My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This superb book uses Darwin's letters, diary, notebooks and the literature to paint an honest and detailed picture of the man - some warts an all. If someone could ever do the same for Patrick Matthew, from whose 1831 book Darwin and Wallace are newly shown in my book Nullius in Verba - Darwin's Greatest Secret
to have plagiarized the discovery of natural selection then this book would take on an entirely different shade.
The authors correctly and in detail make much of the reasons Darwin held off publishing and why he kept a divine creator in the scheme of things. And for this compromise he was buried in Westminster Abbey. Why then, ignoring the fact that the literature contains Matthew's own explanation (see:https://kindle.amazon.com/post/o_msC7...) that he could not promote his discovery in the early and mid 19th century, does the famous atheist Richard Dawkins ignore such historical facts to rhetorically insist that Matthew should have trumpeted his 1831 book from the rooftops when it, unlike Chambers's anonymous Vestiges, and unlike Darwin's 'Origin' bravely handed God his redundancy notice in its heretical appendix? Is it not because he worships his belief in the myth of Darwin over historical reality
The top Darwinist Richard Dawkins (2010 Seeing Further: Ideas, Endeavours, Discoveries and Disputes — The Story of Science Through 350 Years of the Royal Society infamously believes that because Matthew did not trumpet his unique 1831 discovery from the rooftops that the poor sucker never knew what he had discovered. Because Desmond and Moore reveal the Victorian age was still rife with prosecutions for heresy and blasphemy. It was an age when the great threat of social and scientific ostracism hung over unorthodox science. And so it was for fear of being associated with the heretical and seditious Matthew - most surely - that Darwin and Wallace never cited him. And such profit did the church bring them both, and misery upon the latterly bankrupt Matthew and his family of unmarriageable 'shamed' daughters - who burnt all his papers and had him buried in an unmarked grave.
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