The Patrick Matthew Project
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Mike – Your wrote:
“My point about “selection” is that, as far as I can see, Matthew never drew a direct parallel between the way artificial selection works and the way natural selection works (unlike Darwin who used this as device to try and convince the reader of the truth of natural selection). But inasmuch as Matthew used the same word “selection”, this implies a similarity in the two processes.”
Which leads me to a question:
Looking at all the Matthew quotes below – would you say – instead – that Matthew drew a parallel between the way natural selection works to explain the way artificial slection works?
1. ‘Matthew (1831 pages. 307-308 )) wrote
‘The use of the infinite seedling varieties in the families of plants, even in those in a state of nature, differing in luxuriance of growth and local adaptation, seems to be to give one individual (the strongest best circumstance-suited) superiority over others of its kind around, that it may, by overtopping and smothering them, procure room for full extension, and thus affording, at the same time, a continual selection of the strongest, best circumstance suited for reproduction. Man’s interference, by preventing this natural process of selection among plants, independent of the wider range of circumstances to which he introduces them, has increased the difference in varieties, particularly in the more domesticated kinds; and even in man himself, the greater uniformity, and more general vigour among savage tribes, is referrible to nearly similar selecting law – the weaker individual sinking under the ill treatment of the stronger, or under the common hardship.’
Matthew (1831) pages.107-108
‘… in timber trees the opposite course has been pursued. The large growing varieties being so long of coming to produce seed, that many plantations are cut down before they reach this maturity, the small growing and weakly varieties, known by early and extreme seeding, have been continually selected as reproductive stock, from the ease and conveniency with which their seed could be procured; and the husks of several kinds of these invariably kiln-dried, in order that the seeds might be the more easily extracted. May we, then, wonder that our plantations are occupied by a sickly short-lived puny race, incapable of supporting existence in situations where their own kind had formerly flourished—particularly evinced in the genus Pinus,more particularly in the species Scots Fir; so much inferior to those of Nature’s own rearing, where only the stronger, more hardy, soil-suited varieties can struggle forward to maturity and reproduction?
We say that the rural economist should pay as much regard to the breed or particular variety of his forest trees, as he does to that of his live stock of horses, cows, and sheep. That nurserymen should attest the variety of their timber plants, sowing no seeds but those gathered from the largest, most healthy, and luxuriant growing trees..’
Matthew (1831) page 3:
There are several valuable varieties of apple trees of acute branch angle, which do not throw up the bark of the breeks; this either occasions the branches to split down when loaded with fruit, or if they escape this for a few years, the confined bark becomes putrid and produces canker which generally ruins the tree. We have remedied this by a little attention in assisting the rising of the bark with the knife. Nature must not be charged with the malformation of these varieties; at least had she formed them, as soon as she saw her error she would have blotted out her work.’
Matthew (1831) pages 261-263
‘ We ask if even the fact of these unnaturally tender varieties (obtained by long continued selection, probably assisted by culture, soil and climate, and which, without the cherishing of man, would soon disappear)..’
Matthew (1831) page 67:
‘It is also found that the uniformity in each kind of wild growing plants called species may be broken down by art or culture and that when once a breach is made, there is almost no limit to disorder, the mele that ensues being nearly incapable of reduction.’
Matthew (1831) page 387: ‘As far back as history reaches, man had already had considerable influence, and had made encroachments upon his fellow denizens, probably occasioning the destruction of many species, and the production and continuation of a number of varieties or even species, which he found more suited to supply his wants, but which from the infirmity of their condition—not having undergone selection by the law of nature, of which we have spoken cannot maintain their ground without his culture and protection.’
Matthew (1831) Here Matthew refers to crab apple trees – which are likely the closest to the original, and most hardy of the apple species. He crosses his unique heretical discovery of natural selection with is unique use of the Artificial Selection versus Natural Selection Analogy with his seditious Chartist libertarian social reform politics to propose a bio-social explanation for why it is bad for human stock (as a national or regional variety) and bad for human society if there is not free crossing in complex human society as there is in societies which may be closer to ‘nature’. He writes on page 366:
‘It is an eastern proverb, that no king is many removes from a shepherd. Most conquerors and founders of dynasties have followed the plough or the flock. Nobility, to be in the highest perfection, like the finer varieties of fruits, independent of having its vigour excited by regular married alliance with wilder stocks, would require stated complete renovation, by selection anew from among the purest crab.’
Matthew (1831) Pages 381 – 382. It is here that Matthew, heretically, hands “God” his redundancy notice. To do so, he uses the analogy in question to demonstrate (provide what he believes is evidential “proof”) that living matter has the plastic (malleable) quality necessary to create new species by way of their diverging from ancestral varieties with which they would thereafter be incapable of breeding :
‘ We are therefore led to admit, either of a repeated miraculous creation; or of a power of change, under a change of circumstances, to belong to living organized matter, or rather to the congeries of inferior life, which appears to form superior. The derangements and changes in organized existence, induced by a change of circumstance from the interference of man, affording us proof of the plastic quality of superior life, and the likelihood that circumstances have been very different in the different epochs, though steady in each, tend to heighten the probability of the latter theory.’
Mike, thanks for collecting all these quotes together – they make for very interesting reading when presented together in this way. I was most interested, in particular, to read the quote from page 366. This one is new to me, and I think I will need to add it as another featured “Excerpt” relating to natural selection. The same may also be true of the quote from page 3. Certainly they should be highlighted on PMP in some way.
Reading the above quotations, the following two points are apparent:
1) Matthew uses “selection” to refer to both artificial selection and natural selection (as I’d previously said)
2) Matthew “personalises” Nature in some of these quotes, referring to “Nature’s own rearing”, and also that “Nature must not be charged with the malformation of these varieties; at least had she formed them, as soon as she saw her error she would have blotted out her work”.
Both these points indeed show that, to some extent, Matthew is drawing some parallels between natural selection and artificial selection. I’m not sure which one comes “first”, but certainly there is some degree of comparison.
Mike – I agree.
I feel to a degree that (and this would be an easy explanation that Matthew, being an agriculturalist naturalist , used natural selection more as an analogy to explain artificial selection. I then thought Darwin used artificial selection more as an analogy to explain natural selection.
And if I wanted to tell a story that made easy sense, based upon the likely motives of each man that would make sense and would be an easy story to sell and for others to swallow.
However, I think Matthew was a far more complex man. I don’t think we can find any either/or binary in his thinking or motives. I’ve other examples of his complex nature.
After all why did he mock priests? Why mock the notion of a God creating new and destroying old species if agriculture was his main/sole aim?
I would prefer to find a simpler explanation. But the evidence – considered honestly and thoughtfully – suggests Matthew used the analogy in question both ways (1) To explain artificial slection and (2) to explain natural selection for two reasons (a) because that also explains artificial selection and (b) because it also explains (as Loudon thought he may have seen) the origin and extinction of species.
I think Darwin (1844 & 1859) used only the simple analogy (the Encyclopedia Britannica [and my own understanding] version of artificial slection) of Artificial Selection v Natural Selection as an explanation of Natural slection only. In that sense Darwrin’s single aim was far less complex that Matthew’s dual aim.
I suspect people in the mid-19th century found Matthew a confusing, unfathomable and heretical and seditious Chartiist – yet also sound practical agriculturalist looking for evidence based policy – dangerous, enigma. I suspect they had absolutely no idea what to make of him.
Would you agree to any degree?
How do we make sense of Matthew’s complexity?
I think Matthew’s use of the analogy in question is an important key to making better sense of the story of the discovery of natural selection. Low and Mudie used the analogy also – we cannot simply ignore them nor their links to both Matthew and Darwin (whatever those links most likely mean or don’t mean)
The story has never been looked at from this analogy use angle – at least not to my knowledge. That said, I always knew I would have to go back and read Dempster’s 3 books all over again .I’m going to read them to see.
The page 3 Matthew text is quoted in my book Mike.
THE appendix in “Nullius” includes all Matthew’s 1831 natural selection relevant text in one place. : https://kindle.amazon.com/post/27ESrIoeSduivkdDn3QxvQ
Thanks Mike, that’s good to know.
I looked at Dempster this morning. What follows adds more to this line of inquiry. Dempster also though Matthew was first to use the analogy in question. And it is clear that this line of inquiry helps us better understand Matthew’s great originality and also to bust the myth that he his a few idea an appendix.
As I maintained from the outset in my book “Nullius”, Matthew’s discovery runs like a thread through his 1831 book. If anyone still doubts that, they need only look at the page numbers in the relevant text on the analogy that I have cited above.
Jim Dempster (Dempster, W. J (1996) Evolutionary Concepts in the Nineteenth Century. Edinburgh. The Pentland Press.) wrote a whole chapter (pp. 80-97) on the use of “selection” by 19th century animal breeders and what Matthew, Darwin and others wrote on the subject at page 85:
‘Patrick Matthew after 20 years experience as a fruit breeder wrote out ‘natural process of selection’ in his Naval Timber ‘without an effort of concentrated thought’. As a professional breeder the term ‘selection’ would be part of his everyday existence. It would appear, however, this was the first time the term had been formally committed to print in a philosophical sense.To the hybridist Matthew the analogy between artificial and natural selection was a fact too obvious to merit further debate on the basis of hypothesis.’
That is true, but we have seen, by collecting all that Matthew wrote on the analogy,that he fully understood its significance in explaining the outcomes of both artificial and natural selection.
Dempster (1886 p. 88):
‘For someone with a philosophic turn of mind the analogy between artificial slection for domestic purposes and what obtained in nature was exact.’
Dempster (1996, p.83) writes about how Lawrence had in 1819 published his heretical lectures on breeding improved stock of humans using artificial slection techniques known to animal breeders. On the grounds of its heresy, according to Dempster, Lawrence’s book was refused copyright by the Lord Chancellor, but underground copies existed. Dempster tells us that Darlington in his 1859 book’ Darwin’s place in history’ claims that Matthew probably read and was converted by Lawrence’s heresy. Dempster (p. 84) notes the problem is that Matthew. like Darwin. was not good at citing his influencers- and he never cited Lawrence.
According to Dempster (p.82) Edward Blyth supported Lawrence’s work – which although withdrawn in 1820 was recommended by Blythe in 1835. Dempster tells us that Lawrence warned Huxley not to become engaged in work on the natural history of man.
The story of Lawrence sheds much light on the prejudice of society (led in Britain by the naturalist parsons of Oxford and Cambridge) towards any published work on ideas about artificial selection and the ‘breeding of humans’ – something, as we have seen above, which Matthew wrote about and then carried forward in his book Emigration Fields (1839) where he advocated that Europeans should cross with the Maori people of New Zealand. So much for the self-serving Darwinist myth that Matthew did nothing to take his ideas forward after 1831!
Mike, I have a fascinating review of PM’s “Prospectus of the NZ Land Company” from the Perthshire Advertiser in 1839, confirming just how distasteful PM’s idea of British-Maori interbreeding was considered by some of his contemporaries. Below is a quote from that review:
“Imagine one of nature’s unsophisticated sons approaching some sturdy settler as he stands at his door in the contemplative enjoyment of the fruits of his industry,— and laying his hand on his stomach (the savage sentiments are low) and declaring his consuming passion for his (the settler’s) daughter! We think we see the Briton’s curled and quivering lip, as he eyes the sable nuddity from top toe, and enquires whether the “Noble Savage” would prefer her baked or barbecued? A union of races not to be thought of. It is opposed to all experience, and the pride of the human heart; and it is contrary the physical laws that the energetic should stand about for the inert. The Rifle and the Rum Cask have ever been the regulators of the Bush — evils, doubtless, in the abstract, but preparing room for thousands to live in affluence, where only units could previously subsist.”
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One word Mike WOW!
I suspected as much. You have tangible evidence. And look what happened to Lawrence.
Thanks Mike. Of course, this is the opinion of just one newspaper editor – perhaps the editor is the one who is out of step! But I do doubt that. Incidentally, the review is mostly favourably disposed to PM’s proposal of NZ emigration as set out in his “Prospectus”. It’s just this one issue of Maori-British intermarriage that the editor objects to.
Sadly, as far as I’m aware, PM’s “Prospectus of the Scots New Zealand Land Company” is only available, in hard-copy form, in a couple of NZ and Australian university libraries – if any one knows different please let me know!
In sum, I was wrong, Dempster (1986) looked at the history of the discovery of natural selection from the same Artificial Selection versus Natural Selection analogy we have been discussing here at length.
Mike – could you please explain, therefore, why it is you think I am wrong to use the term ‘artificial selection’ in this analogy, in the exact same way Dempster uses it? If you can educate me as to exactly why I am wrong in my understanding of what artificial slection is I would much appreciate it. I’d rather not be making a fool of myself if I have failed to understand the thing to which you only allude.
I don’t have access to the journals you cited. But, as the 19TH CENTURY mathematician Hilbert once said, if you cannot explain something complex to the man in the street than you do not fully understand it. So I’m sure you can explain your alternative notion of what artificial slection is, here, in a couple of sentences. That expert explanation would be much appreciated. So that I can why Dempster and I are both wrong.
Mike, PM does many things with his observations of living things under domestication versus in the wild – all of them valuable. He also makes *comparisons* between the two states, all along the lines of “the results of man’s influence are inferior to the results of nature’s influence”. But to me, a *comparison* is not the same thing as an *analogy*. A comparison is about the end results or products (in this case, the living things after domestication vs in the wild). An analogy is about the “inner workings” or processes involved (in this case, the way that artificial selection works vs the way that natural selection works).
To me, the *analogy* between artificial selection and natural selection is that man selects breeding pairs, and in a sense a personified “Nature” also selects survivors for her “breeding program”.
Does Matthew make that analogy directly? Not as far as I’m concerned, no. But he does to some extent make it indirectly, both by personifying Nature and by using the same word “selection” to refer to what man does and what Nature does. He never says “just as Nature selects the fittest, so the breeder selects for his own purposes”, but, as I say, he does imply this.
He never says “just as Nature selects the fittest, so the breeder selects for his own purposes”, but, as I say, he does imply this.
I agree he implies it in many of those example from Matthew listed above. So much so that there can be no reasonable doubt that he means it.
I think in the example below he actually writes it (with different words of course):
Note Matthew says “the law of which we have spoken” – so it would be redundant for him to write it precisely as you have done. The analogy is wholly there. Surely?
Interestingly, Lawrence has a whole chapter on the dangers of explaining things by way of analogy. But in that case he is referring to trying to categorize species etc.
