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


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Proposing “The Matthew Man’s Interference Analogy Hypothesis”.

Apr. 6, 2015 7:14 am

The general theory of organic evolution has been around since at least the time of the ancient Greeks (see Zirkle 1941).

Interestingly, the Greek scholar Empedocles c. 490 – c. 430 BC saw the difference between domestic and naturally selected animals in the wild, and the notion of survival of the fittest in the struggle for survival in nature, but appears not to have realized that the vulnerable qualities of the domesticated animals were due to artificial selection. He wrote:

'Firstly, the fierce brood of lions, that savage tribe, has been protected by courage, the wolf by cunning, by swiftness the stag. But the intelligent dog, so light of sleep and so true of heart, beasts of burden of all kinds, woolly sheep also, and horned herds of oxen, all these are entrusted to men's protection, Memius. For they have eagerly fled from the wild beasts, they have sought peace and the generous provision gained by no labour of theirs, which we give them as reward of their usefulness. But those to which nature gives no such qualities, so that they could neither live by themselves at their own will, nor give us some usefulness, for which we might suffer to feed them under our protection and be safe, these certainly lay by their own fateful chains, until nature brought that race to destruction.'

Patrick Matthew (1831) appears to have been familiar with this passage - or perhaps some later work influenced by it - because he wrote about the natural process of selection on pages 364-365 using very similar examples of fierce strength, cunning and swiftness being present in naturally selected species:

'This law sustains the lion in his strength, the hare in her swiftness, and the fox in his wiles.'

The Artificial versus Natural Selection Analogy of Differences was originated by Patrick Matthew in 1831 as an explanatory device for the theory of macro evolution by natural selection.

In absence of disconfirming data for the currently available evidence that Patrick Matthew (1831) originated (was first to write and have published) the 'Artificial Selection versus Natural Selection Analogy of Differences', when he included it in his book On Naval Timber and Arboriculture, I propose that Matthew (1831) was not only first to originate and have published the full hypothesis of natural selection , but that he did also originate this powerfully explanatory Analogy.

An analogy is something that is done as an explanatory device to make something complex easier to understand by comparing one thing with another. All analogies are fallacies because the two things being compared are not at all the same thing. What is important is how the person using the analogy in question allows the recipient of it to see how one thing relates to the other and why. An analogy is deployed, therefore, in order to understand the complexity of the original issue being explained. In short, I use common dictionary definitions: “An analogy is a comparison between one thing and another, typically for the purpose of explanation.”

An analogy between things can be used to show how they are different or the same. That said, it must be noted however, that biologists are unique when it comes to how they use analogies. In biology, an analogy is only ever used to show how things are similar or the same. We might call it the "the biologists analogy" as opposed to the wider 'these things are similar or different' analogies that other disciplines understand.Therefore, to date at least, when biologists have written of Darwin's analogy between natural and artificial selection they are only ever referring to an argumentative analogy that Darwin deployed in the Origin of Species (1859) to show, argumentatively, how natural and artificial selection have certain similarities.

As we shall see in this blog post, Darwin also used an analogy of difference between natural and artificial selection that we might call the "Artificial Selection versus Natural Selection Analogy" He used in in an unpublished essay in 1844 and again in the Origin of Species (1859). In absence of dis-confirming evidence Matthew (1831) was the first to use the Artificial versus Natural Selection Analogy and Darwin (1859) the first to use the "Artificial Selection is similar to Natural Selection" argumentative analogy. I am grateful to my associate Dr Mike Weale for debating this issue with me at length on the Patrick Matthew Project until April 14 2015 (here)..when we agreed on the fact there are in fact these two distinct artificial selection, to explain natural selection, analogies.

Matthew compared natural selection with artificial selection in order to compare things that are different to explain that nature was selecting varieties by way of what he called “the natural process of selection”, which was, unlike artificial selection, operated as a blind and unthinking natural law (process) to select those varieties that were most circumstance suited to survive in the wild. Humans, on the other hand, selected varieties as a cognitive project deliberately for their own wants and needs only.

