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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.