Mike, perhaps we are not using the word “analogy” in the same way. In the passage you quote above, I don’t see where Matthew directly says that man’s “production and continuation of a number of varieties or even species” works in the same way as “selection by the law of nature”. To me, the “by which we have spoken” refers to his earlier explanation of macroevolution be natural selection a few paragraphs earlier in this the all-important End-Appendix section. But Matthew does indirectly imply there’s an analogy, for the two reasons I’ve stated before.
Mike – you know I think you might be right. If we both have different ideas about what an analogy is then we are arguing form different premises, I think.
Sydney smith (1771 – 1845) Celebrated wit and Anglican cleric is said to have made a most amusing pun upon seeing two women abusing each other from opposite houses. He is reported to have remarked:
“They will never agree: they are arguing from different premises.”
So to see if this might be the case can you tell me if your definition of an analogy is different to mine:
For me an analogy is something that is done as an explanatory device to make something complex easier to understand by comparing one thing with another. All analogies are fallacies because the two things being compared are not at all the same thing. What is important is how the person using the analogy in question allows the recipient of it to see how one thing relates to the other and why.An analogy is deployed, therefore, in order to understand the complexity of the original issue being explained. In short, I use common dictionary definitions: “An analogy is a comparison between one thing and another, typically for the purpose of explanation.”
Matthew compared Natural selection with artificial selection in order to explain that nature was selecting varieties by way of what he called “the natural process of slection”, which was, unlike artificial selection, operated as a blind and unthinking natural law (process) to select those varieties that were most circumstance suited to survive in the wild. Humans, on the other hand, selected varieties as a cognitive project deliberately for their own wants and needs only.
How does our thinking differ Mike?
Unless you correct my assumption – I think we surely both think an analogy is the same as the common dictionary definition of it: that an analogy is simply the comparison of one thing with another. Therefor, I think we have been debating here for some tie at cross-purposes for another reason. You wrote above:
” I don’t see where Matthew directly says that man’s “production and continuation of a number of varieties or even species” works in the same way as “selection by the law of nature”.
When I say Matthew was first to use the analogy of Artificial selection versus Natural Selection the key word in the analogy I have so named (I’m not sure if I coined it – I somehow doubt it) is the words “versus”.
I am not at all saying that Matthew used the analogy to explain that human slection works in “the same way as selection by the law of nature.” I am saying he used it in the opposite way. The analogy is “selection” but the fallacy (that is in all analogies) is that section by man is not at all like slection by nature. And that is why Matthew used that analogy. This is exactly the same analogy and notion of it that I argued above that Wallace used. It is the point I made in my criticism of Bowler (Darwin deleted 2013 p. 31) for seeking to make a case that Wallace did not influence Darwin (ignoring the fact that Matthew made the analogy before Darwin or Wallace) . Bowler wrote:
“Wallace also missed key elements of the case Darwin presented, most obviously the analogy between artificial and natural selection.”
And Darwin’s pre-Wallace use of the analogy was the exact same one – that artificial selection and natural slection do not work in the same way:
Darwin (1844 – unpublished essay) wrote
‘In the case of forest trees raised in nurseries, which vary more than the same trees do in their aboriginal forests, the cause would seem to lie in their not having to struggle against other trees and weeds, which in their natural state doubtless would limit the conditions of their existence…’”
Clearly Wallace (supposedly not having had site of Darwin’s private essay of 1844) did not miss the same analogy at all. Here we are talking of the analogy identified by both Dempster and before him by Eiseley as an analogy
So – to move forward – I’m guessing somewhere else – post Wallace 1858 – You are actually referring to Darwin’s later (after he had read Wallace) opposite (yet shown subsequently to be flawed) analogy – that Artificial slection and natural slection were in some ways similar?
In which case we have been arguing from different premises about which analogy the other is referring to, which is strange because I have many times used the forest trees example to explain which I meant.
Mike I think I have found the root of our “arguing from different premises” .
It’s a social science meets natural science misunderstanding.
The Wikipedia page on “Analogy” has this to say: “The word analogy can also refer to the relation between the source and the target themselves, which is often, though not necessarily, a similarity, as in the biological notion of analogy.” See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analogy
Is it true Mike that when biologists use the word “analogy” their notion is that the things being compared must always be similar ? Of course, I was working on the premise of “not necessarily”.
If your premise is that an analogy must always be about similarities, then that would explain why I have been mystified by your comments and you by mine.
I have been writing about an analogy where “selection” was dissimilar in the two subjects that were compared to each other (natural versus artificial selection) .
And so it seems are two artificial / natural selection analogies in the story in question:
(1) The (earlier) Artificial Selection versus Natural Selection analogy – that was used apparently first by Matthew (in absence of disconfirming evidence), then by Muddie, then Low, then Darwin [private essay 1844 ] then Wallace (1858), then Darwin again in the Origin of Species (1859 – pp 83-84). Where the differences are the explanation.
Details here: https://www.bestthinking.com/thinkers/science/social_sciences/sociology/mike-sutton?tab=blog&blogpostid=22780
And then a later analogy where Darwin originated something unique – namely he coined the explanatory concept of the:
(2) The Artificial Selection is similar to Natural Selection Analogy. – where the simialrities are the explanation.
Am I right?
If so – could you show where it is in the literature that Darwin uses the second analogy by any chance please. I would be most grateful Mike, as I would like to clear this matter up in a paper I am writing.
Mike, yes you’ve hit the nail on the head. To me the “analogy” is your point (2) above, and the other point (your point (1)), which to me is a contrasting comparing about how dissimilar two things are, is not an analogy because to me an analogy is about similarities, not differences. I also tend to think about analogies as about illustrating “inner workings”, although that may just be me. However, I would also note that when biologists read Bowler’s statement about Darwin’s use of the “analogy” argument, everyone knows he’s referring to your Point (2) above, so that’s why no-one cried “wolf” about Wallace arguing as per your Point (1) above.
So in summary, Matthew, Wallace and Darwin all made use of Point (1). Darwin also used Point (2) as an argumentative device in On the Origin of Species, while neither Matthew or Wallace did this. Matthew didn’t use it as an argumentative device, but he did hint at it via his use of the word “selection” in both contexts.
Mike – Ah we have enlightened one another.
The problem is now that outside the realm of biology others will not understand that biologist see an analogy in that way only. Unless it is explained to them. Moreover, biologists might think the wider analogy is not actually an analogy at all – when those from other disciplines think it is.
What we are talking about then is “a biologists analogy” and a “general analogy.” I must now go and correct my criticism of Bowler with that caveat. Given that his book was not aimed just at biologists this is rather an important lesson for us all – I think. Without working it out here, Dempster’s referring to the general (first) analogy (1) as an analogy would not make sense to biologists.
If we are to have a cross-disciplinary dialogue – as we are doing here – we need to make sure we are arguing from the same premise.
I’ve added the information that there are in fact two artificial/natural selection analogies. The text that follows is the first few paragraphs from my amended bog post on this topic:
‘In absence of disconfirming data for the currently available evidence that Patrick Matthew (1831) originated (was first to write and have published) the ‘Artificial Selection versus Natural Selection Analogy’, when he included it in his book On Naval Timber and Arboriculture, I propose that Matthew (1831) was not only first to originate and have published the full hypothesis of natural selection , but that he did also originate the powerfully explanatory Artificial Selection versus Natural Selection Analogy.
An analogy is something that is done as an explanatory device to make something complex easier to understand by comparing one thing with another. All analogies are fallacies because the two things being compared are not at all the same thing. What is important is how the person using the analogy in question allows the recipient of it to see how one thing relates to the other and why.An analogy is deployed, therefore, in order to understand the complexity of the original issue being explained. In short, I use common dictionary definitions: “An analogy is a comparison between one thing and another, typically for the purpose of explanation.”
An analogy between things can be used to show how they are different or the same. That said, it must be noted however, that biologists are unique when it comes to how they use analogies. In biology, an analogy is only ever used to show how things are similar or the same. We might call it the “the biologists analogy’ as opposed to the wider ‘these things are similar or different’ analogies that other disciplines understand.Therefore, to date at least, when biologists have written of Darwin’s analogy between natural and artificial selection they are only ever referring to an argumentative analogy that Darwin deployed in the Origin of Species (1859) to show, argumentatively, how natural and artificial selection have certain similarities.
As we shall see in this blog post, Darwin also used an analogy of difference between natural and artificial selection that we might call the Artificial Selection versus Natural Selection Analogy He used in in an unpublished essay in 1844 and again in the origin of Species (1859). In absence of dis-confirming evidence Matthew (1831) was the first to use the Artificial versus Natural Selection Analogy and Darwin (1859) the first to use the Artificial Selection is similar to Natural Selection argumentative an analogy. I am grateful to my associate Dr Mike Weale for debating this issue with me at length on the Patrick Matthew Project until April 14 2015 (here).. when agreed on the fact there are in fact these two distinct artificial selection to explain natural selection analogies.
Matthew compared natural selection with artificial selection in order to compare things that are different to explain that nature was selecting varieties by way of what he called “the natural process of selection”, which was, unlike artificial selection, operated as a blind and unthinking natural law (process) to select those varieties that were most circumstance suited to survive in the wild. Humans, on the other hand, selected varieties as a cognitive project deliberately for their own wants and needs only.’
Yes, that looks fine Mike – thanks for amending your blog piece.
Lawrence’s heresy does not touch upon natural selection but if we run the “first to be second” ID method on it that may reveal some evidence that Matthew read and was influenced by it.
Also Darlington’s (1959 – [apologies for my Freudian slip typo in above comment where I wrote 1859!], which claims Matthew read and was converted by Lawrence can be found free online here: http://archive.org/stream/darwinsplaceinhi00darl/darwinsplaceinhi00darl_djvu.txt
You can search Darlington’s text for references to Matthew – but be sure to misspell his name Mathew to find the relevant sections.
Here is the relevant text from Darlington. Note 2 things. 1. the great suppression of Lawrence ) backed up by books written against him) the reasons why one might wish not to cite the likes of Lawence and the likes (therefore) of Matthew and 2. The claim that Lawrence was popular with the Chartists. Patrick Matthew was a Chartist leader!
THE SUPPRESSION OF LAWRENCE 21
The political situation at the time was of course extremely
dangerous. The official reaction was inevitable. Lawrence was
repudiated by the leading member of his profession, his own
teacher, Abernethy. There are seven books in the British
Museum, five anonymous, four by the clergy, confuting or
denouncing him, often with a wealth of biological argument.
Lord Chancellor Eldon declined to allow copyright on the
grounds that the work contradicted the Scriptures.
In these circumstances Lawrence had a fearful choice before
him. Prosecution, or at least persecution and professional ruin,
faced him if he continued to sponsor the book. With the
example of Joseph Priestley before him (of which he had no
doubt been reminded) he suppressed his own book. Keeping
to his own job, earning his own living and publishing only
technical works, he survived the crisis. He became in due
course President of the Royal College of Surgeons and Ser-
geant-Surgeon to Queen Victoria. Before he died in 1867 she
made him a baronet. Never again had he ventured to express
his views in public on the processes of evolution, on the past
or the future of man.
As a footnote to this story I like to recall that Lawrence
noted that the pronunciation of the Hottentots ‘which is like
the clucking of a turkey’ is connected with the shapes of their
mouths. ‘The boney palate is smaller, shorter and less arched
than in other races.’ Here he anticipated my own theory of the
phonetic evolution of language, a theory which would seem to
be self-evident, but one which Darwin and the Darwinians
(and of course the linguists) failed to rediscover.
After the suppression of Lawrence’s book, nine illicit but
apparently quite unexpurgated editions were produced. Of
these, five versions and two extracts are in the British Museum.
In addition there is a letter from Lawrence to a courageous
22 darwin’s place in history
bookseller, William Hone, who was evidently going to produce
the first unauthorized edition. 1 For thirty years the book re-
mained a centre of controversy, applauded by Chartists and
radicals, denounced by the most respectable authorities.
Forty-four years later, as he relates in his preface to Mans
Place in Nature, the young T. H. Huxley was warned by
Lawrence not to broach this dangerous topic of the evolution
of man. Lawrence, he said, ‘one of the ablest men whom I have
known had been well-nigh ostracized for his book On Man
which now might be read in a Sunday-School without sur-
prising anybody’. I judge from this remark and from his
chapter in Darwin’s Life and Letters, that Huxley had not read
Lawrence’s book, or not since his own conversion in 1859.
Nor had Darwin. For neither of them supports or contradicts
Lawrence on the theoretical issues that he examines. If either
of them had done so he would have been able to write a better
Francis Darwin suggests (in 1903) that his father unluckily
saw only a late edition of Prichard which was not clear on the
evolution or transformation issue. But there was only one text
of Lawrence. That text puts the issue in its contents pages.
Darwin quoted the book five times on points of detail but
never on the main issue.
Before we pass on we may note the reasons for Lawrence’s
failure or rather disaster. He made three mistakes. He acknow-
ledged his indebtedness to predecessors. He based his views
on man. And he pointed out all the implications for the society
of his day.
An indirect connection between the ideas of Lawrence and
of Darwin is to be found in Patrick Mathew. It was Mathew
who indignantly claimed the theory of natural selection as his
1 Bibliography, p. 101.
THE SUPPRESSION OF LAWRENCE 23
own, and had his original statement of it from 1831 reprinted
in the Gardener’s Chronicle in i860. This statement was made
in an appendix to a work on the growth of timber for warships.
Mathew, in a few brilliant pages irrelevant to his main theme,
had expounded a complete theory of evolution. 1 In the same
book he had also introduced a few equally irrelevant but
equally illuminating views on the evolution of race and class
in man and the decay of aristocracies. These opinions as a whole
are related to only one source, to the conclusions which Law-
rence had recently derived by close reasoning from the
Evidently Mathew had read Lawrence. Evidently also in his \
statement of natural selection as a principle governing the 1
origin of species he makes an advance on Lawrence. What is \
more remarkable is that he expresses himself more rigorously
than Darwin was able to express himself in the Origin of
Species twenty-eight years later. For he attributes evolution to /
natural selection without reservation. And, like Maupertuis, I
he adds that, as for Lamarckian adaptation, we may test the I
possibility of it by experiment. This suggestion again fell by /
the wayside until after Darwin’s death. Mathew was certainly I
justified in claiming the theory but he in his turn failed to J
acknowledge his precursor, William Lawrence. ^S
The issue is thus clear. As the cause of adaptation and evolu-
tionary change Lamarck believed only in direction before
variation; the English medical evolutionists believed only in
selection after variation. The issue and the conflict between
these two opposed explanations of evolutionary change was
the great advance on the misunderstanding of earlier genera-
tions. It avoided the treatment of the two possible modes of
evolutionary change by direction and by selection as parallel
Very interesting stuff, Mike. The link to Chartism makes it even more likely that Matthew read this.
