Page 16 THE VILLADOM TIMES I • October 28, 2009 long canoe rides with suspected Amazonian cannibals and known Indonesian headhunters. Wallace was still in Malaysia when Darwin’s letter was being read to the Linnean Society. The movie does not show that, but at least it does not show Darwin and Wallace shaking hands at the Linnean Society meeting neither of them actually attended. Incidentally, the text of Darwin’s letter to the Linnean Society no longer exists, and the letter itself had long since disappeared. Arnold Brackman, however got ahold of the original Wallace letter. Brackman was an avid stamp collector, and, based on the stamps and postmarks, he found that Darwin had never used the term natural selection or described the concept in detail before he got the letter from Malaysia. Darwin stole the idea that made him famous. Wallace had been in Malaysia when the Linnean reading took place, and did not return to England until Darwin had rushed through the publication of “The Origin of Species” in 1859. When Wallace finally arrived back in England in 1860, he found that a man he had trusted with his own idea had claimed virtually all the credit for it. Wallace was not happy about this. Read his comments if you can find them. Wallace’s books are all but impossible to obtain. Darwin did his exploring under the protection of the British Navy. His life was never at risk except in case of shipwreck, which never happened. Wallace was a tough Scot who knew when to smile and when to duck. Darwin found “primitive” people horrible and frightening. “Can our progenitors have been men like these?” he gagged as he gazed at the Fuegan Indians, people who lived in harmony with the oceans near Tierra del Fuego, and were not doing anything more menacing than dying of contagious diseases. Wallace liked people. The Indians who paddled his canoe around the Amazon Basin became his friends. He sometimes hypnotized them and he discovered that they responded to hypnosis just as readily as the gentlefolk at Victorian parlor parties. He left one poor Indian hypnotized for several days and the man’s family had to catch up with Wallace and get him to take the “spell” off. Wallace began to see the flaws in natural selection as a comprehensive theory first when realizing that South American Indians are intelligent humans, and later while living with the Dayaks, the indigenous “wild men” of Borneo. Wallace found that in their conversation these men showed they were little deficient to a European. How, Wallace wondered, could natural selection explain the evolution of human intelligence to a level where all humans were human when some did not need to be smart to reproduce? (U.S. Army officers of the same era could readily see that the American Indians they had to fight were considerably more intelligent than their own enlisted men.) Wallace, who outlived Darwin by almost two decades, served as one of the pallbearers at Darwin’s funeral – probably out of sympathy to Emma Darwin. But Wallace despised Darwin. His letters prove this, though you have to go to academic libraries to locate them. The Darwin Cult has turned Darwin into a lovable and generous soul instead of a good husband and good father who spent the second half of his life destroying people who challenged his greatness from a safe distance. When Wallace’s interest in hypnosis led him to investigate spiritualism, Darwin tried to convince people that Wallace had gone crazy. When Samuel Butler, who had been an atheist since his teens, and a Darwin admirer from his 20s, discovered independently of Wallace that natural selection could not explain universal human intelligence or the major shifts between phyla, Darwin turned against him as well. Darwin asked a German reviewer to disparage Butler’s book on evolution, which had credited Darwin far more generously that Darwin had ever credited Wallace. As the film stresses endlessly, Darwin was a good husband and a good father and nice to the servants. As far as anybody who threatened his own purloined greatness was concerned, he was a vicious sneak. Look up the actual writings of Wallace and Samuel Butler and see what they thought of him. Then look up the opinions of Louis Pasteur and Rudolf Virchow, the great experimental scientists of Darwin’s era and the founders of modern medicine and public sanitation. They did not know him as Wallace and Butler did, but they did not agree with him, either. Their discoveries led to antiseptic surgery and vastly improved public health. Darwin’s led to the Holocaust. In essence, the movie the producer and director said could not be shown in the United States was shown in the United States – and that’s good, though the movie was a travesty of the truth about Darwin, and something of a whitewash. If more people knew about the role of Wallace in discovering natural selection – and then admitting that it worked within existing phyla but did not explain everything, and that religious experience was also evidential – we would all be better off. Why is this so important to me, and to America? Times are getting tough as we see America’s great economic power eroding – just as times were getting tough in Weimar Germany in the 1920s and 1930s. The Nazi racial theory was called neo-Darwinismus: Neo-Darwinism. The orders for the Holocaust – Wannsee, January 20, 1942 – cite “natural selection” as the reason. You think it can’t happen again. Ask the American Indians or the African-Americans. It did happen here. Let’s make sure it doesn’t happen again. Don’t ban Darwin: Learn to see through him. He was a bad man and a bad scientist. They said it couldn’t be done, but they were wrong. After the Internet informed us that a new movie about Charles Darwin could not find a distributor in the United States, Nova and National Geographic stepped in and