By Alfred Russel Wallace
Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) is thought of as the co-discoverer with Darwin of the idea of evolution. It was once an essay which Wallace despatched in 1858 to Darwin (whom he tremendously trendy and to whom he devoted his most famed e-book, The Malay Archipelago) which impelled Darwin to put up an editorial on his personal long-pondered concept at the same time with that of Wallace. As a vacationing naturalist and collector within the a long way East and South the USA, Wallace already vulnerable in the direction of the Lamarckian concept of transmutation of species, and his personal researches confident him of the truth of evolution. at the booklet of at the beginning of Species, Wallace turned one in all its such a lot well known advocates, and Darwinism, released in 1889, helps the idea and counters a number of the arguments recommend by means of scientists and others who adverse it.
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Extra info for Darwinism: An Exposition of the Theory of Natural Selection, with some of its Applications
On ascertaining this, Mr. Darwin was so much surprised that he searched among the heather in the unenclosed parts, and there he found multitudes of little trees and seedlings which had been perpetually browsed down by the cattle. In one square yard, at a point about a hundred yards from one of the old clumps of firs, he counted thirtytwo little trees, and one of them had twenty-six rings of growth, showing that it had for many years tried to raise its head above the stems of the heather and had failed.
It would have required continued study for several years to determine all the differences in the organic life of the two areas, but the facts stated by Mr. Darwin are sufficient to show how great a change may be effected by the introduction of a single kind of tree and the keeping out of cattle. The next case I will give in Mr. Darwin's own words: " In several parts of the world insects determine the existence of cattle. Perhaps Paraguay offers the most curious instance of this; for here neither cattle nor horses nor dogs have ever run wild, though they swarm southward and northward in a feral state; and Azara and Rengger have shown that this is caused by the greater numbers, in Paraguay, of a certain fly which lays its eggs in the navels of these animals when first born.
The absence of trees from these vast plains has been imputed by Mr. Darwin to the supposed inability of the tropical and subtropical forms of South America to thrive on them, and there being no other source from which they could obtain a supply j and that explanation was adopted by such eminent botanists as Mr. Ball and Professor Asa Gray. This explanation has always seemed to me unsatisfactory, because there are ample forests both in the temperate regions of the Andes and on the whole west coast down to Terra del Fuego; and it is inconsistent with what we know of the rapid variation and adaptation of species to new conditions.
Darwinism: An Exposition of the Theory of Natural Selection, with some of its Applications by Alfred Russel Wallace