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Wallace, Alfred Russel (1823–1913)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-Q110-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved April 12, 2024, from

Article Summary

Co-discoverer with Charles Darwin of the theory of natural selection, Wallace travelled to the Amazon in 1848. Four years of collecting specimens there for sale in Europe revealed patterns of geographical distribution among animals. Unfortunately, much of his South American collection was lost in a fire at sea during the voyage home, which forced him to begin his collecting anew. This led to eight more years of travel (1854–62), this time in the Malay Archipelago, where he made his own momentous discovery of the theory of natural selection in 1858. An exceptionally clear thinker, he made many valuable contributions to evolutionary thought.

Citing this article:
Beddall, Barbara G.. Wallace, Alfred Russel (1823–1913), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-Q110-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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