Alfred Russel Wallace Web Site (1843–1913)
Alfred Russel Wallace Web Site
SITE SUMMARY: This site features documents by and information about the British naturalist known for thinking of the theories of evolution and natural selection at the same time Darwin thought of them (in ways similar and different), and for writing on several scientific subjects (e.g., natural science). Links go to full texts of Wallace's writings, quotations, interviews, most cited works, a biography including a list of his accomplishments, faqs, chronology, bibliography, misinformation alert, writings on Wallace and his works, Web site news, a list of archives containing Wallace papers, just for fun, a search box to works by or about Wallace, links to sites on subjects of interest to Wallace, and Smith on Wallace (writings by Charles H. Smith, Librarian, Western Kentucky University, and this Web site's creator and manager). Some faqs include: "Did Darwin steal from Wallace?" "Was Wallace forgotten when Darwin published his The Origin of Species?" "What were the subjects on which Wallace and Darwin disagreed?" and "Just how similar were Wallace's and Darwin's ideas on evolution as distinct from natural selection?" (Note frames version at www.wku.edu/∼smithch/index1.htm.)
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS AND ACTIVITIES
- Select from the Alfred Russel Wallace Web Site's Some Interesting Wallace Quotations page, a science related quotation. Identify Wallace's main point and what he used as a reason and an example to support it. Cite the work from which the quotation was taken, and, where necessary (i.e., for an example or reason), quote from this document, which can be found via the Wallace Web Site's Wallace Writings page.
- Choose and read one or more of Wallace's articles from among the following: "On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely from the Original Type," "Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection," "On the Limits of Natural Selection As Applied to Man," "Remarks on the Rev. S. Haughton's Paper on the Bee's Cell, and On the Origin of New Species," "On the Law Which Has Regulated the Introduction of New Species," and "The Advantages of Varied Knowledge." Find title links to these writings on the Wallace Web Site's Writings page, Biography page, or Most Cited Works page. Identify the main points that Wallace advocated in the article(s) that you chose, then what he cited as reasons and examples to support them.
- Although Wallace advocated aspects of the theory of evolution that Darwin advocated, one aspect that Wallace questioned and had a different view of was evolution with reference to humankind's higher attributes. Identify Wallace's views of the development of humankind's higher attributes as related to Darwin's. Comment on whether or not you think Wallace's views are valid. Would you adopt these viewpoints, consider them as parts of an answer, adopt Darwin's or another evolutionist's or another scientist's viewpoints on the subject, or want to suggest something else? Tell your viewpoint(s) and reason(s). (Hint: For help to see how Wallace looked at this subject, read, for example, quotations on his thoughts regarding mind and matter, and the relation between spiritualism and evolution, on the Wallace Web Site's Some Interesting Wallace Quotations page, see his articles from which the quotations are taken [and found via the Wallace Web Site's Wallace Writings page]. See also via the Wallace Web Site's Wallace Interviews page his interview "New Thoughts on Evolution.")
- Find some Wallace writings that the Wallace Web Site suggests are indications of Wallace's viewpoints on evolution that are different from Darwin's on a particular subject, other than the subject referred to in Question/Activity no. 3 above. Choose one of these writings and identify how Wallace's viewpoint differs from Darwin's.
- At times during his life Wallace was known as Darwin's "right-hand man." Find some Wallace writings that the Wallace Web Site suggests support this claim. Identify the points that are said to, or seem to, support it.
- Find writings by Wallace at the Wallace Web Site on one of the following subjects: mimicry, coloration in plants and animals (including four types), color patterns in animals, recognition marks, bird migration, and color vision. Identify his viewpoints on each subject and, where it applies, connections to aspects of evolution.
- Wallace wrote on a variety of science or science-related subjects in addition to those related to evolution. Find and choose his writings on, and identify some things he wrote about regarding, one of these subjects: geographical distribution of animals and plants, geodesy, glaciology, age of the earth, the "flat earth" theory, types of islands, urban land use, and exobiology. Where applicable, reveal or suggest how the subject is related to evolution, or how his approach to the subject was ahead of his time.
- Identify, with relation to Wallace, "Wallace's Line" and the "Anthropic Principle." (Note One: For help, browse the Wallace Web Site, especially the accomplishments cited on this site's Biography page. Note Two: See also the article "Design and the Anthropic Principle" at the Scholarly and Popular Sources Concerning Intelligent Design Web site whose url is cited in the Related Internet Sites section below.)
