Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Darwin and Wallace exchanged

Darwin and Wallace exchanged knowledge and stimulated each other's ideas and theories over an extended period.[105] Wallace is the most-cited naturalist in Darwin's Descent of Man, often in strong disagreement.[106] Wallace remained an ardent defender of natural selection for the rest of his life. By the 1880s, evolution was widely accepted in scientific circles, Sony VPCCW1E8R/WU Battery but Wallace and August Weismann were nearly alone among prominent biologists in believing that natural selection was the major driving force behind it.[107][108] In 1889, Wallace published the book Darwinism as a response to the scientific critics of natural selection.[109] Of all Wallace's books, it is cited by scholarly publications the most. Sony VPCCW1S1E Battery In 1872, at the urging of many of his friends, including Darwin, Philip Sclater, and Alfred Newton, Wallace began research for a general review of the geographic distribution of animals. He was unable to make much progress initially, in part because classification systems for many types of animals were in flux at the time.Sony VAIO VGN-SR19XN Battery He resumed the work in earnest in 1874 after the publication of a number of new works on classification.[112] Extending the bird system developed by Sclater—which divided the earth into six separate geographic regions for describing species distribution—to cover mammals, reptiles and insects as well, Wallace created the basis for the zoogeographic regions still in use today. Sony VAIO VGN-SR21M/S Battery He discussed all of the factors then known to influence the current and past geographic distribution of animals within each geographical region. These included the effects of the appearance and disappearance of land bridges (such as the one currently connecting North America and South America) and the effects of periods of increased glaciation. Sony VAIO VGN-SR21RM/H Battery He provided maps that displayed factors, such as elevation of mountains, depths of oceans, and the character of regional vegetation, that affected the distribution of animals. He also summarised all the known families and genera of the higher animals and listed their known geographic distributions. Sony VAIO VGN-SR29VN Battery The text was organised so that it would be easy for a traveller to learn what animals could be found in a particular location. The resulting two-volume work, The Geographical Distribution of Animals, was published in 1876 and would serve as the definitive text onzoogeography for the next 80 years.[113] In 1880, Wallace published the book Island Life as a sequel to The Geographical Distribution of Animals. Sony VAIO VGN-SR31M Battery It surveyed the distribution of both animal and plant species on islands. Wallace classified islands into three different types. Oceanic islands, such as the Galapagos and Hawaiian Islands (then known as the Sandwich Islands) formed in mid-ocean and had never been part of any large continent. Sony Vaio VGN-SR4MR/P Battery Such islands were characterised by a complete lack of terrestrial mammals and amphibians, and their inhabitants (with the exceptions of migratory birds and species introduced by human activity) were typically the result of accidental colonization and subsequent evolution. He divided continental islands into two separate classes depending on whether they had recently been part of a continent (like Britain) Sony Vaio VGN-SR4MR/S Battery or much less recently (like Madagascar) and discussed how that difference affected the flora and fauna. He talked about how isolation affected evolution and how that could result in the preservation of classes of animals, such as the lemurs of Madagascar that were remnants of once widespread continental faunas. Sony Vaio VGN-SR4MR/W Battery He extensively discussed how changes of climate, particularly periods of increased glaciation, may have affected the distribution of flora and fauna on some islands, and the first portion of the book discusses possible causes of these great ice ages. Island Life was considered a very important work at the time of its publication. Sony Vaio VGN-SR4VR/H Battery It was discussed extensively in scientific circles both in published reviews and in private correspondence. Wallace's extensive work in biogeography made him aware of the impact of human activities on the natural world. In Tropical Nature and Other Essays (1878), he warned about the dangers of deforestation and soil erosion, especially in tropical climates prone to heavy rainfall. Sony Vaio VGN-CS11S/P Battery Noting the complex interactions between vegetation and climate, he warned that the extensive clearing of rainforest for coffee cultivation in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and India would adversely impact the climate in those countries and lead to their eventual impoverishment due to soil erosion.[115] In Island Life, Wallace again talked about deforestation and also the impact of invasive species. Sony Vaio VGN-CS11S/W Battery He wrote the following about the impact of European colonization on the island of Saint Helena: .. yet the general aspect of the island is now so barren and forbidding that some persons find it difficult to believe that it was once all green and fertile. The cause of this change is, however, very easily explained. Sony Vaio VGN-CS11Z/R Battery The rich soil formed by decomposed volcanic rock and vegetable deposits could only be retained on the steep slopes so long as it was protected by the vegetation to which it in great part owed its origin. When this was destroyed, the heavy tropical rains soon washed away the soil, and has left a vast expanse of bare rock or sterile clay. Sony Vaio VGN-CS11Z/T Battery This irreparable destruction was caused, in the first place, by goats, which were introduced by the Portuguese in 1513, and increased so rapidly that in 1588 they existed in the thousands. These animals are the greatest of all foes to trees, because they eat off the young seedlings, and thus prevent the natural restoration of the forest. Sony Vaio VGN-CS21S/P Battery They were, however, aided by the reckless waste of man. The East India Company took possession of the island in 1651, and about the year 1700 it began to be seen that the forests were fast diminishing, and required some protection. Two of the native trees, redwood and ebony, were good for tanning, and, to save trouble, the bark was wastefully stripped from the trunks only, the remainder being left to rot; Sony Vaio VGN-CS21S/R Battery while in 1709 a large quantity of the rapidly disappearing