Towards a Timeline of Absolute Solid Facts in the History of the Discovery of Natural Selection
Here is something of interest. If we stick entirely to what we can only know 100 per cent for sure, we must accept the fact that science fraudsters have in the past created elaborate paper trails to seek to prove they originated/discovered/ proved something themselves. Therefore, it is not enough that Darwin wrote dates on his unpublished notebooks or any other unpublished documents, We shouldn’t work from the premise that he was totally honest because we know he was capable of outright lying and otherwise being exceedingly “economic with the actuality” – for example we know he lied when he wrote that Matthew’s book had “remained unnoticed” because the year before Matthew told him that John Loudon and an unnamed professor of natural history had read and understood their significance. So those dates on his notebooks and essays could be a fabrication of Darwin’s.
Many of Darwin's letters are missing, Many pages of his notebooks are torn out. One of his notebooks is even described as being his "torn apart notebook",
Working upon the premise that there was no one conspiring with Darwin (conspiracies do happen but I’ve always plainly and deliberately steered clear of the notion in this story of scientific discovery) then the first move towards any solid proof we have of when Darwin understood natural selection is when he sent his private 1844 essay to is best friend Joseph Hooker. All we have to go on in this case is the date that correspondence between Hooker and Darwin informs us that Darwin’s best friend,Joseph Hooker, was sent a copy of that 1844 essay in 1847. See:http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/correspondence-volume-3
Outside of the evidence (comprising only letters between Hooker and Darwin – supposedly copies of genuine originals saved by Darwin) of correspondence between Darwin and his best friend Hooker (note: Hooker also proved himself dishonest by way of his letter that misled the Linnean Society to believe that Wallace had consented to having his paper jointly read by Darwin’s before the Linnean Society in 1858) is that Darwin sent an abstract of his 1844 essay to the US botanist Asa Gray in 1857. We can see the substantial evidence for this from their correspondence.
What we know for a fact is that 1855 is the year that Wallace’s Sarawak paper was published in the journal edited by Selby – and that Selby had read and cited Matthew’s book in 1842.
So – accepting the premises that there was no conspiracy – then the earliest “proof” we have of when Darwin understood natural selection is as late as 1847. If we take Darwin’s proven dishonest best friend, J. Hooker, out of the equation then we are left with Asa Gray- who we can be fairly certain was sent an abstract of Darwin’s 1844 essay in 1857 (at least according to the copy we have of Darwin's letter of 1857) – which is two years AFTER Darwin read Wallace’s Sarawak paper, which was edited by Selby who had read Matthew’s book and cited it in 1842! Incidentally, Selby ordered a copy of Matthew’s book in 1840 – when he wrote to his friend the famous naturalist Jardine to ask him to get his a copy.
So there we have it:
(1) . Based on the premise that two proven liars – who lied to help Darwin achieve priority for the discovery of natural selection (Hooker for Darwin in 1858 and Darwin for himself in 1861 and again when Darwin lied in 1860 that no naturalist had read Matthew's prior published hypothesis - a lie which Hooker approved) were not conspiring and lying in this particular case then the earliest “proof” we have that Darwin understood natural selection is not his essays of 1842, nor his essay of 1844 – because we have only Darwin’s unreliable word for it that he penned those essays on those dates – Instead it is 1847.
(2) If any reader finds they simply cannot trust that 1847 “proof” coming as it does from the words alone of two proven liars on the very topic it is about, then we are left with a date of 1857. Which is two years AFTER Wallace’s Sarawak paper was published.
With the facts plainly stated. With the premises upon which they are based plainly stated. With the facts of Darwin’s and Joseph Hooker’s dishonesty when it came to winning Darwin priority, then members of society must now decide which date they feel safe with. Personally, mine is 1857.
These hard facts alone are a powerful argument for awarding the Originator – Patrick Matthew – full priority over Darwin for the discovery of natural selection.