Charles Darwin has been widely seen as one of the most influential figures in human history due to his work on evolution, but a new book claims to have found evidence that he stole his Theory of Evolution from fellow naturalist.
Criminologist Dr Mike Sutton in his upcoming book "Science Fraud: Darwin's Plagiarism of Patrick Matthew's Theory" argue that there are overwhelming similarities between Darwin's seminal On The Origin Of Species and an earlier work "On Naval Timber and Arboriculture" by a naturalist called Patrick Matthew, report Daily Mail.
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'.
Dr Sutton said: 'In 1859 Darwin replicated the theory of evolution by natural selection in Patrick Matthew's 1831 prior publication.
'Matthew was the first to coin that phrase to explain the theory, which he called the Natural Process of Selection. Darwin realised he had no choice but to use the same words so he called it the Process of Natural Selection. He shuffled the words and hoped nobody would notice.'
A grain merchant and landowner from Perthshire, Matthew had travelled widely in Europe studying agriculture and forestry.
While claims that Darwin borrowed from Matthew have been aired before, the book contains new evidence, including that when Matthew confronted him, Darwin claimed no one had heard of Matthew or his theory. In fact, according to Dr Sutton, Matthew's book had been cited and reviewed by Darwin's friends, colleagues and even his mentors in 30 leading publications. In his own journals, Darwin admits to having read at least five publications in which Matthew's work featured.
Perhaps most damning is a letter from Darwin's wife, Emma, written on behalf of her husband.
Dr Sutton said: 'She wrote claiming Darwin was too ill to write, with a telling line to Matthew. She says, "Darwin is more loyal to your own original child than you were yourself." If you want an admission, there it is – "Your own original child".'
Dr Sutton, a winner of the British Journal of Criminality prize as well as chief editor of the Internet Journal Of Criminology, added: 'All the top Darwinists admit Matthew got there first, but claim nobody read it. Actually, they did.
'We've got Darwin's lies, replications of text and ideas, independent verifiable facts which, I think, come down in favour of deliberate, knowing fraud.'
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.'