Barry K. MacKay wrote:
> Now, this day, I have evoked the 200th birthday of Darwin (a hero of
> mine but for his shameful treatment of Wallace...but no one's
> perfect, and Darwin was for the most part quite a very fine person in
> all respects and certainly a figure who towers in history) in a
> document I am writing (and will get back to in just a moment) trying
> to explain to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources why it is NOT
> necessary to kill cormorants in order to save trees, herons,
> fish...whatever...given that these species have co-evolved for so long.
There was a recent article in the Washington Post on Wallace. A
collecting cabinet off his with about 1200 specimens has turned up
here. According to this report. Wallace came up with similar thinking
to Darwin after Darwin did. Once he put his thoughts in order, he wrote
to Darwin to get his opinion. Darwin, realizing he was to be scooped if
he did not do something, presented at a science meeting first his own
thoughts and immediately read Wallace's afterward to the group.
Technically this gave Darwin precedence. In later years Wallace was
quoted as saying he held Darwin in great respect and that Darwin's
writing on the subject of evolution was better than he could have done.
But Wallace probably should be better known than he is.
Heard a report of National Public Radio this morning:
Darwin had spent the decades between his realization and publication
collecting evidence to convince people of the rightness of his
argument. Also it turns out that his wife was a very religious woman
whom he loved greatly and was his best friend, so why rock the boat when
it can be put off till latter? The death of his second daughter at the
age of 10 (it sounds like she would have been a brilliant adult) hit
Darwin and his wife very hard, and pushed him in the direction of
getting his theories into shape. His wife actually supported him.
Sounds like a great marriage.