Russel Wallace : Alfred Russell Wallace (sic)
. . . I think it will mean an international and predominantly foreign control in each country of the most important weapon of war which will run counter to every national prejudice and every national tradition. It will be immensely difficult, but it has to be done. It will be so difficult that I think many of us must have thought with sympathy of the words, quoted recently by Sir James Marchant, as spoken shortly before he died by that great scientist, Dr. Alfred Russell Wallace, who said, looking into the future: "If I should stumble upon the secret of releasing atomic energy, I would carry that secret with me to the grave." He would do that because, he said, man was not yet ready for it. . . .
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--Waldron Smithers, The Times (London) no. 50290: 5e (3 Nov. 1945):
To the Editor of the Times
Sir,--In 1913 Sir James Marchant, in a talk which he had with Sir Russell Wallace, asked him this question: "What is wrong with the world?" Sir Russell Wallace replied: "It is that man's scientific discoveries have outstripped his moral development, and if I could stumble upon the way to release and control atomic energy I would die with the secret. Man at his present stage of moral character ought not to be entrusted with any more power, he will only destroy himself with it."
I leave your readers to judge how true that diagnosis of the cause of the world's sickness is to-day. Your obedient servant,
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--The Argus (Melbourne, Australia) no. 30928: 4c (15 Oct. 1945):
"What is Wrong with the World?"
On the last birthday of the late Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace, who died in 1913, I asked him the following question: "From the vantage ground of 91 years, and as the co-discoverer with Charles Darwin of the theory of natural selection, what is wrong with the world?" He instantly answered: "That man's scientific discoveries have outstripped his moral development."
As I left his couch he added: "If I could stumble upon the way to release and control atomic energy I would die with the secret. Man at his present stage of moral character ought not to be entrusted with any more power: he will only destroy himself by it." -- (Sir James Marchant, social writer and worker).