The article argues that anthropology might look to Alfred Russel Wallace as an ancestor figure for three reasons. First, it is under-recognized that he was an accomplished and sympathetic ethnographic fieldworker. Second, evidence is emerging that his intuitions were surer than were Darwin's as to evolutionary mechanisms. Third, he was willing to appear as a “crank” on questions of ontology. These last two issues animate anthropology as we presently know it, and Wallace's stances on both may serve as a salutary inspirations.