Professor Mark Griffiths, of Nottingham Trent University, said: ‘This conclusively shows the theory of evolution was first proposed by Patrick Matthew in 1831, 28 years before Darwin published his own version. There is no good reason for Matthew not to be credited with being the originator of the theory.”
Charles Darwin is credited with transforming the understanding of natural history – but a new book claims to have found evidence that he stole his Theory of Evolution.
Written by an experienced criminologist, it argues there are overwhelming similarities between Darwin’s seminal On The Origin Of Species and an earlier work by a naturalist called Patrick Matthew.
Darwin revolutionised the understanding of the natural world, explaining that, rather than being the result of divine creation, life developed from a common ancestor by gradual evolution.
In 1859, having observed such creatures as the giant Galapagos tortoise, he published On The Origin Of Species, spelling out the theory of a ‘Process of Natural Selection’. However, 28 years earlier Matthew had published On Naval Timber And Arboriculture, which expounded similar findings through his theory of the ‘Natural Process of Selection’.
Dr Mike Sutton, whose book Science Fraud: Darwin’s Plagiarism Of Patrick Matthew’s Theory is published by Curtis next Saturday, said: ‘This is the biggest science fraud in history.’
He highlights similarities between key phrases and explanations and cites letters apparently showing Darwin knew Matthew’s work and covered up his debt to his rival.
In one, Darwin’s wife admitted to Matthew that evolution was his ‘original child’, but her husband had nurtured it ‘like his own’.