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Competing Theories of Evolution Explored Nov. 7

Oct. 25, 2013


Historian and author James Moore will discuss "Making Livings: Why Wallace's and Darwin's Theories of Evolution Were Worlds Apart" in a Nov. 7 program at Cal State Fullerton. The program is free and open to the public.


Thursday, Nov. 7
5:30 p.m.


Cal State Fullerton, Humanities-Social Sciences Building, Room 110
800 No. State College Blvd., Fullerton, 92831


$2 per hour or $8 for a daily permit Monday through Friday. Details are available online



Moore, co-author of "Darwin's Sacred Cause: Race, Slavery and the Quest for Human Origins" and "Darwin: The Life of a Tormented Evolutionist," has taught history at Cambridge University and the Open University in England.


Cal State Fullerton's Liberal Studies Department, the Liberal Studies Student Association and the Center for the History, Philosophy and Sociology of Science, Technology and Medicine


"Personally, no less than professionally, Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace were (as the English say) chalk and cheese," Moore has written of the two men. "'I fear we shall never quite understand each other,' an exasperated Darwin wrote to Wallace in 1868, and the gulf between them was deeper and wider than scholars have yet grasped. ...Wallace was credited, then as now, with devising a theory of evolution identical to Darwin's natural selection, one embedding the same Malthusian doctrine that prompted Darwin's original insight and that underpinned the economic liberalism from which Darwin himself prospered mightily. In assessing this view, it will be useful to ask how far, given their different economic circumstances, Wallace and Darwin differed about the ways in which all species make their livings."

"This is the centennial year of Wallace's death and worldwide, people are looking back at Wallace and Darwin," explained James Hoffman, chair and professor of liberal studies. "Wallace was the trigger to get Darwin to publish his 'Origin of Species' when he did.

"Moore is one of the most important scholars in this area," Hoffman added. "It is great that we could have him here."


Dec. 12 — "In Flesh and Blood: Questions About Health, Discipline and Bio-Technology in Postwar America" by Volker Janssen, CSUF associate professor of history.

Media Contact:

James Hofmann, Liberal Studies, 657-278-7049
Pamela McLaren, 657-278-4852

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