Home » Biography, Intelligent Design » Book on Alfred Russel Wallace now available!

Book on Alfred Russel Wallace now available!

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Published by  Erasmus PressAlfred Russel Wallace’s Theory of Intelligent Evolution: How Wallace’s World of Life Challenged Darwinism is now available purchase book.    In this book I provide a context and perspective with which to analyze the intellectual legacy of famed 19th-century naturalist, Alfred Russel Wallace.  In it two principle themes are argued: 1) Darwin’s theory of evolution was fundamentally a device to butress and promote his materialistic atheism; and 2) Wallace’s theory of evolution became a teleological synthesis forming a foundation  for modern ID.

As stated on the back cover:

Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913), co-discoverer of natural selection, was second only to Charles Darwin as the 19th century’s most noted English naturalist.  Yet his belief in spiritualism caused him to be ridiculed and dismissed by many, leaving him a comparatively obscure and misunderstood figure.  In this volume Wallace is finally allowed to speak in his own defense through his grand evolutionary synthesis The World of Life published nearly a century ago in 1910.  More than just a reprinting of a near-forgotten work, Michael A. Flannery places Wallace in historical context.  Flannery exposes Charles Darwin’s now-famous theory of evolution as little more than a naturalistic cover for an extreme philosophical materialism borrowed as a youth from Edinburgh radicals.  This is juxtaposed by his sympathetic account of what he calls Wallace’s intelligent evolution, a thoroughly teleological alternative to Darwin’s stochastic processes.  Though based upon very different formulations of natural selection, the Wallace/Darwin dispute as presented by Flannery shows a metaphysical clash of worldviews coextensive with modern evolutionary theory itself—design and purpose versus randomness and chance.  This book will be of value to scholars and students alike seeking to understand the historical and philosophical roots of a controversy that still rages today.

 

There are two major reasons why I think this book is necessary.  First, this book will provide an important historiographical corrective to Darwin’s biographical accounts.  While Darwin has received the attention of many noted scholars, by and large they have restricted themselves to examining his emergent evolutionary theory.  I reverse the process by examining the heterodox metaphysical climate bearing upon him while his evolutionary ideas were still quite inchoate.   In the introduction I investigate these influences – influences bearing upon him well before his voyage on the Beagle –  and show how certain metaphysical ideas impacted his later evolutionary thinking.  Second, Wallace has been covered by several fine (and not a few not-so-fine) biographers, but his direct connection with modern ID has either been missed, ignored, or discounted.  The present book seeks to fill this void.

 I am honored to have William Dembski provide a foreword to the book, and the addition of an abridged edition of The World of Life also allows Wallace to speak for himself on the issue of ID.  Rather than launch into the particulars of my arguments here, let me simply invite you read for yourself. 

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8 Responses to Book on Alfred Russel Wallace now available!

  1. Very, very interesting book and subject. So it seems there was a move towards regarding evolution as teleological right out of the gates.

    I think I’ll have to pick this up. Thank you.

  2. Looks interesting.

  3. “Alfred Russel Wallace’s Theory of Intelligent Evolution….”

    This book and its thesis is dead-on-arrival (DOA).

    There is no such thing as “intelligent evolution.”

    TWO INCONTROVERTIBLE FACTS:

    1. If intelligence is involved with reality this is called Theism or Creationism or IDism or God-did-it.

    2. If intelligence is NOT involved with reality this is called Materialism-Naturalism or Darwinism or Atheism or God-didn’t-do-it.

    A.R. Wallace rejected the existence (listen closely) of the Genesis Creator (= God). This means he was an Atheist contrary to his claim of being an Agnostic. He claimed to be an Agnostic in his autobiography because Atheism was illegal to propagate in Victorian times.

    I own a copy of everything that Wallace ever wrote concerning his rejection of natural selection to account for the human brain. Wallace was NOT saying Intelligence produced our minds, that is, God. He was advocating witchcraft or a doctrine of demons.

    Wallace was worse than an Atheist. He was a willing practitioner of blasphemy.

    This new book and the implication contained in its title is a shoddy attempt to do what Ken Miller attempts to do in response to the success of the current ID movement: say evolution produces ID.

    It’s very unfortunate that William Dembski has lent his name to a book that must be burned.

    Ray

  4. R Martinez:

    There is no such thing as “intelligent evolution.”

