Article in Science / Biology & Nature / Animals & Plants
This article informs natural scientists of the discovery of new data that proves Darwin and Wallace did not discover natural selection independently of Matthew's prior published discovery of 1831. Moreover, it supports new claims that Darwin and Wallace committed the world's greatest science fraud.


For information personally communicated, I would like to thank Professor Donald Forsdyke, Professor C. R. Hallpike, Professor Sean Thomas and Professor Milton Wainwright for their most generously offered thoughts and advice on my e-book ‘Nullius in Verba: Darwin’s greatest secret’ and in particular for volunteering either prior or else later details of several important publications that are cited in this article.

Science is truly an adventure in understanding and in making scientific discoveries, but to be successful one must be impeccably honest and truthful and must be openly objective to a diverse and broad range of ideas, both in current discussion and in the treasury of science history. - J. Marvin Herndon


‘The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be very careful about that. After you’ve not fooled yourself, it’s easy not to fool other scientists. You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that.’

…I’m not talking about a specific, extra type of integrity that is not lying, but bending over backwards to show how you’re maybe wrong, that you ought to have when acting as a scientist. And this is our responsibility as scientists, certainly to other scientists, and I think to laymen.’ - Richard Feynman (1992)


Social scientists have developed particular methodologically sophisticated techniques that enable us to study the confusing and complicated subject matter that constitutes our multifarious field (Gilovich 1991). For example, my own big data facilitated discovery and deployment of my ID research method and its associated unique ‘first to be second hypothesis’ (Sutton 2014) enabled me to exclusively disprove the 154 year old Darwinist myth that the unique ideas on natural selection in Patrick Matthew’s 1831 book ‘On Naval Timber and Arboriculture’ was not read by anyone known to Charles Darwin or Alfred Wallace, or any other naturalist or biologist, before the latter two both replicated many of those unique ideas, observations, explanatory examples and terms, within it (Darwin and Wallace 1858; and Darwin 1859).


Thinker Media Inc.Used only with express written permission

The book that changed everything we once thought we knew about the discovery of natural selection

Since the publication of my book ‘Nullius in Verba: Darwin’s greatest secret’ (Sutton 2014), one prominent Darwinist, among a number of others less well known who I shall spare the potential embarrassment of naming, appears to have developed quite rapidly the unfortunate duel symptoms of gumption and orthodox scientific knowledge deficiency in their own field of "expertise". In August 2014, Dr George Beccaloni, who is Curator of the Wallace Collection at the Natural History Museum London, published an arguably faux review of ‘Nullius’, only later admitting that he had not actually read the newly published book that he nevertheless so ‘knowingly’ disagreed with (see the review’s page of Patrick for further details with links) after giving the, arguably, powerful impression he had read it. In the August 2014 version of that ‘non-review’ publication on his personal website [1], Beccaloni, a public employee and salaried expert in the field, also admitted that he was curiously unable to decide for himself whether or not Matthew did fully discover and describe natural selection. Beccaloni went curiously further to reveal also his unawareness of the fact that other published experts on organic evolution have for over 100 years fully admitted that Matthew (1831) did discover and describe the entire theory of natural selection.

To set the record straight for historical veracity, in hope of remedying at least the later part of Beccaloni’s unfortunate duel scholarly impairment, and to assist anyone else ‘infected’ by it, or subsequently deploying the same uninformed arguments, as a social scientist I am obliged to make clear the fact that many experts, including the world’s leading biologist experts on organic evolution, have gone into print to explain that Matthew (1831) did uniquely discover and then fully explain natural selection – e.g.: Darwin (1860; 1861), Wallace (1879), Calman (1912; 1912a), Zon (1913), Dempster (1983, 1996, 2005), Hallpike (2008), Dawkins (2010), Wainwright (2008; 2011). Every one of these notable expert authors explained that Matthew had discovered and published the entire detailed and complex hypothesis of natural selection 29 years before Darwin replicated it in the Origin of Species. Moreover, Hamilton, (2001) and Dempster (2005) clearly noted just how clear Matthew’s writing actually was on his prior-discovery.

