations to diverge. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_203

Some historians, notably Peter J. Bowler, have suggested the possibility that in the paper he mailed to Darwin, Wallace did not discus selection of individual variations but group selection. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_204

However, Malcolm Kottler showed that Wallace was indeed discussing individual variations. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_205

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 (now called 'stabilizing", as opposed to 'directional' selection). Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_206

They point to a largely overlooked passage of Wallace's famous 1858 paper: Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_207

The cybernetician and anthropologist Gregory Bateson observed in the 1970s that, although writing it only as an example, Wallace had "probably said the most powerful thing that'd been said in the 19th Century". Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_208

Bateson revisited the topic in his 1979 book Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity, and other scholars have continued to explore the connection between natural selection and systems theory. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_209

Warning coloration and sexual selection Alfred Russel Wallace_section_13

Further information: The Colours of Animals Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_210

Warning coloration was one of a number of contributions by Wallace in the area of the evolution of animal coloration and in particular protective coloration. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_211

It was also a lifelong disagreement with Darwin about the importance of sexual selection. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_212

In 1867, Darwin wrote to Wallace about a problem in explaining how some caterpillars could have evolved conspicuous colour schemes. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_213

Darwin had come to believe that many conspicuous animal colour schemes were due to sexual selection. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_214

However, this could not apply to caterpillars. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_215

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. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_216

"Now, as the white moth is as conspicuous at dusk as a coloured caterpillar in the daylight", it seemed likely that the conspicuous colours served as a warning to predators and thus could have evolved through natural selection. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_217

Darwin was impressed by the idea. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_218

At a later meeting of the Entomological Society, Wallace asked for any evidence anyone might have on the topic. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_219

In 1869, Weir published data from experiments and observations involving brightly coloured caterpillars that supported Wallace's idea. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_220

Wallace attributed less importance than Darwin to sexual selection. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_221

In his 1878 book Tropical Nature and Other Essays, he wrote extensively about the coloration of animals and plants and proposed alternative explanations for a number of cases Darwin had attributed to sexual selection. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_222

He revisited the topic at length in his 1889 book Darwinism. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_223

In 1890, he 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". Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_224

Wallace effect Alfred Russel Wallace_section_14

In 1889, Wallace wrote the book Darwinism, which explained and defended natural selection. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_225

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. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_226

Thus it might contribute to the development of new species. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_227

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 adapted than either parent form and so natural selection would tend to eliminate the hybrids. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_228

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. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_229

This idea came to be known as the Wallace effect, later referred to as reinforcement. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_230

Wallace had suggested to Darwin that natural selection could play a role in preventing hybridisation in private correspondence as early as 1868, but had not worked it out to this level of detail. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_231

It continues to be a topic of research in evolutionary biology today, with both computer simulation and empirical results supporting its validity. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_232

Application of theory to humans, and role of teleology in evolution Alfred Russel Wallace_section_15

In 1864, Wallace published a paper, "The Origin of Human Races and the Antiquity of Man Deduced from the Theory of 'Natural Selection'", applying the theory to humankind. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_233

Darwin had not yet publicly addressed the subject, although Thomas Huxley had in Evidence as to Man's Place in Nature. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_234

He explained the apparent stability of the human stock by pointing to the vast gap in cranial capacities between humans and the great apes. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_235

Unlike some other Darwinists, including Darwin himself, he did not "regard modern primitives as almost filling the gap between man and ape". Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_236

He saw the evolution of humans in two stages: achieving a bipedal posture freeing the hands to carry out the dictates of the brain, and the "recognition of the human brain as a totally new factor in the history of life. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_237

Wallace was apparently the first evolutionist to recognize clearly that ... with the emergence of that bodily specialization which constitutes the human brain, bodily specialization itself might be said to be outmoded." Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_238

For this paper he won Darwin's praise. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_239

Shortly afterwards, Wallace became a spiritualist. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_240

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. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_241

He eventually said that something in "the unseen universe of Spirit" had interceded at least three times in history. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_242

The first was the creation of life from inorganic matter. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_243

The second was the introduction of consciousness in the higher animals. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_244

And the third was the generation of the higher mental faculties in humankind. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_245

He also believed that the of the universe was the development of the human spirit. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_246

These views greatly disturbed Darwin, who argued that spiritual appeals were not necessary and that sexual selection could easily explain apparently non-adaptive mental phenomena. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_247

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. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_248

