Afinal de contas, Darwin roubou a ideia de seleção natural de Wallace???

domingo, janeiro 29, 2012

Cross-curricular resources: Darwin Day resources | Published in TES magazine on 27 January, 2012 | By: James Williams

Last Updated:

27 January, 2012


Did Darwin steal the idea of evolution from a young rival?

James Williams explores the truth behind the conspiracy theory
Darwin Day, 12 February

Charles Darwin (1809-82) will forever be linked with the theory of evolution by means of natural selection, which explains how life on Earth has developed and diversified over three billion years from the simplest single-celled organisms to the vast richness of flora and fauna we can see today.

What is less well known is that this elegant theory was also conceived by another, more obscure scientist: Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913). Wallace’s role is often played down or ignored altogether. Yet a hardcore group is convinced that herein lies a scientific conspiracy to cover up the fact that Darwin stole his groundbreaking theory from Wallace.

Evolution was not a new idea when Darwin outlined his theory. His grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, had written about changes in species, and others - including Edward Blyth, a museum curator, and Patrick Matthew, a wealthy Scottish landowner - had recorded variation in plants and animals, a form of natural selection. But there is no evidence that Darwin knew about Blyth’s and Matthew’s work before he developed his own ideas.

The case of Wallace is much more interesting. Born in the village of Llanbadoc, near Usk in Wales, he was not from the same elevated social class as Darwin. His father was a bankrupt failed solicitor and, although Wallace attended grammar school, he never went to university, instead training as a surveyor. But in 1848 he travelled to the Amazon with the intention of discovering the origin of species, inspired partly by reading Darwin’s The Voyage of the Beagle.

A self-taught naturalist, Wallace earned his living by sending specimens back to private collectors and museums in England. His first journey ended in disaster when, on the return voyage, his ship caught fire and sank, taking his vast collection with it. Using the insurance money he arranged a second trip to the Malay Archipelago, and it was here that he conceived his idea of evolution.

Early in 1858, suffering from malaria and confined to his bed, he recalled an essay on populations by Thomas Malthus (coincidentally, the same essay that inspired Darwin), describing how natural disaster and starvation kept populations in check. It hit him in a flash - only the fittest would survive. He wrote down his ideas and sent them to a client who had complimented him on an earlier article he had written about species: Charles Darwin. When Darwin received Wallace’s letter, he was devastated.

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Somente Darwin pode nos dizer se ele roubou ou não a ideia de seleção natural de Wallace! Mas, a quem na infância mentir era coisa tão normal, nada de anormal seria Darwin ter mentido a todos sobre a originalidade da ideia de seleção natural, e de ter se apropriado das ideias de Wallace. Mas o guru de Down era muito liso, mais liso do que quiabo na sua retórica.

O que pesa de forte suspeita contra Darwin, é que a correspondência com Wallace não foi arquivada por ele. Não arquivou? Ele que arquivou mais de 14.000 cartas enviadas e recebidas, não teve o cuidado de arquivar a correspondência com Wallace???

Onde há fumaça, há fogo!!!