In analogous fashion, gravity yielded "accumulations" of particles under a variety of domain-limited physical conditions: to produce, for example, talus slopes, moraines, fluvial deposits, etc.
In early 1856 Wallace composed the essay 'On the habits of the orang-utan of Borneo,' within which the following commentary appeared:
Yet, while we must respect and value the various cultures and a people's respective system of values (Green thinking), not all values are the same nor are they of equal worth to what is good and functional for humankind (Yellow thinking).
It therefore implies, that the great laws which govern the material universe were insufficient for his production, [my italics] we consider (as we may fairly do) that the controlling action of such higher intelligences is a necessary part of those laws, just as the action of all surrounding organisms is one of the agencies in organic development." I see no reason why Wallace might not just as easily have written the preceding words in 1864--or even 1858--as 1870: he merely would have felt a good deal less confident in doing so before he had collected evidence supporting the notion that, in parallel with domesticated animals, man was evolving without "ever becoming aware of it." The essential element of Wallace's cosmology with respect to man--that forces extending beyond his immediate awareness of their operation and impact were influencing his overall development--remained intact between at least as early as 1856 (the year of the orangutan essay) and his 1870 publication of It must have been in good part for this reason that Wallace wanted to hear what Darwin and Lyell had to say about his theory before he attempted to publish in 1858: he believed it identified no more than the critical efficient cause of the process named in the paper's title.
It will, therefore, probably excite some surprise among my readers, to find that I do not consider that all nature can be explained on the principles of which I am so ardent an advocate; and that I am now myself going to state objections, and to place limits, to the power of "natural selection." I believe, however, that there are such limits; and that just as surely as we can trace the action of natural laws in the development of organic forms, and can clearly conceive that fuller knowledge would enable us to follow step by step the whole process of that development, so surely can we trace the action of some unknown higher law, beyond and independent of all those laws of which we have any knowledge." In the same essay he adds:
Despite the fact that in the four preceding years he had written virtually nothing regarding Darwinian concepts, on the basis of the Ternate essay he was considered a "Darwin supporter." This was true enough; what was not appreciated, however, was that the emergence of natural selection as a viable concept merely meant that he now had to concentrate on figuring out how, specifically, human beings were evolving "without ever becoming aware of it." Initially encouraged by the success of the (Darwinian) materialist formulation of natural selection, Wallace turned to the work of another famous materialist, Herbert Spencer, for inspiration.
The manner of their own origin and the connection of this to evolution in general, however, he still had no handle on and deliberately avoided. In the 1864 essay on man, Wallace writes "But while these [physical] changes had been going on, his mental development had correspondingly advanced, and had now reached that condition in which it began powerfully to influence his whole existence, and would, therefore, become subject to the irresistible action of 'natural selection.'" In the 1870 version this passage was changed to "But while...mental development had, from some unknown cause, greatly advanced, and had now...
Earlier in the same work, on page 54, he straightforwardly states:
"Later in the same essay he notes that his theory explains "the remarkable persistence of unimportant parts such as colour, texture of plumage and hair, form of horns or crests, through a series of species differing considerably in more essential characters." His ideas have progressed--ever so subtly--from the non-utilitarian position expressed in the orangutan essay to one in which he views characters varying in being "the more or the less" "essential" (the characters he lists are, of course, among the easiest to modify through selective breeding practices). The passages I have italicized in the selections above are of especial interest.
This is what the story of the Good Samaritan is all about (Luke 10)to see oneself in the experience of the Other and move into action to change the circumstances, and not just limit ones efforts to a mere sympathetic or empathetic response.
As mentioned earlier, Wallace was much taken with Herbert Spencer's --especially with that writer's views on how social problems were created by injustices stemming from the then-existing conditions of land ownership. Over the period 1853-1858, geographical determinism--as related to the explanation of both biological and social evolution--was a subject at the very front of his mind. During this period Wallace obviously regarded species diversification as the distinguishing feature of biological advance.
His letters to Henry Walter Bates during that period and later comments on show that he was more critical of Chambers's inability to set out a model of process integrating the facts available than he was that writer's rather philosophical/cosmological approach to the subject . Certainly, there were "facts" that could be interpreted as the products of evolution, and it was out of these that a dogma-free conceptualization of the process had to be constructed.
Can we think it right that, with the key to so much that we ought to know, and that we should be the better for knowing, in our possession, we seek not to open the door, but allow this great store of mental wealth to lie unused, producing no return to us, while our highest powers and capacities rust for want of use?..." These passages reflect the views of a twenty year old man on the reasons for--and advantages of--pursuing an ongoing program of self-education and rational, moral and intellectual exploration.
Monk Moses shares the wisdom of Mt. Athos that leads to saintliness. Each essay is like a visit with a trusted spiritual guide, experienced in the life in Christ.