My point is to ensure a rigorous approach to any claims of genuine knowledge in the field of advancing evolutionary understanding. This is required as many people do not comprehend what Charles Darwin (and Alfred Russel Wallace) are talking about in their respective works that explain exactly the same mechanism that they both had (independently) observed ‘operating’ throughout nature. I believe Wallace was lying in a malarial sweat (in the Borneo-jungle) whilst he recorded his findings in a few written pages to be sent to Darwin. Darwin actually accredited Wallace as the ‘joint’ founder of the theory evolution through natural selection – although Wallace would have none of it – always stating that Darwin had carried-out the work decades before, even if both men had stumbled across exactly the same mechanism operating throughout nature.
Wallace was a very interesting character, but there is an area where he disagreed with Darwin. Darwin was of the opinion that the human capacity of mind was probably a function of the physical organ of the brain. In other words, the brain secretes ‘consciousness’ rather like a gland secretes ‘hormones. Wallace profoundly disagreed with this analysis. Instead, Wallace proposed that ‘consciousness’ exists independently throughout the universe and that the function of the human-brain is to ‘sense’, ‘connect with’ and ‘import’ this ‘consciousness’ into the head-area of the human-being. Wallace believed that consciousness pre-exists and post-exists each individual existence. Individuals are physically born, integrate with this ‘consciousness’ (which links each individual to one another and each individual to all things), and then ‘disconnects’ from the individual brain at death.
Although the physical body falls away at death, the individual survives in ‘essence’ within the ‘conscious’ stream. Of course, as this opinion of Wallace cannot be proven, the scientific community has never accepted it as being scientifically ‘correct’. In other words, no ‘communicating mechanism’ has been located which would justify the ‘inverting’ of Darwin’s opinion in favour of that of Wallace. I say ‘inverted’ as a victory for Wallace would turn Darwin’s view inside out and the other way around. If it ever turned-out that Wallace was right – then it would be Darwin’s view which would be defined as being the ‘wrong way around’ – being turned the ‘right away around’ when replaced with the theory of Wallace. As evolutionary theory is very much a work in progress, and given that each new archaeological find is providing ever clearer evidence regarding the historical mechanisms driving evolution, the playing-field could well change again as new biological knowledge becomes available. This explains why evolutionary theory has undergone a number of radical re-alignments as new evidence has come to light.
As matters stand, firstly, ‘consciousness’ as an over-arching, all-embracing and independent entity that permeates the physical environment has not yet been found to exist. This is the first stumbling block for Wallace. Secondly, no structure in the brain (or function of the mind) has been discovered which could be interpreted as a ‘communicating mechanism’ which ‘senses’ consciousness in the outer environment and then pipes it into the individual brain so that it can function as ‘self-awareness’. This is the second stumbling block for Wallace.
By way of contrast, the opinion of Charles Darwin has been reinforced through the technology associated with modern science. Consciousness in the brain is now routinely observed as manifestations of various frequencies of the flow of bio-electrical energy. This bio-electrical energy has been clearly observed as emanating from precise chemical reactions within the molecular structure of the brain. This bio-electrical flow originates in the brain as soon as the brain is suitably mature enough to sustain the process. As the individual grows and develops, the strength of ‘consciousness’ only improves (given the individual is healthy). At the point of physical death, the chemical mechanisms in the brain dramatically recedes and finally disappear (with elements of the ‘deep’ brain ceasing all activity around 60 minutes later). This demonstrates how the ‘weight of evidence’ is functioning within evolutionary biology.