On the Organic Law of Change

On the Organic Law of Change

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Marking the centennial of Alfred Russel Wallace's death, James Costa presents an elegant edition of the qSpecies Notebookq of 1855-1859, which Wallace kept during his Malay Archipelago expedition. Presented in facsimile with text transcription and annotations, this never-before-published document provides a window into the travels, trials, and genius of the co-discoverer of natural selection. In one section, headed qNote for Organic Law of Changeq--a critique of geologist Charles Lyell's anti-evolutionary arguments--Wallace sketches a book he would never write, owing to the unexpected events of 1858. In that year he sent a manuscript announcing his discovery of natural selection to Charles Darwin. Lyell and the botanist Joseph Hooker proposed a joint reading at the Linnean Society of his scientific paper with Darwin's earlier private writings on the subject. Darwin would go on to publish On the Origin of Species in 1859, to much acclaim; pre-empted, Wallace's first book on evolution waited two decades, but by then he had abandoned his original concept. On the Organic Law of Change realizes in spirit Wallace's unfinished project, and asserts his stature as not only a founder of biogeography and the preeminent tropical biologist of his day but as Darwin's equal.Introduction In the mean time I am going over to Francea€” A Share in two revolutions is living to some purposea€” ... well as the drafting of a lengthy private essay on transmutation by the thirtya€”fivea€”yeara€”old rising naturalist Charles Darwin.

Title:On the Organic Law of Change
Author:Alfred Russel Wallace
Publisher:Harvard University Press - 2013-11-25


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