One part of his exercise in logomachy (Sutton 2014, chapter 4) was to find phrases in Matthew (1831) that were apparently never used before. Concluding that Matthew was first to coin and use these phrases (called Matthewisms), authors who used the same phrase afterwards were taken to have them from Matthew (1831). These authors were called first to be second.
The following authors were all taken to probably have the phrases in question from Matthew (1831), the implication being that they all read Matthew's book and, if they don't cite Matthew, betray this by the use of the phrases in question. The list below is list 2 from Sutton (2014, chapter 4) with comments added, were Sutton's premise is evidentially false.
- 1832 — Mudie: "rectangular branching"
- 1833 — Ellerby: "plants so far asunder"
- 1835 — Main: "luxuriant growing trees"
- 1834 — Conrad: "admixture of species"
- 1834 — Roget: "living aggregates"
- 1834 — Low: "long continued selection"
- 1836 — Rafinesque: "evinced in the genus"
"To unite in the single Genus, Carex, plants with 2 or 3 stigmas or styles is still worse; and not to perceive that such a Genus of 300 Species is a fine Nat. family with many Genera distinguished by this and the seminal covering, proves that the absurd linnean principles evinced in the Genus Lichen now a Class! prevail as yet among us. Whoever preserves Carex entire ought to keep Lichen and Agaricus entire, and make a single Genus of Ombellifera."
Compare this with Matthew (1831, p. 107f):
"May we, then, wonder that our plantations are occupied by a sickly short-lived puny race, incapable of supporting existence in situations where their own kind had formerly flourished—particularly evinced in the genus Pinus, more particularly in the species Scots fir; so much inferior to those of Nature's own rearing, where only the stronger, more hardy, soil-suited varieties can struggle forward to maturity and reproduction?"
Why should Rafinesque take his phrase, used to rant against the Linnean system, from Matthew using the same phrase, in order to say something about the degeneration of cultivated plants. And even if he read the phrase in Matthew (1831) and it stuck to his sub-conscience, and it later emerged when writing, what's the point of such psychologising? A phrase that is picked up somewhere and regurgitated in a different context. What can it signify? The phrase transports nothing. That, however, is exactly Sutton's logomachy that he claims that the phrase is the concept (e.g., here and here).
The slightly longer phrase: "proves that the absurd linnean principles evinced in the Genus Lichen now a Class! prevail as yet among us," however, is a very different concept from: "our plantations are occupied by a sickly short-lived puny race, incapable of supporting existence in situations where their own kind had formerly flourished—particularly evinced in the genus Pinus."
- 1837 —Wilson: "threatened ascendency"
- 1837 — Anonymous: "nature's own rearing" [Endnote : Spectator Journal.
"It is this false system that makes mere puppets of so many actors; in particular, it has spoiled two clever young ladies of the Covent Garden company, Miss Helen Faucit, and Miss Taylor. Miss Taylor's Perdita was not the simple shepherdess, but a court lady assuming the character: instead of a flower of Nature's own rearing, we were presented with an artificial imitation—and not a very good one either."
Are we to believe that the author of this critique must have taken the phrase of "nature's own rearing" from a book on naval timber or that a reader of this critique somehow got wind of Matthew's book from this critique?
- 1837 — Dovaston: "sport in infinite varieties"
- 1838 — Anonymous translator: "portion of the surface of our planet"
- 1840 — Buel: "infirm progeny"
- 1840 — Swackhamer: "beat off intruders"
- 1841 — Johnson: "adapted to prosper"
- 1841 — Hill: "deeper richer soil"
- 1842 — Selby: "greater power of occupancy"
"The soil upon which most if the Abietae prevail, is usually of a dry and cool quality; thus, the débris of granitic and other primitive rocks, and barren sandy districts, are very commonly occupied by Pine and fir forests, sometimes of enormous extent; the thick and close manner in which they grow, and the dense shade they produce, effectually preventing the vegetation of other species. Matthew, however, in his able treatise on naval timber seems to think that its indigenous location in such districts arises not so much from preference of soils of the nature above-mentioned, as from its having more power of occupancy in such soils than any other plant of the country; and this opinion he endeavours to support by stating that the Pinus sylvestris, planted in a good or rich soil, attains larger dimensions and its best timber properties, and that it is only driven from this superior soil by the greater power of occupancy, planted in a good or rich soil, attains larger dimensions and its best timber properties, and that it is only driven from this superior soil by the greater power of occupancy possessed by the oak and other deciduous trees, an opinion in which we cannot altogether acquiesce, as we see no reason why the fir, if it grows with such additional vigour in a richer soil, as Mr. Matthew asserts, should, at the same time, be unable to maintain a contest with the oak or other tree." (Selby 1842, p. 391)
Obviously, Selby did not understand the relativity of growth in a richer or poorer soil. That is if the pine does grow better in rich than in poor soil, but the oak grows still much better than the pine there, then the oak will oust the pine from the rich soil. If on the other hand, pine grows worse in poor than in rich soil, but still better than other trees, it will exclude the other trees from poor soil. In modern parlance, soil quality would be called a dimension of the ecological niche (/niːʃ/).
While it is obvious for us to see, in retrospective, that this insight about ecology (competitive exclusion) has been inspired by MAtthew's thinking interms of natural selection abd competition between trees, his contemporaries did not have our retrospective vantage. Selby obviously failed to get Matthew's idea, here. If this proves anything, then that Selby did not receive (read or understand) Matthew's exposition of the idea of natural selection in the appendix. It surely shows that Selby read Matthew (1831) as a work on technicl matters of tree planting, training etc., because 24 of 25 pages that cite Matthew, do so on technical matters.
