Patrick Matthew is generally acknowledged as the originator of the theory of natural selection. He published his discovery of ‘the natural process of selection’ in a book entitled ‘On Naval and Timber and Arboriculture’ in 1831, which is 27 years before Charles Darwin’s and Alfred Wallace’s papers were read before the Linnean Society in 1858.
The current consensus is that Darwin and Wallace each discovered natural selection independently of Matthew and independently of one another. Moreover, Darwin is hailed as the immortal great thinker on the subject of evolution, because he alone is recognised as first to take his own discovery of the theory of natural selection forward, with many confirmatory evidences, convincing others of its veracity and importance.
In this talk, Mike Sutton will challenge this orthodox view with brand new and independently verifiable evidence, that he uniquely discovered with newly available ‘big data’ research methods, to prove that, pre-1858, Matthew’s 1831 book was read by at least 24 people because they actually cited it in the published literature. Importantly, Mike reveals that at least seven who cited Matthew’s book were naturalists. Most importantly of all, he focuses upon the fact that three of only seven naturalists now known to have cited Matthew’s book were at the very epicentre of influence on Darwin’s and Wallace’s researches. Moreover, two of those three were personal associates and correspondents of Darwin and Wallace. He will show why he believes that Matthew, not Darwin, should now be celebrated as the only independent solver of the problem of species.
Finally, for our sceptical consideration and debate Mike will ask us to think sceptically about whether or not it is a mere tri-coincidence, improbable beyond rational belief, that three out of only seven naturalists known to have cited Matthew’s prior-published book before 1858, containing the full hypothesis of natural selection, played such pivotal roles at the very epicentre of influence and facilitation of Darwin’s and Wallace’s published work on natural selection.’ In other words, is it now more likely than not that Matthew is the sole independent discoverer of the full and complete process of natural selection?
Dr Michael "Mike", Sutton is author of ‘Nullius in Verba: Darwin’s greatest secret’.
Dr Michael "Mike" Sutton is Reader in Criminology at Nottingham Trent University (UK), where he teaches Hi Tech Crime and also Crime Reduction and Community Safety. Before that he worked for 14 years as a senior researcher in the Policing and reducing Crime Unit in the Home Office in London. Mike is the originator of the Market Reduction Approach (MRA) to theft and co-founder and Chief Editor of the open access Internet Journal of Criminology. He is a winner of the British Journal of Criminology Prize for virtual ethnographic research into a pan-European hacking group.