The Dysology Hypothesis

Letting scholars get away with publishing fallacies and myths signals to others the existence of topics where guardians of good scholarship might be less capable than elsewhere. Such dysology then serves as an allurement to poor scholars to disseminate existing myths and fallacies and to create and publish their own in these topic areas, which leads to a downward spiral of diminishing veracity on particular topics.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Science Fraud: The Patrick Matthew Supermyth is Bust

Darwin and Alfred Wallace claimed to have discovered natural selection independently of Patrick Matthew. Matthew's discovery of the 'natural process of selection' was published 27 years before Darwin's and Wallace's papers were read before the Linnean Society in 1858. In 1861, in the third edition of the Origin of Species, Darwin wrote: 'In 1831 Mr Patrick Matthew published his work on 'Naval Timber and Arboriculture,' in which he gives precisely the same view on the origin of species as that (presently to be alluded to) propounded by Mr Wallace and myself in the 'Linnean Journal,' and as that enlarged on in the present volume. Unfortunately the view was given by Mr Matthew very briefly in scattered passages in an Appendix to a work on a different subject, so that it remained unnoticed until Mr Matthew himself drew attention to it in the 'Gardener's Chronicle,' on April 7th, 1860.' To date, there has been no hard evidence suggesting that Darwin’s or Wallace’s work was influenced by Matthew. However, newly discovered literature reveals seven naturalists cited Matthew's book before 1858. Three played key pre-1858 roles facilitating and influencing Darwin’s and Wallace’s published ideas on natural selection. They are: Loudon – who edited and published Blyth’s acknowledged influential articles on evolution; Chambers, author of the 'Vestiges of Creation' – which both Darwin and Wallace also acknowledged influenced their work; and Selby – who, in 1855, edited and published Wallace's Sarawak paper. These new discoveries mean that Matthew now has full scientific priority for the theory natural selection.

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The latest peer-reviewed science journal article busting of the Patrick Matthew Supermyth is here.