Sunday, January 9, 2011

I get mail: Wallace on Mars's canals

A friend writes to say that Darwin's co-theorist Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) argued strongly for a theistic version of the anthropic principle in his Man's Place in the Universe (1904) anticipating the excellent book by Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richards The Privileged Planet by precisely 100 years. Interestingly, Wallace argued vehemently in 1907 against Percival Lowell (1855-1916). Wallace insisted that the "canals" [on Mars] were the product of fissures created over long periods of time.

But then, Lowell was seeing science fiction and Wallace was seeing nature. It matters.

Lowell's canals concept, Wikimedia Commons