Yes – if there is hard evidence that the Chartists did favour it. Darlington presents none. Looks like more digging is needed. But its a good line of potentially promising inquiry.
It is now my intention to run the ID method based upon the premise of the “First o be be Second F2B2 Hypothesis” to see whether there is evidence to support Darlington’s belief that Matthew read and was influenced Lawrence pre 1831.
I have no idea what I will find but I am hypothesizing that Matthew will be found to be first to be second in replicating some unique “Lawrenceisms.” Give me a couple of weeks and then let’s see what the results are. I’ll report back here and on my blog at BestThinking.com
Those not familiar with the F2B2 hypothesis – here is an explanation of it from my blog site https://www.bestthinking.com/thinkers/science/social_sciences/sociology/mike-sutton?tab=blog&blogpostid=22763
This is the opportunity I have been waitng for since I wrote in my book “Nullius” in 2014:
‘The failure of Matthew to cite his influences is deeply frustrating. However, it is an area that future work can shed considerably more light upon, now that we can use ID to detect the less obvious etymological and philosophical origins of NTA. Whatever the case of his influences, if it exists, I have totally failed, despite my very best efforts, to find anything remotely resembling a hypothesis of natural selection preceding NTA.’
I’m honestly interested in the results (if you let me agree with you for once). I’ve just read the first 34 pages of Darlington and dare say he’s as good a writer as Eiseley. But what Darlington describes is called self-censorship rather than plagiarism. Yes, Lamarck did not cite Erasmus Darwin and Buffon; yes, Lawrence did not cite Lamarck, Erasmus Darwin and Buffon; yes, Matthew did not cite Lawrence, Lamarck, Erasmus Darwin and Buffon…. But can we blame it on the individuals? Or is the blame on the restrictive society, at least up till 1860?
. Dr Dagg
I am not aware of ever having a problem with you agreeing with me – I may perhaps have forgotten an occurance?. .
With regard to self-censorship. Much has been speculated upon this topic in this precise area – by many before me.
I write about it in “Nullius” as self-censorship with regard to why the gentlemen of science would be loath to cite Matthew’s book – as opposed to any conspiracy being in play.
However, in my opinion, it is plagiarism (and a sub-type of science fraud) when one denies outright ever having been in the remotest bit influenced by prior-published work .
Matthew was not called upon to answer whether or not he had read Lawrence. Neither was Darwin for that matter. But Darwin was called upon to answer on the Matthew matter – and he answered in the negative.
So in the case of whether Darwin read Matthew, it becomes a question of plagiarism. Because Darwin called it “my theory” and denied ever being influence by Matthew.
Matthew for his part laid claim to the process natural selection as his own prior discovery in 1860 in the Gardeners Chronicle. Therefore, it were to be the case that Lawrence had a lot, most or all of the entire hypothesis of natural selecton in his 1819 publication I would be looking to accuse Matthew of plagiarism.
From what I’ve seen and examined of Lawrence today (and there is an awful lot to read) there is not yet a case to be made that Matthew read his book. That said, I do quite suspect he might have – but so far I can see many similar ideas (cited n fact) written by Lawrence that come from Buffon, Lamarck and Hunter – all had similar ideas. I will very tentatively remark that if Matthew read and cribbed from Lawrence he disguised it well. It will take lot of rigorous and systematic checking before I can be confident of anything on that question, however. I’m looking to nail Matthew for plagiarism now. That’s the only way to do it rigorously in such cases. I might succeed. I might fail. I see no evdience so far that Lawrence understood natural selection – but he does remark that domestic varities are more numerous and artificial. However, Buffon did the same – at least as I remember t.
I’m enjoying reading Lawrence. He was a rebel. I like the fact he wrote this:
“When favourite speculations have been long indulged, and much pains have been bestowed on them, they are viewed with that parental partiality, which cannot bear to hear of faults in the object of its attachment. The mere doubt of an impartial observer is offensive ; and the discovery of anything like a blemish in the darling, is not only ascribed to an entire want of discrimination and judgment, but resented as an injury. The irritation rises higher in proportion to the coolness of the object which excites it..”
A point of view I forgot to add on the question of “self censorship” versus plagiarism. In addition to what I wrote above, if an author replicated a swathe of unique text without citing its prior published source that is on the fact of it (and has always been) plagiarism. What the motives for such prose replication might be we cannot know unless the plagiarist tells us. We might speculate that the plagiarist admired the author and was paying them the only compliment possible under the social codes of the time. But because we cannot know that is where mere debate comes in.
If I find Matthew plagiarized Lawrence’s prose I’ll report on it. If he apparently first replicated the odd apparently unique term or phrase (of which I have already found Lawrence apparently coined many) then that will strongly suggest (in my opinion) in absence of disconfirmng evidence that Matthew did read Lawrence. It is this last question I am primarily concerned with. But who knows what will turn up.
Mike – I suspect you will have heard of Darlington. He was recruited by Bateson no less! : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._D._Darlington
Mike, no I haven’t, but he’s clearly a distinguished scientist. On the other hand, his views on racial differences were quite 19th-century. Matthew would have approved, except Darlington was against inter-racial unions. I say “quite 19th-century”, but his views are still alive today – in the maverick views of Jim Watson for example.
Dr. Weale I’m afraid the issue of racial intelligence is still very much alive today but the fear of being crankified …a once newer terminology for the much older heresy in Matthew’s time or so… 19th Century as you referred to it Dr. Weale… further has…not only stymied research but now… under it’s newest form…the auspiciousness of political correction…simply and viciously labels anyone claiming to dare even suggest different levels of racial intelligence…a bigot…and in so doing… as the Watson story shows… condemns one to censorship that might me undeserving. Is it possible that Watson fell victim to a paradoxically imposed line in the sand…that of believing his own as well as others research. How does one come to terms scientifically if one is restricted and not allowed to bring factual light forward when others dictate what is to be written historically and what is not…which in and of itself is very 19th Century…and which is still redundantly being applied. Howard L. Minnick
Since the human genome project we have discovered that there are – rather amazingly – greater variations within so called “racial” groups then between them.
What this means – and remarkably Lawrence sees to have grasped this same thing in 1819 but had no DNA discovery to explain it – is that our old systems of classifying human varieties according to obvious visible genetic markers such as skin tone, hair, eye colour, noses and lips are no more than fractionally important genetic markers. What this translates into – by way of just one example is that an aboriginal Australian is far, far, more genetically similar to East Asians than a Black African. And yet if hair texture and skin tone is the determinant of the old concept of “race” is anything to go by then we would expect to lump them in (classify) them with all black people rather than Asians. But that would be ludicrous given what we now know,
In other words, the whole notion of race is spurious flawed science based upon mere visible markers rather than real and greater (internal) differences and similarity. In other words ‘race’ has no meaning if skin tone and hair texture is the classifying system – which is exactly what is used in these “race” and IQ tests.
Now a DNA IQ test would be a different matter entirely.
Not my point Mike….the redundancy of applying 19th Century thinking is…via the evolution from heresy to political correction. It’s still applied… and it’s still redundantly just as impeding to scientific research today as it was then…just under different pseudonyms…but Great Minds are at stake that shouldn’t be.
By way of another humerus example I watched a US documentary where several Black men – who looked like what many people would call “African Americans” and who all self-identified as “Black” – who all knew each other – were DNA tested at their barbers shop. They were all shocked at their % of white European DNA. One – who looked no more European than his friends joked along the lines of “What the hell am I hanging out with you guys for. I’m 60% white! Shame my white brothers don’t want to know me”
That is funny…and like you said I’m more brit (62%) than most brits are today…But I haven’t gotten to the root of the obvious Irish geneticist who separated my 2% Irish. to me that was obviously done for purposes of….you guessed it…Political Correction
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| | | Dysology commented on Leave a Reply. in response to mikeweale: Mike, no I haven’t, but he’s clearly a distinguished scientist. On the other hand, his views on racial differences were quite 19th-century. Matthew would have approved, except Darlington was against inter-racial unions. I say “quite 19th-century”, but his views are still alive today – in the maverick views of Jim Watson for example. By way of another humerus example I watched a US documentary where several Black men – who looked like what many people would call “African Americans” and who all self-identified as “Black” – who all knew each other – were DNA tested at their barbers shop. They were all shocked at their % of white European DNA. One – who looked no more European than his friends joked along the lines of “What the hell am I hanging out with you guys for. I’m 60% white! Shame my white brothers don’t want to know me” | Reply | Like |
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From Page 263 of Lawrence 1819:
“The latter examples prove that colour is not an essential character of race that identity of tint is not necessary to establish descent from a common stock. These occurrences together with the numerous examples of the widest deviation in colour in animals confessedly of the same species fully authorise us to conclude that however striking the contrast maybe between the fair European and the ebon African and however unwilling the former may be to trace up his pedigree to the same Adam with the latter this superficial distinction is altogether insufficient to establish diversity of species .”
Pretty advanced thinking pre DNA,..no wonder they banned his book!
Howard, I think there is an element of political correctness in the debate surrounding racial differences in mental abilities, but I also think there is sound science all pointing to the genetic basis of racial differences being very small indeed. Matthew, along with the prevailing 19th century view, was wrong on this one. Simple as that.
I’ve met Jim Watson, and I think my word “maverick” is actually a rather kind way to describe him.
Dr. Weale, I’m not defending or promoting Watson… I don’t consider him of any great significance but used him merely pointing out that a case of antiquated redundancy doesn’t go away just because it has been modernized in nomenclature. And if you read Emigration Fields I think that you’ll find that Patrick Matthew encouraged inter racial relationships that would lead to ensuring an easier transition to civilizing the indigenous natives of New Zealand… and would at the same time ensure that they would not be annihilated which is exactly what he was opposed to…Still his views went counter to lingering embers even within 19th Century mentality… that were still prevalent in some circles… of Conquer, Conquest, and Enslavement thinking. His brief heretical Chartist ties won him more enemies than it did friends…and he willingly went them alone.
Howard and mike
As you know I am not swayed by any appeal to “the majority view” where there is hard evidence that the majority view is out of date and simply wrong. After all, that is how we refresh knowledge with new data to take us to a purer form of the truth. The majority of the flock change their view when some of their shepherds cross over.
But on the so called “race” and IQ question the premise of “race” being self-identification and visible genetic markers is so spurious as to render it completely ludicrous. All the evidence indicates those factors are substituting (a proxy indicator) for social background. If anything, ironically, those spurious tests prove prejudice on the part of society and the part of the uniformed people who conduct them. Furthermore, they establish that IQ is a poor measure of intelligence if any of those conducting such spurious tests have a high iQ.
Mike, I completely agree with your points above.
Howard, I agree that Matthew was out of step with mainstream 19th century thinking on the question of British-Maori intermarriage (see https://patrickmatthewproject.wordpress.com/leave-a-reply/comment-page-4/#comment-447). But let’s not forget he also supported the elimination of “savages” who were at a lower civilized state than Maoris, if they stood in the way of colonization, and he also thought (in line with the mainstream) that races were biologically distinct entities with separate physical and mental attributes that were inherited as a package from one generation to the next, even when races existed side by side in the same country as with the “Teutons” and “Celts” of Britain.
Political correctness has become a byword for asinine stupidity. Indeed there are some very notable and ludicrous examples, However, the term came about because of the personally nasty and socially damaging prejudices that required it. I suspect political correctness has done more good than harm.
PC can’t be used sensibly as a byword for asinine strict adherence to fashionable liberal fallacious beliefs just because some people use it that way. If I were Black, disabled, disfigured, old, gay, transgender, Roma, exceptionally short etc I would be thankful for the PC movement.
Matthew never suffered at the hands of the PC movement as we understand it. The PC movement came about to protect minorities form the majority.
Matthew was a victim of the “establishment” – a victim of “the bleating and incorrect majority view”. Perhaps we should say he was a victim of “Political incorrectness” PI?
On a cursory reading of his work I got the impression he was against mixed ethnicity conceptions. So I was surprised just how positively the Wikipedia site present him.
I’ve no idea what data he based his ideas on, so I can’t comment. I’m guessing it was heavily flawed. If that is so, Wikipedia might want to know.
He thought Matthew’s views on race and class and evolution and decay of aristocracies had only Lawrence as a forebear in the literature. That’s his evidence that Matthew read Lawrence. It’s no enough. If we had evidence that Matthew knew Lawrence or knew those who read Lawrence who then influenced Matthew then that would be a different matter – as it is in the case of Darwin and Wallace. I’ll see what ID reveals on the F2B2 hypothesis and Lawrence.
Having spent many hours reading Lawrence I’ve concluded that Darlington has sent me on fools errand.
He makes no page references to the claims he makes that Matthew would have been influenced Lawrence’s prose on degeneracy in the upper social classes. Furthermore darlington does not even cite any of the text he thinks is relevant from Lawrence.
In fact, on that very topic of upper-class degeneracy Lawrence seems to be saying the opposite – he thinks complex human society is natural to humans rather than unnatural.Where he makes any such comparison it is based upon vague ideas Lamarkian-type lifestyle influences on human attitudes and physiology.
The work in trying to find out whether there is a clue Mattthew read Lawrence is not worth it, because there is no hint of natural selection in Lawrences’s book. (at east I’ve not found one).
There is a very vague hint that Matthew may have written something that was possibly inspired by Lawrence but it is hardly worth mentioning – the possibility so vague
Lawerence (1819) wrote comparing humans crab apples:
‘The disposition to change is exhausted in one generation and the characters of the original stock return unless the variety is kept up by the precaution above mentioned of excluding from the breed all which have not the new characters Thus when African Albinos intermix with the common race the offspring generally is black The same circumstance is seen in vegetables the seeds of our fine cultivated apples almost always produce the common crab and the variegated holly can only be preserved as a variety by grafting when we attempt to propagate it by seed it returns to the common green holly…’
Matthew (1831) page 366:
Maybe Lawrence did get Matthew thinking. That’s all we can say and there is no hard evidence for it.
I don’t think Lawrence is worth pursuing with the ID method.
