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Friday, January 28, 2011

Biography of Darwin's co-theorist Wallace, proposed patron of design, released

Over a century after the publication of World of Life, science historian Michael Flannery has just published a new biography of Alfred Russel Wallace, whom he has suggested as a proper patron of the intelligent design community. Wallace, Darwin's co-theorist (who had twice Darwin's field experience), was shunned by the Victorian science elite gathered around Darwin because he was not a materialist atheist.

Discovery Institute Press announces
In a new biography published by Discovery Institute, Alfred Russel Wallace: A Rediscovered Life, University of Alabama science historian Michael Flannery tells how Wallace grew disenchanted with natural selection as a theory capable of explaining life's complexity. Wallace (1823-1913) concluded that many features of living organisms could best be explained as the product of design by a "directive Mind."

Critics of ID frequently attack the theory as a "science stopper." Flannery shows that on the contrary, it was Alfred Wallace's commitment to open inquiry that led him to the conclusion that far from being random and undirected, as Darwin insisted, evolution manifests scientifically detectable evidence of intelligent guidance. Biology, Flannery argues, is in the process of catching up with the prescient Wallace.

[ ... ]

Unlike Darwin, Wallace was also a vocal opponent of pseudo-scientific racism and eugenics.
(Wallace had actually lived among people living in nature; he did not view them from a distance and then go home to write about their similarities to baboons, as the upper crust Darwin did.)

This brief excerpt gives a sense of the book:
Can the real Wallace be found? If so, what might we learn in that rediscovery? It is worth stating the thesis hee at the outset: Wallace, in developing his unique brand of evolution, presaged modern intelligent design theory. Certainly no Christian creationist, Wallace's devotion to discovering the truths of nature brought him through a lifetime of research to see genuine design in the nat1 world. And this indeed became Wallace's heresy, a heresy that exposes the metaphysical underpinnings of the triumphant Darwinian paradigm more than it does Wallace's commitments to spiritualism or science. The image of Darwinism reflected in the image of natural selection's co-discoverer is indeed an interesting one. But it all began oddly enough in an obscure village far from th seats of learning or science.
Find out why there is an intelligent design controversy:

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