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Intelligent Evolution

How Alfred Russel Wallace's World of Life Challenged DarwinismMichael A. Flannery

Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913), co-discoverer of natural selection, was second only to Charles Darwin as the 19th century’s most noted English naturalist. Yet his belief in spiritualism caused him to be ridiculed and dismissed by many, leaving him a comparatively obscure and misunderstood figure. In this volume Wallace is finally allowed to speak in his own defense through his grand evolutionary synthesis The World of Life published over a century ago in 1910. More than just a reprinting of a near-forgotten work, Michael A. Flannery places Wallace in historical context and includes the very latest historiography relating to both Darwin and Wallace in his detailed introduction. Flannery exposes Charles Darwin’s now-famous theory of evolution as little more than a naturalistic cover for an extreme philosophical materialism borrowed as a youth from Edinburgh radicals. This is juxtaposed by his sympathetic account of what he calls Wallace’s intelligent evolution, a thoroughly teleological alternative to Darwin’s stochastic processes. Though based upon very different formulations of natural selection, the Wallace/Darwin dispute as presented by Flannery shows a metaphysical clash of worldviews coextensive with modern evolutionary theory itself-design and purpose versus randomness and chance. This book is for anyone seeking to understand the historical and philosophical roots of a controversy that still rages today.

This book contains an abridgment of Alfred Russel Wallace’s The World of Life and Reverend John Magens Mello’s essay, “The Mystery of Life and Mind.”

Michael Flannery

Professor Emeritus of UAB Libraries, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Michael A. Flannery is professor emeritus of UAB Libraries, University of Alabama at Birmingham. Much of his recent scholarship has focused on the ideas and legacy of the co-discoverer of evolution by natural selection, Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913). Flannery’s books about Wallace include Nature’s Prophet: Alfred Russel Wallace and His Evolution from Natural Selection to Natural Theology (University of Alabama Press, 2018), Alfred Russel Wallace’s Theory of Intelligent Evolution: How Wallace’s World of Life Challenged Darwinism (Erasmus Press, 2008), and Alfred Russel Wallace: A Rediscovered Life (Discovery Institute Press, 2011). Flannery’s peer-reviewed journal articles include “Alfred Russel Wallace’s Intelligent Evolution and Natural Theology” (Religions, 2020). Flannery discusses the intellectual legacy of Wallace in the documentary Darwin’s Heretic. Flannery holds degrees in library science from the University of Kentucky and history from California State University, Dominguez Hills. He has written and taught extensively on the history of medicine and science.

William A. Dembski

Founding and Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Culture, Distinguished Fellow, Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence
A mathematician and philosopher, Bill Dembski is the author/editor of more than 25 books as well as the writer of peer-reviewed articles spanning mathematics, engineering, biology, philosophy, and theology. With doctorates in mathematics (University of Chicago) and philosophy (University of Illinois at Chicago), Bill is an active researcher in the field of intelligent design. But he is also a tech entrepreneur who builds educational software and websites, exploring how education can help to advance human freedom with the aid of technology.