See page 120. Here is the evidence that Lawrence’s works were a favourite with the Chartists. A Chartism publisher printed the pirate edition (1822) that is in Google’s library. https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=-fkLzEwjWycC&pg=PA425&dq=%22lawrence%22+%22chartists%22+1819&hl=en&sa=X&ei=8IMnVbD7J4O4adTTgbgP&ved=0CCAQ6AEwADgK#v=onepage&q=lawrence&f=false
It would be remarkable had Matthew not read Lawrence. But I can find no evidence that Matthew was influenced by it to come up with natural selection. If anything, Lawrence may have supplied a wealth of background material to show that the “revealed truths” of the scriptures could be refuted by applying rational thinking to scientific facts.
Google has the 1819 Orignal of Lawrence’s book. Bute here is the”pirate” edition (1822) published by Benbow – the Chartist publisher .https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=b7dhAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Lectures+on+Physiology,+Zoology,+and+the+Natural+History+of+Man&hl=en&sa=X&ei=74cnVf_9F8zxaO6qgKgL&ved=0CCEQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Lectures%20on%20Physiology%2C%20Zoology%2C%20and%20the%20Natural%20History%20of%20Man&f=false
Good name for a pirate publisher – Benbow! Might have etymological significance for the term pirating.
Here is the story about Benbow: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Benbow
Thanks for link – interesting!
A lot worth reading on Matthew: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=-fkLzEwjWycC&pg=PA425&dq=%22lawrence%22+%22chartists%22+1819&hl=en&sa=X&ei=8IMnVbD7J4O4adTTgbgP&ved=0CCAQ6AEwADgK#v=onepage&q=matthew&f=false
Fascinating stuff, Mike! For a book on Reform in London, there’s a lot of info on the Edinburgh school!
If anyone can find more than I have managed to find in Lawrence (1819) on natural slection principles – please leave a comment to show us where on my blog post on the topic: A Blemish in the Darling: On Lawrence and Matthew – Seeking a Purer form of the Truth:
And I will update and amend that blog post and report back here.
Mike, many thanks for looking into the evidence for and against Lawrence influencing Matthew. It’s always so difficult, and frustrating and annoying, when someone like Darlington says something without adequately stating his reasons and sources. The only remedy is to dive into the literature yourself – as you have done.
It looks like in this case Darlington has overstated the link between Lawrence and Matthew. I’d repeat Mike S’s call for anyone coming up with additional information on this to post it either here or on Mike’s blog piece.
Regarding Lawrence and natural selection, I agree that Lawrence and Pritchard are two names that are sometimes associated with W C Wells as examples of early writers on natural selection, but in the case of Lawrence and Prichard I just don’t see it myself.
There are other influences on Matthew one can investigate. Lamarck of course. But then Hunter, Hutton, Grant, Loudon, Cuvier, Buffon, Erasmus Darwin, and Adam Smith (on economics) are just a few names to investigate.
You may disagree with the strength of the circumstantial evidence – but I actually changed my mind. I think there is enough evidence when all weighed together that Matthew did read Lawrence ans was to some extent influenced by him. In the BestThinking.com blog post post – to which I provide a link (above) I explain that both wrote abut crab apples shepherds and nobles in a similar context,
Lawrence did no get anything like the hypothesis of natural selection. I think he had possibly worked it out – he kept talking of ramifications and divergence of species – out but he fell short of writing out that heresy – I think (mere guess) deliberately. Lawrence was one smart man that’s for sure.
Re Wells and Lawrence – Wells’ 1813 paper was posthumously published in 1818 – the year before Lawrence published his lectures of 1816.
As we all should know by now – Wells wrote of the piebald woman – a woman quite of possibly mixed heritage (according to the accounts given to Wells) with different areas of white and dark skin pigmentation. Lawrence wrote in some detail of similar stories of the exact same thing.
Does it seem probable that Lawrence would have been aware of Wells’ paper – presented at the Royal Society in 1813 ? if so, perhaps this is why Wells – whose paper touched upon human variation as a hereditary characteristic – and Lawrence’s (1819) subsequent work on the same theme are discussed together?
I think it is highly likely that Lawrence would have been aware of Wells’ essay. Wells, Lawrence and Prichard were all physicians practicing in London at the same time, which is why they are often mentioned in the same breath.
See pages 305-307 of Lawrence 1819 – if he had heard of the subsequently famous example of the “pebald woman” (famous post 1859) provided by Wells (given in 1813 and published in 1818) he never gave it in his (given 1816 and published 1819) lectures. Although he provided a handful of similar examples: https://books.google.co.uk/books? Check out the footnotes on pages 305-307:
Messed up the link to Lawrence. its here: see p.305-307 see footnotes: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=9xYFAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=lawrence+1819&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ECsoVcf1Cc_6aOTBgKAO&ved=0CDIQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=patches&f=false
Mike, there are two possible explanations here. One is that Lawrence was not aware of Wells’ essay. The other is that Lawrence failed to cite Wells properly – as yet another example of the more relaxed attitude to proper citation in the early 19th century. It’s possible that Lawrence had heard Wells’ version of the essay given as a lecture to the Royal Society in 1813, but was unaware that it had ben published posthumously as part of a collection of essays in 1818. After all, Darwin himself was unaware Wells’ lecture had been published (see https://patrickmatthewproject.wordpress.com/matthew-and-darwin/darwin-on-matthew-1860-1865/hooker-22-28-oct-1865/). It would then have been even less likely that Lawrence would have cited what he thought to be an unpublished talk.
The bottom line is that establishing who knew what is fiendishly difficult in an era where comprehensive citation wasn’t as rigorously adhered to as today. Maybe Lawrence knew of Wells’ essay, and maybe he didn’t. I will however retract my previous statement that it is “highly likely” that Lawrence knew of Wells’ essay.
Mike – agreed.
I wonder, is there anything written that Wells knew Lawrence and that either knew Pritchard?
Now here’s an interesting thing that I don’t think anyone has noticed before.
Crab apples are used as examples and in analogies about evolution in many early and famous publications about animal and plant (and humans) species, varieties and evolution.
In their books on human varieties , Pritchard mentions crab apples in 1818, Lwarence on 1819.
Matthew mentions them quite a lot in 1831 – Darwin in 1837 .
Pun intended :- It looks like crab apples are at the core of the discovery of natural selection.
Time to go crab hunting through the literature?
Mike, this doesn’t surprise me. I think not only were crab apples used as an archetypal example of a “parent species”, but golden pippins were used as an archetypal example of a derived variety under artificial selection, and I speculated as much some months ago in my article on Matthew (1829) (https://patrickmatthewproject.wordpress.com/short-articles/pre-1860/1829-arb/). But I did not provide any proof. This has now been provided by the blogger Joachim D. I’ll provide the links in reply to your post below.
I agree – about crabs and golden pippins. Altough the examples provided by Dr Dagg are unremarkable. Evelyn does it perhaps first to excess in 1664 (citing many before him) – and is followed thereafter by many. Perhaps most remarkably (think Zoonomia notebook and Zoonomia poems) Erasmus Darwin does it in 1800.
And if you see my comments below – in my blog today I report on my findings that I think Matthew (1831) plagiarized two examples provided by Erasmus Darwin in 1800 and then passes them off as his own unique observations made in the field.
Dr Dagg – Pippin apples –
Can you please provide a link here to any relevant posts on your blog site – and some details regarding what you reported above that you have earlier found about Charles Darwin and Pippin apples. I’ve not visited your site to look. I’ll follow any link you provide.
My pursuit of earlier writings on crab apples has turned up something very significant.
If you have “anticipated” me in any degree then I wish to acknowledge it.
Mike, the two relevant blog pieces are:
Mike – thanks
In reply to Dr Dagg’s criticism of me in his blog (the first link you kindly provide above) I see in neither of his blog posts an example any analogy at all of the Artificial Selection versus Natural Selection Analogy we have been discussing here. The examples of text Dr Dagg supplies in his blog are simply like so many before them merely examples of writers explaining what artificial selection does. There is no kind of analogy made between artificial and natural selection in them that I can see. I think, once again Dr Dagg misses the point in rush to criticize my discovery of a blemish in the darling Darwin,
To our current knowledge, Matthew was the first to use the analogy in question and Dr Dagg’s criticism is unsupported by evidence.
The second blog on Golden Pippin apples is warranted in that it would be fair to criticize me for making too much of Darwin’s 1837 Zoonomia notebook opening on the topic of apples. Except I do so not solely to prove that Darwin plagiarized Matthew (I have plenty of hard evidence for that) but to show that Matthew’s expert area was at the forethought of Darwin’s earliest recorded thinking on natural selection and that Darwin claimed Matthew was meely an obscure writer on “forest trees” when in reality he had – incriminatingly, pre 1837, read Matthew’s article on golden pippin apples. Darwin never laid that fact before the public when he claimed no prior knowledge of Matthew and sought to portray him as something less than he was.
I wanted to see what Dr Dagg had written on Golden Pippins because I have discovered Erasmus Darwin in 1800 wrote about them and crab apples. Darwin would – therefore – it seems have included in his Zoonomia notebook (the same title as his grandfathers poems on evolution) something highly relevant about Golden Pippins which alludes to their crab apple precursors.
Moreover, it looks like Matthew plagiarized two examples from that 1800 Erasmus Darwin book. Se the conclusions section of my bog post : “A Blemish in the Darling: On Lawrence and Matthew – Seeking a Purer form of the Truth”
I think this is important if we want to provide evidence-based evidence of Matthew’s influences rather than mere speculation.
Mike – I’ve not been seeking them out. but while researching Thomas Knight and Erasmus Darwin I found another interesting example of 19th intolerance towards non-citation:
Contrary to what some writers are claiming, plagiarism of the ideas of others, the rules of citation of the 18th and 19th centuries did very much require that a naturalist not write as though an observation or important and unique prior published or otherwise communicated idea was their own. For example, Anthony Thompson (1822 p.397) names and shames the French phytologist M Aubert Du Petit Thouars for stealing Erasmus Darwin’s “bud theory”.
Clickable references to the source in my blog:https://www.bestthinking.com/thinkers/science/social_sciences/sociology/mike-sutton?tab=blog&blogpostid=22798
Are you aware of Erasmus Darwin’s “bud theory”? The deeper I dig into the literature around it the more significant the role of apple trees in the story of the discovery of natural selection. Did you know Darwin’s father had a garden stocked with apple trees bred by Thomas Knight? The same garden in which Charles Darwin played as a boy. No wonder Darwin opened his Zoonomia notebook as he did.
Mike, thanks for this reference. It’s clear that claiming an idea as one’s own was considered a bad thing. I think, however, there may have been a wider “grey area” around the issue of whether someone who failed to cite someone correctly was indeed claiming an idea as his own. I think there was a diversity of opinion on the 19th century on this issue.
I note that only one of the five reviews of “On Naval Timber” accused Matthew of plagiarism. On the face of it therefore, 4/5 people didn’t think it was something worthy of note. Again, diversity of opinion?
Yes it is only the Edinburgh review that cries plagiarism. That said, the Saturday Analyst wrote that Matthew must hare read Lamarck and so mocks him for not citing Lamarck – as does the extensive note in the Dublin review.
Batting data of this kind back and forth is useful to a degree in that it does debunk the simple notion that citation was so lax you did not need to cite your sources. How many we would expect to spot such plagiarism is an unknown factor. Is one out of the five small? Compared to what other example of a book being reviewed where plagiarism is spotted? How about compared to the book Roots? One person spotted that plagiarism out of thousands of reviewers.
One thing that interests me is the idea that we can now search 30 million books – many of which were published in the 19th century. Given that we have that power, how many examples of intolerance towards those not citing their influences would we need to uncover to or fail to uncover to ether confirm or dis-confirm the unevidenced knowledge belief that attitudes to citing your influences were more “relaxed” in the 19th century than today.
I can provide many example of being being criticized – but how many are needed to dis-confirm your unevidenced knowledge belief? Obviously, its a rhetorical question. But the question is important. its important because the exact same technology debunked the prior-knowledge belief that none known to Darwin or Wallace had read Matthew’s book before 1860.
Obviously I only needed to find one naturalist – never mind the seven known to Darwin/Wallace that I found – to debunk that last knowledge belief. But how many examples of intolerance to poor citation would it take to change your mind about the ‘knowledge belief’ in question?
I think the idea of using the ID method in the wider way – to test the veracity our knowledge beliefs with hard and independently verifiable data – in a variety of areas is most interesting. How we do it in areas where more than one example of diconfirming evidence is needed is another matter.
I think this is a science problem in need of a solution Mike. I just don’t know the solution. Nevertheless, it’s fascinating – I think.
I have updated my blog post today with new findings. Because it seems that Matthew 1831 plagiarized some observations reported by Erasmus Darwin in 1800. Scroll down to the conclusions sub section of my blog post: “A Blemish in the Darling: On Lawrence and Matthew – Seeking a Purer form of the Truth” to see the relevant text from Charles Darwin’s grandfather and Matthew’s replication without citation: https://www.bestthinking.com/thinkers/science/social_sciences/sociology/mike-sutton?tab=blog&blogpostid=22798
Mike, that’s interesting about Matthew and Erasmus Darwin. But I wonder whether this point about about grafting crab apples may not have been simply common knowledge among horticulturalists, and may not necessarily mean that Matthew read Erasmus Darwin?
I also wouldn’t be so quick to equate “failure to cite” with “plagiarism”, at least not according to the definition of plagiarism adopted by Wikipedia, which requires that the act be deliberate and for personal gain. Thus an act of “cryptomnesia”, where someone reads a book, “internalises” it, then forgets reading it, is still “failure to cite” but it’s not deliberate. Alternatively, the rules about citation in the early 19th century were much more relaxed. This is still “failure to cite”, and in one sense it is deliberate, but it is not necessarily for personal gain if people simply had a different mindset about the importance of proper citation.
I’m not so sure that the “relaxed rules” excuse is as veracious as modern writers are making out.
A reading of Erasmus Darwin’s 1800 shows him very carefully naming his informants – though not citing their published work. He did a far better job of it than Matthew 31 years later. And the 1831 Scathing Edinburgh Literary Journal review of Matthews’ book accused him of being a plagiarist. So the rules and conventions of citing ones influencers is somewhat shown to have been rather un relaxed – at leas in these two examples.
Matthew presents both the spiny graft and thickening graft examples as though they are his own observations uniquely made in the field. To be even handed with Matthew – it seems unlikely he never read Erasmus Darwin’s 1800 book. It was read widely and as far afield as the USA : https://archive.org/stream/papersfor1810com00mass/papersfor1810com00mass_djvu.txt
This “cryptomnesia” excuse is all very well. But replication is replication. And I’ve evidenced it.
