Murdering Their Child: Wallace, Darwin, and Human Origins

Always of interest. Human evolution is what many baulk at, but not me

Fossil History

A.R. Wallace A.R. Wallace

Wallace and Darwin

Alfred Russel Wallace was truly a fascinating man. His story is made up of travels and shipwrecks, but also hardship and friendship. But mostly, Wallace just loved nature. As many of you know, while researching biogeography in the Malay Archipelago, Wallace came up with a very similar theory to Darwin’s natural selection. Wallace sent Darwin a paper of his theory, without knowing that Darwin was working on the same topic (and had been–quietly–for twenty years). The story has been told many times before, but essentially the two naturalists worked together from that point forth (which speaks to Wallace’s character, as Darwin got all the fame, even during their lifetimes). However, Darwin and Wallace disagreed about one key aspect of their theory: human evolution.

Human Origins: The Brain as an Exception

Charles Darwin Charles Darwin

Wallace and Darwin’s disagreement over the evolution of humans peaked in 1869, with a publication in the Quarterly…

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