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RE: Not exactly your initiated seers....Darwin & Wallace vs Theosophy

Aug 06, 2006 08:33 PM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck

Very interesting.




-----Original Message-----
From: Odin [] 
Sent: Sunday, August 06, 2006 
Subject:     Not exactly your initiated seers....Darwin & Wallace vs

“The SECRET DOCTRINE is not a treatise, or a series of vague theories, but
contains all that can be given out to the world in this century.” (S.D. I,
The flashing gaze of those seers has penetrated into the very kernel of
matter, and recorded the soul of things there, where an ordinary profane,
however learned, would have perceived but the external work of form. But
modern science believes not in the "soul of things," and hence will reject
the whole system of ancient cosmogony. … the uninterrupted record covering
thousands of generations of Seers  . . . by checking, testing, and verifying
in every department of nature the traditions of old by the independent
visions of great adepts; i.e., men who have developed and perfected their
physical, mental, psychic, and spiritual organizations to the utmost
possible degree. 
No vision of one adept was accepted till it was checked and confirmed by the
visions – so obtained as to stand as independent evidence – of other adepts,
and by centuries of experiences. “	(Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, page 273.)

This story appears in the August 14, 2006 print edition of U.S. News & World
Did Darwin Get Scooped?
By Silla Brush
One day in 1858, Charles Darwin was rummaging through his mail in Kent,
England, when he came across a package sent all the way from the Southeast
Pacific. Alfred Russel Wallace, an admirer and infrequent pen pal, had sent
a 20-page handwritten manuscript. Its title: "On the Tendency of Varieties
to Depart Indefinitely from the Original Type." Clunky, to be sure, but to
Darwin, nothing short of shocking. 
Wallace asked Darwin whether he thought much of the manuscript and, if he
did, whether he might be kind enough to forward it to a friend who led one
of London's scientific societies. Thought much? The manuscript didn't
exactly say "natural selection," but it might as well have. Darwin wrote to
his friend Charles Lyell, "I never saw a more striking coincidence ... all
my originality, whatever it may amount to, will be smashed." 
Wallace, 14 years Darwin's junior, was an unschooled tradesman who traveled
around the world earning a living as a commercial collector. Darwin, by
contrast, was a wealthy amateur explorer who would become one of England's
leading naturalists; he was known for his studies of barnacles and his years
of research aboard the HMS Beagle. But when Darwin received Wallace's
letter, his greatest work--the theory of evolution by natural selection--was
still under wraps, right where it had been for nearly 20 years. 

Risky delays. Since returning from his voyages in 1836, Darwin had been
gathering evidence to support his radical theory, the best defense, he
believed, against being branded a religious heretic. Only a few friends knew
his thoughts. In 1842, he sketched out his theory in a 35-page letter, then
two years later wrote a 231-page essay, telling his wife to publish it upon
his death. A short letter to a Harvard botanist in 1857 contained
preliminary thoughts. By the next year, he was 10 chapters into his magnum
opus--and about to get scooped. 
Scrambling, Lyell and a friend gathered some of Darwin's earlier thoughts
and Wallace's paper and presented them to the scientific society on July 1,
1858. The initial reaction was underwhelming, according to science
journalist David Quammen. Only 30 people attended. Darwin was absent, and
Wallace was still somewhere near Borneo; he didn't even know his paper was
being read. 
Over the next year, though, Darwin worked quickly to finish On the Origin of
the Species, filling in his theories with still more evidence. This time the
book was a hit, soon selling out its wholesale orders. Darwin's reputation
was made. 
As for Wallace, he returned from his travels to be welcomed into Darwin's
inner circle. Remarkably, he expressed no regrets. "Nowhere in any kind of
form published or otherwise," says Charles Smith, a Western Kentucky
University professor, "does [Wallace] say something to the affect of being
disgruntled about what happened." 
Even Wallace himself tended to refer to the theory as Darwin's. He went on
to write for nearly 200 publications before dying in 1913, his name fading
into relative obscurity. "The reason why Darwin gets the credit is that he
does the kind of analytic and academic work and wrote the book," says Niles
Eldredge, curator of the American Museum of Natural History. "But he was
also the first with all of the evidence. Wallace just had a couple of bright
More recently, a few historians have noted Wallace's contributions; nine
biographies have been published since 2000. It's something, but it's a far
cry from having your name be synonymous with the theory of evolution. 
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This story appears in the August 14, 2006 print edition of U.S. News & World

Odin Townley, Science Editor 
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