Classics of Biology

By August Pi Suñer; Charles M. Stern | Go to book overview
Save to active project



CHILDREN resemble their parents, and the characters of the species are transmitted from generation to generation. Darwin in 1859 stated that heredity must be subject to natural laws at that time as yet unknown. He noted that if individuals, of different races be crossed, their descendants will exhibit combined and intermediate characters which in the course of succeeding generations tend to revert to their original forms, that is, revert to type.

It is common knowledge indeed that cross-breeding gives rise to offspring exhibiting characters from the male line in combination with others from the female. The distribution of these characters from different sources is not constant in all cases, though the offspring will always exhibit morphological and functional elements, which have descended to it from its two parent strains. Sometimes the influence of one parent will predominate greatly over the other, giving what we call alternating heredity, whilst in others and indeed the greater number of cases the form of the child is intermediate or halfway between that of the two parents, either in mosaic where the interpolation of the paternal and maternal characters is visible, or in blending or fusion. Naudin in 1863 crossed individuals of different races and even of different species and showed that offspring of the first generation were usually intermediate between their two progenitors, bearing greater resemblance to the male parent in some cases and to the female in others, though in general there seemed to be a balanced distribution of characters. Naudin also pointed out a reversion to original type of one of the parental lines releasing the offspring from the influence of the least dominant progenitor after a series of generations.


Francis Galton, who in fact was a cousin of Darwin, studied the phenomena of heredity from the statistical angle in accordance with methods which had been proposed by Quetelet in 1845. In 1889, Galton was in a position to formulate the quantitative laws of heredity,


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Classics of Biology


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 337

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?