I am operating on the premise that readers know what natural selection means. If not, then a few clicks on Goggle will find you a good explanation (e.g. here). For a simple definition of artificial selection, the Encyclopedia Britannica gives us sound example:

'Artificial selection (or selective breeding ) differs from natural selection in that heritable variations in a species are manipulated by humans through controlled breeding . The breeder attempts to isolate and propagate those genotypes that are responsible for a plant or animal’s desired qualities in a suitable environment. These qualities are economically or aesthetically desirable to humans, rather than useful to the organism in its natural environment.'

I propose that Matthew originated an explanation that changed the world in his use of the Artificial versus Natural Selection Analogy, because - it is newly discovered (Sutton 2014) - his 1831 book was read and cited pre-1858 by several naturalists who Darwin and Wallace admitted were their major influencers on the topic of varieties and species and organic evolution.

The Matthew Man’s Interference Analogy Hypothesis”:

Patrick Matthew was first to originate and have published the Artificial versus Natural Selection Analogy as an explanation for natural selection.

What Matthew wrote was replicated by several naturalists who followed in his footsteps. Beginning with Matthew, the originator, it is useful to examine who wrote what on this precise analogy and when.

1. ‘Matthew (1831 pages. 307-308)) wrote

‘The use of the infinite seedling varieties in the families of plants, even in those in a state of nature, differing in luxuriance of growth and local adaptation, seems to be to give one individual (the strongest best circumstance-suited) superiority over others of its kind around, that it may, by overtopping and smothering them, procure room for full extension, and thus affording, at the same time, a continual selection of the strongest, best circumstance suited for reproduction. Man’s interference, by preventing this natural process of selection among plants, independent of the wider range of circumstances to which he introduces them, has increased the difference in varieties, particularly in the more domesticated kinds; and even in man himself, the greater uniformity, and more general vigour among savage tribes, is referrible to nearly similar selecting law - the weaker individual sinking under the ill treatment of the stronger, or under the common hardship.'

Matthew (1831) pages.107-108

'... in timber trees the opposite course has been pursued. The large growing varieties being so long of coming to produce seed, that many plantations are cut down before they reach this maturity, the small growing and weakly varieties, known by early and extreme seeding, have been continually selected as reproductive stock, from the ease and conveniency with which their seed could be procured; and the husks of several kinds of these invariably kiln-dried, in order that the seeds might be the more easily extracted. May we, then, wonder that our plantations are occupied by a sickly short-lived puny race, incapable of supporting existence in situations where their own kind had formerly flourished—particularly evinced in the genus Pinus,more particularly in the species Scots Fir; so much inferior to those of Nature's own rearing, where only the stronger, more hardy, soil-suited varieties can struggle forward to maturity and reproduction?

We say that the rural economist should pay as much regard to the breed or particular variety of his forest trees, as he does to that of his live stock of horses, cows, and sheep. That nurserymen should attest the variety of their timber plants, sowing no seeds but those gathered from the largest, most healthy, and luxuriant growing trees..'

Matthew (1831) page 3:

There are several valuable varieties of apple trees of acute branch angle, which do not throw up the bark of the breeks; this either occasions the branches to split down when loaded with fruit, or if they escape this for a few years, the confined bark becomes putrid and produces canker which generally ruins the tree. We have remedied this by a little attention in assisting the rising of the bark with the knife. Nature must not be charged with the malformation of these varieties; at least had she formed them, as soon as she saw her error she would have blotted out her work.'

Matthew (1831) pages 261-263

' We ask if even the fact of these unnaturally tender varieties (obtained by long continued selection, probably assisted by culture, soil and climate, and which, without the cherishing of man, would soon disappear)..'

