Genetic Variations in Relation to Evolution: A Critical Inquiry into the Observed Types of Inherited Variation, in Relation to Evolutionary Change

Genetic Variations in Relation to Evolution: A Critical Inquiry into the Observed Types of Inherited Variation, in Relation to Evolutionary Change

Genetic Variations in Relation to Evolution: A Critical Inquiry into the Observed Types of Inherited Variation, in Relation to Evolutionary Change

Genetic Variations in Relation to Evolution: A Critical Inquiry into the Observed Types of Inherited Variation, in Relation to Evolutionary Change

Excerpt

EXPERIMENTAL genetic science has said of late, with some justification, that "the problem of heredity is solved"; solved in principle, though not in all its details. It is solved to the extent that the nature of the processes which underlie it are largely known; and so far as not known, they are localized and open for study.

Can experimental genetic science say that the problem of evolution is likewise in principle solved? Are the processes which underlie evolutionary change known? This question forms the theme of the present study.

The processes which underlie organic evolution are bound to be genetic variations of some sort; that is, changes in the inherited characteristics. Experimental genetic science is now able to detect genetic variations as they occur in living organisms. Single genetic variations are isolated, the precise time and place of their occurrence determined; they are subjected to minute study in the laboratory. Within the last few years men have learned how to produce these genetic variations; this is perhaps the most important condition for determining the nature of such changes. In a thousand laboratories men are at work on these things; genetic variation is now one of the most active subjects in biological science. The observed genetic variations are of a number of diverse types. Do these known types furnish the material of evolution? Are the single variations steps in evolution? Does genetic science therefore . . .

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