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Alfred Russel Wallace Essay

There are numerous advances caused by the development of science and technology in human life. Such discoveries and inventions led to the advancement of human civilization. Many definitive statements were given about science and most of these statements focus on the conventional approach in scientific endeavors. Little or no definitions were formulated exercising other non-conventional approach in doing researches in the field of science.

Aside form the fact that there are other factors involved in recognizing one’s work and classifying it as a work of scientific methodology, human interventions on these processes are still influential in determining a specific work and accept it as a valid scientific research. As a result, proper recognition of a person’s work greatly depends on these limited criteria which are based on a narrow A person named Wallace ventured into the works of discovering things that he thought then as part of the laws of nature.

He worked on the same area with Sir Charles Darwin with his evolution theory and findings. During that time, Wallace findings were not classified as a work of science due to a lot of reasons and as a result, he was not recognized then as a scientist but an outsider. Science then was defined in a narrowed approach wherein it encompasses only limited principles and classifications. A specific study can only be classified as a work of science when it is associated with human intervention brought about by the search for facts.

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All supernatural phenomenons were ruled out of contention and only those studies that involve findings from thorough experimentation are considered. Studies should follow the causality rule and must follow the laws of physics. Wallace study did not fall into this classification, thus, making his research disqualified. There are researches in the historical accounts that lead to statements that Wallace’s work did not suffice to the lists of scientific works. The authority responsible during that time in recognizing a work is the British Association. This body was founded by persons who hold good positions in the society.

These people dictate the decision of the organization about the funding and citations of a given work. These people saw Wallace works as unacceptable and radically made, making it excluded from further recognition of the body. Religion also has a big factor in making up restrictions in the researches being made by people which provides a definite line between topics that are allowed to be studied and those that are not. Their decisions were greatly influenced by the social, political, and cultural aspects which was very evident on the group’s dealings with Wallace and his research.

Accounts tell about the decision of the British Association tagging Wallace’s work to be excluded for reasons including the fact that his findings only repeats that of Darwin’s theories about evolution. Another factor that made Wallace unfit to be called as a scientist is because he has no formal schooling, a clear standard emphasized by the body who classifies researches and studies to be scientific or not. Wallace belongs to the labor sector compared to those individuals who were classified to belong in the upper class.

For some people, these criteria are unfair and uncalled for since this focuses on the personal circumstances of a person and not on his works or contributions. However, the decision made can also be traced with other factors other than what was classified to be more of a personal attack on a person’s life. Wallace developed his interests in the evolution topics during his stint as a land surveyor in England. He combined several disciplines in his works and findings in his field of interests which is on the evolution theory. During that time, evolution was unacceptable and firmly rejected by the church ministers and their teachings.

As an advocate of evolution principle, Wallace continued with his study and made declarations that were found out to be eccentric. He included in his paper the principles that humans and orangutans have direct relationship with each other. He accepted this principle of believing people really came from the ape ancestors. These findings were made years before other papers were written establishing the same principle as he has made. His work and that of Darwin has a strong correlation but what made its distinction is that Darwin’s result was very conservative and was carefully illustrated in a well mannered style.

He still declared the superiority of white men over the people who lived before, different from Wallace’s declaration on the same concept of study. His findings did not found enough support from the British land where conservatism and religion matters a lot. He did not receive due acknowledgments for his work but Darwin did have the recognition for the same work he has. However, this scenario did not bother him and he continued his openness in his works and findings. Such situation that happened to Wallace should open up the minds of other people who sees things only as they want to see.

There should be no distinctions between individuals who have submitted their studies and researches that belong to various states in life. The concerned body responsible for the recognition of such works should be aware that having a formal education should not be a major factor in considering a person to be a great scientist or not. What should matter is the validity of the results obtained by the study and the totality of the work submitted by any individual hoping for due recognition. Each should keep in mind that what matters are the character and dedication in the work like that of Wallace’s.

Even he was not recognized then, it cannot be denied that Wallace still has a vital contribution in our present society and he can be considered to be one of the giants that made us see things that we have and developed for our society as a whole.

Works Cited

Alfred Russel Wallace: A Capsule Biography. Retrieved on January 27, 2009. Retrieved from < www. wku. edu> Quanmen, D. (2008). The Man that wasn’t Darwin. Retrieved on January 26, 2009. Retrieved From <www. nationalgeographic. com/2008/12/Wallace/quanmen-text>

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