Alfred Russel Wallace

(redirected from Alfred Russell Wallace)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
Related to Alfred Russell Wallace: Charles Lyell

Wallace, Alfred Russel

 

Born Jan. 8, 1823, in Usk, Monmouthshire; died Nov. 7, 1913, in Broadstone, Dorset. English naturalist who developed the theory of natural selection simultaneously with C. Darwin.

From 1848 to 1852, Wallace explored the Amazon River and the Rio Negro (to 1850 in the company of the naturalist H. W. Bates), and from 1854 to 1862, he explored the Malay Archipelago. On the Malay expedition, Wallace collected zoological, botanical, and geological specimens (more than 125,000 items), carried out craniological research on the peoples of the archipelago, and compiled dictionaries of 75 dialects. Wallace was one of the founders of zoogeography; he demonstrated that a boundary (Wallace’s Line) runs along the Malay Archipelago dividing the zoogeography of the Celebes Islands (Sulawesi) from the rest of the islands of the archipelago. Wallace thought (1855) that the appearance of each species is geographically and chronologically linked to the closest preceding species. In 1858 he sent Darwin the manuscript of his article “On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely From the Original Type.” In the article he proposed ideas that coincided with the theory of natural selection that Darwin had been working on for more than 20 years. Darwin presented Wallace’s article with a short exposition of his own theory to the Linnaean Society in London on July 1, 1858, and the society published the two works in its proceedings. Wallace coined the term “Darwinism.”

Wallace spoke out staunchly against Lamarckism; however, he did not understand the importance of mutation theory and Mendelism for the basis of Darwinism. Wallace maintained idealist views on the origin of psychic abilities in man and also believed in spiritualism.

WORKS

The Malay Archipelago, vols. 1–2. London, 1869.
Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection. London, 1870.
The Geographical Distribution of Animals, vols. 1–2. London, 1876.
Island Life. London, 1880.
My Life, new ed. London, 1908.
Letters and Reminiscences, vols. 1–2. London, 1916.
In Russian translation:
Estestvennvi podbor. St. Petersburg, 1878. (Translated from English.)
Darvinizm, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1911.
Tropicheskaia priroda, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1975.

REFERENCES

George, W. B. Biologist Philosopher: Alfred Russel Wallace. London [1964].
Williams-Ellis, A. Darwin’s Moon: Alfred Russel Wallace. London, 1966.
McKinney, H. L. Wallace and Natural Selection. New Haven, 1972.

L. IA. BLIAKHER

References in periodicals archive ?
SIR - Watching Bill Bailey's excellent TV documentary on Alfred Russell Wallace, it struck me that, as a 1970s school pupil, we were taught nothing about evolution.
William Grove, one of the four great Welsh scientists alongside Alfred Russell Wallace, evolutionary biologist colleague of Charles Darwin, Robert Recorde, the inventor of the equals sign, and David Hughes, the inventor of the microphone, is the man who brought the fuel cell to the world.
Ian Hefin plays Alfred Russell Wallace in Theatr Na n''Og 's Welsh language one-man drama Gofynnwch i Wallace (Ask Wallace), written and directed by Geinor Styles.
History only began to come into it when I was asked to write scripts featuring real people, including a few from Wales like the painter Gwen John and the composer Joseph Parry and evolutionist Alfred Russell Wallace.
The other great naturalist Alfred Russell Wallace would also enjoy the chat, I feel.
He's the man who organised Neath's commemoration last year of the achievements of Alfred Russell Wallace.
But he comes from Neath, and feels that in this year's celebrations of The Origin of Species, the contribution of Neath's most famous citizen - Alfred Russell Wallace - has been neglected.
One hundred and fifty years after Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace first explained the mechanisms of evolution, she challenges the scientific establishment to answer what she believes is the overwhelming case in favour of the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis.
I had nominated Alfred Russell Wallace for the science section.