Matthew (1831) page 67:

'It is also found that the uniformity in each kind of wild growing plants called species may be broken down by art or culture and that when once a breach is made, there is almost no limit to disorder, the mele that ensues being nearly incapable of reduction.'

Matthew (1831) page 387: 'As far back as history reaches, man had already had considerable influence, and had made encroachments upon his fellow denizens, probably occasioning the destruction of many species, and the production and continuation of a number of varieties or even species, which he found more suited to supply his wants, but which from the infirmity of their condition—not having undergone selection by the law of nature, of which we have spoken cannot maintain their ground without his culture and protection.'

Matthew (1831) Here Matthew refers to crab apple trees – which are likely the closest to the original, and most hardy of the apple species. He crosses his unique heretical discovery of natural selection with is unique use of the Artificial Selection versus Natural Selection Analogy with his seditious Chartist libertarian social reform politics to propose a bio-social explanation for why it is bad for human stock (as a national or regional variety) and bad for human society if there is not free crossing in complex human society as there is in societies which may be closer to 'nature'. He writes on page 366:

‘It is an eastern proverb, that no king is many removes from a shepherd. Most conquerors and founders of dynasties have followed the plough or the flock. Nobility, to be in the highest perfection, like the finer varieties of fruits, independent of having its vigour excited by regular married alliance with wilder stocks, would require stated complete renovation, by selection anew from among the purest crab.’

Matthew (1831) Pages 381 - 382. It is here that Matthew, heretically, hands "God" his redundancy notice. To do so, he uses the analogy in question to demonstrate (provide what he believes is evidential "proof") that living matter has the plastic (malleable) quality necessary to create new species by way of their diverging from ancestral varieties with which they would thereafter be incapable of breeding :

' We are therefore led to admit, either of a repeated miraculous creation; or of a power of change, under a change of circumstances, to belong to living organized matter, or rather to the congeries of inferior life, which appears to form superior. The derangements and changes in organized existence, induced by a change of circumstance from the interference of man, affording us proof of the plastic quality of superior life, and the likelihood that circumstances have been very different in the different epochs, though steady in each, tend to heighten the probability of the latter theory.'

Mudie (1832) Page 368:

‘If we are to observe nature, therefore, we must go to the wilds, because, in all cultivated productions, there are secondary characters produced by the artificial treatment, and we have no means of observing a distinction between these, and those which the same individual would have displayed, had it been left to a completely natural state. The longer that the race has been under the domestication and culture, the changes are of course the greater. So much is that the case that in very many both of the plants and animals that have been in a state of domestication since the earliest times of which we have any record, we know nothing with certainty about the parent races in their wild state. As to the species, or if you will the genus we can be certain. The domestic horse has not been cultivated out of an animal with cloven hoofs and horns; and the domestic sheep has never been bred out of any of the ox tribe. So also wheat and barley have not been cultivated out of any species of pulse, neither have Windsor beans at any time been grasses. But within some such limits as these our certain information lies; and for aught we know the parent race may, in its wild state, be before our eyes every day and yet we may not have the means of knowing that it is so. The breeding artificially has been going on for at least three thousand years…’

Mudie (1832) Page 369-370

‘But there is another difficulty. When great changes are made on the surface of a country, as when forests are changed into open land, and marshes into corn fields, or any other change that is considerable, the changes of the climate must correspond; and as the wild productions are very much affected by that, they must also undergo changes; and these changes may in time amount to the entire extinction of some of the old tribes, both of plants and of animals, the modification of others to the full extent that the hereditary specific characters admit, and the introduction of not varieties only but of species altogether new.

That not only may but must have been the case. The productions of soils and climates are as varied as these are; and when a change takes place in either of these, if the living productions cannot alter their habits so as to accommodate themselves to the change there is no alternative, but they must perish.’

