“No naturalist has devoted more painstaking attention to the structure of the barnacles than Mr Darwin.”
Richard Owen (1804–1892)
Charles Darwin (1809–1882) and Alfred Russel Wallace (1823–1913) are both credited as co-discoverers of the theory of evolution by natural selection. In what must be one of the more remarkable coincidences of science, Wallace set out his theory in a letter to Darwin in 1858. This prompted Darwin, who had been sitting on his own almost-identical theory for many years, to have both his and Wallace’s ideas presented jointly that same year. A year later Darwin published his theory in full in his famous work On the Origin of Species (Darwin, 1859).
What is less well-known about the story ...