ebony was used to burn lime for building fortifications! Wallace's 1904 book Man's place in the universe was the first serious attempt by a biologist to evaluate the likelihood of life on other planets. Sony Vaio VGN-CS21Z/Q Battery He concluded that the earth was the only planet in the solar system that could possibly support life as we know it, mainly because it was the only one in which water could exist in the liquid phase. More controversially he maintained that it was unlikely that other stars in the galaxy could have planets with the necessary properties (the existence of other galaxies not having been proved at this stage). Sony Vaio VGN-CS31S/R Battery His treatment of Mars in this book was brief, and in 1907, Wallace returned to the subject with a book Is Mars Habitable? to criticise the claims made byPercival Lowell that there were Martian canals built by intelligent beings. Wallace did months of research, consulted various experts, and produced his own scientific analysis of the Martian climate and atmospheric conditions. Sony Vaio VGN-AW21M/H Battery Among other things, Wallace pointed out that spectroscopic analysis had shown no signs of water vapour in the Martian atmosphere, that Lowell's analysis of Mars's climate was seriously flawed and badly overestimated the surface temperature, and that low atmospheric pressure would make liquid water, let alone a planet-girding irrigation system, impossible. Sony Vaio VGN-AW21S/B Battery Richard Milner comments: "It was the brilliant and eccentric evolutionist Alfred Russel Wallace ... who effectively debunked Lowell's illusionary network of Martian canals."[119] Wallace originally became interested in the topic because his anthropocentric philosophy inclined him to believe that man would likely be unique in the universe. Sony Vaio VGN-AW21Z/B Battery In a letter to his brother-in-law in 1861, Wallace wrote:... I remain an utter disbeliever in almost all that you consider the most sacred truths. I will pass over as utterly contemptible the oft-repeated accusation that sceptics shut out evidence because they will not be governed by the morality of Christianity ... I am thankful I can see much to admire in all religions. Sony Vaio VGN-AW31ZS/B Battery To the mass of mankind religion of some kind is a necessity. But whether there be a God and whatever be His nature; whether we have an immortal soul or not, or whatever may be our state after death, I can have no fear of having to suffer for the study of nature and the search for truth, or believe that those will be better off in a future state who have lived in the belief of doctrines inculcated from childhood, Sony Vaio VGN-AW31ZJ/B Battery and which are to them rather a matter of blind faith than intelligent conviction. Wallace was an enthusiast of phrenology.[122] Early in his career, he experimented with hypnosis, then known as mesmerism. He used some of his students in Leicester as subjects, with considerable success. Sony Vaio VGN-CS31S/W Battery When he began his experiments with mesmerism, the topic was very controversial and early experimenters, such as John Elliotson, had been harshly criticised by the medical and scientific establishment.[124] Wallace drew a connection between his experiences with mesmerism and his later investigations into spiritualism. In 1893, he wrote: Sony Vaio VGN-CS31S/T Battery I thus learnt my first great lesson in the inquiry into these obscure fields of knowledge, never to accept the disbelief of great men or their accusations of imposture or of imbecility, as of any weight when opposed to the repeated observation of facts by other men, admittedly sane and honest. Sony Vaio VGN-CS31S/P Battery The whole history of science shows us that whenever the educated and scientific men of any age have denied the facts of other investigators on a priori grounds of absurdity or impossibility, the deniers have always been wrong.[125] Wallace began investigating spiritualism in the summer of 1865, possibly at the urging of his older sister Fanny Sims, who had been involved with it for some time. Sony Vaio VGN-CS31S/V Battery ] After reviewing the literature on the topic and attempting to test the phenomena he witnessed at séances, he came to accept that the belief was connected to a natural reality. For the rest of his life, he remained convinced that at least some séance phenomena were genuine, no matter how many accusations of fraud sceptics made or how much evidence of trickery was produced. Sony Vaio VGN-CS31Z/Q Battery Historians and biographers have disagreed about which factors most influenced his adoption of spiritualism. It has been suggested by one biographer that the emotional shock he had received a few months earlier, when his first fiancée broke their engagement, contributed to his receptiveness to spiritualism. Sony Vaio VGN-CS21S/W Battery Other scholars have preferred to emphasise instead Wallace's desire to find rational and scientific explanations for all phenomena, both material and non-material, of the natural world and of human society.[124][128] Spiritualism appealed to many educated Victorians who no longer found traditional religious doctrine, Sony Vaio VGN-CS21S/T Battery such as that of the Church of England, acceptable yet were unsatisfied with the completely materialistic and mechanical view of the world that was increasingly emerging from 19th-century science.[129] However, several scholars who have researched Wallace's views in depth have emphasised that, for him, spiritualism was a matter of science and philosophy rather than religious belief. Sony Vaio VGN-NW21MF Battery Among other prominent 19th-century intellectuals involved with spiritualism were the social reformer Robert Owen, who was one of Wallace's early idols,[130] the physicists William Crookes and Lord Rayleigh, the mathematician Augustus De Morgan, and the Scottish publisher Robert Chambers.[129][131] Sony Vaio VGN-NW21EF Battery Wallace's very public advocacy of spiritualism and his repeated defence of spiritualist mediums against allegations of fraud in the 1870s damaged his scientific reputation. It strained his relationships with previously friendly scientists such as Henry Bates, Thomas Huxley, and even Darwin, who felt he was overly credulous. Sony Vaio VGN-NW21JF Battery Others, such as the physiologist William Benjamin Carpenter and zoologist E. Ray Lankester became openly and publicly hostile to Wallace over the issue. Wallace and other scientists who defended spiritualism, notably William Crookes, were subject to much criticism from the press, with The Lancet as the leading English medical journal of the time being particularly harsh. Sony Vaio VGN-NW21ZF Battery The controversy affected the public perception of Wallace's work for the rest of his career.