Reaction to Wallace's ideas on this topic among leading naturalists at the time varied. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_249

Charles Lyell endorsed Wallace's views on human evolution rather than Darwin's. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_250

Wallace's belief that human consciousness could not be entirely a product of purely material causes was shared by a number of prominent intellectuals in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_251

However, many, including Huxley, Hooker, and Darwin himself, were critical of Wallace. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_252

As the historian of science Michael Shermer has stated, Wallace's views in this area were at odds with two major tenets of the emerging Darwinian philosophy, which were that evolution was not teleological (purpose driven) and that it was not anthropocentric (human-centred). Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_253

Much later in his life Wallace returned to these themes, that evolution suggested that the universe might have a purpose and that certain aspects of living organisms might not be explainable in terms of purely materialistic processes, in a 1909 magazine article entitled The World of Life, which he later expanded into a book of the same name; a work that Shermer said anticipated some ideas about design in nature and directed evolution that would arise from various religious traditions throughout the 20th century. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_254

Assessment of Wallace's role in history of evolutionary theory Alfred Russel Wallace_section_16

Further information: History of evolutionary thought Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_255

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. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_256

In reality, Wallace developed his own distinct evolutionary views which diverged from Darwin's, and was considered by many (especially Darwin) to be a leading thinker on evolution in his day, whose ideas could not be ignored. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_257

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. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_258

Wallace is the most-cited naturalist in Darwin's Descent of Man, occasionally in strong disagreement. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_259

Both Darwin and Wallace agreed on the importance of natural selection, and some of the factors responsible for it: competition between species and geographical isolation. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_260

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. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_261

Scientific discoveries since the 19th century support Darwin's viewpoint, by identifying several additional mechanisms and triggers: Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_262

Alfred Russel Wallace_unordered_list_0

  • Mutations in germ-line DNA (i.e., DNA of the sperm or egg, which manifest in the offspring). 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. Organisms do not want to mutate: mutation just happens. 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.Alfred Russel Wallace_item_0_0
  • Epigenetic mechanisms, where evolution can occur in the absence of change in DNA sequence, through various mechanisms including chemical modifications to the DNA bases.Alfred Russel Wallace_item_0_1
  • Cataclysmic events (meteorite/asteroid impacts, volcanism) that cause mass extinctions of species that, until the event, were perfectly adapted to their environment, such as the dinosaurs. The dramatic reduction of competition among the surviving species makes newly evolved species more likely to survive.Alfred Russel Wallace_item_0_2

Wallace remained an ardent defender of natural selection for the rest of his life. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_263

By the 1880s, evolution was widely accepted in scientific circles, but natural selection less so. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_264

In 1889, Wallace published the book Darwinism as a response to the scientific critics of natural selection. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_265

Of all Wallace's books, it is the most cited by scholarly publications. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_266

Other scientific contributions Alfred Russel Wallace_section_17

Biogeography and ecology Alfred Russel Wallace_section_18

In 1872, at the urging of many of his friends, including Darwin, Philip Sclater, and Alfred Newton, Wallace began research for a general review of the geographic distribution of animals. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_267

Initial progress was slow, in part because classification systems for many types of animals were in flux. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_268

He resumed the work in earnest in 1874 after the publication of a number of new works on classification. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_269

Extending the system developed by Sclater for birds—which divided the earth into six separate geographic regions for describing species distribution—to cover mammals, reptiles and insects as well, Wallace created the basis for the zoogeographic regions still in use today. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_270

He discussed all of the factors then known to influence the current and past geographic distribution of animals within each geographic region. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_271

These factors included the effects of the appearance and disappearance of land bridges (such as the one currently connecting North America and South America) and the effects of periods of increased glaciation. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_272

He provided maps showing factors, such as elevation of mountains, depths of oceans, and the character of regional vegetation, that affected the distribution of animals. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_273

He also summarised all the known families and genera of the higher animals and listed their known geographic distributions. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_274

The text was organised so that it would be easy for a traveller to learn what animals could be found in a particular location. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_275

The resulting two-volume work, The Geographical Distribution of Animals, was published in 1876 and served as the definitive text on zoogeography for the next 80 years. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_276

The book included evidence from the fossil record to discuss the processes of evolution and migration that had led to the geographical distribution of modern species. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_277

For example, he discussed how fossil evidence showed that tapirs had originated in the Northern Hemisphere, migrating between North America and Eurasia and then, much more recently, to South America after which the northern species became extinct, leaving the modern distribution of two isolated groups of tapir species in South America and Southeast Asia. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_278