On Gumption

Cock and Forsdyke (2008, pp. 643-644) with patently more grace, tact, refinement and subtlety than I am able to muster, note the dangers of gumption deficiency on the topic of Darwin’s replication of Matthew’s prior-published discovery of natural selection:

‘Robert Locke [1906] dismissed the natural selection ideas of W.C Wells (1813) and Patrick Matthew (1831) as “merely historical” since they showed “the direction in which thought was tending”. Lock was in no way alarmed. This has been an attitude of busy scientists both in the past and in our own time. The attribute of mere historicity implies scientists’ satisfaction with the reading and understanding of the literature by those they rely on to tell them the direction thought was (or is) tending.

Although this strategy often succeeds, there are many examples – of which Mendel appears the paradigm in the case of Biology – that reveal the folly of assuming that the foundations of one’s discipline are secure.’

The Obligations of the Social Scientist to inform and assist the Natural Sciences

Trumpet from the rooftops!Attribution Share Alike

Internet Dating with Darwin at Conway Hall 2014

On the 27th of July 2014 I was honoured to give the Sunday Lecture to the esteemed Ethical Society at Conway Hall in London on my discovery that Darwin and Wallace did not discover natural selection independently of Patrick Matthew (click to read, in the Ethical Record, the paper I presented) on my discovery that Darwin and Wallace did not discover natural selection independently of Patrick Matthew. This was a great honour for me personally felt, since many famous thinkers - including Bertrand Russell - have given Memorial Sunday Lectures to the Ethical Society at Conway Hall (see the first 25 here) . Of particular note on the topic of Darwin's work on natural selection is Sir Arthur Keith's Memorial Lecture. Because Keith was a scientist hoodwinked like almost all others by Charles Dawson's Piltdown Man fraud.

My lecture on Darwin's and Wallace's great science fraud was the very last in this series of such lectures dating back over 100 years. I am doubly honoured in that I have been invited back to Conway Hall - next time to talk about my work on stolen goods markets - at one of the first in a new series of Sunday Debates in 2015.

The Ethical Society began as a dissident congregation in 1787 in rebellion against the doctrine of eternal hell. I think some Darwinists think I am destined to go there for my heresy against Darwin and Wallace. For example, at the end of my talk at Conway Hall a member of the audience, who had unsuccessfully attempted to criticize the content of the lecture at several points before it was completed, chastised me “How dare you call Charles Darwin a liar!” he trembled. And yet I had informed the audience that my book, ‘Nullius’, contains absolute independently verifiable proof of six lies that Darwin told – discovered by cross referencing what he wrote to others, or else published, with what he wrote in his then private notebooks or in private correspondence. After I politely reminded him of this, he sat and pouted. It looks like science is, and its heroes are, as vulnerable to offence as religion’s books, dogmas, prophets and saints.

On the topic of the injustice of allowing ‘special pleading’ for the sensibilities of religious believers, what Richard Dawkins writes about religion should be reflected upon by those who simply have blind faith in Charles Darwin’s mythical honesty (2006 p. 42):

‘A widespread assumption, which nearly everybody in our society accepts – the non-religious-included- is that religious faith is especially vulnerable to offence and should be protected by an abnormally thick wall of respect, in a different class from the respect that any human being should pay to any other.’

When it comes to evidence of science fraud should not Darwin and Wallace be accorded the same level of respect as any other human being suspected of guilt? Should we not equally apply to these men the civil law test of reasonable probability and the criminal law test of beyond reasonable doubt? Of course we should. It is only right that we should. Darwin and Wallace should be allowed no special pleading in a fair historical hearing!

As a criminologist, I am aware that in so many instances confidence tricksters and fraudsters create a persona of ‘super honesty and respectability’ so as to get way with the most audacious behaviour and allay suspicion that would otherwise arise when their stories and excuses first show signs of failing to add up. After all, that was most certainly the case with the solicitor Charles Dawson – the Piltdown Man forger who so cleverly duped Arthur Smith Woodward, keeper of the Geology Department at the Natural History Museum, London (See Walsh 1996).

