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Published by Jabra Ghneim
A collection of Wikipedia articles on the history of evolution and the current Intelligent Design concept.
A collection of Wikipedia articles on the history of evolution and the current Intelligent Design concept.

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Jabra Ghneim on Jan 30, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Alfred Russel Wallace1Charles Darwin24Publication of Darwin's theory49Evolution57Natural selection89Intelligent design103Argument from poor design133Teleological argument139Watchmaker analogy148Irreducible complexity153Specified complexity169Fine-tuned Universe176Intelligent designer183Richard Dawkins189Gene-centered view of evolution207
Article Sources and Contributors213Image Sources, Licenses and Contributors220
Article Licenses
Alfred Russel Wallace1
Alfred Russel Wallace
Alfred Russel Wallace
8 January 1823Usk, Monmouthshire, Wales, United Kingdom
7 November 1913 (aged 90)Broadstone, Dorset, England
exploration, biology, biogeography, social reform, botany
Known for
his co-discovery of natural selection and his work on biogeography
Notable awards
Royal Society's Royal Medal (1866) and Copley Medal (1908), Order of Merit (1908)
Alfred Russel Wallace
, OM, FRS (8 January 1823
7 November 1913) was a British naturalist, explorer,geographer, anthropologist and biologist. He is best known for independently proposing a theory of evolution due tonatural selection that prompted Charles Darwin to publish his own theory.Wallace did extensive fieldwork, first in the Amazon River basin and then in the Malay Archipelago, where heidentified the Wallace Line that divides the Indonesian archipelago into two distinct parts, one in which animalsclosely related to those of Australia are common, and one in which the species are largely of Asian origin. He wasconsidered the 19th century's leading expert on the geographical distribution of animal species and is sometimescalled the "father of biogeography".
Wallace was one of the leading evolutionary thinkers of the 19th century andmade a number of other contributions to the development of evolutionary theory besides being co-discoverer of natural selection. These included the concept of warning colouration in animals, and the Wallace effect, a hypothesison how natural selection could contribute to speciation by encouraging the development of barriers againsthybridization.Wallace was strongly attracted to unconventional ideas. His advocacy of Spiritualism and his belief in a non-materialorigin for the higher mental faculties of humans strained his relationship with the scientific establishment, especiallywith other early proponents of evolution. In addition to his scientific work, he was a social activist who was criticalof what he considered to be an unjust social and economic system in 19th-century Britain. His interest inbiogeography resulted in his being one of the first prominent scientists to raise concerns over the environmentalimpact of human activity. Wallace was a prolific author who wrote on both scientific and social issues; his accountof his adventures and observations during his explorations in Indonesia and Malaysia,
The Malay Archipelago
, wasone of the most popular and influential journals of scientific exploration published during the 19th century.
Alfred Russel Wallace2
Early life
A photograph from Wallace's autobiography shows thebuilding Wallace and his brother John designed andbuilt for the Mechanics' Institute of Neath.
Wallace was born in the Welsh village of Llanbadoc, near Usk,Monmouthshire.
He was the seventh of eight children of Thomas Vere Wallace and Mary Anne Greenell. Thomas Wallacewas of Scottish ancestry. His family, like many Scottish Wallaces,claimed a connection to William Wallace, a Scottish leader duringthe Wars of Scottish Independence in the 13th century.
ThomasWallace received a law degree, but never actually practiced law.He inherited some income-generating property, but badinvestments and failed business ventures resulted in a steadydeterioration of the family's financial position. His mother wasfrom a respectable middle-class English family from Hertford,north of London.
When Wallace was five years old, his familymoved to Hertford. There he attended Hertford Grammar Schooluntil financial difficulties forced his family to withdraw him in1836.
Wallace then moved to London to live and work with his olderbrother John, a 19-year-old apprentice builder. (In 1979, a plaquewas placed at 44 St. Peter's Road in Croydon commemorating thefact that he lived there at one point during this period.) This was astopgap measure until William, his oldest brother, was ready totake him on as an apprentice surveyor. While there, he attendedlectures and read books at the London Mechanics Institute. Here he was exposed to the radical political ideas of theWelsh social reformer Robert Owen and Thomas Paine. He left London in 1837 to live with William and work as hisapprentice for six years. At the end of 1839, they moved to Kington, Hereford, near the Welsh border beforeeventually settling at Neath in Glamorgan in Wales. Between 1840 and 1843, Wallace did surveying work in thecountryside of the west of England and Wales.
By the end of 1843, William's business had declined due todifficult economic conditions. Wallace left in January, aged 20. One result of Wallace's early travels has been amodern controversy about his nationality. Since Wallace was born in Gwent (then called Monmouthshire), Wales,some sources have considered him to be Welsh.
However some historians have questioned this because neither of his parents was Welsh, his family only briefly lived in Monmouthshire, the Welsh people Wallace knew in hischildhood considered him to be English, and because Wallace himself consistently referred to himself as Englishrather than Welsh (even when writing about his time in Wales). One Wallace scholar has stated that because of thesefacts the most reasonable interpretation was that he was an Englishman born in Wales.
After a brief period of unemployment, he was hired as a master at the Collegiate School in Leicester to teachdrawing, mapmaking, and surveying. Wallace spent a lot of time at the Leicester library where he read
 An Essay onthe Principle of Population
by Thomas Malthus and where one evening he met the entomologist Henry Bates. Bateswas only 19 years old, but had already published a paper on beetles in the journal
. He befriended Wallaceand started him collecting insects.
William died in March 1845, and Wallace left his teaching position toassume control of his brother's firm in Neath, but he and his brother John were unable to make the business work.After a couple of months, Wallace found work as a civil engineer for a nearby firm that was working on a survey fora proposed railway in the Vale of Neath. Wallace's work on the survey involved spending a lot of time outdoors inthe countryside, allowing him to indulge his new passion for collecting insects. Wallace was able to persuade hisbrother John to join him in starting another architecture and civil engineering firm, which carried out a number of 

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