Mudie (1832) seemed to be recommending that humans engage in trying to approximate a kind of natural process of selection (370-371):

“Cultivation itself will deteriorate, and in time destroy races, if the same race and the same mode of culture be pursued amid general change. Our own times are times of very rapid change, and, upon the whole, of improvement; we dare not, without the certainty of their falling off, continue the same stock and the same seed corn, season after season, and age after age, as was done by our forefathers. The general change of the country, must have change and not mere succession, in that which we cultivate; and thus we must cross the breeds of our animals, and remove the seeds and plants of our vegetables from district to district. There is something of the same kind in human beings..”

3. Lyell (1832, p, 56), Matthew's Forfarshire neighbor and Darwin's great friend and geological mentor, wrote:

'…we have no data as yet to warrant the conclusion that a single permanent hybrid race has ever been formed even in gardens by the intermarriage of two allied species brought from distant habitations. Until some fact of this kind is fairly established, and a new species capable of perpetuating itself in a state of perfect independence of man, can be pointed out, we think it reasonable to call in question entirely this hypothetical source of new species. That varieties do sometimes spring up from cross breeds, in a natural way, can hardly be doubted, but they probably die out even more rapidly than races propagated by grafts or layers.'

3. Low (1844) wrote:

‘The Wild Pine attains its greatest perfection of growth and form in the colder countries, and on the older rock formations. It is in its native regions of granite, gneiss and the allied deposits, that it grows in extended forests over hundreds of leagues, overpowering the less robust species. When transplanted to the lower plains and subjected to culture, it loses so much of the aspect and characters of the noble original, as scarcely to appear the same. No change can be greater to the habits of a plant than the transportation of this child of the mountain to the shelter and cultivated soil of the nursery; and when the seeds of these cultivated trees are collected and sown again, the progeny diverges more and more from the parent type. Hence one of the reasons why so many worthless plantations of pine appear in the plains of England and Scotland, and why so much discredit has become attached to the culture of the species.’

4. Darwin (1844 – unpublished essay) wrote

‘In the case of forest trees raised in nurseries, which vary more than the same trees do in their aboriginal forests, the cause would seem to lie in their not having to struggle against other trees and weeds, which in their natural state doubtless would limit the conditions of their existence…’

5. Wallace (1858 Ternate paper) wrote

‘…those that prolong their existence can only be the most perfect in health and vigour – those who are best able to obtain food regularly, and avoid their numerous enemies. It is, as we commenced by remarking, “a struggle for existence,” in which the weakest and least perfectly organized must always succumb.’ [And]: ‘We see, then, that no inferences as to varieties in a state of nature can be deduced from the observation of those occurring among domestic animals. The two are so much opposed to each other in every circumstance of their existence, that what applies to the one is almost sure not to apply to the other. Domestic animals are abnormal, irregular, artificial; they are subject to varieties which never occur and never can occur in a state of nature: their very existence depends altogether on human care; so far are many of them removed from that just proportion of faculties, that true balance of organization, by means of which alone an animal left to its own resources can preserve its existence and continue its race.’

6. Darwin (1859, p.7 (opening words) and then pp. 83-84) wrote:

"When we look to the individuals of the same variety or sub-variety of our older cultivated plants and animals, one of the first points which strikes us is, that they generally differ more from each other than do the individuals of any one species or variety in a state of nature.”

"Man selects only for his own good; Nature only for that of the being which she tends. Every selected character is fully exercised by her; and the being is placed under well-suited conditions of life. Man keeps the natives of many climates in the same country; he seldom exercises each selected character in some peculiar and fitting manner; he feeds a long and a short beaked pigeon on the same food; he does not exercise a long-backed or long-legged quadruped in any peculiar manner; he exposes sheep with long and short wool to the same climate. He does not allow the most vigorous males to struggle for the females. He does not rigidly destroy all inferior animals, but protects during each varying season, as far as lies in his power, all his productions. He often begins his selection by some half-monstrous form; or at least by some modification prominent enough to catch his eye, or to be plainly useful to him. Under nature, the slightest difference of structure or constitution may well turn the nicely-balanced scale in the struggle for life, and so be preserved. How fleeting are the wishes and efforts of man! how short his time! and consequently how poor will his products be, compared with those accumulated by nature during whole geological periods. Can we wonder, then, that nature's productions should be far 'truer' in character than man's productions; that they should be infinitely better adapted to the most complex conditions of life, and should plainly bear the stamp of far higher workmanship?'

