Monument to Wallace unveiled in Indonesia

by Greg Mayer George Beccaloni, fellow Wallaceophile, has sent word that a monument to Alfred Russel Wallace has been erected on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. As described at the Alfred Russel Wallace Website of the Wallace Memorial Fund by George and Simon Purser, the monument is a full bust, greater than life size (about […]

Teaching Evolution: Alfred Russel Wallace: Geographical distribution

by Greg Mayer Our sixth installment is a paper by Alfred Russel Wallace. Written while he was still collecting in the Malay Archipelago, it is a foundational work in zoogeography, in which Wallace invokes a long history of evolutionary changes of organisms, and geographical changes of the land and water, to account for organisms’ current […]

An Okinawan thrush and the principles of zoogeography

by Greg Mayer My Okinawan correspondent sends the following photograph of an apparently window-killed bird. I thought immediately, “a thrush”, noting the similarity in bill, body and leg shape to that of the familiar North American Robin (Turdus migratorius). I was also immediately reminded of the justly famous opening passage in Alfred Russel Wallace’s Island […]

More good things by Wallace

by Greg Mayer We’ve already posted some things to read by and about Alfred Russel Wallace in honor of Wallace Year, including a list by me and a recent list by fellow Wallace-ophile Andrew Berry. There’s another item that I can recommend to WEIT readers, which I had known about and forgotten to mention, but […]

Some Reading for Wallace Year

by Greg Mayer I should probably have posted something like this earlier, but here are a few recommended books about and by Wallace. It’s an idiosyncratic list, reflecting what was interesting and available to me, but might still be useful as a starting point. Wallace is of course mentioned in many books on the general […]

NASA launches a frog, and experimental biogeograhy

by Greg Mayer On Sept. 6, NASA launched the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) towards the moon, where it will go into orbit to gather data on the thin lunar atmosphere. But along with the rocket, a frog, apparently resting on the rocket or launch pad, was taken spaceward, before being thrown free. […]

Wallace, Galton, and Gladstone

by Greg Mayer What do these three have in common, besides being prominent Victorian Englishmen? The, to me, surprising answer is: fingerprinting! Faithful and informative reader Dom has sent the following picture from the Galton Collection of the special collections at University College London. Here’s a closeup of Wallace’s fingerprints, with Wallace’s signature below. I […]

Guest post: Darwin and Wallace at Burlington House

In honor of Wallace Year, Greg Mayer is doing a series of posts on The Man Who Came Second. This essay gives Greg’s take on the rivalry between Darwin and Wallace about the discovery of natural selection, and how it was resolved. _____________________ Darwin and Wallace at Burlington House by Greg Mayer The theory of […]

Wallace statue to be erected at the Natural History Museum– and you can help! (Upcoming UK events with Dawkins et al.)

by Greg Mayer As Wallace Year continues, events are coming fast and furious. One to look forward to on November 7 is the unveiling of a life-sized bronze statue of Wallace in the garden outside the Darwin Centre 2 at the Natural History Museum in London. The statue, by sculptor Anthony Smith, will be unveiled […]

Darwin did not cheat Wallace out of his rightful place in history

by Greg Mayer Before writing my notice of John van Wyhe’s new book on Wallace, Dispelling the Darkness, I hadn’t come across this piece by him on Wallace in last week’s Guardian. The piece addresses and dispels the claim, advanced a number of times over the years—especially in popular media—that Darwin stole his ideas from Wallace, […]