So people commit science fraud. We know that. And Darwin was no paragon of honesty. We now know that. So why should we expect great resistance to the logical conclusions that flow from the newly discovered data in Nullius that 19 people personally known to either Darwin or Wallace had read Matthew's (1831) book before Darwin's and Wallace's (1858) "findings" were jointly read out to the Linnean society?

In their excellent book on science fraud ' Betrayers Of The Truth: Fraud and Deceit in Science' Broad and Wade (1982, p. 8) write of their own research on the wider topic of science fraud in general:

'As more cases of fraud broke into public view, and whispers were heard of others more quietly disposed of, we wondered if fraud wasn't a quite minor regular feature of the scientific landscape. We noticed upon closer examination that the cases failed to conform to the model of science implied by the conventional wisdom. Logic, replication, peer review, objectivity - all had been successfully defied by the scientific forgers, often for extended periods of time. How had they managed to get so far for so long?'

The reason Darwin and Wallace got away with their fraud for so long is because no one chose to abide by the motto of the Royal Society: Nullius in Verba. Instead, the scientific community shamefully took Darwin's and Wallace's illicit excuses at face value and failed to investigate their incredible claims to have each, independently of Matthew's prior, prominently published, extensively reviewed, advertised and cited discovery - and Independently of one another -discovered the theory of natural selection, alighted upon the same key explanatory examples, and even the same unique terminology to describe it. In fact, big data analysis reveals that Matthew (1831) uniquely named his discovery 'the natural process of selection' and Darwin (1859) four-word- shuffled Matthew's term to uniquely name his replication of it 'the process of natural selection' (see Sutton 2014).

In his splendid book ‘How We Know What Isn't So: The Fallibility of Human Reason in Everyday Life’ Thomas Gilovich (1991, p 193), arguably making too much of the fact that one research study suggests social scientists as a whole might be more rationally less likely to believe in ESP than natural scientists, writes of what he calls ‘the social scientist’s obligation’ to inform natural scientists when newly discovered facts change what we once thought we knew was true:

‘…what social scientists might best offer both their students and the general public is their methodological sophistication, their way of looking at the World, the habits of mind that they promote – process more than content. In fits and starts social science has advanced human knowledge a great deal over the years. Nevertheless, much of what we think we have learned will certainly change over the next 50 or 100 years. How we go about our business, on the other hand, and the methods we employ to advance our knowledge, will be largely the same. An awareness of how and when to question and a recognition of what it takes to truly know something are among the most important elements of what constitutes an educated person. Social scientists, I believe may be in the best position to instill them.’

As a social scientist specializing in criminology I am in complete concordance with Gilovich on the issue of our obligation to spread new and disconfirming hard and independently verifiable evidence if it disconfirms previous ‘knowledge beliefs’. Consequently, I accept that it is my dutiful ethical obligation to inform Darwinists that the ‘facts’ they once held as sacred have changed and of what the implications of that bombshell discovery now are.

A Bombshell for the History of Science

Solving problems with new technology often involves thinking about ways to make the technology work for you in ways never imagined by its inventors. Contrary to 154 years of Darwinist ‘knowledge beliefs’, newly discovered hard and independently verifiable data today proves, because they cited his 1831 book in print pre-1858, that Matthew’s prior discovery of natural selection was read by many others and by at least seven naturalists before 1858. Three of those seven naturalists – Loudon, Chambers and Selby (See Sutton 2014a for full details of these and others) - went on to play pivotal roles at the very epicentre of influence and facilitation of Darwin’s and Wallace’s published ideas on natural selection. Consequently, it does not matter whether or not Darwin or Wallace read the works of Loudon (1832), Chambers (1832) and Selby (1842) that cited Matthews’s book. Moreover, it does not matter whether or not it can be established that Loudon, Chambers and Selby, or those such as Blyth, and Wallace, whose pre-1858 work on evolution Loudon and Selby respectively edited and published, particularly understood the full details and implications of Matthew’s discovery. Because the fact of the matter is that Loudon, Chambers and Selby all read Matthew’s book that contained those very ideas and Loudon and Selby commented specifically on those ideas in their own, newly re-discovered, publications. The telling questions that follow this are: (1) 'is it now more likely than not that Matthew's prior publication influenced Darwin;'s and Wallace's later replications of natural selection? (2) Is it more likely than not that Darwin and Wallace heard of Matthew's ideas pre-1831 and lied when they claimed no prior knowledge of them?

