I have mentioned in my classes many times that Darwin was not the only person to introduce natural selection and common ancestry as a mechanism for evolution. Alfred Russel Wallace, working completely seperately in Southeast Asia, also came up with the same idea. Knowing that Darwin was working in the same general area, Russel sent his manuscript to Mr D to ask him what he thought. Darwin thought to himself: “Damn, its been 20 years since I voyaged on the Beagle, maybe its time to stop doing experiments and publish!”. They were published simultaneously, but we hardly ever hear about Mr Wallace. He is kind of the “Other Guy” of evolution.
So this morning I dowloaded and listened to the Other Guy’s book on the way to work. I was surprised that it only took ~30 minutes to get through. Contrast that with the print version of Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species”, which is at least 1 1/2 inches thick, contains a lot more evidence to back up his assertions, and really is the better book. Both are quite readable though.