Originally published in the Journal of the Plantation Garden Preservation Trust, Autumn 2016.
Alfred Russel Wallace and Charles Darwin, the co-discoverers of evolution by natural selection, had a high mutual respect. But in 1876 they found themselves on opposite sides of an argument about spiritualism. One of Thomas Henry Huxley’s zoology students had brought a legal case for fraud against a renowned spirit-medium, Henry Slade. Wallace’s belief in spiritualism put him on the opposite side to Darwin. Richard Milner will be talking to society members about this forgotten episode in the history of science, and offers entertaining insights into the personalities and beliefs of the co-founders of evolutionary biology. This will be on 29th July at 2.30 in the Thameside Theatre.
The event is free and all are welcome.
Richard Milner is an Associate in Anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History, and currently co-editor of Special Alfred Russel Wallace Issues of Natural History and Skeptic magazines.