[132] When, in 1879, Darwin first tried to rally support among naturalists to get a civil pension awarded to Wallace, Joseph Hooker responded: Wallace has lost caste considerably, not only by his adhesion to Spiritualism, Sony Vaio VGN-NW31EF Battery but by the fact of his having deliberately and against the whole voice of the committee of his section of the British Association, brought about a discussion of on Spiritualism at one of its sectional meetings. That he is said to have done so in an underhanded manner, and I well remember the indignation it gave rise to in the B.A. Council.[133] Sony Vaio VGN-CS11S/T Battery Hooker eventually relented and agreed to support the pension request. In 1870, a Flat-Earth proponent named John Hampden offered a £500 wager (equivalent to about £35000 in present day terms[135]) in a magazine advertisement to anyone who could demonstrate a convex curvature in a body of water such as a river, canal, or lake. Sony Vaio VGN-CS11S/Q Battery Wallace, intrigued by the challenge and short of money at the time, designed an experiment in which he set up two objects along a six-mile (10 km) stretch of canal. Both objects were at the same height above the water, and he mounted a telescope on a bridge at the same height above the water as well. Sony Vaio VGN-BZ11EN Battery When seen through the telescope, one object appeared higher than the other, showing the curvature of the earth. The judge for the wager, the editor of Field magazine, declared Wallace the winner, but Hampden refused to accept the result. He sued Wallace and launched a campaign, which persisted for several years, Sony Vaio VGN-BZ11XN Battery of writing letters to various publications and to organisations of which Wallace was a member denouncing him as a swindler and a thief. Wallace won multiple libel suits against Hampden, but the resulting litigation cost Wallace more than the amount of the wager and the controversy frustrated him for years. Sony Vaio VGN-BZ12EN Battery In the early 1880s, Wallace was drawn into the debate over mandatory smallpox vaccination. Wallace originally saw the issue as a matter of personal liberty; but, after studying some of the statistics provided by anti-vaccination activists, he began to question the efficacy of vaccination. At the time, the germ theory of disease was very new and far from universally accepted. Sony Vaio VGN-BZ12XN Battery Moreover, no one knew enough about the human immune system to understand why vaccination worked. When Wallace did some research, he discovered instances where supporters of vaccination had used questionable, in a few cases completely phony, statistics to support their arguments. Always suspicious of authority, Sony Vaio VGN-BZ12XN Battery Wallace suspected that physicians had a vested interest in promoting vaccination, and became convinced that reductions in the incidence of smallpox that had been attributed to vaccination were, in fact, due to better hygiene and improvements in public sanitation.[137] Another factor in Wallace's thinking was his belief that, Sony Vaio VGN-BZ21VN Battery because of the action of natural selection, organisms were in a state of balance with their environment, and that everything in nature, even disease-causing organisms, served a useful purpose in the natural order of things; he feared vaccination might upset that natural balance with unfortunate results. Sony Vaio VGN-BZ21XN Battery Wallace and other anti-vaccinationists pointed out that vaccination, which at the time was often done in a sloppy and unsanitary manner, could be dangerous.[138] In 1890, Wallace gave evidence before a Royal Commission investigating the controversy. When the commission examined the material he had submitted to support his testimony, they found errors, including some questionable statistics. Sony VAIO PCG-5S1M Battery The Lancet averred that Wallace and the other anti-vaccination activists were being selective in their choice of statistics, ignoring large quantities of data inconsistent with their position. The commission found that smallpox vaccination was effective and should remain compulsory, though they did recommend some changes in procedures to improve safety, Sony VAIO PCG-9Z1M Battery and that the penalties for people who refused to comply be made less severe. Years later, in 1898, Wallace wrote a pamphlet, Vaccination a Delusion; Its Penal Enforcement a Crime, attacking the commission's findings. It, in turn, was attacked by The Lancet, which stated that it contained many of the same errors as his evidence given to the commission. Sony VAIO PCG-7171M Battery As a result of his writing, at the time of his death Wallace had been for many years a well-known figure both as a scientist and as a social activist. He was often sought out by journalists and others for his views on a variety of topics.[139] He received honorary doctorates and a number of professional honours, such as election to the Royal Society, Sony VAIO PCG-7186M Battery the Copley Medal, and one honour from the British monarch: the Order of Merit.[140] Above all, his role as the co-discoverer of natural selection and his work on zoogeography marked him out as an exceptional figure. He was undoubtedly one of the greatest natural history explorers of the 19th century. Despite this, his fame faded quickly after his death. Sony VAIO PCG-81112M Battery For a long time, he was treated as a relatively obscure figure in the history of science.[104] A number of reasons have been suggested for this lack of attention, including his modesty, his willingness to champion unpopular causes without regard for his own reputation, and the discomfort of much of the scientific community with some of his unconventional ideas. Sony VAIO PCG-31111M Battery Recently, he has become a less obscure figure with the publication of several book length biographies on him, as well as anthologies of his writings. In 2007 a literary critic for New Yorker magazine observed that five such biographies and two such anthologies had been published since 2000.[141] There has also been a web page created that is dedicated to Wallace scholarship. Sony VAIO PCG-31311M Battery Among the many awards presented to Wallace were the Darwin Medal (1890), the Order of Merit (1908), the Royal Society's Royal Medal (1868) and Copley Medal (1908), the Royal Geographical Society's Founder's Medal (1892) as well as the Linnean Society's Gold Medal (1892) and their Darwin–Wallace Medal (1908). Sony VAIO PCG-8152M Battery