How do you evidence “cryptomnesia” ? Is it anything more tangible than a conveniently evolved “free-all” quack version we can name here “false-no-memory syndrome” that is creeping into Darwinist reasoning?
In the example from the Edinburgh Literary review of 1831 we can see Matthew was accused. by the anonymous author, of blatantly passing off another discovery as though it was his very own:
‘It is singular that Mr Matthew, in his account of Mr Cruickshank’s work, takes no notice of his important naval discovery of the method of making ship’s knees on the root of larch. But in his own book he very simply details the method, and in such terms, as to make an uninformed reader believe that he is the discoverer himself!’
And this is what I am accusing Matthew of doing. It is exactly the same thing Matthew did with the observations reported by Erasmus Darwin.
Mike – I really don’t believe the rules and conventions of citation were anything like as relaxed as Darwinists argue in apology for their namesakes plagiarism of the ideas of others.
We know Baden Powell’s letter to Darwin is lost – but by way of Darwin’s reply to it we know that in 1860 Baden Powell was outraged at Darwin’s failure to cite his work. Moreover, Huxley tore Darwin off a strip for plagiarizing Buffon in his Pangenesis essay. Dempster writes that their friendship soured thereafter.
Mike, you make a fair point. As always, the reality is complex, and how “relaxed” people were about plagiarism in the 19th century would have varied from person to person, and according to context. That’s a fair point.
I do still think the “rules” were more relaxed than today, though.
Mike – This story might be worth adding to Matthew’s claims to his original achievements.
In his book, ‘The practical Planter’ Cruickshank (1830 p. 382-386) outlined how the wood from the root of a larch tree provided the best source of timber of the right shape and quality to make ships knees when boat building and goes into great detail, with diagrams, to explain how it is done.
Matthew (1831) provided a brief summary on pages 90-98 of his book. Most interestingly, Matthew provides a footnote on page 91 to the effect that the plan to use larch roots to make shops knees was his idea and that he had been sent in a paper to the Highland Society, but they had kept it so long that he asked for it back and so presented his idea in his 1831 book instead.
If this is true, and depending upon the dates, it seems that perhaps, in fact – contrary to the accusation made in the Edinburgh Literary review (1831) – that Cruickshank (1830) might have plagiarized Matthew’s unpublished paper.
The Edinburgh Literary Review’s (1831) anonymous author thought Matthew was the plagiarist:
The fact that the lateral roots of trees grow suitable rectangular to be used for ship’s knees was old knowledge, public domain. The for example, The Tradesman (1810, Vol. 5, p. 104) relates traditional carpenter’s knowledge from North America. Now the Tradesman writes of pine roots, but anyway, the realisation that larch roots are also good or even better for the purpose hardly makes for a “discovery.” Any experienced lodger, forester or carpenter probably knew it and passed the knowledge on orally. So, if it pops up in print here and there it does not necessarily mean the one source plagiarised the other.
I’m afraid to have to write that you are, yet again, missing the point Dr Dagg.
The plagiarism in question – if you read carefully what accusation was in 1831 – and what Matthew wrote in his 1831 foootnote, and what Cruickshank wrote in 1830 – is all about the METHOD of obtaining the wood CAREFULLY from the roots.
In my related blog post I pointed this out and also provided references going back to knowledge that larch roots were a good source of ships knees.
i WROTE: “. The point in question is not about the fact that larch roots are a good source of timber for ships knees, because that was known earlier – reported earlier in Ireland in 1811 and in Scotland in 1818 – but the actual careful method required to obtain the timber form the root.”
So Cruickshak and Matthew both detailed a method of how to make ship’s knees from tree roots. That’s still not a discovery and the general knowledge that roots are suitable for ship knees makes it probable (in your jargon, more likely that not) that they only put on paper what has been expert knowledge around them. You’d need to show that they detail the exact same method in the same or similar words to make plagiarism probable.
You wrote above :
“So Cruickshak and Matthew both detailed a method of how to make ship’s knees from tree roots. That’s still not a discovery and the general knowledge that roots are suitable for ship knees makes it probable (in your jargon, more likely that not) that they only put on paper what has been expert knowledge around them. You’d need to show that they detail the exact same method in the same or similar words to make plagiarism probable.”
Yet again, you habitually and weirdly fail to grasp the point and claim I am making one that that is not at all the point.
And once again you do so, it seems to me in such an apparently desperate need to take a contrary view that you jump in feet first and get it all wrong again.
If you are going to be typically so desperately rude you had better at least not continue – to use the “Jargon” (you say) “more likely than not” continue to always embarrass yourself by “more likely than not” being so very wrong in your erroneous criticisms.
The point is – and I don’t know how on Earth to make it any clearer for you Dr Dagg – that in 1831 there appears to have been no relaxation of the rules of priority that Dr Mike Weale claims were in operation at the time. This is what is under discussion. Why is it you can’t see that?
The point is (I do hope this is clear enough ) the anonymous writer of the 1831 Edinburgh review of Matthew’s book accused Matthew of plagiarising Cruickshank’s book of 1830.
Now. (I do hope this is also clear enough) Matthew, in a footnote to his 1831 book said he had long had a paper on that subject with the Highland Society and withdrew it to publish it in his book of 1831.
I’m interested only in two things (I do hope this is clear enough) :
(1) that rules and conventions of citation were clearly not relaxed at all. Because if they were then Matthew would not have been accused of plagiarism and –
(2) Here is another example of Matthew claiming (note I do hope it is clear enough that it is MATTHEW claiming – not me) to have made a unique discovery.
I sincerely hope – by way of this highly specific and most simple reply that you can finally understand the “jargon” now Dr Dagg. In short sir – I do not have to prove a single thing more than I have done already.
If anyone needs to prove anything on the actual point (the one you failed to grasp) that is actually under debate then it is Dr Mike Weale – who needs to produce hard evidence that the rules of citation were more relaxed in 1831 than they are today. I’ve produced some hard evidence to disconfirm what he wrote in that reagrd without any supporting empirical evidence.
That’s relaxed common sense, not desperate weirdness on my part.
At the risk of not answering what you demanded from Weale, again, I cannot help wondering how one cannot see that the standards of citation were more relaxed back then. Many citations reduce to mere name-dropping. That was, I guess, because science was a so much smaller endeavour and everybody could assume that the readers would exactly know who was meant, when he wrote something like: “as shown by Mr X in the Transactions of last year.” In the cases of Buffon, Lamarck, Erasmus Darwin, citation often reduces to mere name-dropping without even the slightest hint at the volume or book or page or any such thing. Only when some very specific issues are being discussed, rather than run-of-the-mill Buffonisms, Lamarckisms or Darwinisms, is a tome, volume or page number given. You have just a few post upstream deplored the same about Darlington not giving exact pages numbers and quotes of Lawrence supposed anticipations of Matthew.
If constantly missing the point on so very many occasions by criticizing others based on a false premise formed entirely of your own misunderstanding of simple points is something you consider to be “relaxed common sense” then might I respectfully offer you a helpful suggestion. I suggest you might try relaxing your brain less and become uncommonly more sensible than whoever it is you rely upon as your “common sense” role model/s.
Might I also suggest you find a role model to assist you with your manners, When I’m wrong I apologize. But you just offer more of your own misconceptions. And as you go on to those you leave your other rude and embarrassing errors uncorrected.
Now, I have to agree with you that much of the earlier citation indeed does seem to have comprised name dropping rather than full references. That is obvious from the literature. But once again Dr Dagg that is not the point.
So once again as you hop from your last error without apology, your next one also misses the point. You are becoming tiresome. Your behaviour in this regard is akin to what juvenile and sadly much troubled internet trolls do, deliberately, to disturb and disrupt websites.
I suppose, based upon an analysis of the data here, and elsewhere, that it is more likely than not that in any discussion with you this rude, wrong and unapologetic repetitive behavior of yours is going to be the set pattern.
The point is Dr Dagg, simply, that the simple act of name dropping is all that was required. That requirement – being that it existed – was not, therefore a relaxation in the rules of citation, because citation of sources was required. When it was not forthcoming criticism was! The literature proves it. I presented an example of that in the very case in question
Erasmus Darwin name dropped it – as did so many others in his time. Matthew did not name drop anyone when it came to the two examples given by Erasmus Darwin of what happens when apple tree grafting is conducted – Matthew simply presented them as his own observations.
Erasmus Darwin cited Knight when he used one of those two examples 30 years earlier. The other might have been his original observation. Indeed Knight ( held him in high regard on that very issue (see my blog for the references).
The Edinburgh Literary Review in 1831 was critical of Matthew for not citing others and they accused him of copying without citing the work of several others (and no doubt they meant not dropping their names) That is the point. The point Dr Dagg is not that they never had the Harvard referencing system back then. Do you see? No one asked for Harvard style references.
And your final comment about what I wrote about Darlington is totally irrelevant because it it about a totally different matter. Note: I was not accusing him of plagiarism. Again, therefore, in your use of it you miss the point entirely – yet again!. Perhaps that to is just one more amongst so many tiresome examples of what you call your “relaxed common sense”?
you again respond with a fusillade of ad hominem attacks on a factual statement. I will neither apologize for factual statements nor for missing the finer points you were wanting to make. I will simply quit trying to have a sensible discussion with you. Save yourself the some nerves and don’t trouble to answer. I’m out of here for good.
Just for the record:
April 12, 2015 at 8:42 am, you accused Matthew of plagiarising Cruickshank:
You cite the Edinburgh Literary Review saying: ‘It is singular that Mr Matthew, in his account of Mr Cruickshank’s work, takes no notice of his important naval discovery of the method of making ship’s knees on the root of larch. But in his own book he very simply details the method, and in such terms, as to make an uninformed reader believe that he is the discoverer himself!’
and then conclude: “And this is what I am accusing Matthew of doing. It is exactly the same thing Matthew did with the observations reported by Erasmus Darwin.”
April 12, 2015 at 2:49 pm, you change your mind:
“If this is true, and depending upon the dates, it seems that perhaps, in fact – contrary to the accusation made in the Edinburgh Literary review (1831) – that Cruickshank (1830) might have plagiarized Matthew’s unpublished paper.”
Whatever the nicer point was, I suggest (April 13, 2015 at 8:14 am and 11:12 am) a factual scenario in which neither might have been plagiarising. You miss my point (April 13, 2015 at 9:24 am), but that’s okay. You start with your ad hominem attacks (April 13, 2015 at 2:00 pm) and in between say that your point was about citation standards. I ignore the ad hominem attacks and make a factual statement about citation standards. And that lead to your last fusillade.
I blog quite often and I genuinely appreciate your information. This great article has truly peaked my interest.
I am going to bookmark your blog and keep checking for new details about once a week.
I opted in for your RSS feed as well.
Thanks Martin, I always appreciate knowing that others are finding the information I’ve posted useful. Regarding new information, in a few weeks I plan to post a lot of new information on newspaper articles written by or regarding Matthew.
For the record. I am henceforth going to ignore any comments addressed to me by Dr Dagg AKA Joachim. He has nothing of value to add (in my opinion) Based upon his behavior and deliberate rudeness, I consider him a time-wasting and deliberately disruptive troll who deliberately and systematically writes fallacious observations simply to be disruptive.
Mike, I know you and Dr Dagg AKA Joachim have a “history”. I also know that in previous exchanges, Joachim has written some things about you that are far from civil.
I do have to say, however, that in *this* particular case, in the exchange between the two of you contained above, you were the one being uncivil, and that it was you being the “troll” not Joachim. I cannot see a single point were Joachim said anything inappropriately ad hominem against you, but you on the other hand called him “desperately rude” (when he’d been nothing of the sort), you then suggest to Joachim that “you might try relaxing your brain less and become uncommonly more sensible”, then that Joachim “find a role model to assist you with your manners” (when you were the one being rude, not him), that Joachim was “becoming tiresome” and “rude”, and that “your behaviour in this regard is akin to what juvenile and sadly much troubled internet trolls do, deliberately, to disturb and disrupt websites”, and that finally, he is “a time-wasting and deliberately disruptive troll”.
Mike, these are all ad hominem attacks on your part, and, in the context of the above exchange, were without foundation or justification. Even if they were with foundation (and of course I appreciate that you think they were, even though I think they weren’t), you could and should have been much more civil about the way you communicated your concerns about Joachim failing (in your view) to see your point.
Mike, please respect PMP house rules and conduct all exchanges with civility.
Mike if someone gets a point – and what someone actually wrote – entirely wrong and then uses that misconception of their own making to criticize another and does so repeatedly and in a systematic manner then I do think it rude for them not to apologize when I go to great lengths to explain why they are writing fallacies about the point in question.
When they simply reply simply with a new set of point-missing fallacies about the point in question- or anther – then that is very much the behavior of a troll. I’m am sorry that you consider my pointing out that rude and systematic behavior of Dr Dagg’s – for which he refuses to apologize – before embarking upon more of the same as trollish on my part. I do not see it that way.
I also do no see reporting on such behavior by feeding it back to the person doing it – with examples of it -as inappropriate.
If you prefer me not to complain to such perpetrators about such behavior on your site then I will refrain form doing so. Your site. Your rules Mike.
I will however do as I wrote. I will simply ignore Dagg’s comments to me because they are invariably based on his entire missing of the point in question.
Mike, I’m sorry that it looks next to impossible for you and Joachim to have a civil dialogue. I hope that in the future you two might be willing to give it another go, as I think that such a dialogue would not only be to the benefit of you both, but indeed be to the benefit of all who are interested in Patrick Matthew.
I know that you think yourself justified in your opinion of Joachim. As I said in my previous comment, even if you thought Joachim to be out of order, I still say that you could have made your opinion clear and still have phrased it in a more civil manner.
Dr. Weale It’s your website Dr. Weale…and out of respect for that I choose to totally ignore with much indifference Dr. Dagg’s insignificant but vituperate and vitriol outbursts…to the point of ignoring him as well. I have seen before from previous incidents on other sites this same truculence initiated by Dagg… so… I for one have to support Dr. Sutton’s position to deal with Dagg’s very disruptive tendencies in whatever manner fitting…because that’s precisely the intent that I feel Dr. Dagg is perpetuating.
Mike. I concur with what Howard has written. You may have an opposite perception. I don’t know. There are examples that can be cited. I have no intention of bringing them to light here.
