Six assertions that relate to the impact of Wallace’s Sarawak Law paper1 on the development of evolution theory have been proposed and analyzed by John van Wyhe.2 He concluded that they were all erroneous. The analysis presented a valid criticism of some casual and over-confident pronouncements with respect to interpretations of history. More significantly, it is a misguided attempt to expose “original historical meanings,” and thereby dismiss all other interpretations as necessarily incorrect. A re-analysis reveals that, contrary to van Wyhe’s analysis, much of the conventional wisdom is plausibly correct, and it remains the case that “the past is a foreign country,” but it is not another planet.
Arts and Humanities | History | History of Science, Technology, and Medicine
Smith, Charles H. and Partridge, Derek, "Alfred Russel Wallace Notes 10: The Impact of A.R. Wallace's Sarawak Law Paper Resurrected" (2020). Faculty/Staff Personal Papers. Paper 199.