Elected head of the anthropology section of the British Association in 1866.

Elected president of the Entomological Society of London in 1870.

Elected head of the biology section of the British Association in 1876.

Awarded a civil pension of £200 a year, in large part due to lobbying by Darwin and Huxley, by British government in 1881. Sony VAIO PCG-61111M Battery

Elected to the Royal Society in 1893.

Asked to chair the International Congress of Spiritualists (which was meeting in London) in 1898.

In 1928, a house at Richard Hale School (at the time called Hertford Grammar School) was named after Wallace. Wallace attended Richard Hale as a student from 1828 to 1836.

On 1 November 1915, a medallion with his name on it was placed in Westminster Abbey. Sony PCG-71213M Battery

He is also honoured by having craters on Mars and the Moon named after him.

A centre for biodiversity research in Sarawak named in his memory was proposed in 2005.[143]

The Geography and Biology building at Swansea University is named after Wallace.

A large lecture theatre at Cardiff University (Main Building 0.13) is named after Wallace. Sony PCG-71311M Battery

Operation Wallacea, that operates scientific conservation expeditions worldwide, and the Operation Wallacea Trust, which creates sustainable community conservation programmes, are named after Wallace.

Wallace was a prolific author. In 2002, a historian of science published a quantitative analysis of Wallace's publications. Sony PCG-71312M Battery He found that Wallace had published 22 full-length books and at least 747 shorter pieces, 508 of which were scientific papers (191 of them published in Nature). He further broke down the 747 short pieces by their primary subjects as follows. Sony PCG-71212M Battery 29% were on biogeography and natural history, 27% were on evolutionary theory, 25% were social commentary, 12% were on Anthropology, and 7% were on spiritualism and phrenology.[144] An online bibliography of Wallace's writings has more than 750 entries. Sony PCG-71811M Battery,Sony PCG-71911M Battery,Sony PCG-91211M Battery,Sony PCG-91111M Battery

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