- What is zoography, and why has Wallace been called "the father of zoography"? (Tip: Follow Note One in Question/Activity no. 8 above.)
- Find one of the Wallace writings that the Wallace Web Site refers to as easy to read, or find one of Wallace's interviews or writings that interests you. Be sure it is a writing other than one of those you found for Questions/Activities no. 1 through no. 9 above. Identify what is easy to read or interesting, and provide the main points on the subject that Wallace wrote about, then comment on why you find the item interesting.
- Keep Question/Activity no. 3 above in mind. Think about and compare Wallace's and other scientists' viewpoints on, or different theories of, evolution, and particular aspects of, or subjects related to, evolution (e.g., the beginning of life on the earth, natural selection, survival of the fittest, instinct, adaptation, variation, diversity within species [later called microevolution]), including views from scientists who lived before, at the same time as, and after, Wallace. Identify Wallace's views, reasons, and examples. Consider the following subjects with reference to Wallace and to scientists' concerns related to them, e.g., slow or sudden change, micro-evolution as opposed to macroevolution (the first referring to changes within species, the second to changes from one species to another), survival through competition (adversarial or friendly) or cooperation. (Hint: For help, follow Note One in Question/Activity no. 8 above, search the Wallace Web Site using the key words or phrases, go to the Wallace Web Site's Smith on Wallace page and find the Wallace Web Site creator's article "Alfred Russel Wallace on Spiritualism, Man, and Evolution: An Analytical Essay," then go to the Web sites whose urls are cited in the Related Internet Sites section below.)
- Think about everyday life in a past time, life during a historical event, life in living history museums or outdoor places, or real situations that have required survival strategies. Next, think of a survival situation that might have happened during one of those times or in one of those places. Suggest how survival through the "survival of the fittest" or "natural selection" viewpoints could be applied, but with relation to cooperation rather than to adversarial competition. Suggest how a science (maybe an invention) of the time, or an available science (or invention), could be helpful. (Hint: For help, see the Web sites Living History Museums and Outdoor Areas, History of Science—Topics—Links to Sites, Scientists and Science at the HyperText History Timeline, History of Inventions—A Timeline, Lemelson—MIT Program Celebrating Invention and Innovation, other sites on inventions or science history. Find urls in this book's chapter on "An Inventor Never Grows Up," or parts B and I of the Appendix.)
RELATED INTERNET SITE(S)
A History of Evolutionary Thought
Names links under the categories Founders of Natural Science, Great Naturalists of the Eighteenth Century, Preludes to Evolution, Natural Selection, and The Modern Synthesis go to Web sites with information on scientists and their contributions to evolution.
Main icon links go to areas on change, survival, extinction, humans, Darwin, religion, and more. See also links that go to faqs and a glossary with words and names of people involved with evolution. The site provides information on aspects of the theory of evolution that are generally accepted yet often questioned and re-examined.
History and Scientific Foundations of Evolution
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/e.htm (scroll to subject's title link)
Features detailed and objective information on evolution theories. Evolutionists' various views on God with relation to their theories are provided. Introductory information reveals two main scientific theories of evolution. Note also "Evolution, Catholics and" on the letter "e" subject titles links page.
"Macro Versus Micro Evolution"
An article by David Skjaerlund, a Michigan Department of Agriculture soil scientist.
Scholarly and Popular Sources Concerning Intelligent Design
See links to articles by or on well known and lesser known scientists and science writers. Note an article on Stephen Hawking, and other articles, e.g., "Design and the Anthropic Principle," "Darwin's Fine Feathered Friends: A Matter of Interpretation," "Small Scale Evidence of Grand Scale Design." See also links to other areas of the www.origins.com Web site (e.g., Debates, Darwinism and Evolution, Special Interest, Related Links).
Intelligent Design: Scientists' Observations
Quotations (with print sources noted) on the intelligent design theory as applied to life's beginning on earth, and evolution, by well known and lesser known past and present scientists (e.g., Werner Von Braun, Robert Jastrow, Fred Hoyle, Charles Darwin, etc.).
"The Watch and the Watchmaker" in Excerpts from Paley's Natural Theology (1800)
An example of the intelligent design theory described by William Paley, a philosopher and theologian. A New York Times April 8, 2001 article "New Theory of Life's Origin" refers to this idea (and is available online for a small price).