Professor of History Peter Bowler (historian of biology) sought to dismiss the pioneering surgeon,
|Cherry and her Husband, Jim Dempster,|
in the late 1960's
'Such efforts to denigrate Darwin misunderstand the whole point of the history of science: Matthew did suggest a basic idea of selection, but he did nothing to develop it; and he published it in the appendix to a book on the raising of trees for shipbuilding. No one took him seriously, and he played no role in the emergence of Darwinism. Simple priority is not enough to earn a thinker a place in the history of science: one has to develop the idea and convince others of its value to make a real contribution. Darwin's notebooks confirm that he drew no inspiration from Matthew or any of the other alleged precursors.'
Bowler, Peter J. 2003. Evolution: the history of an idea, 3rd. revised edn. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. p158
Evidence-led Reply to Peter Bowler's Disconfirmed 'Knowledge Beliefs'
'In my opinion, such efforts, as Peter Bowler's (2003) to denigrate objective scholarship and presentation of independently verifiable facts, which disconfirm prior 'knowledge beliefs' about the work of Patrick Matthew, reveals that, Bowler appears to misunderstand both the whole point of critical historical and scientific scholarship and fact-led progress. Because, the real facts, as opposed to newly disconfirmed 'false facts' prove that Matthew (1831) did far more than suggest the basic idea of macroevolution by natural selection. He originated it, and he wrote about it throughout his book, as well as in its appendix, pointedly referring readers to sections of the book's appendix on natural selection as he went (see the Appendix Myth for hard proof) providing his original artificial versus natural selection analogy of differences to explain it, which Wallace (1858) and Darwin (1859) also replicated. Matthew then took his original ideas forward in his second book 'Emigration Fields (1839). Leading evolutionary biologists admit Matthew was first to write, and have published in 1831, the full theory of macroevolution by natural selection.
As Matthew explained to Darwin in the Gardener's Chronicle in two published letters in 1860, his On Naval Timber and Arboriculture' was read by two naturalists. One - the famous and influential John Loudon - wrote in 1832 that Matthew had something original to say on 'the origin of species' - no less! Loudon went on to edit two of Blyth's (1835; 1837) influential papers on organic evolution. The other naturalist that Matthew mentioned, feared to teach Matthew's original ideas on the origin of species by natural selection for fear of pillory punishment - as Matthew (1860) forcefully explains in his second letter in the Gardener's Chronicle. Moreover, Matthew informed Darwin in that letter that Perth (he called it the 'Fair City') Public Library in Scotland banned his book for its heresy on evolution!
By way of completely dishonest published reply to the facts provided to him directly by Matthew, from 1860 onwards Darwin successfully corrupted the history of discovery of natural selection - and in doing so shamelessly misled a multitude of seemingly credulous and cognitively blindsighted Darwin scholars, such as Peter Bowler (who appear to have taken Darwin at his word alone) and then simply parroted Darwin's lies as the gospel truth - that no naturalist (Darwin 1860) and no one at all (Darwin 1861 onward) read Matthew's original ideas before 1860. The facts, as opposed to the Darwin worshipping and fact-denigrating falsehoods spouted by Darwin scholars, 100 per cent prove that at least seven other naturalists - amongst at least 25 individuals - did read Matthew's 1831 book and the ideas in it because they cited it in the newly re-discovered literature, And at least three (Chambers, Loudon and Selby) then went on to influence Darwin and Wallace, influence their influencers and play roles at the epicentre of facilitation of their work on the topic pre-1858. By way of just two examples, among those I originally discovered in 2014, it is newly discovered (Sutton 2014) that Selby went on to be chief Editor of the journal that published Wallace's Sarawak paper, and Robert Chambers cited both of Matthew's books pre 1840. Chambers then went on to write from 1844 onward the hugely influential and best selling science book on evolution 'Vestiges of Creation', which was Wallace's greatest influence, and Chambers was an associate, correspondent and later advocate for Darwin. As for Darwin's notebooks, they are characterized by massive amounts of of torn out pages and scribbled out text and do not - any more than any diary or notebook can - represent everything important that Darwin knew or did on the topic of natural selection. Furthermore, since Darwin's serial-lying dishonesty is 100 per cent proven on this topic, as objective scholars we no longer should assume honesty and integrity in anything he did that would support his claim to independent discovery of Matthew's (1831) prior-published conception. In actual fact, outside of what Darwin claimed and beyond his private scribblings of dates on things in his home, there is no independently verifiable hard evidence that he wrote a word on the topic of natural selection until 1857, when Asa Gray most probably received an abstract of an essay Darwin claimed to have written in 1844 (see Sutton 2016).
I say: Nullius in verba to the notion of Charles Darwin's honesty and integrity. Nullius in verba to the beautific rhetoric of Peter Bowler and the same goes for the work of all other Darwin Scholars and for my work. Read the facts. They right under your nose. Then weigh their significance.
For the past 155 years, since swallowing his lies about the readership of Matthew's prior-published conception of natural selection, Darwin scholars - including some of the top evolutionary biologists in the world, such as Sir Gavin de Beer and Ernst Mayr. have enjoyed a great intellectual romance with the idea of Charles Darwin.
Just as hapless lovers project onto the object of their affections many desirable traits, which their loved one in fact does not exhibit, so have scientists and other Darwin scholars preferred the romance and the lies to looking at, and recognising the obvious and significant dsconfirming real facts that have been right under their very noses, as they read them; and in other cases failed to look for them. The real facts are in the published literature that tells us the veracious story of Matthew, Darwin and Wallace and the history of discovery of natural selection.
Besotted beatific necroists abound in the Darwin industry, which tends, for obvious reasons, to employ those blindsightedly specialising in myth-promoting biased beliefs over their obviously and significantly disconfirming facts.
You can read the real facts in my 2014 book: Nullius in Verba: Darwin's greatest secret.