Encyclopaedia Britannica Forced by New Facts Discovered with Google to Re-Write Page on Patrick Matthew and Charles Darwin
It is quite heartening to learn by private correspondence today that, following correspondence from Jim Dempster's daughter - Soula Dempster - the Encyclopaedia Britannica has entirely re-written its Patrick Matthew page to reflect many of the "real facts" as opposed to the old Darwinist "false facts". Nevertheless, at the time of writing they do, unfortunately for veracity, continue with the old "Appendix Myth".
As early as 1842 - the year Darwin penned his first private essay on natural selection - Wallace's Sarawak paper's editor, and Darwin's Royal Society associate and friend of his father and of his great friend Jenyns - Selby cited Matthew's book many times and wrote that he could not understand why Matthew claimed, incidentally in the main body of his book not in its appendix!, that some trees could thrive in non-native areas. Matthew's explanation was an example of his original natural versus artificial selection explanatory analogy of differences, which both Darwin and Wallace replicated. Selby was like many naturalists at the time a deeply religious man who believed the Christian God placed all of his designed species in the designed place most suited to them. Matthew's accurate observations were heresy. Another naturalist, Jameson - of the East India Company - a regular correspondent of William Hooker - who was the father of Darwin's best friend Joseph Hooker - wrote in 1853 of the importance of the exact same Matthew observation on timber growing - citing Matthew. All these original New Data details - with full independently verifiable references - are in my book Nullius in Verba: Darwin's Greatest Secret.
Click to view the Encyclopaedia Britannica page in question.
Historically, this is an interesting development because in my book Nullius I originally revealed that Matthew's (1831) book was advertised on 3/4 of a prominent page of Part 5, Volume 2 of the Encyclopaedia Britannica 1842.
It is most ironic that Google technology, which I (Sutton 2014) originally used to show exactly who really did read and cite Matthew's (1831) book and the ideas in it on natural selection pre 1858, allows us to show the Encyclopaedia Britannica that it is wrong to claim Matthew's book and the orignal ideas in it went unread, because as early as 1832 and in 1842 this hugely influential in the 19th century encyclopaedia was citing and advertising Matthew's book!
- Google, therefore, has helped the Encyclopaedia Britannica to evolve to be veracious on the topic of the discovery of evolution with evidence it should have known about, but clearly did not.
- Only because it has recently been "computerised" - and hence discoverable on the Internet - as part of the Google Library Project, was I able to find that evidence on my 14-year old clunky laptop, sitting at home whilst watching TV. Now that's what I call progress, because I don't like paper libraries.
|An advert for Matthew's (1831) book in the Encyclopaedia Britannica 1842|
Significantly, the above advert had in fact been in the published literature since 1832 in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Because, as Dr Mike Weale usefully points out on his Patrick Matthew Project website:
'Note that although the official publication date for the 7th Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica was 1842, in reality it was published in instalments starting in 1827. Volume 4 was available in bound form in 1832, which explains why all the books in the publishers’ advertising insert (“lately published by Adam Black, Edinburgh, and Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown and Green, London“) are from 1831-2 (for example, Memoirs of the Wernerian Natural History Society, Vol 6). Coincidentally, Volume 21 (the last volume, which really was published in 1842) contains a citation of Matthew’s book in its article on “Timber”. The advert is very similar to the Edinburgh Literary Journal (1831) advert, except the quotes from reviews have been updated. Even the aggressively negative review from the Edinburgh Literary Journal is quoted as a “Sample of Venom”, perhaps to pique the reader’s interest!''
In 2015 Dr Mike Weale discovered an additional individual - who cited Matthew's book before Darwin and Wallace replicated the original ideas and explanations in it without citing Matthew - bringing the known total to 26. Weale writes on his Patrick Matthew Project website:
Selected citation #4. Augustin Francis Bullock Creuze. Article on “Timber” Encyclopaedia Britannica, 7th Edition (1842), Vol. 21, p.291
This brief citation is noteworthy for confirming that Matthew’s book was regarded as “valuable” by the author of the 1842 Encyclopaedia Britannica article on “Timber”. Note that Volume 21 really was published in 1842, unlike the other volumes which although they stated “1842” on their title pages were in reality published in earlier years. The article is signed “(B.Z.)”, identifiable as Augustin F. B. Creuze (1800-1852) via the Table of Signatures in Volume 1. Creuze also authored other articles for the Encyclopaedia Britannica, including a lengthy one on “Ship-building” that was published as a separate treatise, but Matthew is not cited in it. The article reproduces a table from Matthew’s book on the “number of concentric layers of sap-wood”. The citation is also noteworthy for making a reference to the “many things irrelevant to its subject” in the book. A similar opinion was expressed in the 1860 review of the book, likely by James Brown.
The following table of the number of concentric layers of sap-wood observed in various species of timber trees is extracted from a valuable work on Naval Timber by Patrick Matthew; a work which abounds in much sound practical information, though mixed up with many things irrelevant to its subject.'
More on the significance of what was written in the Encyclopedia Brittanica advert for Matthew's (1831) book can be read here.