Scott, I've already replied to this claim in the Roy Davies thread ... but here it is again ...
The Darwin-Wallace mystery solved: Darwin vindicated from accusations of deceit
This Dr Van Wyhe is fudging the issue to defend Darwin .... he has simply assumed Darwin told the truth (and therefore Wallace didn't) and traced routes backwards to see if Wallace *could* have sent a letter later than Wallace later letter implies. So Dr Van Wyhe attempt to defend Darwin, makes Wallace look dishonest or at least confused instead
Although Van Wyhe doesn't claim Walace lied, he just claims Wallace made a mistake years later.... all to try and make Darwin look innocent.
From the article.
| "Eventually our mail itinerary was completed all the way back to Ternate and we were astonished to find that there was an unbroken series of mail connections to Ternate -- not in March as all other writers before had assumed, but in April 1858! |
There is nothing astonishing about it ...Dr Van Wyhe has no proper evidence - other than his preferred assumption that Darwin was honest therefore Wallace letter must have been on those later deliveries, rather than the prior one as Wallace writings imply and other historians have noted.
| "First of all, we now know that Wallace was replying to an early letter from Darwin- and that letter from Darwin arrived in Ternate on the March steamer. |
Darwin correspondence is suspiciously missing on this issue, unlike his other correspondence. Wallace still exists, he had nothing to hide. Darwin seems to have incriminated himself by several letters going missing
| We have assembled the first complete collection of all the surviving Wallace correspondence from Ternate and nearby islands. These reveal that he never replied to a letter on the same steamer which delivered it. |
But Wallace writings imply he did.
| Apparently the turn over time was too short. Therefore this is an additional reason to doubt that Wallace could have sent the famous letter to Darwin in March as so long assumed," said Dr van Wyhe. |
Who should one trust? Here is the choice .. Wallace who was actually there or a biased Darwin historian 150 years later who wants to defend Darwin's reputation and the conventional story?
Roy Davies of the book 'The Darwin Conspiracy' has rebutted Dr Van Wyhe's new claims.
| Effectively, Wallace sent Darwin a letter explaining all his ideas about both varieties and new species along with his conclusions about Divergence with Modification in the letter which, posted at Makassar at the end of October, 1856 should have arrived with Darwin on January 12th, 1857. However, Darwin claimed the letter only arrived 'a few days ago' when he dated his reply May 1st, 1857. |
While the letter was in his hands he claimed in his 'big' species book and in a separate letter to Hooker that he now understood that new species were only strongly marked varieties and that he had suddenly understood what he claimed as his 'Principle of Divergence'. Having replied to Wallace effectively telling him to keep off the grass he then sent off his infamous letter to Asa Gray in September 1857 announcing his Principle of Divergence but asking Gray not to tell anyone about his discovery. Here he had Wallace in mind since there was no-one else in the frame who had come up with a theory of divergence with modification at that time.
However, Gray dismissed Darwin's Principle in words which Darwin echoed as 'grievously hypothetical' since he could offer no evidence for such divergence and modification unlike the many examples Wallace had been working with for nearly five years. Gray's assessment of Darwin's claim caused him to offer Gray's different definition of his 'Principle' but Gray seems to have been even less impressed by this alternative since he did not reply to Darwin for a further six months without referring to Darwin's second attempt at convincing him. And these two letters from Gray? Both missing from Darwin's correspondence files as are every other letter received from the main characters in this story. Of course when the Linnean meeting was held on July 1, 1858, Darwin's copy of his first letter to Asa Gray which he had in his desk was one of the clinching pieces of evidence which showed that he, along with Wallace, had long understood the principle of divergence.
Roy Davies - author of the 'Darwin Conspiracy'
The above bold emphasis
was added by me