Wallace was very aware of, and interested in, the mass extinction of megafauna in the late Pleistocene. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_279

In The Geographical Distribution of Animals (1876) he wrote, "We live in a zoologically impoverished world, from which all the hugest, and fiercest, and strangest forms have recently disappeared". Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_280

He added that he believed the most likely cause for the rapid extinctions was glaciation, but by the time he wrote World of Life (1911) he had come to believe those extinctions were "due to man's agency". Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_281

In 1880, Wallace published the book Island Life as a sequel to The Geographical Distribution of Animals. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_282

It surveyed the distribution of both animal and plant species on islands. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_283

Wallace classified islands into oceanic and two types of continental islands. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_284

Oceanic islands, such as the Galapagos and Hawaiian Islands (then called Sandwich Islands) formed in mid-ocean and never part of any large continent. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_285

Such islands were characterised by a complete lack of terrestrial mammals and amphibians, and their inhabitants (except migratory birds and species introduced by humans) were typically the result of accidental colonisation and subsequent evolution. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_286

Continental islands were divided into those that were recently separated from a continent (like Britain) and those much less recently (like Madagascar). Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_287

Wallace discussed how that difference affected flora and fauna. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_288

He discussed how isolation affected evolution and how that could result in the preservation of classes of animals, such as the lemurs of Madagascar that were remnants of once widespread continental faunas. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_289

He extensively discussed how changes of climate, particularly periods of increased glaciation, may have affected the distribution of flora and fauna on some islands, and the first portion of the book discusses possible causes of these great ice ages. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_290

Island Life was considered a very important work at the time of its publication. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_291

It was discussed extensively in scientific circles both in published reviews and in private correspondence. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_292

Environmental issues Alfred Russel Wallace_section_19

Wallace's extensive work in biogeography made him aware of the impact of human activities on the natural world. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_293

In Tropical Nature and Other Essays (1878), he warned about the dangers of deforestation and soil erosion, especially in tropical climates prone to heavy rainfall. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_294

Noting the complex interactions between vegetation and climate, he warned that the extensive clearing of rainforest for coffee cultivation in Ceylon (now called Sri Lanka) and India would adversely impact the climate in those countries and lead to their impoverishment due to soil erosion. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_295

In Island Life, Wallace again mentioned deforestation and invasive species. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_296

On the impact of European colonisation on the island of Saint Helena, he wrote: Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_297

Wallace's comments on environment grew more urgent later in his career. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_298

In The World of Life (1911) he wrote: Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_299

Astrobiology Alfred Russel Wallace_section_20

Wallace's 1904 book Man's Place in the Universe was the first serious attempt by a biologist to evaluate the likelihood of life on other planets. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_300

He concluded that the Earth was the only planet in the solar system that could possibly support life, mainly because it was the only one in which water could exist in the liquid phase. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_301

More controversially he maintained that it was unlikely that other stars in the galaxy could have planets with the necessary properties (the existence of other galaxies not having been proved at the time). Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_302

His treatment of Mars in this book was brief, and in 1907, Wallace returned to the subject with a book Is Mars Habitable? Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_303

to criticise the claims made by Percival Lowell that there were Martian canals built by intelligent beings. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_304

Wallace did months of research, consulted various experts, and produced his own scientific analysis of the Martian climate and atmospheric conditions. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_305

Among other things, Wallace pointed out that spectroscopic analysis had shown no signs of water vapour in the Martian atmosphere, that Lowell's analysis of Mars's climate was seriously flawed and badly overestimated the surface temperature, and that low atmospheric pressure would make liquid water, let alone a planet-girding irrigation system, impossible. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_306

Richard Milner comments: "It was the brilliant and eccentric evolutionist Alfred Russel Wallace ... who effectively debunked Lowell's illusionary network of Martian canals." Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_307

Wallace originally became interested in the topic because his anthropocentric philosophy inclined him to believe that man would likely be unique in the universe. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_308

Other contributions Alfred Russel Wallace_section_21

Poetry Alfred Russel Wallace_section_22

Wallace also wrote poetic verse, an example being 'A Description of Javita' from his book Travels on the Amazon. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_309

The poem begins: Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_310

'Tis where the streams divide, to swell the floods Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_311

Of the two mighty rivers of our globe; Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_312

Where gushing brooklets in their narrow beds' Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_313