The discovery of the new data that these influential naturalists cited Matthew's book is a complete game changer for the history of scientific discovery. We are left with the onerous task of weighing this evidence in with all the other evidence regarding Darwin's and Wallace's dishonesty, who they knew who read Matthew's book and the ideas in it - and the roles those people played in influencing them. That evidence includes, but is by no means limited to, our new knowledge about who did read Matthew's book because they cited it, and - certainly far more contentiously- who more likely than not read it because they were apparently first to be second to replicate apparently unique phrases from Matthew's (1831) book (what I refer to as the first to be second hypothesis). All that matters is not MY subjective opinion but that of the scientific community and wider public - who now are called upon to weigh ALL the evidence (not to cherry pick only what suits them) and then decide (1) whether or not it is right to conclude that Matthew now has full priority over Darwin and Wallace as the newly proven sole independent original discoverer of the full hypothesis of natural selection? And (2) whether or not Darwin and Wallace committed science fraud. This point, regardless of my affirmative beliefs on the matter, is made very clearly in my book (Sutton 2014).

It would be from a dreadfully uninformed, or else highly disingenuous, point (e.g. Dawkins 2010), that any would insist upon asking why, if he fully understood its great significance, Matthew did not trumpet his ground-breaking discovery from the rooftops. Similarly, it would be from an ill-informed position for any to insist upon the discovery of hard written evidence that other naturalists shared their knowledge and understanding of the discovery of natural selection within Matthew’s book. The reason being that eminent scholars, such as Secord (2000), Yeo (1984) and Desmond and Moore (1991) all explain in great detail the 19th century scientific conventions, which imposed great social strictures against members of scientific associations such as the Geological society of London, the Royal Society, The British Association for the Advancement of Science, the Athenaeum Club and the Linnean Society from writing about exactly the same kind of great heresy and political sedition that was in Matthew’s book.

Knowledge Contamination is established on the Balance of Reasonable Probability

Pre 1858, Loudon edited two important papers written by Darwin’s most prolific and helpful correspondent on organic evolution - Blyth (1835; 1836). Moreover, Loudon was a friend and correspondent of William Hooker, who in turn was an associate of Darwin and Wallace and father of Darwin’s best friend and botanical mentor Joseph Hooker.

Darwin met and corresponded with Chambers, who even gave Darwin a copy of his secretly authored book. Following his citation of Matthew's book in 1832, Chambers (1844) went on to write the bestselling ‘Vestiges of Creation’, a book that ran to more than ten editions and is said to have put ‘evolution in the air’ (e.g. Millhauser 1959) before Darwin’s ‘Origin’ and is the book that both Darwin (1861) and Wallace (1845) admitted was a great influence on their work.

Selby was an incredibly well-connected gentleman of science, a friend of Darwin’s father and many of his influencers including Gould, Jenyns, Yarrell and Jardine (see Jackson 1992). Moreover, Selby sat on committees with Darwin and shared membership of the same associations (see Sutton 2014 for the full details).

