“Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.”
Alfred Russel Wallace very nearly pipped Darwin at the post as the pioneer of evolution by natural selection.
Darwin had procrastinated with publication for many, many years. In June 1858, Darwin was to receive a letter from Wallace whose consequences would reverberate through history. The exact date in June that Darwin received this letter is the subject of controversy.
Darwin maintained that he received the letter on June 18, 1858, ten days after he had written to Joseph Hooker, giving him the full content of his theory. Wallace’s letter outlined his theory of evolution, and Darwin was horrified to find out their ideas were the same. Following this, two of Darwin’s friends arranged for Darwin to present his ideas at the Linnean Society, and Wallace’s paper would be read at the same meeting.
But Wallace had mailed two letters from Malay on the same day. One, addressed to a relative of his, arrived on June 3rd. There are some science historians who have suggested that Darwin also got his letter on June 3, quickly wrote his findings into a paper, informed Hooker as an alibi, then claimed Wallace’s letter had arrived on the 18th. If this is true, Darwin had performed the biggest example of scientific plagiarism in history. Yet, even Darwin’s own autobiography admits that he frequently told the most whopping great lies.
We have no idea whether this allegation is true or not. But what is true is what God has told us in the Bible about the real origin of all life.
Prayer: We praise You, Lord God, because You have not left us ignorant but have given us the knowledge we need about where we came from and how life on Earth happened.
Ref: McNaughton, I. and Taylor, P. (2009), Darwin and Darwinism: 150 Years Later, (Day One), pp. 41-42. Image: Burlington House, home of the Linnean Society, license: Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.