In a Terrible ‘State of Denial’: Revealing More Facts that are Seemingly Invisible to Darwin Scholars

 – By Dr Mike Sutton –

The Day the Supposedly Obscure Writer, Patrick Matthew’s Book “Emigration Fields” was Recommended Reading Material for Captain Fitzroy of the Beagle. No less!

The Year 1844. The publication:

The New Zealand Journal – Volume 4 – Page 98.

(See red arrow at bottom of second image below)

Charles Darwin – whilst penning a deliberate lie to a famous French biologist was later to refer to Matthew as merely an obscure writer on forest trees:

Letter from Darwin to Quatrefages de Bréau in his letter of April 25, 1861 Darwin lied:

“I have lately read M. Naudin’s paper; but it does not seem to me to anticipate me, as he does not shew how Selection could be applied under nature; but an obscure writer on Forest Trees, in 1830, in Scotland, most expressly & clearly anticipated my views—though he put the case so briefly, that no single person ever noticed the scattered passages in his book.”

Context of Darwin’s lie (here) .

 HMS Beagle

The HMS Beagle: Captained by Ritzroy. The famous ship that took Darwin to the
Galapagos islands, which – contrary to the Finches Beaks Myth – he left still
believing a divine creator was responsible for the origin of species.

Seventeen years before Darwin portrayed Matthew as an obscure writer and in the same year Darwin claimed to have written a mere private essay on natural selection, Patrick Matthew’s second book is recommended in the press to none other than the man for whom Charles Darwin was,employed to be expedition geologist and table companion for Captain Robert Fitzroy of the HMS Beagle.

Matthew’s (1839) book was recommended to Fitzroy following news of his appointment as Governor of New Zealand.


In his (1839) book ‘Emigration Fields’ – and contrary to Darwinist mythology that he never developed his ideas on natural selection after is origination of them 1831 – Matthew, in actual fact, took his original ideas on natural selection, and the importance of those ideas for propagating naval timber, and for addressing the artificial selection problems caused in human society, forward for the human species. Matthew did this in his 1839 book, in particular for the Anglo Saxon variety of human known generally as British. On the opening pages of  his book Emigration fields, we see Matthew’s (1831) On Naval Timber and Arboriculture was promoted.

Emigration fields_advert for NTA

Darwin labelled Matthew an obscure writer on Forest Trees  as part of the classic response process of those in a ‘state of denial’ of the uncomfortable facts. It’s known as ‘victim blaming’. That move was simply another of several sly Darwin-penned fallacies that were written to put others off the scent of the truth.

Darwin’s obscure writer on forest trees excuse, was greatly aided and abetted by the fallacies written by the botanist John Lindley (best friend of the father of Darwin’s best friend Joseph Hooker), which for 13 years concealed the fact that Patrick Matthew and his son John were the first to bring the greatly admired giant redwood tree seeds into Britain and propagate the trees in Scotland. Thanks to the fallacy spreading of the immensely powerfully connected Professor Lindley, he and Lobb received adoring credit by naturalists until the myth was bust by publication of the facts – but only a full year after Lindley’s death in 1865. Moreover, I uniquely and originally discovered in January 2016 that John Matthew named the trees Wellingtonia six months before Lindley is officially accredited with the botanical naming. Furthermore, I discovered that Lindley was in possession of an abstract of a letter (and possibly the whole letter) that disproved his and Lobb’s fallacious claim to Matthew’s glory as least six months after he made it, but possibly six months before!

In 1860, Charles Darwin created four fallacies about Matthew. Darwin scholars turned them into myths by blindly parroting those fallacies as the gospel truth. They parroted them as though they represent valid reasons why Darwin replicated Matthew’s original ideas, terminology and explanatory examples, 27 years after Matthew’s book was published, without citing their original published source.

Darwin claimed Matthew had no influence on him or anyone else. He supported that claim by writing the fallacy that no one read Matthew’s ideas before 1860. In reality, influential naturalists around Darwin, who influenced him on the topic of organic evolution, either read Matthew’s book and cited it (Chambers), or else read and cited it before then editing the work of those who influenced Darwin and Alfred Wallace (Selby and Loudon).

Darwin’s four fallacies about Matthew and his book: Blindly parroted by credulous Darwin scholars for 155 years as excuses for Darwin and Wallace not citing it.