There is an Indian village; all around, Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_314

The dark, eternal, boundless forest spreads Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_315

Its varied foliage. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_316

Stately palm-trees rise Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_317

On every side, and numerous trees unknown Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_318

Save by strange names uncouth to English ears. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_319

Here I dwelt awhile the one white man Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_320

Among perhaps two hundred living souls. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_321

They pass a peaceful and contented life' Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_322

I'd be an Indian here, and live content Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_323

To fish, and hunt, and paddle my canoe, Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_324

And see my children grow, like young wild fawns, Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_325

In health of body and in peace of mind, Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_326

Rich without wealth, and happy without gold ! Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_327

The poem was referenced and partially recited in the 1973 BBC television series The Ascent of Man. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_328

Controversies Alfred Russel Wallace_section_23

Spiritualism Alfred Russel Wallace_section_24

In a letter to his brother-in-law in 1861, Wallace wrote: Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_329

Wallace was an enthusiast of phrenology. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_330

Early in his career, he experimented with hypnosis, then known as mesmerism. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_331

He used some of his students in Leicester as subjects, with considerable success. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_332

When he began his experiments with mesmerism, the topic was very controversial and early experimenters, such as John Elliotson, had been harshly criticised by the medical and scientific establishment. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_333

Wallace drew a connection between his experiences with mesmerism and his later investigations into spiritualism. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_334

In 1893, he wrote: Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_335

Wallace began investigating spiritualism in the summer of 1865, possibly at the urging of his older sister Fanny Sims, who had been involved with it for some time. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_336

After reviewing the literature on the topic and attempting to test the phenomena he witnessed at séances, he came to accept that the belief was connected to a natural reality. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_337

For the rest of his life, he remained convinced that at least some séance phenomena were genuine, no matter how many accusations of fraud sceptics made or how much evidence of trickery was produced. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_338

Historians and biographers have disagreed about which factors most influenced his adoption of spiritualism. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_339

It has been suggested by one biographer that the emotional shock he had received a few months earlier, when his first fiancée broke their engagement, contributed to his receptiveness to spiritualism. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_340

Other scholars have preferred to emphasise instead Wallace's desire to find rational and scientific explanations for all phenomena, both material and non-material, of the natural world and of human society. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_341

Spiritualism appealed to many educated Victorians who no longer found traditional religious doctrine, such as that of the Church of England, acceptable yet were unsatisfied with the completely materialistic and mechanical view of the world that was increasingly emerging from 19th-century science. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_342

However, several scholars who have researched Wallace's views in depth have emphasised that, for him, spiritualism was a matter of science and philosophy rather than religious belief. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_343

Among other prominent 19th-century intellectuals involved with spiritualism were the social reformer Robert Owen, who was one of Wallace's early idols, the physicists William Crookes and Lord Rayleigh, the mathematician Augustus De Morgan, and the Scottish publisher Robert Chambers. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_344

During the 1860s the stage magician John Nevil Maskelyne exposed the trickery of the Davenport brothers. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_345

Wallace was unable to accept that he had replicated their feats utilizing natural methods, and stated that Maskelyne possessed supernatural powers. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_346

However, in one of his writings Wallace dismissed Maskelyne, referring to a lecture exposing his tricks. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_347

In 1874, Wallace visited the spirit photographer Frederick Hudson. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_348

A photograph of him with his deceased mother was produced and Wallace declared the photograph genuine, declaring "even if he had by some means obtained possession of all the photographs ever taken of my mother, they would not have been of the slightest use to him in the manufacture of these pictures. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_349

I see no escape from the conclusion that some spiritual being, acquainted with my mother's various aspects during life, produced these recognisable impressions on the plate." Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_350

However, Hudson's photographs had previously been exposed as fraudulent in 1872. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_351

Wallace's very public advocacy of spiritualism and his repeated defence of spiritualist mediums against allegations of fraud in the 1870s damaged his scientific reputation. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_352

In 1875 Wallace published the evidence he believed proved his position in his book On Miracles and Modern Spiritualism which is a compilation of essays he wrote over a period of time. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_353

In his chapter entitled 'Modern Spiritualism: Evidence of Men of Science', Wallace refers to "three men of the highest eminence in their respective departments" who were Professor De Morgan, Professor Hare and Judge Edmonds who all investigated spiritualist phenomena. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_354

However, Wallace himself is only quoting their results and was not present at any of their investigations. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_355

