New edition of Darwin’s banished co-theorist Wallace’s work contains previously unavailable essay
|November 17, 2011||Posted by News under Books of interest, Intelligent Design, News|
A revised edition of Alfred Russel Wallace’’s Theory of Intelligent Evolution: How Wallace’s World of Life Challenged Darwinism is now available.
The new edition includes Rev. John Magen Mello’s 20-page essay, “The Mystery of Life and Mind, With Special Reference to ‘the World of Life’ by A. R. Wallace.” Wallace’s “intelligent evolution” fascinated Rev. Mello and his essay places much of Wallace’s thought in a Christian context. (Wallace himself was in no sense an orthodox Christian.)
The only extant copy of the essay was held by Edinburgh University Library, as part of Wallace’s original personal library, and a transcript was prepared from a scan, for publication.
Here’s the book description:
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 telcological 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.