Monday, 25 August 2014

Another irrelavant review of Matthew (1831)

[See here for all my 13 or so posts on Pattrick Matthew and plagiarism claims made on his behalf.]

Another anonymous review from before 1858, that is falsely marshalled as evidence of the publicity of Patrick Matthew's idea of natural selection is:

Anonymous 1831. "On Naval Timber." United Service Journal and Naval and Military Magazine 1831, Part 2, pp. 457-466, which is continued in 1831, Part 3, pp. 65-76.
Being a journal of the navy and military, it is no wonder that the reviewer has positive words for Matthew's patriotism and his appraisal of the navy as the warrant of Britain's dominion. But on Matthew's idea of natural selection he drops but one terse and devastating sentence and for the radical rants against nobility and entail, the probably noble reviewer has no sympathy whatsoever:
"In thus testifying our hearty approbation of the author, it is strictly in his capacity as a forest-ranger, where he is original, bold, and evidently experienced in all the arcana of the parentage, birth, and education of trees. But we disclaim participation in his ruminations of the law of Nature, or on the outrages committed upon reason and justice by our burthens of hereditary nobility, entailed property, and insane enactments."  (Anon. 1831, part 2, p. 457)
This reviewer did not miss Matthew's idea of natural selection, for sure, but he disclaimed it and merely calling it "ruminations of the law of Nature" left no hint for the reader to guess what that law could be about. Again, if Darwin or Wallace had read this review, they would not have gotten the slightest hunch that Matthew said anything of relevance to their own issue. This is another irrelevant citation of Matthew (1831) that is falsely marshalled as evidence of the publicity of Matthew's idea of natural selection before 1858.

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