An Elusive Victorian

Author: Martin Fichman
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226246154
Size: 28.94 MB
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Codiscoverer of the theory of evolution by natural selection, Alfred Russel Wallace should be recognized as one of the titans of Victorian science. Instead he has long been relegated to a secondary place behind Darwin. Worse, many scholars have overlooked or even mocked his significant contributions to other aspects of Victorian culture. With An Elusive Victorian, Martin Fichman provides the first comprehensive analytical study of Wallace's life and controversial intellectual career. Fichman examines not only Wallace's scientific work as an evolutionary theorist and field naturalist but also his philosophical concerns, his involvement with theism, and his commitment to land nationalization and other sociopolitical reforms such as women's rights. As Fichman shows, Wallace worked throughout his life to integrate these humanistic and scientific interests. His goal: the development of an evolutionary cosmology, a unified vision of humanity's place in nature and society that he hoped would ensure the dignity of all individuals. To reveal the many aspects of this compelling figure, Fichman not only reexamines Wallace's published works, but also probes the contents of his lesser known writings, unpublished correspondence, and copious annotations in books from his personal library. Rather than consider Wallace's science as distinct from his sociopolitical commitments, An Elusive Victorian assumes a mutually beneficial relationship between the two, one which shaped Wallace into one of the most memorable characters of his time. Fully situating Wallace's wide-ranging work in its historical and cultural context, Fichman's innovative and insightful account will interest historians of science, religion, and Victorian culture as well as biologists.

Alfred Russel Wallace

Author: Michael A. Flannery
Publisher: Discovery Inst
ISBN: 9780979014192
Size: 80.89 MB
Format: PDF
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For years Alfred Russel Wallace was little more than an obscure adjunct to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. Remembered only for prompting Darwin to write On the Origin of Species in 1859 by writing his own letter proposing a theory of natural selection, Wallace was rightly dubbed by one biographer “the forgotten naturalist.” In 1998 Sahotra Sarkar bemoaned Wallace's “lapse into obscurity,” noting that "at least in the 19th century literature, the theory of evolution was usually referred to as 'the Darwin and Wallace theory'. In the 20th century, the theory of evolution has become virtually synonymous with Darwinism or neo-Darwinism.” While the complaint still has a ring of truth, a decade of recent interest in Wallace has done much to bring him back from history's crypt of forgotten figures. This shouldn't suggest unanimity of opinion, however. Some regard him as a heretic, others as merely a misguided scientist-turned-spiritualist, still others as a prescient figure anticipating the modern Gaia hypothesis. Perhaps Martin Fichman's phrase hits closest and most persistently to the truth—“the elusive Victorian.” Can the real Wallace be found? If so, what might we learn in that rediscovery? The provocative thesis of this new biography is that Wallace, in developing his unique brand of evolution, presaged modern intelligent design theory. Wallace's devotion to discovering the truths of nature brought him through a lifetime of research to see genuine design in the natural world. This was Wallace's ultimate heresy, a heresy that exposed the metaphysical underpinnings of the emerging Darwinian paradigm.

The Heretic In Darwin S Court

Author: Ross A. Slotten
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231130110
Size: 65.87 MB
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During their lifetimes, Wallace and Darwin shared credit and fame for the independent and near-simultaneous discovery of natural selection. Their rivalry, usually amicable but occasionally acrimonious, forged modern evolutionary theory. Yet today, few people today know much about Wallace. This book explores the controversial life and scientific contributions of the Victorian traveler, scientist and spiritualist. His twelve years of often harrowing travels in the western and eastern tropics place him in the pantheon of the greatest explorer-naturalists of the nineteenth century. Tracing his discovery of natural selection, the book then follows the remaining fifty years of Wallace's eccentric and entertaining life. In addition to his divergence from Darwin on two fundamental issues--sexual selection and the origin of the human mind--he pursued topics that most scientific figures of his day conspicuously avoided, including spiritualism, phrenology, mesmerism, environmentalism, and life on Mars.--From publisher description.

Victorian Animal Dreams

Author: Deborah Denenholz Morse
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN: 9780754655114
Size: 60.39 MB
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The contributors examine various forms of human dominion over animals as manifest in fiction, performance, and the visual arts, as well as in hunting, killing, vivisection, and zookeeping. Distinguished by its acknowledgment of how the Victorians' obsession with animals continues to haunt twenty-first-century animal rights debates, Victorian Animal Dreams provides valuable insight into the burgeoning field of animal studies and points toward future studies of animals in the Victorian period.

