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Darwin, Wallace, Lyell — A Dispute at the Origins of Evolutionary Theory

David Klinghoffer

evolutionary theory

On an ID the Future episode, science historians Mike Keas and Michael Flannery wrap up their very enjoyable conversation about Professor Flannery’s new book, Nature’s Prophet: Alfred Russel Wallace and His Evolution from Natural Selection to Natural Theology. Flannery recounts how Charles Darwin in his growing disagreement with Alfred Russel appealed for support to famed geologist Charles Lyell — and was disappointed to find that support was not forthcoming. 

As Keas and Flannery observe, the lesson may be that contrary to popular and media myths, Darwin’s view of evolution faced from its beginning opposition and criticism from scientists that have never gone away. If Wallace is the “godfather” of intelligent design, others in biology, while not advocating a design view, have nevertheless doubted that Darwin had the entire answer in explaining the origin of species.

Wouldn’t it be refreshing, asks Dr. Keas, if this truth were shared with the public, including with students of biology? Download the podcast or listen to it here.

Photo: Charles Lyell, by John & Charles Watkins [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

David Klinghoffer

Senior Fellow and Editor, Evolution News
David Klinghoffer is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute and the editor of Evolution News & Science Today, the daily voice of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, reporting on intelligent design, evolution, and the intersection of science and culture. Klinghoffer is also the author of six books, a former senior editor and literary editor at National Review magazine, and has written for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Commentary, and other publications. Born in Santa Monica, California, he graduated from Brown University in 1987 with an A.B. magna cum laude in comparative literature and religious studies. David lives near Seattle, Washington, with his wife and children.



Alfred Russel WallacebiologyCharles DarwinCharles Lyellevolutionary theoryGeologyID the Futureintelligent designmediaMichael FlanneryMike Keaspodcast