His vehement defence of spiritualism strained his relationships with previously friendly scientists such as Henry Bates, Thomas Huxley, and even Darwin, who felt he was overly credulous. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_356

Evidence of this can be seen in Wallace's letters dated 22 November and 1 December 1866, to Thomas Huxley asking him if he would be interested in getting involved in scientific spiritualist investigations which Huxley, politely but emphatically, declined on the basis that he had neither the time nor the inclination. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_357

Others, such as the physiologist William Benjamin Carpenter and zoologist E. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_358 Ray Lankester became openly and publicly hostile to Wallace over the issue. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_359

Wallace and other scientists who defended spiritualism, notably William Crookes, were subject to much criticism from the press, with The Lancet as the leading English medical journal of the time being particularly harsh. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_360

The controversy affected the public perception of Wallace's work for the rest of his career. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_361

When, in 1879, Darwin first tried to rally support among naturalists to get a civil pension awarded to Wallace, Joseph Hooker responded: Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_362

Hooker eventually relented and agreed to support the pension request. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_363

Flat Earth Wager Alfred Russel Wallace_section_25

See also: Bedford Level experiment Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_364

In 1870, a flat-Earth proponent named John Hampden offered a £500 wager (equivalent to about £48,000 in present-day terms) in a magazine advertisement to anyone who could demonstrate a convex curvature in a body of water such as a river, canal, or lake. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_365

Wallace, intrigued by the challenge and short of money at the time, designed an experiment in which he set up two objects along a six-mile (10 km) stretch of canal. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_366

Both objects were at the same height above the water, and he mounted a telescope on a bridge at the same height above the water as well. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_367

When seen through the telescope, one object appeared higher than the other, showing the curvature of the earth. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_368

The judge for the wager, the editor of Field magazine, declared Wallace the winner, but Hampden refused to accept the result. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_369

He sued Wallace and launched a campaign, which persisted for several years, of writing letters to various publications and to organisations of which Wallace was a member denouncing him as a swindler and a thief. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_370

Wallace won multiple libel suits against Hampden, but the resulting litigation cost Wallace more than the amount of the wager, and the controversy frustrated him for years. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_371

Anti-vaccination campaign Alfred Russel Wallace_section_26

In the early 1880s, Wallace was drawn into the debate over mandatory smallpox vaccination. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_372

Wallace originally saw the issue as a matter of personal liberty; but, after studying some of the statistics provided by anti-vaccination activists, he began to question the efficacy of vaccination. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_373

At the time, the germ theory of disease was very new and far from universally accepted. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_374

Moreover, no one knew enough about the human immune system to understand why vaccination worked. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_375

When Wallace did some research, he discovered instances where supporters of vaccination had used questionable, in a few cases completely phony, statistics to support their arguments. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_376

Always suspicious of authority, Wallace suspected that physicians had a vested interest in promoting vaccination, and became convinced that reductions in the incidence of smallpox that had been attributed to vaccination were, in fact, due to better hygiene and improvements in public sanitation. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_377

Another factor in Wallace's thinking was his belief that, because of the action of natural selection, organisms were in a state of balance with their environment, and that everything in nature, even disease-causing organisms, served a useful purpose in the natural order of things; he feared vaccination might upset that natural balance with unfortunate results. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_378

Wallace and other anti-vaccinationists pointed out that vaccination, which at the time was often done in a sloppy and unsanitary manner, could be dangerous. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_379

In 1890, Wallace gave evidence before a Royal Commission investigating the controversy. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_380

When the commission examined the material he had submitted to support his testimony, they found errors, including some questionable statistics. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_381

The Lancet averred that Wallace and the other anti-vaccination activists were being selective in their choice of statistics, ignoring large quantities of data inconsistent with their position. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_382

The commission found that smallpox vaccination was effective and should remain compulsory, though they did recommend some changes in procedures to improve safety, and that the penalties for people who refused to comply be made less severe. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_383

Years later, in 1898, Wallace wrote a pamphlet, Vaccination a Delusion; Its Penal Enforcement a Crime, attacking the commission's findings. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_384

It, in turn, was attacked by The Lancet, which stated that it contained many of the same errors as his evidence given to the commission. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_385

Legacy and historical perception Alfred Russel Wallace_section_27

As a result of his writing, at the time of his death Wallace had been for many years a well-known figure both as a scientist and as a social activist. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_386

He was often sought out by journalists and others for his views on a variety of topics. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_387