7. Darwin 1868 wrote (misspelling Matthew's name) : "Our common forest trees are very variable, as may be seen in every extensive nursery-ground; but as they are not valued as fruit trees, and as they seed late in life, no selection has been applied to them; consequently, as Mr Patrick Matthew remarks, they have not yielded different races…" The historian and anthropologist Loren Eiseley saw Darwin's use of this analogy in his private 1844 essay as too great a double coincidence (see Sutton 2014 for a deeper discussion) that Darwin could replicate both Matthew's unique hypothesis and his unique analogy to explain it, using trees, which were both the central topic of Matthew's book and his example in his original analogy.

The Man's Interference Analogy:

What did Matthew, Wallace and Darwin understand about artificial selection versus natural selection that makes the Artificial selection versus Natural Selection Analogy the perfect device to explain the natural process of selection?

An analogy is used as an explanatory device – a model.

An analogy is about what is analogous to what and why. In that way it must be kept simple. Simplicity is the most important criteria of a useful analogy – why else use one?

The next most important criteria of a good analogy is how close it is to reality (in my opinion). This is why the artificial selection analogy is so powerful, so useful.

Artificial selection is not natural selection, and so it is – like all analogies – a fallacy. But “selection” is the analogy. And it is close to reality as an analogy, because humans breed what they want into varieties they desire. Nature has no such cognitive purpose – selection in nature is born of random types being the most circumstance suited to survive and so they are better able to pass on their characteristics. But the outcome of this random generated process of natural selection leads to the most circumstance suited (in the wild) varieties – and, eventually, new species.

An analogy explains how two things are similar. What is similar in the case in point is “selection”. Selection is the only analogy. Selection is what is similar. Artificial selection by humans versus natural selection by nature. That is the analogy.Darwin, Wallace and Matthew all used it, and so did Low and Mudie.

Starting with the originator, Matthew, he Wallace and Darwin all understood that (1) a combination of artificial selection plus a necessary relaxation of natural selection leads, under human culture, to more varieties any one point in time kept within human culture. And (2) Natural selection often leads to fewer varieties at any one point in time in the wild, but those varieties can survive better under wild conditions than domesticated varieties – which most usually cannot. (3) Because in nature varieties come slowly to the fore that are more suited to survival in the wild than varieties selected relatively rapidly by human breeding programs, the analogy allows us to see that the process of natural selection is different to selection by humans. The natural process of selection is an unconscious and lengthy process leading to survival of the most circumstance suited. Humans are consciously selecting what suites immediate human needs and desires - even if that means those varieties need a greater deal of protection under human culture.

Test the hypothesis

Remember it is the 'Man's interference' explanatory analogy that we are looking for, not the full explanation of natural selection (although if you find that pre-1831 you will have stuck historical gold). Therefore, to dis-confirm the hypothesis we need to find evidence in the literature of others - pre-Matthew (1831) - realizing as a minimum that: (a) varieties consciously bred under human culture are less robust in the wild than naturally occurring wild varieties, because (b) in the wild, natural varieties must be most circumstance suited to wild conditions in order to survive and multiply. With that explanation in mind the essential hypothesis in question can be stated thus: (a) nature 'selects' varieties that are more suited to survival in the wild and that (b) distinct varieties bred by humans to suit human needs and desires are most usually less suited to the wild than natural wild species.

