Monday, January 23, 2006

Arthur Russel Wallace

That's right...Arthur. Not Alfred, but Arthur. Alfred Russel Wallace was the 'co-discoverer' of natural selection, famous biogeographer, spiritualist and political and social activist of the later half of the 19th century and early 20th century while Arthur Wallace is the person who appears in the New Phytologist's Special Issue on Plant Speciation.

I'm currently taking a course on Speciation with Loren Rieseberg. This is great. Prof. Rieseberg is truly an expert in the field and I'm learning a lot. Last week we received a free copy of the New Phytologist's special issue on plant speciation from January 2004. That was cool. Lots of good stuff like R.G. Latta's "Gene flow, adaptive population divergence and comparative population structure across loci" and "Microsatellite marker reveal the below ground distribution of genets in two species of Rhizopogon forming tuberculate ectomycorrhizas on Douglas fir" by Kretzer et al. Not to mention a whole shit ton more cool articles.

But the whole issue is in honor of Verne Grant, apparently a biologist who really revolutionized our understanding of plant they had him write an essay. Now Verne Grant is 86 years old and his memory probably isn't as sharp as it used to be, so why didn't the editors pick up this slip:

"First I read The origin of species (1872); it was a joy...Then on to The voyage of the beagle...Then the books of Arthur Wallace (1889)".

There it is. Arthur. Ouch. Not to mention the fact that Darwin's most famous book title does not start with the word "the".

Unfortunately, Grant also spends a lot of time in the piece talking about evolutionary biology in terms of Kuhnian paradigms...probelmatic to be sure.


Anonymous said...

You've really inspired me to look into that guy a little more. History can be very interesting.
The Bob

Anonymous said...

I agree. History can be very interesting. However, I didn't say that at 5:39 EST on Monday. I was too busy checking out slutty chicks on someone else's blog.
The Bob