I am interested in working with others who are genuinely skeptical and rational to try to move towards a purer form of the truth in the story of the discovery of natural selection. Therefore, I appreciate comments and criticisms from others – such as yourself who are genuine yet hard task masters. And I believe your intentions and philosophy is the same. However, it is not possible to do this when certain elements are being repeatedly disruptive by persistently missing the most basic points raised and then leveling abrupt and repeated criticisms based on those false assumptions and wrong impressions – one following the other, following the other with no apology and no correction. That is a strategy adopted by trolls. In relation to the element in question it may just be a weird coincidence – to be diplomatic.
Howard and Mike, thanks for your comments above, which are noted. However, please also note, for the record, that I absolutely do not think Joachim is a “troll”. For my other thoughts on this affair, please see my reply to Mike’s comment below.
None the less… Dr. Dagg… at least in my book…owes you an apology !!!
I agree, to abide by your necessary and perfectly just rules – which you must and do impart impartially/
I agreee that I should not have taken the micky out of Dr Dagg’s description of his thinking as “relaxed common sense”. Moreover I should not have mocked his behavior as weird. I should not have implied that he was acting like a juvenile troll, because I cannot know for sure that his was not actually deliberate systematic behavior. After all, It might have been multiply innocently purely coincidental. It was presumptuous of me and no matter how compelling I believed the the evidence to be, I should have given him the benefit of the doubt. After all, to be fair, Dr Dagg might genuinely have missed the point on so many repeated and consecutive occasions. And so I apologize for suggesting otherwise. It was rude of me to respond rudely to what I judged to be repeated acts of greater rudeness by Dr Dagg.
However, I am sure you can appreciate that I cannot possibly have a civil dialogue with someone who is publishing numerous sequential fallacies about what I have written on this site and not correcting them, and more seriously with whom I will not have a civil dialogue outside a civil court because he is elsewhere repeatedly doing the same as well as publishing malicious falsehoods and libelous statements about me.
Thanks Mike, I very much appreciate what you say above. For what it’s worth, I don’t think your position was as clear as you thought it to be, and I thought Joachim’s comments were a reasonable response to what he thought your position to be.
I agree it’s very difficult to be civil on one website, while on another website all sorts of uncivil behaviour may be going on. There’s not much that I can do other than insist on civility on my website, and to try and be as fair and impartial as possible on these issues. Ultimately, I understand, but regret, if a civil dialogue between yourself and Joachim is impossible.
Today I invited a fine scholar to contribute to this blogsite. I hope he takes up the invitation.
Here is a link to his blog site and a blog he wrote on Evelyn’s classic book: http://antipodeanfootnotes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/nullius-in-verba-royal-societys-two.html
I would like to take this opportunity to make a statement about Matthew’s unique hypothesis and his unique explanatory analogy of the differences between artificial and natural selection.
Building a little upon the extensive work of Jim Dempster, I summarized in my book “Nullius” what Matthew originally contributed to knowledge in 1831. I wrote:
‘Matthew originated the concept of Natural Selection in 1831 to explain the emergence and extinction of species between and after geological catastrophic events. He uniquely named it “the natural process of selection”, which he described as a fundamental law of nature. He discussed divergence in terms of diverging ramifications, the mutability of species, rejected miraculous birth of new species following catastrophes, held to a steady state in nature interrupted by catastrophes, understood the importance of the complex multi-level phenomenon of power of occupancy and ecological niches, rejected simple development from nearly-allied species in favour of descent from common ancestor, recognized what constituted a species, recognized the difference between domestic and wild species and saw artificial selection as the key to both discovering and explaining the process of natural selection.’
The last sentence is rather important.
Readers might have noticed that Mike Weale and I have spent some considerable time debating whether or not (and if so – to what degree) Matthew’s various comparisons of artificial selection (in terms of humans cognitively breeding by way of selective breeding – animals and plants under protective culture to suit their own needs) with natural selection (the ‘natural process of selection’ in the wild where the most circumstance suited varieties are selected by nature to survive in the wild) is an analogy.
The debate was settled a couple of days ago (see above comments). Essentially, there are actually two artificial & natural selection analogies that were used.
This is a new understanding in the story of the discovery of natural selection.
In current absence of any disconfirming evidence, the literature record shows that although many others before Matthew (1831) mentioned what artificial selection does, only Matthew used that information in an analogy with anything like any kind of understanding of any of the processes of natural selection to show the differences between the two. Matthew did this an explanatory device to help readers understand what natural selection was. This was an analogy of differences. The same unique analogy of differences was replicated first by by Mudie (1832), then Low (1844), Darwin (1844) Wallace (1858) and by Darwin again (1859; 1868).
Notably, Loren Eiseley (1979 – ‘Darwin and the Mysterious Mr X’ pp – 72-73) was convinced that Darwin must have read Matthew’s 1831 book in or before 1844 when Darwin replicated in his private essay of 1844 Matthew’s example of the differences between plants grown in nurseries and those naturally selected in the wild. Eiseley noted that following Matthew’s letter in the Gardener’s Chronicle of 1860 – claiming his priority – that Darwin (1868) replicated his 1844 private essay replication of Matthew’s unique prior-published analogy – this time citing Matthew. However, Eiseley focused only on the similarity of the example of plants provided in the analogy – namely plants grown in nurseries v the wild. Had Eiseley focused on it as an analogy of differences in its own right then he would have spotted that Darwin (1859) used the same analogy of differences – only with different examples -on pages 83-34 of the ‘Origin of Species’.
The second analogy is the ‘artificial compared to natural selection analogy’ that is a comparison of the similarities between artificial and natural selection that Darwin deployed an argumentative device. For short we might name this one ‘the analogy of similarities’.
It is important to note that as a disciplinary group biologists are remarkable and alone in that the concept of analogy in biology is used only to refer to similarities between one thing and another. I believe that this is why the artificial v natural selection analogy of differences has gone so under-researched by Darwinists – the majority of whom are – I believe – biologists.
What the realization – reached here (14th April 215: https://patrickmatthewproject.wordpress.com/leave-a-reply/comment-page-4/#comment-516
…means is that we can now say four things 1. Patrick Matthew (1831) was first to publish the complete hypothesis of natural selection (2) Patrick Matthew (1831) was also first to use the ‘Artificial versus Natural Selection Analogy of Differences’ to explain the process of natural selection (3) Both Darwin and Wallace subsequently replicated both in their major works on the topic; Wallace (1858) in his Ternate Paper and Darwin in his private essay of 1844 and then in the Origin of Species (1859). (4) Darwin and Wallace each claimed that none known to them had read Matthew’s prior published ideas and that they each independently of Matthew, and independently of one another, discovered natural selection for themselves.
In effect then, Darwin and Wallace claimed to have each independently generated Matthew’s prior published unique hypothesis AND his prior published unique analogy to explain it.
This is important, in my opinion. It is highly important because analogies are extremely powerful explanatory devices that have in recent years attracted much attention in the field of cognitive psychology. Most importantly, it currently appears (in absence of any disconfirming evidence) that Matthew (1831) not only originated and prior published the hypothesis of natural selection (in a book that we now newly know was in fact read and cited by seven naturalists known to Darwin and Wallace – three of whom were their admitted influences – see my Book “Nullius in Verba: Darwin’s greatest secret for the hard and independently verifiable evidence) , which is arguably the most important scientific hypothesis of all time, but Matthew (1831) also originated the worlds most powerful analogy in order to explain it. Darwin and Wallace replicated both!
Very well done Dr. Sutton….very well done !!! That’s a keystone piece if I ever saw one. You are well on your way to bridging the gap. You might just become a good bridge builder yourself….pun intended.
Thank you Howard, for those kind words . They are very much appreciated.
I would like to add – that just In case any biologists doubt that the explanatory “Artificial versus Natural selection Analogy of Differences” is an analogy, then I would refer them to the Complete Online Version of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) as the definitive authratative source of the meaning of the term analogy. The OED provides a detailed explanation of various types of analogy, noatably including the following wide and simple definition that I have always adopted in my discussions on the topic here, on my blog at BestThnking, and in my book: ‘A comparison made between one thing and another for the purpose of explanation or clarification.’
Unlike the full version of the OED – where it is the second usage given – the online concise OED has that as the first definition. Free here: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=4XycAQAAQBAJ&pg=PA46&lpg=PA46&dq=A+comparison+made+between+one+thing+and+another+for+the+purpose+of+explanation+or+clarification.&source=bl&ots=S32T0J16oJ&sig=h9tKMXZQ7_Ns77YnyHh4-Uah65g&hl=en&sa=X&ei=G74vVf65HJGQ7AbNv4H4CA&ved=0CCIQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=A%20comparison%20made%20between%20one%20thing%20and%20another%20for%20the%20purpose%20of%20explanation%20or%20clarification.&f=false
I wasn’t that fond of “Citizen Kane”…(Orson Wells) or the name “Rosebud”…I’m thinking along the lines Mr. Smith… (Jimmy Stewart)… going to Washington and coming home “A Man for All Seasons”
Well it is – in many ways – your story Howard. Will you play a cameo role when they one day make the movie of the life of the Seer of Gourdie Hill?
“The Man Ahead of Time”
I think that the title of ” The Seer of Gourdiehill” would make a good title… or even just “The Seer” if shortened.
It’s been 56 years since Professor Loren Eiseley found the text on Matthew’s powerful “Artificial versus Natural Selection Analogy of Differences” had been replicated without citation in Darwin’s (1844) private essay.
Eiseley thought that none had cited or replicated Matthew’s analogy before Darwin replicated it. He was wrong! Today, we now know that both Mudie and Low replicated it. moreover, both had links to Matthew and Darwin! And we now know that Darwin also replicated the same analogy – with different comparative examples of species in The Origin of Species (1859).
Without “The Google Monster” these new discoveries would not have been possible. For a detailed account, see my latest blog post on the “New Data”. Published today: https://www.bestthinking.com/thinkers/science/social_sciences/sociology/mike-sutton?tab=blog&blogpostid=22816
There is a general ‘knowledge belief” that because full citation conventions (such as the Harvard system we enjoy today) had not been formalized that there was – compared with today – relatively more “relaxed” – meaning authors were not expected to be so diligent in citing their sources. This “relaxed citation” excuse has been used in may cases to argue that those who did not cite their sources in 19th century were not plagiarizers.
The problem with the “relaxed citation” excuse is that we can find many instances of (1) 19th century authors being extremely careful to cite originators of concepts, ideas, and terms and (2) Extreme criticism applied against those who failed to cite such sources.
This then, is a case where much hard and independently verifiable evidence can be found to refute a mere knowledge belief. The problematic question is this: “Just how much disconfirming evidence would be required to refute the “relaxed citation” belief and how many examples to confirm it would be required to confirm it?
Today, I stumbled across another example of disconfirming evidence. In this case, Edward Blyth makes sure he attributes the phrase “disjointed fragment” to Robert Mudie – even though he cannot remember which publication contained it. Here is Blyth being dilligent: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=oJU5AAAAcAAJ&pg=PA407&lpg=PA407&dq=%22mudie%22+%22disjointed+fragment%22&source=bl&ots=LoZpk7tzoW&sig=DcTzt2Aot31tfi8lZ_Oe0FALcmM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=DeMzVfTtHdTe7AaA1YDoDQ&ved=0CCYQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=%22mudie%22%20%22disjointed%20fragment%22&f=false
And here, with the ID method we can easily find the source that Blyth could not:
Rationalization is nothing short of a Narcissistic attempt to either sidestep… or to control and manipulate factual evidence. It can easily be utilized and knowingly applied in advance…during… or most commonly after the fact. It’s objective simply stated is to attempt to change the evidence either to try and enhance it …or to discredit it….but most importantly it’s most highly conceived usage is to minimize damage that the evidence in question would have if it were allowed to stand on it’s own merits.
Howard, I agree.
The notion that people were more slapdash in the past is an easy story to tell. However – here we are talking of “gentlemen” and their manners in the 19th century were impeccably better than those of many who would wish themselves worthy of the title today. We saw that only recently with regards a a “certain element” on this site. So why would not manners regarding citation be as impeccably expected in the 19th century?
Do Birds of a feather Flock Together? Was Lyell an exception to a forgotten rule?
Darwin relied upon his chronic illness and an excuse about rushing to cover himself for his poor referencing in the first and second editions of the Origin…but he was openly and heavily criticized extensively for that behavior throughout the 19th century. His mentor and great frined Lyell was also heavily criticized as an unoriginal idea stealing plagiarist by US geologists and others:
Lyell – like Darwin was a serial plagiarizer – here are just 3 examples among others: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=ao2I3-8PXBgC&pg=PR22&dq=lyell+plagiarism+us+tour&hl=en&sa=X&ei=aw00VdG_EdGxacHQgegK&ved=0CDoQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=lyell%20plagiarism%20us%20tour&f=false
Gotta love the truth …and laugh at the pathetic sputtering rationalization attempts when it’s obviously brought to light.
My article on Patrick Matthew is published today in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. It will be Open Access for the next six months.
That’s excellent news Mike. Congratulations.
Your argument that we should consider Matthew as more important is well made.
Hopefully other scholars will be interested enough to dig a little deeper and see on your site that Matthew was far better known that he has been simply and dismissively portrayed by Darwinists to date.
Mike – I think I’m missing an obvious trick.
Could you please post directions here for what one actually needs to do to see more than just the abstract? How do we actually get open access to it? I tried without success.
Ah. They said they would sort out the Open Access straight away, but it appears they haven’t from what you say. I will send Biol J Linn Soc an email.
This has now been sorted out – the full article is available to all.
Thanks Mike! I’ve also just been interviewed on Radio 4’s Today Programme. I’ll provide a link when it’s up on iPlayer.
Just one for the record: Mike Weale had an early breakfast this
BBC Radio 4: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05r0b2v
“There is evidence to suggest a third horticulturist, Patrick Matthew, developed a concept of evolution by natural selection that pre-dates Darwin’s by 27 years. Michael Weale, a geneticist at King’s College London, argues that Matthews should have more recognition for his contribution. Michael Weale is the author of the report.”
Thanks Mike! I wasn’t able to “back-track” on the live feed, but seems like you have a better browser than me! However, If people scroll down on the web link given by Mike S, they will see the interview as a video clip which as just been published.
The video clip is available here
Mike, Ah, I see you were looking at “Today’s running order”, not listening to the interview itself. In reality, I was on quite a bit earlier – at around 06.40.
To preempt what I meant when I said that Matthew’s End-Appendix was “not seen” by anyone in the 27 years following its publication, I’m afraid this is an excellent example of trying to reach for one word and finding another! The word I was reaching for was “appreciated”. Just for the record, please let me state that I do think the End-Appendix was seen by some people! The question is whether they appreciated what they read.
