Based on the Supermyth that Darwin and Wallace uniquely and independently discovered the natural process of selection, there is a related, daughter, myth that Charles Darwin, together with his botanical mentor and best friend Joseph Hooker uniquely invented terraforming by way of what they did on Ascension Island (e.g. that story here
In reality it is Patrick Matthew, the plagiarized and cheated 1831 originator of the theory of natural selection, whose research and observations of nature provided the factual and theoretical base for terraforming.
When, in 1831, Matthew published his theory in his book On Naval Timber and Arboriculture, it contained, amongst other religious heresy at the time, the heresy that trees could grow better in other than their "natural" habitats when transplanted there by humans. This heresy was heretical because it went against then Christian doctrine that "God", as designer and creator, placed every living thing in its ideal location. Matthew's heresy probably just one of those that led his book to banned by Perth public Library in Scotland and for reviewers to demand readers not even think about his ruminations on the laws of nature. Indeed, Selby (a regular church-going Christian naturalist, who I, in 2014
see my later 2016 paperback
uniquely discovered cited Matthew's book in 1842 and wrote that he could not understand this idea before going on to be chief editor of the journal that published Wallace's 1855 Sarawak paper. NOTE: My Selby discovery was later plagiarized in the Linnean Journal by Dagg The Jealous and Sly Plagiarist - facts here
In 1843, a year after Selby (1842) noted what Matthew had written abut some trees doing well outside their natural habitat, Joseph Hooker landed on Ascension Island (see here
) and arranged for an abundance of different species of tree to be planted there.
Selby wrote that he could not understand how it could be so that Matthew said trees could do better when grown outside their natural habitat. See Prideaux John Selby, A History of British Forest-Trees: Indigenous and Introduced
, Van Voorst, London 1842. In this way, whether he really could understand it (but pretended otherwise to appease the powerful church) or not, Selby drew attention to Matthew's heresy. Later it was picked up upon as no more than an important fact for economic botany and cited prominently by William Hooker's (William being Joseph Hooker's father and also a friend of the Darwin and his wife) correspondent William Jameson in 1853 (facts here
The United Service Journal and Naval and Military Magazine published an extended review in the 1831 Part II and 1831 Part III numbers of the magazine:
"But we disclaim participation in his ruminations on the law of Nature, or on the outrages committed upon reason and justice by our burthens of hereditary nobility, entailed property, and insane enactments."
Darwin and his cronies capitalized upon the opportunistic fact Matthew had been earlier silenced in the first half of the 19th century when the church was still in its ascendancy to steal his ideas. Indeed, while Matthew mocked the church and priests, in many editions of the Origin of Species Darwin kept the notion of "The Creator" in as a supernatural deity that created evolution by natural selection.