Timeline Story

Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913)

Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913)

From Year 0 (BCE/CE): 1823
Post Date: 01/08/1823

Alfred Russel Wallace lived from January 8, 1823, to November 7, 1913. He is best known for independently proposing the theory of evolution by natural selection, prompting Charles Darwin to publish his own findings. Wallace’s work as a biologist, anthropologist, and geographer took him to the Amazon and the Malay Archipelago, where he identified the Wallace Line, a boundary between Asian and Australian fauna.

A prolific writer, Wallace’s unconventional ideas on evolution earned him the nickname “The Heretic of Darwinism.” His anthropocentric view led him to believe the human mind was too complex to be explained by natural selection alone. He was skeptical of subcategories of behavioral selection, such as sexual selection, believing many traits attributed to them could be better explained by natural selection focused on survival. However, he acknowledged artificial selection, understanding it as a process driven by human intervention.

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