July 2011: Charles Darwin & Russel Wallace: Richard Selley

Our AGM was rapidly followed by Richard Selley talking on the two men who independently proposed a theory of evolution based on natural selection, Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace, and their connections with Dorking.  We know Wallace stayed in Dorking, but not where, and the work of Darwin at Leith Hill Place is well documented.  These men were working when the majority of country believed the world was created in seven days in 2004 BC!  The difficulties they faced and their journeys of exploration made an intriguing tale.  Professor Selley is a highly entertaining and succinct speaker and this talk was no exception.  As always he dealt with his subject in an amusing way and introduced new ideas: for example, did you know about John Hutton and his work of 1795 on natural selection that remained unexamined till 1947?