In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

THE EVOLUTION OF NATURAL SELECTION: DARWIN VERSUS WALLACE H. HARTMAN* In 1879 William James took Darwin seriously. He pointed out that consciousness must have some bearing on the ability of an organism to survive. The function of the conscious brain was to select. I think we may go further and add that the powers of cognition, discrimination and comparison which it possesses, exist only for the sake of something beyond themselves, namely, Selection. Whoever studies consciousness, from any point of view whatever, is brought up against the mystery of interest and selective attention . There are many things which consciousness is in a passive and receptive way by its cognitive and registrative powers. But there is one thing which it does, sud sponte, and which seems an original peculiarity ofits own; and that is, always to choose out of the manifold experiences present to it at a given time some one for particular accentuation and to ignore the rest. And I shall show how, from its simplest to its most complicated forms, it exerts this function with unremitting industry. [1] In 1888 C. Lloyd Morgan suggested that Darwin's phrase "natural selection" had two meanings: (1) Natural elimination, First elimination by direct action of surrounding conditions; secondly, elimination by enemies (including parasites); and thirdly elimination by competition. (2) Natural selection, Natural selection (in the narrower sense suggested) is a much rarer process, and one that only comes into play when intelligence or (since it may be objected that selection is in some cases instinctive) when the mind-element comes definitely upon the scene of life. [2] In 1913, the sociologist L. T. Hobhouse wrote, "In the biological theory of evolution the development of mind takes a secondary place. The biologist is concerned with the laws of variation and heredity" [3]. It is *Department of Computer Science, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720.© 1990 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved. 0031-5982/91/3401-0700$01.00 78 I if. Hartman ¦ Evolution ofNatural Selection still true today that the evolution of mind is left out of the biological theory of evolution. In the great interdependent trinity of variation, heredity, and natural selection, mind would not involve variation and heredity but would be implicated with natural selection. It is the main point of this essay that a component, perhaps a major component, of natural selection is mental. Furthermore, natural selection is recursive in the sense that it operates on the selectors or organisms that in turn change the nature of what is being selected and hence of natural selection itself. A case in point would be the coevolution of flowers and insects. A. R. Wallace played both the role ofJohn the Baptist and St. Paul in the drama of Darwinism. When he wrote as John the Baptist, his paper "On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely from the Original Type" pointed the way to Darwin's Origin ofSpecies. When he wrote as St. Paul, his book on Darwinism set the major dogmas in place except for his views on man. Between these two singular events, he waged a titanic struggle with Darwin over the place of mind in the trinity of heredity, variation, and natural selection. Heredity Darwin was a Lamarckian. Wallace was not. From the facts alluded to in the first chapter, I think there can be little doubt that use in our domestic animals strengthens and enlarges certain parts, and disuse diminishes them; and that such modifications are inherited. [4] The hypothesis of Lamarck—that progressive changes in species have been produced by the attempts of animals to increase the development of their own organs, and thus modify their structure and habits—has been repeatedly and easily refuted by all writers on the subject of varieties and species, and it seems to have been considered that when this was done the whole question has been finally settled; but the view here developed renders such an hypothesis quite unnecessary, by showing that similar results must be produced by the action of principles constantly at work in nature. [5] At the very start, Wallace and Darwin differed on heredity. Another paper would have to be written in order to detail...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1529-8795
Print ISSN
0031-5982
Pages
pp. 78-88
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-07
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.