Here on Best and also on The Patrick Matthew Project, I invite others to test this hypothesis with regard to the published literature record. I call it: “The Matthew Man’s Interference Analogy Hypothesis”. If anyone can dis-confirm it. I will warmly embrace their endeavors and their discovery of new data. Moreover, I will thank them for taking our knowledge forward with regard to coming closer to a purer form of the truth in the story of the discovery of natural selection.


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Nullius in Verba

Who were Robert Mudie and David Low?

Readers with some knowledge of the history of the discovery of natural selection will have heard of Patrick Matthew, Alfred Wallace and Charles Darwin, but perhaps not of Mudie and Low. So who were they? You can find out in my earlier blog post on the F2B2 Hypothesis.

The full story of the history of the discovery of the theory of natural selection has changed, because new data has been discovered that completely disproves prior Darwinist knowledge beliefs in Darwin's immaculate conception of a prior published theory. Read Nullius in Verba: Darwin's greatest secret to discover the implications of the New Data.

Bombshell heresy crossed with seditious bio-social politics

What Matthew did that was most revolutionary, and against the codes of the 19th gentlemen of science, was to take his unique discovery of the process of natural selection and his apparent origination of the artificial versus natural selection analogy and apply both to human society to advocate Chartism, wider social reform and inter-class breeding. He proposed that the nobility would do best to breed with those less protected from the harsh realities of nature by the class system. We can see his seditious blending of his heretical work on natural selection with his seditious politics in the following quotation from Matthew (1831 - Note B of his Appendix) he refers to crab apple trees - the original, and most hardy of the apple species:

'It is an eastern proverb, that no king is many removes from a shepherd. Most conquerors and founders of dynasties have followed the plough or the flock. Nobility, to be in the highest perfection, like the finer varieties of fruits, independent of having its vigour excited by regular married alliance with wilder stocks, would require stated complete renovation, by selection anew from among the purest crab.'

My nook Nullius contains considerable evidence that Liar Charles Lyell, who lived just 19 miles as the crow flies from Matthew's home in Forfarshire, read Laird Matthew's 1831 book following its scandalous hammering - and accusations of plagiarism - in the Edinburgh Literary Journal in 1831 (see Sutton 2014).

A blog post presentation of the etymological links between Matthew's book and the works of Lyell's associates and friends can be found here.


Jim Dempster (Dempster, W. J (1996) Evolutionary Concepts in the Nineteenth Century. Edinburgh. The Pentland Press.) wrote a whole chapter (pp. 80-97) on the use of "selection" by 19th century animal breeders and what Matthew, Darwin and others wrote on the subject at page 85:

'Patrick Matthew after 20 years experience as a fruit breeder wrote out 'natural process of selection' in his Naval Timber 'without an effort of concentrated thought'. As a professional breeder the term 'selection' would be part of his everyday existence. It would appear, however, this was the first time the term had been formally committed to print in a philosophical sense.To the hybridist Matthew the analogy between artificial and natural selection was a fact too obvious to merit further debate on the basis of hypothesis.'

That is true, but we have seen, by collecting all that Matthew wrote on the analogy,that he fully understood its significance in explaining the outcomes of both artificial and natural selection.

Dempster (1886 p. 88):

'For someone with a philosophic turn of mind the analogy between artificial selection for domestic purposes and what obtained in nature was exact.'

Here, when Dempster uses the term analogy he is not referring to a the specific definition of analogy as a comparison of similarities. Instead, he is using the wider Oxford English Dictionary definition of: 'A comparison made between one thing and another for the purpose of explanation or clarification.' In other words, it is enough that a comparison of some kind is made in order to explain what the things compared are and why they are either the same or - as in the analogy in question - different.

