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A Man Who Played a Pivotal Role in Solving the Mystery of Life

alfred russel wallace by adityathedarwinian

Alfred Russel Wallace(1823 – 1913) is widely acknowledged to be the co-discoverer of “The Theory of Natural Selection” with Charles Darwin in 1858. The theory of Natural Selection is often called the “The Darwin-Wallace Theory”, for which the highest honors were bestowed on Wallace by the scientific community of that time. The honors were made by the Linnean Society of London, the Royal Society of London, and the British monarch (the Order of Merit).

In the late 19th and the early decades of the 20th century, the theory of Natural Selection, as a means of the evolutionary change, lost its impetus. It was only in the mid-twentieth century that the theory of Natural Selection got revived and was accepted as the mechanism of the evolutionary change.

At the young age of 25, Wallace, along with Henry Walter Bates (an English Naturalist) decided to travel to Brazil to collect specimens of insects, birds, and other animals. On 26 April 1848, they left for Pará (Belém) from Liverpool. For A. R. Wallace, the primary aim of this expedition was two-folded, viz. to seek the evidence for evolution and to make an attempt to discover its mechanism. A few months after the beginning of the expedition, Wallace and Bates split up in order to collect specimens in different areas. Wallace focused in the middle Amazon and Rio Negro; he travelled up the Rio Negro River more than anyone else had done before. Wallace drew a map of the Rio Negro, which was published by the Royal Geographical Society of London and which became the standard map for many years. ........

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