Mike Weale on the BBC:
The full radio interview, including intro and outro, is now available here (38mins 50secs from the start). Note also the discussion by Steve Jones and Patricia Fara (2hrs 55mins from the start)
The above link you just provided (9.01am) just takes me to the short video clip. Is there another specific link to the radio only cip of the full 38 mins interview interview? I can’t find it.
Ah get it – I needed to go up the slider on the link you provided Mike
untill “38,50” – and then it begins.
And further up the slder at 2.55.12 we get you again in the discussion.
I see Professor Steve Jones and Patricia Fara, most unfortunately and disappointingly, very much miss the point regarding the real possibility that Matthew influenced Darwin pre 1858.
Professor Jones seems to certainly merely believe that Darwin did not read Matthew – despite the brand new evidence – of which he appears on the face of it at least to be completely unaware. That new evidence100% proves that Darwin’s friend (Robert Chambers) did read and cite Matthew pre 1858 and that Wallace’s Sarawak paper editor (Selby) did also.
And why is Professor Jones unaware also of the importance of a book on Naval timber for economic botany in 1831? He thinks Darwin could be excused for not reading it? Why? Does Steve Jones – seemingly on the face of it – not understand that timber drove the industrial revolution and was essential for merchant and naval shipping?
Darwin’s great friends William and Joseph Hooker were eminent economic botanists and their friends – Loudon and Jameson read and cited Matthew’s book pre-1858. In 1832, Loudon even wrote that Matthew might have something original to say on “the origin of species” no less.
We must surely enquire of him, has Professor Jones really not read Evelyn’s great book – one of the first and most important commissioned by the Royal Society and the royal Navy – precisely because it was about timber and economic botany. Evelyn’s and Matthew’s books were on the exact same subject? And Evelyn’s 17th century book: ” Sylva, or A Discourse of Forest-Trees and the Propagation of Timber” was one Darwin noted that he had actually read. Perhaps – if we are to follow his logic – that Professor Jones would like to argue now that it is also most unusual that Darwin would have read Evelyn’s book at all? If not, then why on Earth does he think Darwin should be excused for not reading Matthew’s on the same topic?
Unfortunately, in my humble opinion, Professor Jones just wheels out the same tired old pat-Darwinist, 154 year old and inexcusably apparently ill-informed, but conveniently self-serving, excuses for their namesake – Darwin. I’m sure he is capable of better. Isn’t he?
Many who Darwin knew are newly proven to have read the one book in the world that Darwin really needed to read, because it contained the exact same theory he replicated “as a supposedly miraculous act of immaculate conception” whilst surround by those he admitted had influenced him – who we now know read Matthew’s book pre-1858 – because they actually cited in the literature pre 1858.
Just like the Virgin Mary, surrounded by fertile men, Darwin and Wallace were friends with those whose minds were fertile with Matthew’s ideas. Perhaps Darwin and Wallace were both granted some mysterious cognitive contraceptive? If Darwinist logic and slef-serving mere rhetoric leads us down that primrose path then maybe this biased BBC radio show should have played on Sunday for some happy misty-eyed Christians?
Moreover, all jokes aside, Jones misses the point that only Matthew got the full theory before Darwin. Mentioning ancient Greek philosophers who wrote about evolution as a vague concept is not all the same as comparing Darwin with Matthew – who is the only scientist to have prior-published the full theory of natural selection.. Do they not understand the rules and conventions of scientific priority at all? Have they heard of the Arago Effect? Have they not read and pondered Merton’s classic essay on the topic? They sidestep the possibility and likelihood of plagiarism altogether – and I mean plagiarism of the actual full theory of evolution by natural selection; named, uniquely, by Matthew as the “natural process of selection” and uniquely four world shuffled by Darwin into “the process of natural selection”!
Put me in front of these “experts”. I’ll give them a good debate based on facts – not daft rhetoric. Any time any place any audience. That’s a public challenge. Consider the gauntlet thrown down here.
Mike, I agree with you on your last point, that lumping Matthew with the ancient greeks, Lamarck and Erasmus Darwin does downplay, in my opinion, the unique position that Matthew holds.
Regarding your new evidence, I suspect indeed he hasn’t read it, but don’t forget that I have read it and I’m not convinced by it!
And don’t forget that Steve Jones agreed that Matthew has been unfairly overlooked, and that was the primary purpose of my article.
Mike I agree with the positive points you make with regard to how Professor Jones responds to what is the essential purpose of the radio show – to comment upon the importance of the man theme of your paper. namely, that Matthew needs more recognition.
However, by mentioning the Ancient Greeks he is – it seems on the face of it to me – slipping in (as you agreed it is not a suitable analogy) an unsuitable analogy to attempt to shield Darwin from any inquiry as to whether Matthew should be granted priority. Fara does something similar with what I think is unfounded rhetoric that also pays no attention whatsoever to the Royal Society rules and conventions of priority.
Whether or not anyone is currently convinced by likelihood of the implications of “knowledge contamination” from Matthew to Darwin, following the new 2014 discovery that – contrary to 155 years of Darwin inspired mere ‘knowledge beliefs’ that none known to Darwin or Wallace had read Matthew’s 1831 book pre-1858 – that in actual fact seven naturalist known to them actually cited it in the literature pre-1858, does not mean those who are unconvinced are right to be unconvinced any more so than my conviction about what that new data means makes me right. But one thing is certain we have new data.
And I was interested to hear that none in this 2015 debate (apart from your perfectly excusable slip – for which you aplogised immediately here) made the old favourite Darwinist excuse (orignated by Darwin in 1860 and 1861) that no one read Matthew’s book pre 1860!
The point is – as I see it – that Professor Jones makes excuses for Darwin not reading the one book in the world that contained the full theory of natural selection when in actual fact it had been read by Darwin’s naturalist friends. And Professor Jones’s excuses for Why Darwin would not have read it do not hold water. Because Darwin read Evelyn’s older book on the exact same topic. Why did he read it? Because of its subject matter. What was its subject matter? The same – on the face of it – as Matthew’s book. Only Matthew’s bok was up-to-date.
So Professor Jones’s arguments are, in my opinion, weak and out of date. Did he not, do you suppose, hear of the story then that Darwin’s friends did cite Matthew? The story that was in the National news via the Daily Telegraph in 2014 Mike? https://www.bestthinking.com/thinkers/science/social_sciences/sociology/mike-sutton?tab=blog&blogpostid=22019%2c22019
I can’t answer your last question, Mike. I should withdraw my speculative comment about what Prof Steve Jones may or may not have read – the truthful answer is that I don’t know.
Speculative comments are fine with me Mike. I was speculating as well. Speculating, that he had read it because other professors specialising in the area read it and emailed me.
Hi, Your readers may be interested in looking at my research which shows that nothing in “On the Origin of Species” is novel to Darwin (or Wallace). Darwin wrote the last, and best, review of published Victorian ideas on transmutation. The work can be found by searching Google for “wainwrightscience”. Regards, Prof. Milton Wainwright,Dept Molecular Biology and Biotechnology,University of Sheffield.
Only Darwin never cited all his sources.
Prof Wainwright, it’s a pleasure to have you comment on my website. Your contributions to the debate about Patrick Matthew are listed here (https://patrickmatthewproject.wordpress.com/about/more-matthew-resources/), and your 2008 article is cited in my paper published today (see above for links).
Professor Loren Eiseley – esteemed anthropologist and historian of science – proved that Darwin’s great influencer Edward Blyth was influenced by Robert Mudie.
I arrived at Robert Mudie through a completely different route. I found him because the ID method establishes that out of the 30+ million books and journals so far scanned by Google he was first to replicate Matthew’s apparently original term “rectangular branching”. Mudie (1832) was also first to replicate Matthew’s (1831) unique and powerful “Artificial versus Natural Selection Analogy of Differences”.
Mudie was born in Forfarshire the same county as Matthew. Mudie was twice a co-author with Blyth.
If this is not enough to convince someone that knowledge contamination from Matthew to Darwin was extremely probable via Mudie to Blyth then either they or I need to see a psychiatrist, be interviewed by a psychologist specializing in cognitive dissonance or learning difficulties – or else take a lie detector test.
Full details of the latest ‘blemish in the darling Darwin’ heresy can be found here: https://www.bestthinking.com/thinkers/science/social_sciences/sociology/mike-sutton?tab=blog&blogpostid=22816
In light of the “New Data”, I discovered, anyone claiming that the evidence that Matthew influenced Darwin and Wallace is weak should now go and read W. J. Dempster’s (1996) “Evolutionary Concepts in the Nineteenth Century”. Because on pages 114 and 155 Dempster presents all the text that Matthew, Blyth and Darwin wrote on Matthew’s unique and most powerful explanatory ‘Analogy of Differences between Natural and Artificial Selection’.
Dempster shows how Blyth clearly influenced Darwin, and writes about how crafty Darwin was in concealing Blyth’s influence.
What Dempster never knew, however, is that Blyth’s friend and co-author Robert Mudie was the first to replicate Matthew’s original analogy in 1832, and was also “first to be second” with Matthew’s (1831) unique term and also with his unique ‘Artificial versus Natural Selection Explanatory Analogy of Differences’.
And this is no more than a tiny proportion of the hard evidence of Matthew’s clear influence on Darwin.
The evidence of Matthew’s influence on Darwin and Wallace – by way of knowledge contamination through Darwins’ and Wallace’s accepted influencers -– via their reading of his prior-publication of the full hypothesis of natural selection – is not weak. It’s completely overwhelming!
Darwnists are dreadfully biased in favour of their namesake and deny the clear facts. They have a long history of such dysology.
For just one hard evidence based example of their dreadful self-serving historical bias against the facts about Matthew’s influence see the blog post I published today on Stephen J. Gould: “just making stuff up” See:
In my comment above there is a typo. The page numbers in Dempster 2009 are in fact pages114-115
I include here the relevant text from those pages and then I make further comments:
The hard evidence of Matthew’s influence on Darwin via Darwin’s Replication of Matthew’s Unique “Explanatory Analogy of Differences between Artificial and Natural Selection”, not only the replication of the analogy but the similarity of prose.
From Dempster (2009) pp 114-115:
Darwin actually began The Origin of Species with Matthews unique and powerful analogy of differences! And he used it again on pages 83-84 Darwin (1859, pp. 83-84)
From Dempster (1996) “Evolutionary Concepts in the Nineteenth Century: Natural selection and Patrick Mathew” pp. 114-115:
‘If we doubt that Blyth had any influence on Darwin it is a coincidence, then, that the very first sentence of the Origin runs as follows: ‘When we look to the individuals of the same variety or sub-variety of our older cultivated plants and animals, one of the first points which strikes us is, that they generally differ more form each other than do the individuals of any one species or variety in a state of nature.” Blyth’s essay  begins with a classification of varieties – simple acquired, breeds and true. In the first paragraph of his discussion of simple varieties in this sentence: “These simple variations occur both in wild and domesticated animals, but are much more frequents in the latter, and are commonly observed in all breeds and true varieties.’ The observation was clearly well established years before because Matthew had this to say on the subject in Naval Timber and Arboriculture (1831): Man’s interference, by preventing this natural process of selection among plants, independent of the wider range of circumstance to which he introduces them, has increased the differences in varieties particularly in the more domesticated kinds.’ And yet, Darwin in his Historical Sketch [1861 – third edition of the Origin of Species onwards] stated Matthew’s book was on a different subject!’
—- Dempster’ text ends —
And what was it Darwin wrote in his 1844 unpublished private essay? Here it is:
“In the case of forest trees raised in nurseries, which vary more than the same trees do in their aboriginal forests, the cause would seem to lie in their not having to struggle against other trees and weeds, which in their natural state doubtless would limit the conditions of their existence…’”
Yes forest trees no less!
And yet Professor Jones – a Darwinist “expert” – on the BBC this week says that Darwin could be forgiven for not reading a book on that same topic! How on Earth does he get away with it?
Matthew (1831) used hs unique analogy several times with different examples. Here is just one to compare with Darwin’s (1844) replication of the analogy, Not he also – n this example – uses forest trees and those grown in nurseries (plantations) as an example.
‘… in timber trees the opposite course has been pursued. The large growing varieties being so long of coming to produce seed, that many plantations are cut down before they reach this maturity, the small growing and weakly varieties, known by early and extreme seeding, have been continually selected as reproductive stock, from the ease and conveniency with which their seed could be procured; and the husks of several kinds of these invariably kiln-dried, in order that the seeds might be the more easily extracted. May we, then, wonder that our plantations are occupied by a sickly short-lived puny race, incapable of supporting existence in situations where their own kind had formerly flourished—particularly evinced in the genus Pinus,more particularly in the species Scots Fir; so much inferior to those of Nature’s own rearing, where only the stronger, more hardy, soil-suited varieties can struggle forward to maturity and reproduction?’
If this is “weak evidence” that the Scot Matthew influenced Darwin pre-1858 with his prior published full hypothesis of natural selection (that Darwin’s associates (Selby and Chambers) had actually read and cited” then I’m a Scotsman. And I was born in Kent!
Only now that we realize that, in addition to prior-publishing the complete hypothesis of natural selection 27 years before Darwin, Matthew (1831) also coined the powerful ‘Artificial versus Natural Selection Explanatory Analogy’, do we finally see the conclusive evidence of Matthew’s massive influence on Darwin. Because in 1831 Matthew coined the worlds most powerful analogy to explain his unique discovery of the worlds most important scientific theory. So important was that unique analogy – so influential – so powerful – Darwin (1859. p. 7) used it to open “The Origin of Species” when he wrote:
‘When we look to the individuals of the same variety or sub-variety of our older cultivated plants and animals, one of the first points which strikes us is, that they generally differ more from each other than do the individuals of any one species or variety in a state of nature.’
Jim Dempster’s daughter Soula wrote to BestThinking. They placed her email comments on the blog post I wrote about her father.
The post is here: https://www.bestthinking.com/thinkers/science/social_sciences/sociology/mike-sutton?tab=blog&blogpostid=21890
Thanks for the link Mike – it’s great to have Soula’s thoughts on this. Though, like you, I was somewhat mystified by her comments regarding to need to bust the myth that Dempster was anti Darwin’s theory. I wasn’t aware that such a myth existed – certainly I haven’t come across any writing that accuses him of that.
By the way, your excellent transcription of the article on the 24th Nov 1860 in the Saturday Analyst and Leader has been up on the PMP website for many weeks now – I did email you to tell you this! The link is https://patrickmatthewproject.wordpress.com/short-articles/1860-62/1860e-edit/. But there’s nothing about beekeepers in that article as far as I can see.
