As part of the Wallace100 celebrations taking place in 2013, the Natural History Museum will be hosting a monthly lecture series. These lectures form part of an international programme of projects and events celebrating the centenary of Wallace’s death on 7 November 2013.

At these events, leading biologists and historians will discuss different aspects of Wallace’s life and work. The lecture series also highlights the significance of the Museum as a focal point for Wallace collections and studies.

Tickets for the first of the Wallace100 lecture series are free and available to the public via the NHM museum website.

The Natural History Museum 7 February 2013 17:00 – 18:00 Flett Lecture Theatre
Prof. Steve Jones, UCL – ‘Wallace and the Joy of Sects: Rewriting the Bible as a scientific text’. World-renowned geneticist Professor Steve Jones re-evaluates important biblical thinking from the perspective of Wallace’s spiritually-based scientific interpretation. Alfred Russel Wallace (1823 – 1913) co-discovered the process of evolution by natural selection along with Charles Darwin, but he always felt there was something beyond evolution itself. Professor Jones explores the dilemmas raised by Wallace’s evolutionary theories of natural selection in the light of Wallace’s spiritual beliefs and examines how these questions align with science today and current religious precepts. In spite of the parallels drawn, Professor Jones surmises that in the end it may be that Darwin was closer to the truth than Wallace. Wallace was certain that Homo sapiens had ‘something which he has not derived from his animal progenitors – a spiritual essence or nature… (that) can only find an explanation in the unseen universe of Spirit.’ However, Charles Darwin was dubious about such use of his ideas. Jones says: ‘On balance, I go with Darwin, but Wallace still tells us something useful about ourselves.’ About Steve Jones Steve Jones is Emeritus Professor of Genetics at University College London, and has 30,000 pickled snails locked away in the Museum. He describes himself as a serial plagiarist, having tried to rewrite (or at least update) all the works of Charles Darwin for a modern audience. He has now embarked on the ultimate plagiarism: to rewrite the Bible as a scientific text, from the Big Bang to the heat death of the Universe (not to mention the whole of evolution and brain science)

Free tickets need to be booked in advance

Book free tickets online

Doors open 16.30

Details of the event can also be found here:

Details of the Wallace100 celebrations can be found here:

Please note that there will be no cloakroom facilities for this event and all items left in the NHM cloakrooms should be retrieved prior to the event. Please note that there are no lift facilities to the Flett Theatre. If you have any questions regarding access please contact [email protected]