He received honorary doctorates and a number of professional honours, such the Royal Society's Royal Medal and Darwin Medal in 1868 and 1890, respectively, and the Order of Merit in 1908. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_388

Above all, his role as the co-discoverer of natural selection and his work on zoogeography marked him out as an exceptional figure. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_389

He was undoubtedly one of the greatest natural history explorers of the 19th century. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_390

Despite this, his fame faded quickly after his death. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_391

For a long time, he was treated as a relatively obscure figure in the history of science. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_392

A number of reasons have been suggested for this lack of attention, including his modesty, his willingness to champion unpopular causes without regard for his own reputation, and the discomfort of much of the scientific community with some of his unconventional ideas. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_393

Recently, he has become a less obscure figure with the publication of several book-length biographies on him, as well as anthologies of his writings. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_394

In 2007 a literary critic for New Yorker magazine observed that five such biographies and two such anthologies had been published since 2000. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_395

There has also been a web page created that is dedicated to Wallace scholarship. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_396

In a 2010 book, the environmentalist Tim Flannery claimed that Wallace was 'the first modern scientist to comprehend how essential cooperation is to our survival,' and suggested that Wallace's understanding of natural selection and his later work on the atmosphere be seen as a forerunner to modern ecological thinking. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_397

The Natural History Museum, London, co-ordinated commemorative events for the Wallace centenary worldwide in the 'Wallace100' project in 2013. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_398

On 24 January, his portrait was unveiled in the Main Hall of the museum by Bill Bailey, a fervent admirer. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_399

On the BBC Two programme "Bill Bailey's Jungle Hero", first broadcast on 21 April 2013, Bailey revealed how Wallace cracked evolution by revisiting places where Wallace discovered exotic species. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_400

Episode one featured orangutans and flying frogs in Bailey's journey through Borneo. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_401

Episode two featured birds of paradise. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_402

On 7 November 2013, the 100th anniversary of Wallace's death, Sir David Attenborough unveiled a statue of Wallace at the museum. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_403

The statue was donated by the A. R. Wallace Memorial Fund, and was sculpted by Anthony Smith. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_404

It depicts Wallace as a young man, collecting in the jungle. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_405

November 2013 also marked the debut of The Animated Life of A. R. Wallace, a paper-puppet animation film dedicated to Wallace's centennial. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_406

Awards, honours, and memorials Alfred Russel Wallace_section_28

Alfred Russel Wallace_unordered_list_1

  • Served as president of the anthropology section of the British Association in 1866.Alfred Russel Wallace_item_1_3
  • Became president of the Entomological Society of London in 1870.Alfred Russel Wallace_item_1_4
  • Elected head of the biology section of the British Association in 1876.Alfred Russel Wallace_item_1_5
  • Elected to the Royal Society in 1893.Alfred Russel Wallace_item_1_6
  • Asked to chair the International Congress of Spiritualists (meeting in London) in 1898.Alfred Russel Wallace_item_1_7
  • In 1928, a house at Richard Hale School (then called Hertford Grammar School) was named after Wallace. Wallace attended Richard Hale as a student from 1828 to 1836.Alfred Russel Wallace_item_1_8
  • Lecture theatres at Swansea and Cardiff universities are named after Wallace, and a building at the University of South Wales.Alfred Russel Wallace_item_1_9
  • Craters on Mars and the Moon are named after him.Alfred Russel Wallace_item_1_10
  • In 1986 the Royal Entomological Society of London mounted a year-long expedition to the Dumoga-Bone National Park in North Sulawesi named Project Wallace.Alfred Russel Wallace_item_1_11
  • A group of Indonesian islands is known as the Wallacea biogeographical region in Wallace's honour, and Operation Wallacea, named after the region, awards "Alfred Russel Wallace Grants" to undergraduate ecology students.Alfred Russel Wallace_item_1_12
  • Several hundred species of plants and animals (both living and fossil) have been named after Alfred Russel Wallace, such as the gecko Cyrtodactylus wallacei, and the freshwater stingray Potamotrygon wallacei.Alfred Russel Wallace_item_1_13

Writings Alfred Russel Wallace_section_29

Wallace was a prolific author. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_407

In 2002, a historian of science published a quantitative analysis of Wallace's publications. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_408

He found that Wallace had published 22 full-length books and at least 747 shorter pieces, 508 of which were scientific papers (191 of them published in Nature). Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_409

