“Life on Earth and Beyond: Alfred Russel Wallace and his Views on the Origin of Life”

Although Wallace interests are well known with regarding to the application of natural selection in a large number of phenomena, little has been said of his work on the origin of life. Among other studies, based on his views on Man’s development, he established his understandings on astronomy but especially in the way life could arise on Earth, and after millions of years of evolution, had the possibility to give rise to organic life and higher forms of intellectual beings. Also noteworthy is the manner in which Wallace addressed the issue at all times, emphasizing not only the scientific but also philosophical scope of his proposal, considering that not only a materialist explanation can be valid in order to explain the origin of life, since in his opinion man is a spiritual being, therefore the evolution of life should also include that aspect. My interest with this paper will be to show the impact of Wallace view on the origin of life in contemporary discussions, both with other scientists and among the Victorian public, as an example of interdisciplinary interaction between science, philosophy and even religion, considering that questions on life and Man were (and still are) particularly sensitive among scientists.