In light of this combination of newly discovered and uniquely synthesized existing information, are we to accept as mere coincidence the fact that some of Matthew’s most important and unique ideas about organic evolution were replicated in the highly influential work of Darwin’s most prolific informant Blyth (1835, 1836), which was edited and published by Loudon who earlier wrote in 1832 that Matthew’s book had something original to say on the subject the “the origin of species” no less! More of Matthew’s ideas were replicated in Wallace’s (1855) famous Sarawak paper that was edited and published by Selby – a paper that Dawkins (2010) advises us must be read in conjunction with Wallace’s later Ternate paper (Darwin and Wallace 1858). Those who knew about the bombshell discovery, or at the very least the general subject matter on the ‘problem of species’ that was in Matthew’s book, how ever much or little they understood of it, needed only to tell Darwin and Wallace about the one book in the world that both so needed to read, since it was well known in their respective scientific circles that both were working on solving the ‘problem of species’ (see Sutton 2014 for the full details). Surely that is a more likely than not scenario. Alternatively, are we expected to otherwise believe that there was a ‘don’t tell Darwin or Wallace’ about Matthew’s discovery’ conspiracy afoot?

The Irrational Darwin Defense Trinity Goes like this:

‘It is a mere tri-coincidence, improbable beyond rational belief, that three out of only seven naturalists known to have cited Matthew’s prior-published book before 1858, containing the full hypothesis of natural selection, played such pivotal roles at the very epicentre of influence and facilitation of Darwin’s and Wallace’s published work on natural selection.’

In 1620 Francis Bacon wrote a great treatise on academic confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance, associated irrational reasoning and cherry-picking pseudo-scholarship:

‘The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it. And though there be a greater number and weight of instances to be found on the other side, yet these it either neglects and despises, or else by some distinction sets aside and rejects, in order that by this great and pernicious predetermination the authority of its former conclusions may remain inviolate.’

Any scholar cherry picking which of the newly discovered facts in 'Nullus' to critique, whilst ignoring others, will be engaging in pseudo-scholarship and should receive short shrift for doing so in the academic press and elsewhere. Moreover, even though we might know such bias is common, there is still a danger that we will weirdly believe that we alone are specially exempt in terms of what we have ‘discovered’ and how we assess its significance (Dowd, 2013). I am no exception that to rule. Any believing Nullius is unfairly biased should critique it accordingly - but with honesty, integrity and evidence not with mere rhetoric, pseudo-scholarship and ignorance of the literature and lazy gumption intolerance peacocking.

Bearing in mind the importance of Bacon’s observations on human bias in science, reason has it that anyone wishing now to claim the insignificance of my new discovery that Matthew’s book was, contrary to prior ‘knowledge’, read by other naturalists known to Darwin and Wallace would have to base their arguments for non-knowledge contamination – from Matthew to Loudon, Chambers and Selby and then to Darwin and Wallace - upon an irrational premise that I have chosen to name the ‘Darwin Defense Trinity. Or else they must do as Bacon implores and address all the newly discovered facts in ‘Nullius’. Therefore, to refute the evidence that Darwin and Wallace are not independent discoverers of natural selection, and to refute the additional evidence that they committed science fraud, those defending Darwin and Wallace are required now to do more than write un-evidenced and pseudo-scholarly cherry-picking and hard fact avoiding rhetoric. Instead they must now deploy gumption and scientific expertise to personally explain precisely and in fully evidenced detail exactly why they believe the experts are wrong about Matthew having fully discovered and articulated the complete hypothesis of natural selection. If reasonably skeptical experts on the biology of organic evolution can uniquely achieve that breakthrough then they must make yet another by using their scientific knowledge and expertise to disprove that the Darwin Defense Trinity is irrational. And even if it were possible to achieve both of these herculean tasks that alone would not be enough; because it would then be necessary to explain away the entire 52 individuals newly discovered (Sutton 2014 ) to have either definitely (because they cited it) or more likely than not (because they were apparently first to be second with apparently unique Matthewisms) read Matthew’s (1831) book, 19 of whom were in either Darwin’s or Wallace’s social circle. Moreover, all such explaining away would need, objectively, to take into account, and so weigh in the balance of reasonable probability for science fraud, the fact that Darwin told six lies to achieve primacy over Matthew, had a prior history of academic dishonesty, sought to change the scientific rules of priority so that better known naturalist such as he would be automatically awarded priority over original first discovers such as Matthew. Moreover, it would finally be a requirement for those seeking to successfully establish Darwin’s and Wallace’s innocence, in light of the multitude of newly discovered incriminating facts contained in ‘Nullius’, to objectively explain away the devastating results of a computer assisted plagiarism check of the work of Darwin and Wallace compared with Matthew’s prior publication (see Sutton 2014 for full details and considerably more weighty circumstantial evidence, besides, against Darwin and Wallace).

