Alfred Wallace

Topics: Charles Darwin, Alfred Russel Wallace, Natural selection Pages: 2 (367 words) Published: May 27, 2014
The scientific understanding of life has been shaped with the guidance of intellectual breakthroughs in history. One of these breakthroughs is Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913), a British naturalist born in Monmouthshire, England who gained a reputation of greatness upon exploration of Malay Archipelago. Unlike other great intellects like Charles Darwin, Wallace had dropped his formal schooling at the age of fourteen to start providing for his family as a carpenter. Later in life Wallace acquires a job at the Collegiate school of Leicester teaching, and it is here that he meets Henry Walter Bates, a naturalist who sparks Wallace's interest in nature.

Alfred Russel Wallace is known to have advocate the the theory of intelligent evolution and co-discover natural selection alongside Charles Dawin. This theory suggests that evolution is purely built for utility and only occurs when changes are necessary for survival and purposeful. Wallace writes a letter to Darwin stating his theory, and clearly impacts him to write “Origin of Species”. Wallace becomes a spiritualist in 1860 and began to believe in theology. Wallace’s new beliefs lead him to reject scientific explanations of human intelligence and instead believe that teleology was the cause of evolution.

The theory of intelligent evolution was widely accepted alongside Dawrin’s by the science community up until Wallace’s belief of spirituality developed. Although the theories of Darwin and Wallace are very similar, and were even viewed as the same in Darwin’s eyes, the difference between the two is that Darwin wasn’t afraid to publish his and Wallace was. Public opinion of unorthodox theories of evolution at the time were very harsh and close-minded, but publication of these risky theories gave the public an opportunity to open up to modern thinking.

The intelligent mind of Alfred Wallace had been opened up to naturalism through the readings of numerous influential works. Controversial academic...
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