(London Telegraph) When Charles Darwin published ‘On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection' in 1859 one Scottish fruit farmer was, understandably, rather put out.
Decades before, Patrick Matthew had written a book in which he described ‘the natural process of selection' explaining how ‘a law universal in nature' ensured the survival of the fittest.
Advertisement - story continues below
Darwin, although accepting that Matthew ‘anticipated' the theory, always denied plagiarism, maintaining that he arrived at the theory independently.
Now, one academic believes that Darwin must not only have been aware of Matthew's work, but borrowed from it heavily.