Conclusions and the Way Forward

All that is left currently to support Darwin’s and Wallace’s respective claims to have each discovered natural selection independently of Matthew and independently of one another is the Darwin Defense Trinity of irrational faith. Logic and reason establishes that the ‘Trinity’ is no more than a serviceable yet irrational Victorian smog-screen for the world’s greatest science fraud.


(c) Dr Mike Sutton. All rights reserved.Used only with express written permission

The Blessed Virgin Darwin

If you would like to fight science fraud by assisting society and the veracious historical record by way of alleviating the symptoms of ignorance, gumption intolerance, and irrational beliefs within the natural science Darwinist community and its so-called ‘Darwin Industry’ then you could perhaps do worse than to read and then trumpet from the rooftops the bombshell discovery contained in my book that changes everything we once thought we knew about the discovery of natural selection. Nullius in Verba: Darwin’s greatest secret’ (Sutton 2014) tells the full and hard-evidenced, independently verifiable, story of the men and women behind the world’s greatest science fraud.

In the aftermath of the bombshell discovery in ‘Nullius’ that naturalists, and others, known to Darwin and Wallace did read Matthew’s book pre-1858, and - more so - they commented upon the unique ideas on natural selection in it, there can now be only one independent discoverer of natural selection and he is Patrick Matthew – the greatest deductive thinker the world has ever known. And it is beyond reasonable doubt that Darwin and Wallace perpetrated the world's greatest science fraud rather than experienced a miracle of dual immaculate conception of a prior published hypothesis whilst surrounded by, influenced by and in communication with other men whose minds were fertile with it.


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Darwin, C. R. (1860) Natural selection. Gardeners' Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette no. 16 (21 April): 362-363.(This is Darwin’s letter in response to Matthew’s in the Gardeners Chronicle where Darwin clearly indicates he had no prior knowledge of Matthew’s book). See Darwin online:

Darwin, C. R. (1861) On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. Or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. (Third Edition) London. John Murray.

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Selby, P. J. (1842) A history of British forest-trees: indigenous and introduced. London. Van Voorst.

Sutton, M. (2014) Nullius in Verba: Darwin’s greatest secret. Thinker Media Inc. USA.

Sutton, M. (2014a).Internet Dating with Darwin: New discovery that Darwin and Wallace were influenced by Matthew’s prior discovery.

Wainwright, M. (2008) Natural Selection: It’s Not Darwin’s (Or Wallace’s) Theory. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences 15 (1) 1-8 June, 2008.

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Wells, W.C. (1818) Two Essays: One Upon Single Vision with two eyes; The other On Dew. A Letter To The Right Hon. Lloyd, Lord Kenyon. And An Account of A Female of the White Race of Mankind, Part of Whose Skin Resembles that of a Negro; With Some Observations on the Causes of the Differences in Colour and Form Between the White and Negro Races of Man. By the Late William Charles Wells. With a Memoir of his Life Written by Himself. London. Archibald Constable and Co. Edinburgh.

Yeo, R. (1984) Science and Intellectual Authority in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Britain: Robert Chambers and Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation. Victorian Studies, Vol. 28. No.1. Autumn. pp. 5-31. Indiana University Press.

Zon, R. (1913) Darwinism in Forestry. The American Naturalist. Vol. 47. No. 561. September. pp.540-546.


[1] I have archived this publication for the historical record of early responses to the publication of ‘Nullius’.

[2] Although the actual review was anonymous, in his 1860 letter in the Gardener’s Chronicle Matthew says it was penned by Loudon, the magazine’s editor.

Mike Sutton Identity Verified

About the Author 

Mike Sutton
Dr Mike Sutton is the author of 'Nullius in Verba: Darwin's greatest secret'.

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