He further broke down the 747 short pieces by their primary subjects as follows. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_410

29% were on biogeography and natural history, 27% were on evolutionary theory, 25% were social commentary, 12% were on Anthropology, and 7% were on spiritualism and phrenology. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_411

An online bibliography of Wallace's writings has more than 750 entries. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_412

The standard author abbreviation Wallace is used to indicate this person as the author when citing a botanical name. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_413

Selected books Alfred Russel Wallace_section_30

Alfred Russel Wallace_unordered_list_2

  • Wallace, Alfred Russel (1853). (Biodiversity Heritage Library). London.Alfred Russel Wallace_item_2_14
  • Wallace, Alfred Russel (1869). . Harper. ISBN 9781776580736.Alfred Russel Wallace_item_2_15
  • Wallace, Alfred Russel (1870). (Google Books) (2nd ed.). Macmillan and Company.Alfred Russel Wallace_item_2_16
  • Wallace, Alfred Russel (1876). (Google Books). Harper and brothers.Alfred Russel Wallace_item_2_17
  • Wallace, Alfred Russel (1878). (Google Books). Macmillan.Alfred Russel Wallace_item_2_18
  • Wallace, Alfred Russel (1881). . Harper and brothers.Alfred Russel Wallace_item_2_19
  • Wallace, Alfred Russel (1889). . Macmillan.Alfred Russel Wallace_item_2_20
  • Wallace, Alfred Russel (1889). (Internet Archive) (1889 ed.). Ward, Lock.Alfred Russel Wallace_item_2_21
  • Wallace, Alfred Russel (1903). (Gutenberg). Chapman & Hall.Alfred Russel Wallace_item_2_22
  • Wallace, Alfred Russel (1905). (Google Books). Chapman & Hall.Alfred Russel Wallace_item_2_23

Selected papers Alfred Russel Wallace_section_31

Alfred Russel Wallace_unordered_list_3

  • 1853: On the Monkeys of the Amazon. Speculates on the effect of rivers and other geographical barriers on the distribution of closely allied species.Alfred Russel Wallace_item_3_24
  • 1855: On the Law Which Has Regulated the Introduction of New Species. Wallace's thoughts on the laws governing the geographic distribution of closely allied species, including the Sarawak Law, and the implications of those laws for the transmutation of species.Alfred Russel Wallace_item_3_25
  • 1857: On the Natural History of the Aru Islands. First methodical biogeographic study.Alfred Russel Wallace_item_3_26
  • 1858: On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely From the Original Type. Paper on natural selection sent by Wallace to Darwin.Alfred Russel Wallace_item_3_27
  • 1859: On the Zoological Geography of the Malay Archipelago. Contains first description of the Wallace Line.Alfred Russel Wallace_item_3_28
  • 1863: Remarks on the Rev. S. Haughton's Paper on the Bee's Cell, And on the Origin of Species. Wallace's defence of the Origin on the topic of evolution of the hexagonal bee cell.Alfred Russel Wallace_item_3_29
  • 1863: On the Physical Geography of the Malay Archipelago. Paper on the geography and possible geographic history of Indonesia with concluding remarks on importance of biogeography and biodiversity that are frequently cited in modern conservation circles.Alfred Russel Wallace_item_3_30
  • 1864: On the phenomena of variation and geographical distribution as illustrated by the Papilionidae of the Malayan region. Monograph on Indonesian butterfly family with discussion of different kinds of variability including individual variation, polymorphic forms, geographical races, variation influenced by local conditions, and closely allied species.Alfred Russel Wallace_item_3_31
  • 1889: Forty-five years of Registration Statistics, proving Vaccination to be both useless and dangerous.Alfred Russel Wallace_item_3_32
  • 1891: English and American Flowers. Contains speculation on how glaciation may have affected distribution of mountain flora in North America and Eurasia.Alfred Russel Wallace_item_3_33

A more comprehensive list of Wallace's publications that are available online, as well as a full bibliography of all of Wallace's writings, has been compiled by the historian Charles H. Smith at The Alfred Russel Wallace Page. Alfred Russel Wallace_sentence_414

Bird specimens collected by Wallace Alfred Russel Wallace_section_32

Alfred Russel Wallace_unordered_list_4

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  • Alfred Russel Wallace_item_4_38

See also Alfred Russel Wallace_section_33

Alfred Russel Wallace_unordered_list_5


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred Russel Wallace.