Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace
Then the fever subsided – and inspiration struck. Fittest variations will survive longest and will eventually evolve into new species, he realised. Thus the theory of natural selection appeared, fever-like, in the mind of one of our greatest naturalists. Wallace wrote up his ideas and sent them to Charles Darwin, already a naturalist of some reputation. His paper arrived on 18 June, 1858 – 150 years ago last week – at Darwin’s estate in Downe, in Kent.