The Tragic Sense Of Life

Author: Robert J. Richards
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226712192
Size: 32.42 MB
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Prior to the First World War, more people learned of evolutionary theory from the voluminous writings of Charles Darwin’s foremost champion in Germany, Ernst Haeckel (1834–1919), than from any other source, including the writings of Darwin himself. But, with detractors ranging from paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould to modern-day creationists and advocates of intelligent design, Haeckel is better known as a divisive figure than as a pioneering biologist. Robert J. Richards’s intellectual biography rehabilitates Haeckel, providing the most accurate measure of his science and art yet written, as well as a moving account of Haeckel’s eventful life.

Landscapes And Labscapes

Author: Robert E. Kohler
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226450094
Size: 72.74 MB
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What is it like to do field biology in a world that exalts experiments and laboratories? How have field biologists assimilated laboratory values and practices, and crafted an exact, quantitative science without losing their naturalist souls? In Landscapes and Labscapes, Robert E. Kohler explores the people, places, and practices of field biology in the United States from the 1890s to the 1950s. He takes readers into the fields and forests where field biologists learned to count and measure nature and to read the imperfect records of "nature's experiments." He shows how field researchers use nature's particularities to develop "practices of place" that achieve in nature what laboratory researchers can only do with simplified experiments. Using historical frontiers as models, Kohler shows how biologists created vigorous new border sciences of ecology and evolutionary biology.

Alfred Russel Wallace

Author: Peter Raby
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691102406
Size: 32.39 MB
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In 1858, Alfred Russel Wallace, aged thirty-five, weak with malaria, isolated in the Spice Islands, wrote to Charles Darwin: he had, he said excitedly, worked out a theory of natural selection. Darwin was aghast--his work of decades was about to be scooped. Within two weeks, his outline and Wallace's paper were presented jointly in London. A year later, with Wallace still on the opposite side of the globe, Darwin published On the Origin of Species. This new biography of Wallace traces the development of one of the most remarkable scientific travelers, naturalists, and thinkers of the nineteenth century. With vigor and sensitivity, Peter Raby reveals his subject as a courageous, unconventional explorer and a man of exceptional humanity. He draws more extensively on Wallace's correspondence than has any previous biographer and offers a revealing yet balanced account of the relationship between Wallace and Darwin. Wallace lacked Darwin's advantages. A largely self-educated native of Wales, he spent four years in the Amazon in his mid-twenties collecting specimens for museums and wealthy patrons, only to lose his finds in a shipboard fire in the mid-Atlantic. He vowed never to travel again. Yet two years later he was off to the East Indies on a vast eight-year trek; here he discovered countless species and identified the point of divide between Asian and Australian fauna, 'Wallace's Line.' After his return, he plunged into numerous controversies and published regularly until his death at the age of ninety, in 1913. He penned a classic volume on his travels, founded the discipline of biogeography, promoted natural selection, and produced a distinctive account of mind and consciousness in man. Sensitive and self-effacing, he was an ardent socialist--and spiritualist. Wallace is one of the neglected giants of the history of science and ideas. This stirring biography--the first for many years--puts him back at center stage, where he belongs.

Richard Owen

Author: Nicolaas A. Rupke
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226731782
Size: 70.20 MB
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In the mid-1850s, no scientist in the British Empire was more visible than Richard Owen. Mentioned in the same breath as Isaac Newton and championed as Britain’s answer to France’s Georges Cuvier and Germany’s Alexander von Humboldt, Owen was, as the Times declared in 1856, the most “distinguished man of science in the country.” But, a century and a half later, Owen remains largely obscured by the shadow of the most famous Victorian naturalist of all, Charles Darwin. Publicly marginalized by his contemporaries for his critique of natural selection, Owen suffered personal attacks that undermined his credibility long after his name faded from history. With this innovative biography, Nicolaas A. Rupke resuscitates Owen’s reputation. Arguing that Owen should no longer be judged by the evolution dispute that figured in only a minor part of his work, Rupke stresses context, emphasizing the importance of places and practices in the production and reception of scientific knowledge. Dovetailing with the recent resurgence of interest in Owen’s life and work, Rupke’s book brings the forgotten naturalist back into the canon of the history of science and demonstrates how much biology existed with, and without, Darwin

Ornithology Evolution And Philosophy

Author: Jürgen Haffer
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 354071779X
Size: 26.58 MB
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This book is the first detailed biography of Ernst Mayr. He was an ‘architect’ of the Synthetic Theory of Evolution, and the greatest evolutionary biologist since Charles Darwin, influential historian and philosopher of biology, outstanding taxonomist and ornithologist, and naturalist. He is one of the most widely known biologists of the 20th century. Mayr used the theories of natural selection and population thinking as theoretical models within the framework of historical biological studies. He was the first to emphasize the role of biopopulations, thereby pointing out the basic difference between ’population thinking’ and typological essentialism.