    TWO INCONTROVERTIBLE FACTS:

    1. If intelligence is involved with reality this is called Theism or Creationism or IDism or God-did-it.

    I am a bit baffled. You “prove” that “intelligent evolution” is invalid by establishing that there can be multiple appropriate titles describing the involvement of an intelligence? If common descent is correct, and intelligence was involved, then what is inappropriate about calling this “intelligent evolution”?

    2. If intelligence is NOT involved with reality this is called Materialism-Naturalism or Darwinism or Atheism or God-didn’t-do-it.

    Or evolution, or …
    Once you introduce multiple terms, it is quite conceivable, remaining internally consistent, that even more terms are appropriate.

    Wallace was NOT saying Intelligence produced our minds, that is, God. He was advocating witchcraft or a doctrine of demons.

    You don’t “get” the ID position, do you? You think that “intelligence” is a codeword for “god”, don’t you? It may be so for some, but it is not by any means universally so for the ID community. Some (DaveScot comes to mind) seriously suggest that the intelligence is an alien species. Some (See Thought Provoker on telicthoughts.com) have suggested that the intelligence is our future selves. Wallace is welcome to suggest that the intelligence is demons. I find it a bit strange to reject the concept of God, but accept the concept of demons, but hey.

  5. I would have put this comment in the Walter ReMine thread but for some reason I’m forbidden from commenting there.

    Anyway, I’m delighted that UD is having folks like Steve Fuller and Walter ReMine contribute.

    Message Theory sounds promising and I’m looking forward to hearing more about it Mr. ReMine.

  6. Obviously we want to funnel dollars wherever possible to Friends Of ID, but for those of you that may be feeling the economic crunch, you can download the book for free at this site:

    http://wallacefund.info/en/wor.....te-purpose

  7. Its not in ‘Literature Downloads’, ‘Wallace Biographies’, ‘Biography of Wallace’ or ‘The Wallace Fund Shop’. The site has no search function, and a search on “Flannery site:http://wallacefund.info/” returned three pages, none of which mentioned the book.

  8. bFast (msg. #4):

    “I am a bit baffled. You ‘prove’ that ‘intelligent evolution’ is invalid by establishing that there can be multiple appropriate titles describing the involvement of an intelligence?”

    I established TWO objective claims concerning the alleged participation of Intelligence in reality. One claim says Intelligence is INvolved; the other says Intelligence is NOT INvolved.

    William Dembski, “Intelligent Design” (1999).

    Michael Shermer, “Why Darwin Mattters: The Case Against Intelligent Design” (2006).

    bFast: “If common descent is correct, and intelligence was involved, then what is inappropriate about calling this ‘intelligent evolution’?”

    Common descent or ancestry (listen closely) WAS accepted and HAS BEEN accepted (since 1859) as NOT being caused by Intelligence—-this is why all Atheists are Darwinists. IF, and I stress IF, Intelligence is involved with biological production, the same is called Paleyan Creationism, British Natural Theology, or IDism. These movements reject common descent/ancestry because there is no evidence. The evidence points directly to invisible Watchmaker (= Intelligence).

    In short: I am communicating the **objective claims** of the Creationism-ID v. Darwinism debate.

    Therefore “intelligent-evolution” is an oxymoron at best. In reality it does not and cannot exist because evolution since Darwin was accepted on the basis of natural or material causation. Once Intelligence is accepted to be operating in reality phenomena cannot be described as evolutionary. The reverse is also true: once evolution is accepted to be operating in reality phenomena cannot be described as reflecting Intelligence. The evolutionary process is described by antonymic terms.

    For the record: I am a student and ardent supporter of British Natural Theology; species are immutable, products of special creation.

    bFast: “You don’t ‘get’ the ID position, do you? You think that ‘intelligence’ is a codeword for ‘god’, don’t you?”

    “Intelligence” is a self-evident attribute of invisible Creator (if He exists). Intelligence (upper case “I”) corresponds directly to God. This is why Darwinsts oppose the concept to exist in nature.

    Current DI IDism has defined “Intelligence” in a subjective and/or stipulative manner because of an ulterior legal and/or political agenda.

    bFast: “Some (DaveScot comes to mind) seriously suggest that the intelligence is an alien species.”

    Again, this is a subjective or stipulated definition. The concept of “Inteligence” in the historic Creationism-ID v. Darwinism debate always presupposes and corresponds to Divine Intelligence. I might add that Atheist crackpot F. Crick advocated space aliens because Atheists cannot admit to the evidence supporting the traditional understanding of Intelligence.

    Ray

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