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Record number: WCP5022

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
James Mark Baldwin
15 August 1902

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Corfe View, Parkstone, Dorset to James Mark Baldwin [none given] on 15 August 1902.

Record created:
06 February 2013 by Catchpole, Caroline


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Baldwin, James Mark. (1926). Between Two Wars, 1861-1921. The Stratford company, Boston, Mass., USA. [p. 246]

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[[1]]1 [p. 246]

Parkstone, Dorset,

August 15, 1902.

Dear Sir,

I thank you for sending me your work on Development and Evolution. Being more than usually occupied just now I have only been able to look at certain chapters which especially interest me. Your account of Organic Selection, as originated by yourself and Lloyd Morgan, is very clear and I have no doubt is occasionally a real factor in evolution. But I do not think that it is an important or even an essential one. I am myself so impressed by the extreme rigidity of natural selection in keeping up each species to a high standard of adaptability to its environment, and also with the very great range of variation always present in every dominant and wide ranging species (and it is from these alone that new species are produced) that all the arguments of H. Spencer and others as to the impossibility of coincident variations of the right kind occuring when required seem to me purely verbal objections not warranted by the facts of nature. This view is enforced in the various chapters on The Theory of Evolution in my "Studies Scientific and Social," vol. 1.

One other subject I will refer to. On p. 145 you refer to the controlling force of intelligence on evolution in man, which has become mental instead of physical. I believe I was the first to put forth this view nearly forty years ago in my paper on The Development of Human Races (Anthropological Review, 1864) and republished in my "Natural Selection and Tropical Nature," Chap. 8, where it will be found to be enforced by a considerable amount of reasoning which has never been replied to.

Believe me,

Yours very truly,

Alfred R. Wallace.

[English Naturalist.]


1. Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: First of two letters to James Mark Baldwin (concerning evolutionary subjects in two of Baldwin's books), printed in Volume 2 of Baldwin's 1926 reflection Between Two Wars 1861-1921; Being Memories, Opinions and Letters Received.


This transcript originates from Charles H. Smith’s The Alfred Russel Wallace Page website (http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/index1.htm): See http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S707C.htm

Please note that work on this transcript is not yet complete. Users are advised to study electronic image(s) of this document, if available.