It is important to stress that the analogy in question - to be an analogy - makes a comparison of the differences between artificial selection (breeding by humans) with natural selection (the natural process of most circumstance suited selection in the wild). Many authors before Matthew noted that humans bred more and different varieties than occurred in nature, and to suit themselves, but it is very important to stress that that observation alone is not the analogy. Many, such as Blaine (1824), who, for example, in his work on dogs, came very close indeed- see his footnotes on pages 97 to 98 in describing how greyhounds and pointers were not best suited to hunting under certain conditions in the wild. But, as did Matthew's predecessors, he failed to point out the natural selection implications that there are - when we compare artificially selected domesticated with wild species - fewer varieties in the wild, or else specifically stating that they could not survive in competition with wild varieties in any natural conditions.

Once we go further than Eiseley, Dempster or any others have apparently seen, by focusing focus upon the general analogy to explain natural slection by way of stating the difference between artificial and natural selection, rather than the same analogy identified only by way of the very precise subject of plants or trees in nurseries versus the wild, we find that Darwin not only replicated Matthew's precise 'plants' analogy without citation in his private essay of 1844, but also the general analogy on pp 79-80 in the Origin of Species in 1859! That is highly significant, in my opinion.

The analogy originated by Matthew (1831) explains: (a) why artificial selection is different to natural selection in a way that can explain the 'natural process of selection' by comparing (b) what the two do that is (c) different, thereby resulting in (d) what the effects are. Namely, that in such cases where certain species are bred by humans under culture that there are (e) fewer varieties in nature than under human culture, because humans protect the varieties they breed from the harshness and competition that occurs in nature, whereas wild nature selects by way of the 'natural process of selection' only those that can survive in the wild. This means (f) that many varieties bred by artificial selection, under culture, cannot survive in the wild.

What has been crucially explained in this blog post is that Matthew was not only first to write the full hypothesis of natural selection, he was also the first to use an analogy specifically to explain selection in nature by way of the differences in the way nature selects varieties of plants and animals to the way humans selects varieties of plants and animals. I have called this the Artificial Selection versus Natural Selection Analogy. This analogy was replicated by Mudie, Low, Darwin and Wallace. That Darwin and Wallace could each independently replicate both Matthew's hypothesis of natural selection and his unique explanatory analogy simply beggars rational belief - in my considered and evidence led opinion.

Of great importance to the ongoing project to reach a purer form of the truth in the story of the history of the discovery of natural selection, is the fact that it has been herein established that Matthew did (in absence of disconfirming evidence) not only originate the theory of natural selection but also the first analogy of the dissimilarities between artificial and natural selection to explain it.

I cannot help wondering whether the fact Darwin not only replicated Matthew's analogy in 1844, but also in the Origin of Species, has been missed until now because of the peculiarities of the discipline of biology, which insists that an analogy is only a comparison between things that are similar in order to point out their similarities. The problem is, as I have said in my book Nullius in Verba, that biologists have the virtual monopoly of telling the story of the discovery of natural selection in books and scholarly journals. Moreover, those writing in this field invariably self-identify as Darwinists, with all the bias that goes with writing about the unique greatness of their namesake whilst ignoring, playing down or lashing out at those who see a 'blemish in the darling' (e.g Bowler 2013).

Darwin's more complex analogy of the similarities between artificial and natural selection has been explained rather simply, though arguably not quite precisely, by John Pollack in his book on the power of analogies Pollock (2014: 'Shortcut: How Analogies Reveal Connections, Spark Innovation, and Sell Our Greatest Ideas') refers to what I have coined: "Darwin's 'Artificial and Natural Selection Analogy of Similarities" as his "third analogy." The complexity of Darwin's use of several different analogies between artificial and natural selection has been ably discussed by Susan Sterrett in 20012 (Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Volume 33, Issue 1, March 2002, Pages 151–168).

