How was Darwinian theory, despite its lack of empirical support or even semblance of verisimilitude, able to advance to its present position of orthodoxy?
Ideas do indeed have consequences, but not all ideas play out the same way or weave their way in the history of ideas toward the same destination.
Wallace’s greatest “heresy” was to become, after his co-discovery of natural selection, “godfather” of the modern theory of intelligent design.
Wallace’s formulation of evolution was quite incompatible with Darwin’s. His theory might be called intelligent evolution.