1. The lie that Matthew buried all his ideas on natural selection in the appendix of his book. (See The Appendix Myth)
2. The lie that no naturalists / no one at all read Matthew’s original ideas on natural selection before 1860. (See the 100 per cent disconfirming proof).
3. The fallacy that Matthew was merely an obscure writer on forest trees. (Besides the evidence presented in the blog post you are currently reading, see Matthew’s extensive publications on thePatrick Matthew Project website). By way of just one further example see the blog post where it is revealed that Matthew’s book was prominently advertised and then cited in the Encyclopaedia Britannica of 1842 (the very year Darwin claimed to have first penned his first private essay on natural selection). The discovery of this significant evidence is originally in  Nullius (Sutton 2014): ‘In the same year that Darwin finished his first unpublished essay on natural selection, Black[Matthew’s Scottish publisher] ensured that NTA [Naval Timber and Arboriculture] was advertised across three quarters of an opening page in the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1842), with considerable mention made of Matthew’s unique ideas on the issue of species and variety’. See image below of that block advertisement.
4. The fallacy that a book entitled ‘On Naval Timber and Arboriculture’ was too inappropriate and obscure to contain the first publication of the unifying theory of biology. (Read about the huge importance attributed by the Royal Society to Evelyn’s classic book on the exact same theme).

Page 7 of  the The Encyclopaedia Britannica, Or Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Volume 4.1842

The first paragraph of the advertisement for Matthew’s book, on page 7, in Volume 4. in the hugely influential and widely read Encyclopaedia Britannica of 1842 reads:

‘In embracing the Philosophy of Plants, the interesting subject of Species and Variety is considered – the principle of the natural location of vegetables is distinctly shewn, – the principle also which in the untouched wild “keeps unsteady nature to her law” inducing conformity in species and preventing deterioration of breed, is explained, – and the causes of the variation and deterioration of cultivated forest-trees pointed out.’

The above plain and significant fact raises the telling question: “How many obscure writers on forest trees have their books on the topic advertised in the world famous and immensely popular Encyclopaedia Britannica? Moreover, the text above reveals also exactly how successfully alluring this advert would, surely, most likely, have been to anyone interested on the heretical topic of the ‘origin of species’.

Matthew’s original artificial versus natural selection explanatory analogy of differences regarding what the above advert says about the ‘causes of the variation and deterioration of forest-trees’ was replicated by Darwin in a private essay, which he said was written in 1844 (two years after the above advert appeared in the bound edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica).

Significantly, the science historian and anthropologist Professor Loren Eiseley was the first to spot Darwin’s replication (though, Eiseley knew nothing of the orignal 2014 discovery of the above advert, which I made with BigData research techniques):

Eiseley (1979): “Matthew wrote   ,

‘Man’s interference, by preventing this natural process of selection among plants, independent of the wider range of circumstances to which he introduces them, has increased the differences in varieties particularly in the more domesticated kinds…’

“In his unpublished essay of 1844, Darwin wrote:

‘In the case of forest trees raised in nurseries, which vary more than the same trees do in their aboriginal forests, the cause would seem to lie in their not having to struggle against other trees and weeds, which in their natural state doubtless would limit the conditions of their existence…”

You can read more on Darwin’s and Wallace’s replications of Matthew’s (1831) original explanatory analogy of differences here

Notably, the agricultural scientist, Professor David Low (FRSE) of the University of Edinburgh, a former Perth Academy schoolmate of Matthew, replicated Matthew’s analogy in his book of 1844. Low was also apparently first to be second in the literature, in two different publications, with two apparently unique Matthew phrases. (see Sutton 2104). Low and Darwin met. And in 1857 (two years before the publication of the Origin of Species) Darwin recommended Low’s book to the Royal Society on the grounds of its importance on the topic of ‘domestic variation of species’ no less! I strongly suspect (although I cannot prove it) that David Low is the unnamed naturalist from an esteemed university (who read, but feared pillory punishment were he to teach the ideas in his book), that Matthew told Darwin about in his second priority claiming letter in the Gardener’s Chronicle of 1860. Writing the opposite to the facts conveyed directly from Matthew in those two letters, Darwin went on to lie that no one had read Matthew’s original ideas before Matthew told Darwin about them in 1860. The world’s leading Darwin scholars then proceeded to blindly parrot that lie as a veracious explanation for why Darwin would not have read Matthew’s prior-published conception of natural selection.

No wonder Perth public library in Scotland banned Matthew’s book (See Matthew 1860). One can only wonder at how many requests were made to borrow Matthew’s heretical book after this advert appeared. And to explain, ad nauseam, to blindsightedly biased Darwin scholars, who uniquely specialise in ‘context free’ history only when it comes to their mere un-evidenced Darwin-sided beliefs on the Matthew priority and influence on Darwin and Wallace  issue – naturalists were not going to write much about the orignal heretical conception of natural selection in Matthew’s 1831 book – and they were certainly not going to teach them – in the first half of the 19th century – for fear of pillory punishment. For the historical evidence of that fact see Matthew’s 1860 published letter of explanation of this very obvious and significant contextual reality in his reply to  Darwin’s proven lie that no naturalist had read Matthew’s book pre-1860.

Finally, and significantly, the above advert had in fact been in the published literature since 1832 in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Because, as Dr Mike Weale usefully points out on his Patrick Matthew Project website:

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