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Wallace, Alfred Russel
 
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Wallace, Alfred Russel

 
1823 - 1913
(8 Jan 1823 - 7 Nov 1913)

Photograph of Alfred Russel Wallace

Alfred Russel Wallace is the man who first proposed the notion that selective adaptations (combined possibly with other factors) have led to entirely new species comprising all the known species of life in existence.

Because the two concepts are so often improperly conflated, it is important to distinguish between "selective adaptation," which was fully understood and used regularly long before Wallace was born, and Wallace's notion, which asserts that these adaptations have led to the genesis of all new species.

The manuscript, which Wallace sent to Charles Darwin in a letter in June of 1858, was titled:

"On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely from the Origin Type"

One year and four months after receiving this manuscript from Alfred Wallace, in October of 1859, Darwin published the work for which he is best known: "On the Origin of Species...".

On 1 July 1858, Darwin, with the help of two of his friends at the Linnean Society of London (Charles Lyell and Joseph Hooker), arranged to have Darwin's sketchy outline papers presented along with Wallace's manuscript. They also worked together to have Darwin's papers ordered before Wallace's, which effectively gave Darwin right of priority. Mr. Wallace was away on expedition during this meeting.

Mr. Wallace's name is often misspelled: Alfred Russell Wallace[sic] (two ells at the end of Russel)


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Was Wallace Autistic?


There is considerable evidence and agreement that Wallace expressed a set of behaviors that, today, would have been recognized as Autism Spectrum Disorder. More specifically it is thought that he occupied a sub-category within the spectrum known as Asperger's Syndrome. One of the cornerstones of many within the Autism Spectrum is a lack of deception or guile. They also have a corresponding inability to detect these behaviors in others.


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Quotes


"we possess intellectual and moral faculties which could not have been so developed but must have had another origin; and for this origin we can only find an adequate cause in the unseen universe of Spirit"

"I ventured to suggest that what we call evil may be essential to the ultimate development of the highest good for all; but he would not listen to it or argue the question at all, but repeated, dogmatically, that an omnipotent God might have made man wise, good, and happy, and as He had not chosen to do so it was absurd for us to believe in such a being and call Him almighty and good."

"There is, I conceive, no contradiction in believing that mind is at once the cause of matter and of the development of individualised human minds through the agency of matter. "

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