The year 2009 marks 150 years since the first publication of Darwin's On the Origin of the Species, a watershed for understanding the natural world. Little known is the fact that On the Origin was based on a paper published jointly by Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace one year earlier .
Wallace traveled through what is now Malaysia and Indonesia, taking stock and inventory of the fauna, in the 1850s. In the course of exploration, he fell ill with fever, and in the middle of delirium came up with a theory to explain the great local variety (speciation) that he witnessed in the archipelago's fauna. His explanation, now a cornerstone of modern evolutionary theory, is called natural selection. Wallace fired off a letter with the then radical idea to Darwin. Darwin had already come to the same explanation independently. Wallace's letter spurred Darwin to publish the paper and subsequently On the Origin.
150 years later Wallace's The Malay Archipelago still makes for an interesting read. It is a travelogue from the Age of Discovery set in areas of Indonesia that many of us know and have visited. Indonesia expats would do well to acquaint themselves with The Malay Archipelago, a work set in Indonesia which helped to bring about a revolutionary change in humankind's understanding of the natural world.
Last edited by Mauricio; 19-02-09 at 11:05.
The Archipelago was published long before the modern-day culture wars over evolution and creationism. Wallace noticed that the fauna to the east and west of a north-south line between Lombok and Bali differed drastically. Modern day oceanography has confirmed the existence of deep trench between those two islands. Likewise modern geology and environmental science have revealed the process by which ocean levels have risen and fallen as a result of global temperature changes. Wallace could not have known any of this, yet these modern findings corroborate his observations. That north-south line is now known as the Wallace line.
Last edited by Mauricio; 19-02-09 at 01:12.
After doing a little searching this is what I've come up with. I took a look at some of the links and found this site has the papers in you mentioned in your post. If anyone is interested to read the publishings, it can be found here:
“Nearly all the best things that came to me in life have been unexpected, unplanned by me.”
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Kami harus melakukan sesuai dengan persyaratan dan peraturan yang berlaku untuk Indonesia lebih baik.
Please, only moderator related questions (and fun stuff) by PM. Kindly post law related questions to the public forum so that answers can help the whole community.
As I recall, Sulawesi lies to the east of the Wallace line. The original concept of the Wallace line has now been refined to include two lines, each one demarcating the boundary of the Asian species and the Australian-New Guinea species as well as transition zone in between. That second line is called the Lydekker Line. According to a two line scheme, Sulawesi lies in the transition zone.
On a similar though distinct topic, there is a fringe theory that claims that the craddle of the Austronesian languages is not Taiwan, but rather north Sulawesi...
Last edited by Mauricio; 19-02-09 at 14:34.