Dear Ian …
I have finished correcting the final proofs. The indexing is a tedious job. One has to be so accurate otherwise the critics spot is deficiencies. The book is 360 pages long.
There is a crisis in Darwinism caused by the fact that he would have nothing to do with catastrophes and mass extinction. Since there has been great interest in the catastrophe of 70 million years ago that destroyed the dinosaurs catastrophes are back. They never went away so far as PM was concerned. It was, however, scientifically incorrect at the time and Darwin delivered the coup de grâce, “he seems to consider the world was nearly depopulated on successive occasions and then restocked”. That is what it is all about today. The Americans who have resurrected the catastrophe business are ignorant of the fact that PM has it down in black and white!
All the best and regards to Min Hunter
Notes and Commentary by Mike Sutton
In this fifth letter from Jim Dempster to Ian Hardie (one of the three trustees for the Patrick Matthew Trust) Ian is informed that the final drafts are completed of Jim's second book on the story of Matthew and Darwin and the discovery of natural selection Dempster (1996)" Evolutionary Concepts in the Nineteenth Century: Natural selection and Patrick Matthew". The production of the book was substantially funded by the Patrick Mathew Trust. This book was vanity published because Dempster was unable to find a professional publishing house willing to publish a book on Matthew (I experienced the exact same difficulty when I tried. Fortunately, the new American publishing house ThinkerMedia published my book on Matthew and Darwin as an e-book, but they were not around in Dempster's time). All of the funds for the Patrick Matthew trust came from the estate of John Matthew, the last living direct Scottish descendant of Patrick Matthew to bear the surname.
Notes supplied by Ian Hardie on the Patrick Matthew Trust
|John Matthew was the last surviving direct descendant of Patrick Matthew |
in Scotland to bear the surname Matthew
Notes supplied by Ian Hardie on the Patrick Matthew Trust
- Ian Hardie together with Min Hunter were the two principal trustees of the Patrick Matthew Trust backed by a third being a solicitor from the Edinburgh law firm Robson McLean.
- The second Jim Dempster book was “substantially funded” by the Patrick Matthew Trust
- All of the funds for the PM Trust came from the Estate of John Matthew.
- Ian Hardie and Min Hunter were jointly appointed as co-executors of the John Matthew estate
- Ian Hardie approached Dempster. Ian does not recall Jim Dempster ever writing to Min Hunter.
- The PM Trust was formed sometime after first contact / discussion with Jim Dempster – once it was determined that with financial help Jim Dempster was possibly persuadable to write the second book.
Ian Hardie was appointed to assist in the execution of John's estate. Ian has informed me in writing recently that among John's papers they found Dempster's first book (Dempster 1983) on Matthew - "Patrick Matthew and Natural Selection". With it were original letters from Darwin to Matthew, the contents of which were not then in the public domain. Dempster's first publisher went bankrupt shortly after publication of this, his first book on this topic, (details here). Realising what they had stumbled upon, Ian Hardie approached Jim Dempster to see if the executors of John's will, might commission him to re-visit the topic of the discovery of natural selection in a second book. Once Dempster appeared possibly willing, they set up The Patrick Matthew Trust. At one point - as chapter drafts were presented to them to show progress - Ian Hardie and Min Hunter sought to advise Jim against being too critically confrontational, because they wanted the facts to be fully embraced by "The Darwin Lobby" (see my notes on an earlier letter - here), but Jim was having none of that - so they backed-off and gave him free academic rein.
|John Matthew and Min Hunter|
In this fifth letter to Ian Hardie, Jim Dempster again makes it clear that he has identified that Matthew got extinction events right in his original conception of macroevolution by natural selection and that Darwin (being a Lyell loyal uniformitarian) got it completely wrong and mocked Matthew in his "Historical Sketch" in the Origin of Species (from the third edition of 1861 onwards), implying Matthew was some kind of biblical flood believing crank, because at the time Matthew's view was not "the majority view" held by scientists. Dempster notes that the Americans are aware that meteorological events appear to explain species extinctions, but that they are unaware of Matthew's earlier work on the topic. See my notes on Letter No. 2 regarding Dempster being way ahead of the American Professor Rampino on this issue (here).
Dempster's second book on Matthew,
This book that was substantially funded by the Patrick Mathew Trust.
The funds of the Trust, coming from the estate of
John Matthew, establishes a neat line of enabling descent from
Patrick Matthew to Jim Dempster's book about him.
|John Matthew's House in Scotland|
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ian Hardie and Min Hunter for having the imagination, ethical wherewithal, intellectual curiosity and forward-thinking gumption to approach Jim Dempster to write a second book on Matthew and Darwin. Dempster's first book was very good, but it wasn't detailed enough to enable me to grasp the field adequately to understand and appreciate the significance and nuanced context of my own discoveries about the pre-1859 -readership of Matthew's book. I absolutely needed that second Dempster book in order to know how and what I needed to know in order to write my own (Sutton 2104) to build upon existing knowledge.
Further Photographs of Robert Matthew, who was John Matthew's father
|Robert Matthew the lower left picture is dated 1925|