- 1844 — Low: "overpowering the less"
- 1846 — Emmons: "habits of varieties"
- 1846 — Alabama Supreme Court: "Infirmity of their condition"
- 1848 — Charnock: "stiffest and most obdurate"
- 1849 — Emmons: "deteriorated by culture"
- 1852 — Wilkin: "figure is best accommodated"
- 1853 — Andrews: "impressions and habits acquired"
- 1854 — Mure: "dogmatical classification"
- 1855 — Fishbourne: "power to permeate"
- 1855 — Laycock: "mental or instinctive powers"
- 1856 — Gazlay: "adaptation to condition"
- 1858 — Powell: "restricted adaptation"
- 1858 — Floy: "law manifest in nature"
"The Road to Spiritualism, in four lectures delivered in the New York Lyceum, by Dr. Hallock, author of "The Child and the Man." [...] Dr Hallock, the high-priest of nature says: "Bring before the man who holds this key these empire-splitting and world-convulsing questions which have vexed it so long, and mark what he will do with them. Ask him: Ought I to starve my body to a skeleton, or mutilate any part of it, for the glory of God and the good of my soul? Should I be a Shaker, or a Mormon, in my relation to woman? He asks you, Are these practices physiologically and socially right? You answer, No. Then they are theologically wrong, and no authority can save them from ultimate disgrace. Physiological, theological, and every other law manifest in nature, must accord, if from no other necessity, then from this, that they have a common end, which is, the development of man."
That is, Hallock simply thought that both the polygamy of the Mormons and the celibacy of the Shakers were unnatural—against the law of physiology, theology and every other law manifest in nature.
This is an embarrassing context for Sutton, and it has absolutely nothing to do with Matthew's law of degeneration: "There is a law manifest in nature, that when the use of any thing is past, its existence is no longer kept up" (Matthew 1831, p. 367). Why should the fact that Floy (1858), in parroting Hallock's gibberish, happened to use the same phrase as Matthew did before, signify that Floy must have read Matthew (1831)?
- 1858 — Leidy: "impressions in insects"
At Feb. 15th., Dr. T. G. Richardson read an elaborate paper by Dr. George Patic, of Galt, Canada West, upon the Functions of the Spinal Cord, as illustrated by experiments on cold-blooded animals;* endeavouring to show occasion for some modification of the theory of reflex action of Marshall Hall, and for the opinion that perception is one of the attributes of the spinal cord, and especially of the medulla oblongata." (p. 676)
This already sets the stage as a discussion about the question, whether the spinal cord and especially the brain stem are mere autopilots or whether some kind of perception or consciousness can be attributed to them. The Marshall Hall mentioned is associated with the theory of the reflex arc that proposed an automatic reflex involving the spinal marrow only. Hence the contex of the deliberations of the society, here, is neurobiology. (The reference given for the asterisk says: "* See N. Amer. Medico-Chirurg. Review, May, 1858." This was a common practive, to first read a paper, then publish it, so that the members of the society would know in advance, in which issue it would end up and could cite it in advance, ht to Julian Derry.) Anyway, Dr. Leidy was not convinced and argued for the autopilot. This has been reported thus:
"Dr. Leidy remarked that the experiments narrated in the paper did not appear to him entirely conclusive, as the movements described might be automatic. [...] He believed that the conveyance of impressions, in insects, for instance, to the chain of ventral ganglion, should be expected, without supposing perception to produce the apparently voluntary movements."
Leidy even recounts an experiment of his, in which he kept a pigeon alive after removing the cerebrum (that's the big part of the brain with which we consciously think) and how the pigeon would, for warmth, walk into a fire and how he needed to repeatedly pick it out of the ash-pan, or else it would have grilled itself. Thereafter, a lively debate commenced—all neurophysiology.
Compare this with Matthew (1831, p 385f) struggling to unite his idea of natural selection (circumstance-adaptive law as he called it) with the Lamarckian idea of volition and sensation having an effect on evolution:
"This circumstance-adaptive law, operating upon the slight but continued natural disposition to sport in the progeny (seedling variety), does not preclude the supposed influence which volition or sensation may have over the configuration of the body. [...opaque passage omitted...]"
He then seems to say that instinctive behaviour is more likely to be found in insects with shorter life-cycles than in animals with longer ones. For some reason he then calls this lack of continuity of individuals greater continuity of existence and concludes:
"This greater continuity of existence, or rather continuity of perceptions and impressions, in insects, is highly probable [...opaque passage omitted...]."
The whole passage is very opaque and difficult to understand. Mike Weale, for example, thinks Matthew is hinting at racial memory (he does talk about human races in one of the passages I omitted) and swarm intelligence.
In conclusion, this is a case of shoddy referencing on Sutton's part, because the author reporting the Transactions is not Leidy, as he makes his readers believe, but Hartshorne. Leidy may never have used the phrase "impressions, in insects." Moreover, the contexts are neurobiology vs. a trial at uniting Lamarckism with natural selection (circumstance-adaptive law) that is really opaque (may include stuff about swarm intelligence or racial memory).
The question is: Why should the fact that Hartshorne, in reporting the deliberations of the members of his medical society during a session on neurophysiology, used the phrase "impressions, in insects," signify that he has read Matthew (1831) having previously used the same phrase in a different context? While both contexts are science, and this case is not as devastating as the Floy–spiritualism case or the anonymous–theatre-critique case, Sutton's credibility is all gone, as far as I am concerned.