At a more basic level, if we focus upon the powerfully simple analogy that was used to explain a complex process, we now know that Matthew's original 1831 analogy of the differences between artificial and natural selection was not only replicated by Darwin in his unpublished essay of (1844), as Eiseley (1979) discovered, and Dempster (1996) emphasised, but also by others with proven pre -1858 links to Matthew's book and Charles Darwin - namely Low and Muddie. Moreover, we now newly know that Wallace also replicated the same explanatory analogy and that Darwin (1859) did so also on pages 83-84 of the Origin of Species. This is not a discovery to be taken lightly because it proves that Darwin and Wallace not only supposedly "immaculately conceived" and then miraculously replicated Matthew's 1831 prior published discovery of natural selection, whilst surround by acknowledged influencers who read it pre-1858, they also replicated his key analogical explanatory device for it!

Dempster (1996, p.83) writes about how Lawrence had in 1819 published his heretical lectures on breeding improved stock of humans using artificial selection techniques known to animal breeders. On the grounds of its heresy, according to Dempster, Lawrence's book was refused copyright by the Lord Chancellor, but underground copies existed. Dempster tells us that Darlington in his 1859 book' Darwin's place in history' claims that Matthew probably read and was converted by Lawrence's heresy. Dempster (p. 84) notes the problem is that Matthew. like Darwin. was not good at citing his influencers- and he never cited Lawrence. Lawrence's papers, first published in 1819 can be found online in a volume published in 1822 (here). It is now my intention to run the ID method based upon the premise of the "First o be be Second F2B2 Hypothesis" to see whether there is evidence to support Darlington's belief that Matthew read and was influenced Lawrence pre 1831. This is the first time I have used the ID method in the F2B2 way since writing my book. But I always knew the right opportunity to test it again would come up. That is why in 2014 I wrote:

The failure of Matthew to cite his influences is deeply frustrating. However, it is an area that future work can shed considerably more light upon, now that we can use ID to detect the less obvious etymological and philosophical origins of NTA [Naval Timber and Arboriculture by Matthew 1831]. Whatever the case of his influences, if it exists, I have totally failed, despite my very best efforts, to find anything remotely resembling a hypothesis of natural selection preceding NTA.

What I found in investigating the links between Lawrence and Matthew is that Lawerence's work contains nothing of the theory of natural selection at all. However, Matthew was quite likely influenced by it to replicate Lawrence's use of shepherds and crab apple trees as an example to reveal simply the varying inferiority of varieties bred by humans and upper-class human varieties selected by both the desires and the limitations imposed by complex societies See the results in my later blog post.

The Support and Suppression of Lawrence

According to Dempster (p.82) Edward Blyth supported Lawrence's work - which although withdrawn in 1820 was recommended to his readers by Blyth in 1835.

Dempster tells us that Lawrence warned Huxley not to become engaged in work on the natural history of man. That warning was given for good reason.

Blyth was never recognised in his lifetime for his work. Darwin used him endlessly. Despite that reliance he once mocked him in a letter to his great friend and geological mentor Lyell as "Poor Blyth of Calcutta" - an epithet Darwin later used to mock Matthew in another letter to his best friend and botanical mentor Hooker - describing him as "poor old Patrick Matthew". Were those neglected naturalists mocked as "poor" essentially because they failed to see what Darwin and his closest friends knew about how to play the game to ones best advantage in life?

The story of Lawrence sheds much light on the prejudice of society (led in Britain by the naturalist parsons of Oxford and Cambridge) towards any published work on ideas about artificial selection and the 'breeding of humans' - something, as we have seen above, which Matthew wrote about and then carried forward in his book Emigration Fields (1839) where he advocated that Europeans should cross with the Maori people of New Zealand. So much for the self-serving Darwinist myth that Matthew did nothing to take his ideas forward after 1831!

A summary of the importance of the new understanding that Matthew originated and prior published the Artifical versus Natural Selection Analogy in 1831 - years before Darwin and Wallace replicated both his bombshell hypothesis of natural selection and that powerful analogy - can be found on my website


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Patrick Matthew: Solver of the problem of emergence of new and extinction of species, God-slaying biological father of the theory of natural selection

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