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Mendel's Law

Abstract

IN his letter of last week detailing his most interesting experiments on cross-bred maize, Mr. R. H. Lock makes the following statement:—“I see from the published account of a recent discussion at the Cambridge meeting of the British Association that the facts of Mendelian segregation are still disputed by the biometric school of evolutionists.” Now it is easy to make a general statement about some vaguely defined group of men, and I have no right to speak for biometricians as a body. But as inventor of the term biometry, I may perhaps be allowed to say what I understand by it as a science, and to restate what I said with some emphasis at the Cambridge meeting. Biometry is only the application of exact statistical methods to the problems of biology. It is no more pledged to one hypo-thesis of heredity than to another, but it must be hostile to all treatment which uses statistics without observing the laws of statistical science. The criticism which has been published in Biometrika upon Mendelian work has attacked its too frequent want of method and of logic, and I think no one can have read recent literature without seeing that the criticism has been effective in its aim. Even Prof. Tschermak now allows a large influence to ancestry, although he asserts that the offspring are not distributed “in the proportions of Galton and Pearson.” As I have never distributed the offspring in fixed proportions, I may perhaps be content with the admission.

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PEARSON, K. Mendel's Law. Nature 70, 626–627 (1904). https://doi.org/10.1038/070626d0

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/070626d0

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