I looked on the site for it under the headings but could not track it down,
Thanks for direct link.
I think the author they name – who made a claim – wrote a book on bees. I’ll check it out again.
Quite funny. I see where I got the idea it contained something about bees from – it refers to a Dr Bree and that name got a bit mangled in my seemingly dyslexic subconscious memory.
No worries Mike. For future reference, I find the best way to track down an article in PMP is to use the Table of Contents here: https://patrickmatthewproject.wordpress.com/short-articles/table-of-contents/. You still have to scan for what you’re after, but if you know the year of publication it’s fairly easy to find what you want.
Soula Dempster – Jim Dempster’s daughter – has joined the campaign to gain Matthew his due recognition as the true biological father of the theory of natural selection.
Soula has begun by writing a review of my book ‘Nullius in Verba”. You can read and comment on her review on the Amazon Books website – here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R1TOTGYGBII6VR/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00M5DP46U
Thanks for link Mike. With respect to Soula’s point that Darwin was a “man-compiler”, a correspondent in India has sent me a quote from Samuel Butler that seems to me to sum this idea up very nicely: “Buffon planted, Erasmus Darwin and Lamarck watered, but it was Mr. Darwin who said “That fruit is ripe” and shook it into his lap.” (from Butler 1887, “Luck or Cunning?”).
I found the reference to “(angles all at 120o!)” rather cryptic – do you know what this refers to?
Re the angles.. Soula is referring to Darwin’s writing on the shape of honeycomb’s – or else perhaps pupae cells – I think.Darwin investigated bees quite a bit. There is a lot written abut it – and much debate. I’m afraid its not an area that cropped up at all in my research.
Soula is referring, I think, to some information sent to Darwin from an Essex bee keeper. As we all know Darwin received thousands of letters on such matters and made no secret of that fact. In the case in question the informant was not thanked. Apparently there is a letter somewhere form Darwin where he apologized and writes that he thinks his letter of thanks was lost in the post.
Re the angles.. Soula is referring to Darwin’s writing on the shape of honeycomb’s – or else perhaps pupae cells – I think.Darwin investigated bees quite a bit. There is a lot written abut it – and much debate. I’m afraid its not an area that cropped up at all in my research.
You seem to have mistakenly just repeated my point.
Some useful information o Darwin and Bees here: https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/a-tale-of-two-bees
And still more on the question of how bees formed hexagonal honeycomb cells (internal angles all at 120 degrees) here: http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/the-evolution-of-honey-comb
There does indeed appear to be a very large part of Darwin’s correspondence on this matter. It may be difficult to locate the letter from the Essex bee-keeper that Soula is after.
I’ve added the review of “On Naval Timber and Arboriculture” from the Farmers’ Journal to PMP – see https://patrickmatthewproject.wordpress.com/on-naval-timber/reviews/farmers-journal-1831/
What is interesting is that this is rather like the The United Service Journal and Naval and Military Magazine review – also of 1831 – and also anonymous in that Matthew’s heresy is not mentioned. There are only two explanations (1) the reviewer did not understand that it was an heretical explanation for the creation and extinction of species (2) the failure to mention it (despite reading it) accords with what Professor James Secord explains in his excellent book on the Vestiges of Creation (A Victorian Sensation) as the rules and etiquette of 19th century gentlemen of science not to trespass on the field of natural theology. And we must remember that the vast majority of 19th century gentlemen of science were deeply religious. At the core of their self-identity as a gentleman of science was their honesty and that honesty was marked by deep-seated Christianity, which was worn as a badge and embraced internally so that they would be taken on their word at all times as the most honest of gentlemen. And they judged others accordingly. Matthew broke all the rules.
So why did Loudon (1832) comment positively on Matthew’s possible originality on the question of “the Origin of species”? Because Loudon was a very clever libertarian and near-genius who tried to live in all camps, It wore him out and killed him early. He lost two self made fortunes and died penniless – standing up as his wife took dictation for another publication.
Darwin’s publishers grandfather – the first John Murray (then named McMurray) was right in 1767: – as he would be right in 1831 and 1860 and 2015:
“Look about you” he wrote in his letter book “and see who it is that thrives in the world.It is the industrious and plodding no matter illiterate and not the abstract man of sense & learning.”
(For reference see page 9 of The Seven Lives of John Murray by Humphrey Carpenter).
The now busted myth – started by Darwin (and compounded by credulous Darwinists in numerous textbooks and peer reviewed papers for 155 years) is a Supermyth – being a myth about a myth (see: http://supermyths.com/supermyths-discovered.html )
Today, The Sunday Times Newspaper Magazine reported on the Supermyth concept and the iron content of spinach : https://www.bestthinking.com/thinkers/science/social_sciences/sociology/mike-sutton?tab=blog&blogpostid=22876 – six years after the myth about the decimal error in spinach was bust.
Perhaps it will take six years for the Patrick Matthew supermyth to get into my favourite Sunday supplement. I hope not that long.
I’m talking on the topic at Sheffield Skeptics in the Pub on May 25th: http://sheffield.skepticsinthepub.org/Event.aspx/2300/Have-we-got-the-Wrong-Scientist-on-the-Back-of-the-10-Note
Bob Butler CEO of ThinkerMedia in Gonzo-Science expose of Darwinists on The Richard Dawkins Foundation website finds evidence that the hard facts about who read Matthew’s prior-published hypothesis finds evidence for why Darwinists refuse to accept the hard evidence. This is confirmatory evidence in support of the Frozen Donkey Hypothesis: https://www.bestthinking.com/thinkers/science/social_sciences/sociology/mike-sutton?tab=blog&blogpostid=22878
I have added a new section called “Published excerpts” to PMP which lists three new examples of NTA being referred to in the year of its publication. These were all found via text searches of the British Newspaper Archive. One interesting aspect is the geographical spread of the newspapers – Hull, Leamington Spa and Westmorland – all regional newspapers, but widely spread.
Whatever the qualitative interpretation and assessment of the extent to which Matthew’s work was cited. Whatever the qualitative interpretation of the extent to which his work was reviewed. Whatever the qualitative assessment of the extent to which his ideas on evolution, agriculture, engineering, colonization of other countries and politics were published. One thing is certain. Matthew did not come form nowhere, write a few words like some idiot savant random-typing monkey and then hand over the mantle of his accidental discovery to Charles Darwin. You are exposing the fossil record – the “vestiges of narration” of the man whose very words (which included “vestiges of aration in ONTA” were read by Robert Chambers who read and cited Matthew and then “put evolution in the air” in the first half of the 19th century before meeting Lyell and Darwin – corresponding with Darwin and even giving him a copy of his anonymously authored heretical text.
All that before Darwin wrote “The Origin of Species” – a book that Darwin adopted for its title the very same phrase that the naturalist John Loudon in 1832 used to review Matthew’s book and his origination of the unique bombshell theory that Darwin replicated (immaculately conceived according to Darwinists”) within its pages – claiming that no naturalist had heard of Matthew’s ideas before Matthew himself alerted Darwin to them!
We may think that on this website Mike Weale has collected a wealth of information that enables us to far better, far more veraciously, tell the 19th century story of the true biological father of natural slection. Namely, Patrick Matthew. And they would be right. However, they would be missing something right under their noses.
What is right under your nose here, dear reader, is the technology that allowed Mike Weale to do this for us. Its the same technology that led him to bump into me in cyberspace last year: where we held a cordia and mutually beneficial l discussion about the New Data of who actually read Matthew’s book that Darwin actually knew before Darwin penned the book that replicated Matthew’s discovery: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/10859281/Did-Charles-Darwin-borrow-the-theory-of-natural-selection.html
This same “under your nose technology” enabled me to find the hidden books in the library that proved seven naturalists did read Matthew’s book before Darwin wrote The Origin of Species. The same technology allowed the testing of a new forensic technique to reveal who exactly was (out of the 30 million books and journals in Google’s library) was apparently first to be second in print with apparently unique Matthewisms (terms coined by Matthew) from Matthew’s 1831 book.
What does all this mean? It means that the past is important for explaining the present. But the big story is nt just in the past. The great injustice of Darwin’s failure to cite Matthew and the great failure of Darwinists to acknowledge Matthew’s “more likely than not” influence on Darwin resonates today among the descendants of Matthew – dominating their waking lives and dreams – and it resonates in the families of those who dedicated so much of their time fighting for truth and justice so that we may have a veracious history of the discovery of natural selection.
Readers who are aware of the great contribution made in this field by W. J. Dempster may be interested to read how the injustice he suffered resonates today in the lives of his family: https://www.bestthinking.com/thinkers/science/social_sciences/sociology/mike-sutton?tab=blog&blogpostid=22881
Darwinists who have their fingers in their ears singing lar-lar-lar are going to find themselves looking very silly now in that pose. As their namesake taught them the lesson is “adapt or die”. It’s worth trying. If you don’t believe me, i suggest you ask the dinosaurs.
The Question of Species Perhaps Led him a Little too wide: https://books.google.co.uk/books?ei=iuRcVbzaJOqW7AbE2oLIDg&id=KvwVAAAAIAAJ&dq=%22patrick+matthew%22+%22species%22&focus=searchwithinvolume&q=%22too+wide%22
And what is this – a principle keeping unsteady nature to her law: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=VTscwO80WTIC&pg=PA393&dq=%22patrick+matthew%22+%22species%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=iuRcVbzaJOqW7AbE2oLIDg&ved=0CDoQ6AEwBTgU#v=onepage&q=%22patrick%20matthew%22%20%22species%22&f=false
I’m just going over the Gardener’s chronicle 1860 for my talk on Matthew in Sheffield this Bank Holiday Monday. I expect you have it – but was surprised to find a third letter from Matthew in the chronicle that year. Seems to be a precursor on the Vegetable Mould – also using trees to modify climate: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=yiQ1AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA433&dq=Letter+from+Patrick+Matthew+in+The+Gardeners%27+Chronicle+12+May+1860&hl=en&sa=X&ei=u5bRUfrEKabF0QXGmIC4CA#v=onepage&q=Patrick%20Matthew&f=false
Hi Mike, yes it is indeed a separate letter from Matthew, but it was catalogued by me on the PMP website some time ago – you can find the link here:
Now here’s a thing.
I made an error in my book “Nullius in Verba: Darwin’s greatest secret”. It’s one to be corrected in the second edition. But the new information will be presented to the Skeptics in the Pub meeting in Sheffield this coming bank holiday Monday.
I thought – for some reason – that Matthew told Darwin about the naturalist John Loudon’s review of “On Naval Timber” in his letter of reply to Darwin’s “apparently no naturalist read” your ideas defense.
In fact, Matthew (1860) told Darwin about Loudon in his very first letter to The Gardener’s Chronicle.
Darwin had his friend Joseph Hooker look over his “no naturalist read it” defence. He insisted Hooker approve his defence or else send it back to Darwin. He insisted Hooker sign and date a letter to the Editor of the Gardener’s Chronicle with a forwarding letter.
It is most interesting that Loudon had been dead 16 years by then. It is far more interesting that Joseph Hooker and his father William knew Loudon. Loudon was a botanist! They were botanists. Loudon was a great friend of Lindley – who was William Hookers best friend. It was Loudon who invented the sash bar that made the curved design of the glass houses at Kew Gardens possible. Loudon’s 1832 review of Matthew’s book was directly adjacent to a review of Lindley’s book. And that was it was in the same edition that reviewed William Hooker’s book. And yet Joseph hooker approved Darwin’s defense reply that apparently no naturalist had read Matthew’s book before 1860!
What was Loudon – an accredited and famous botanist – scientific journal editor (and polymath) – if not a naturalist?
It is interesting that Darwin also insisted that Joseph Hooker approve his letter of defense to Wallace that he had no role in orchestrating the Linnean debacle of 1858 – where Hooker and Lyell misled the society into thinking Wallace had approved them presenting his prior authored (Ternate) paper (Wallace 1858) and having it put after Darwin’s so it would thereafter we called “Darwin’s and Wallace’s Theory”.
Matthew’s (1860) second letter to the Gardener’s Chronicle was a reply to Darwin’s “apparently no naturalist read it” defence. Perhaps Matthew felt out of his depth arguing the toss with the great Charles Darwin about whether or not Loudon was a naturalist. Perhaps Victorian rules of gentlemanly propriety forbade him from contradicting what Darwin had written. Perhaps Matthew just played his hand badly, expecting Darwin to promote him as the Originator with the full priority he asked for in his first letter to the Chronicle? Whatever the case, Matthew moved on from the Loudon evidence and simply told Darwin of another (anonymous) naturalist who taught at a university who had read his book but was afraid of teaching its heresy for fear of being pilloried on the cutty stool ( a from of being shamed in church in Scotland at the time).
Darwin ignored all of Matthew’s evidence that naturalists had read – indeed cited – his book. From the third edition of The Orign of Species onward Darwin wrote that Matthew’s idea shad gone unnoticed until Matthew personally brought them to Darwin’s attention in the Gardener’s Chronicle in 1860.
Darwin’s lies and Hookers lies by default in this case have remained undetected for these past 155 years.
The fact that Loudon was a naturalist passed undetected by Darwinists who swallowed Darwin’s lies hook and Hooker, line and sinker! Once we understand that Loudon was a naturlaist we should look at what he did as one. And what do we find? We find he edited Edward Blyth’s (1855; 1856) two papers on species and organic evolution that so greatly influenced Darwin. And Darwin admitted Blyth was his most prolific informant.
Perhaps Matthew did not in way influence Darwin’s so-called “independent” discovery of natural selection. Perhaps instead a supernatural miracle of divine cognitive contraception was gifted to Darwin?
Do Darwinists really teach their belief in this supernatural miracle in our schools and universities?
See what other naturalists – contrary to Darwin’s great lie – read Matthew’s book before 1858 – here: On the “cited before 1858” page: http://patrickmatthew.com/
Mike, thanks for clarifying. I too had in the back of my mind that the Loudon reference was in the 2nd Matthew letter, not the first one.
This now means that Joseph Hooker deliberately approved Darwin’s lie. Because Hooker and Darwin knew full well Loudon was a famous naturalist: Nottingham based artist Gabriel Woods provides a study in oils that serves as an analogy for the supernatural miracle beliefs of Darwinists
Researcher Peter Symon
@petersymon Tweeted me:
Patrick Matthew of Gourdiehill buried 15 June 1874 in lair no. 124 in Errol burying ground, say Perth & Kinross Council (Burial Services)
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