Natural selection theory was first discovered by a forester. The big data discovery that both Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace plagiarised the entire theory of natural selection from the Scottish Forrester, famous fruit farmer and businessman Patrick Matthew (see Sutton 2014) has its roots in the weirdly neglected observations of earlier writers on Matthew’s (1831) great discovery.
Trumpet from the rooftopsPublic Domain
Raphael Zon (1913) of the US Forest Service could not have known for sure, as we do today, that Darwin and Wallace plagiarised Matthew’s book and then committed science fraud by claiming no-prior knowledge of it, because the fact that their most powerful influencers read and then cited it is a new discovery (see Sutton 2014) made possible only with 21st century hi-technology big data research methods.
However, Zon went as far as he was able in 1913 to make the case that it could be fully understood why a forester would be first to discover natural selection. Even without the new proof of Darwin’s and Wallace’s fraud that is afforded by big data analysis, the natural conclusion of Zon’s century old thesis is that neither Darwin nor Wallace had a comparably plausible framework of expertise that can be relied upon to understand how they were supposed to have arrived ‘independently’ of Matthew at exactly the same complex theory, terminology and explanatory examples.
More than 100 years ago Zon wrote:
‘There is nothing accidental, in my opinion, in the fact that a forester should be the first to observe the struggle for existence and its bearing upon the development of the new varieties, because there is no other plant society in the world which presents a more striking example of the struggle for existence and of natural selection than the forest. Nowhere else, also, can the law of this process be more fully studied.’ (Zon 1913, p. 543).
‘So perfect is the natural selection in the forest, so fine is the adjustment between the environment and the forest trees, that it is almost impossible for man to approach it, I do not mean the introduction of trees for park purposes or breeding new varieties for some other purposes than timber; I have in mind only the establishment of natural forests and the production of timber. ‘ (Zon 1913, p. 545).
‘Is there anything strange, therefore, that it was a forester who first formulated the principles of natural selection? Is there anything strange also, in the fact that it was also foresters who laid the foundation for what has come to be known as ecology, which is the logical development of Darwinism? Because of the fact that the forest is the highest expression of plant life, the foresters occupy the strategic position from which they command vistas accessible only with difficulty to other naturalists. In this lies the strength of forestry, its peculiar beauty, and the debt which science owes it. (Zon 1913, p. 546).
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Nullius in Verba
The bombshell discovery of 2014 that a forester and expert hybridizing fruit tree farmer is now proven to be the sole independent discoverer of, arguably, the most important scientific discovery ever made presents those involved in the study and teaching of forestry with a unique opportunity to take their rightful place now as the best circumstance suited scholars of natural selection theory and best qualified explainers of Matthew’s unique breakthrough in arboricultural research that solved the problem of species 28 years before Darwin and Wallace stole it and then pretended it was their own.
I would like to thank Professor Sean C. Thomas of the University of Toronto for so kindly making me first aware of Zon's excellent paper.
Matthew, P (1831) On Naval Timber and Arboriculture; With a critical note on authors who have recently treated the subject of planting. Edinburgh. Adam Black. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=DmYDAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q=of%20selection&f=false
Zon, R. (1913) Darwinism in Forestry. The American Naturalist. Vol. 47. No. 561. September. pp. 540-546.