showed it on PBS. Well, it was shown, but it wasn’t the real Darwin story. It was part of the real Darwin story. This leaves us with a question: Is a half-truth better than an outright lie? The two-hour movie, “Darwin’s Darkest Hour,” got off to a promising start. The very first scene showed Alfred Russel Wallace, feverish and virtually broke in what is now Malaysia, crawling out of his cot to desperately write a letter to Darwin, a man he trusted, using the term natural selection to explain the mechanism of the origin of species. So far, so good. When Darwin receives the letter, he is devastated. Wallace has just explained how – as Darwin thought – evolution might work. Then the film’s falsehood sets in almost immediately. Darwin and his loyal wife and first cousin Emma, who is religious and finds his theory threatening, franticly go through Darwin’s correspondence over the last 20 years and discover that Darwin had used the term natural selection in 1844, a dozen years before Wallace independently coined the term while writing with fever in Malaysia. This is bogus! Arnold Brackman went over Darwin’s papers in the 1970s and found that Darwin had never used the term natural selection before Wallace’s letter fell on him like an anvil. Shifting into high gear after some years of depression, Darwin cobbled together a paper using the ideas he got from Wallace, bolstered by his own undistilled observations. Darwin claimed he and Wallace had somehow discovered natural selection at the same time, but that he could and would have done so even if Wallace had never written him the letter. People who love Darwin and know the outline of this story claim that he and Wallace got up together and read this paper together at the Linnean Society in London, nobly sharing the credit for a discovery they made together. Darwin, who was older and better connected socially, was the senior partner. This is bogus! The film correctly shows that Darwin was not present when the Darwin statement was read at the Linnean Society. The film shows him at home worrying about the health of two of his children, both of whom ultimately died. The timing is a little off. Darwin did lose three of his 10 children, and he was by all accounts a faithful husband and a kindly father. But he was not at the Linnean Society for a different reason: He was hiding. Darwin hid a lot. He hid, in this case, because if anybody had been interested, he would have realized that Wallace’s ideas were substantially original and Darwin had cribbed them to build his own upper-crust reputation at the expense of a shabby-genteel rival whose family had no money or influence. Wallace worked as a collector of specimens for people who could afford to pay for them and did not want to take Is a half-truth better than an outright lie? Letters to the Editor Dear Editor: SLAPP stands for “Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation” or the threat of a lawsuit. It is a tactic used both by public officials and developers who wish to squelch expressions of public opinion. During this election I think it’s important to remember that the Wyckoff Zoning Board threatened a SLAPP suit against local Wyckoff residents (members of the Executive Committee of the Friends of Wyckoff) in November 2007. The Friends of Wyckoff expressed an opinion about the likelihood of the board’s approval of a variance for the construction of 258 apartments at the Christian Health Care Center in the Sicomac area (this 19 acres are zoned for market-rate housing). It’s also worth noting that similar variances have also been granted for development on this property in the past. In the end, the zoning board withdrew the threat. On the zoning board, at the time of this tactic, was Kevin Rooney, now candidate for Wyckoff Township Committee. (He is now the chair of the Wyckoff Zoning Board.) You may not agree with the Friends of Wyckoff, but using public money to threaten a lawsuit of your own residents is both a waste of tax dollars and the sort of bullying designed only to stifle public debate about development in Wyckoff. Mr. Rooney is not getting my vote on Nov. 3. Andrea Mateo Wyckoff Dear Editor: Kevin Rooney and Chris DePhillips can be counted on to bring a positive, constructive approach with indepen- Don’t stifle public debate dent thinking to the Wyckoff Township Committee. They embrace an open door policy without personal agendas. With open and inquisitive minds to think things through, both share the necessary skill sets to represent all Wyckoff residents. Like us, they are proud to call Wyckoff home and appreciate the traditions, values, and hard work of the people who make Wyckoff the town so many of us chose to move to. Kevin and Chris say yes to open space preservation and emphatically say no to New Jersey COAH mandates. Both Rooney and DePhillips are mindful of our precious tax dollars and are committed to work hard to do the right thing rather than the popular or easy decision in making Wyckoff a better place for all of us. One cannot help admire their leadership, character, dedication and enthusiasm to make Wyckoff such a wonderful community to raise a family. Please join us in endorsing positive and rsponsible leadership by voting for Kevin Rooney and Chris DePhillips for Wyckoff Township Committee on Nov. 3. Tom and Mary Madigan Wyckoff Dear Editor: Recently the duo of Sobin/Hubert wrote a letter to the editor that stated what they plan to do if elected. The contents seem very similar to past rhetoric. Yet in mentioning that they were instrumental in the “open space “ issue, they failed to mention that it was a tax and it has increased your tax bill. I have to commend the present township committee for holding the line on the municipal budget and for (continued on page 17) Challenges candidates Counting on candidates