Was Alfred Wallace a “crazy” crank? Was he an undisciplined “dilettante” bemused by every fringe belief he encountered?
Natural selection reveals itself as not just a metaphor but a mixed one: Nature being dumb but nevertheless capable of discrimination.
Catastrophism viewed the planet as having been molded by forces far more powerful than any observable at the present day.
Surely the “iconic” status of Darwin’s book could never have been predicted by either the author or his publisher.
As I asked in a previous post: Why is Alfred Russel Wallace today a comparatively little known figure next to Darwin?