Darwinism (book)

Darwinism: An Exposition of the Theory of Natural Selection with Some of Its Applications is an 1889 book on biological evolution by Alfred Russel Wallace, the co-discoverer of evolution by natural selection together with Charles Darwin. This was a book Wallace wrote as a defensive response to the scientific critics of natural selection.[1] Of all Wallace's books, it is cited by scholarly publications the most.[2]

In the preface to Darwinism, Wallace had used the term pure-Darwinism which proposed a "greater efficacy" for natural selection. The book is notable for defending August Weismann's theory of heredity and rejecting the inheritance of acquired characteristics and the concept of sexual selection which Darwin gave credence to.[3][4][5] George Romanes dubbed this view as "Wallaceism", noting that in contrast to Darwin, this position was advocating a "pure theory of natural selection to the exclusion of any supplementary theory."[6][7] The book is seen as laying the foundation for the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution.[6][8]


  1. ^ Slotten, Ross A. (2010). The Heretic in Darwin's Court: The Life of Alfred Russel Wallace. Columbia University Press. p. 409. ISBN 978-0-231-13011-0
  2. ^ Shermer, Michael. (2002). In Darwin's Shadow: The Life and Science of Alfred Russel Wallace. Oxford University Press. p. 18. ISBN 978-0-19-985653-4
  3. ^ Wallace, Alfred Russel. (1889). Darwinism: An Exposition of the Theory of Natural Selection, with Some of Its Applications. Macmillan and Company. pp. 283–444
  4. ^ Heilbron, John L. (2003). The Oxford Companion to the History of Modern Science. OUP USA. p. 203. ISBN 978-0-19-511229-0
  5. ^ Stack, David. (2003). The First Darwinian Left: Socialism and Darwinism, 1859–1914. New Clarion Press. p. 25. ISBN 978-1-873797-37-2
  6. ^ a b Romanes, John George. (1906). Darwin and After Darwin: An Exposition of the Darwinian Theory and a Discussion of Post-Darwinian Questions Volume 2. The Open Court Publishing Company. p. 12
  7. ^ Costa, James T. (2014). Wallace, Darwin, and the Origin of Species. Harvard University Press. p. 274. ISBN 978-0-674-72969-8
  8. ^ Kutschera, Ulrich; Hossfeld, Uwe. (2013). Alfred Russel Wallace (1823–1913): the forgotten co-founder of the Neo-Darwinian theory of biological evolution. Theory in Biosciences 132 (4): 207–214. doi:10.1007/s12064-013-0187-2.

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