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Variation in Animals and Plants

Nature volume 71, pages 243244 (12 January 1905) | Download Citation



THIS little book meets a real want. The frequent discussions of recent years upon the problems of evolution have been followed with much interest by an increasing number of readers and listeners, with the desire but often the inability to understand. A very large amount of interest and stimulus has been excited by such questions as acquired characters and their transmission or non-transmission by heredity, the continuity of the germ-plasm, physiological selection, continuous or discontinuous evolution, De Vries's experiments and views on mutation, the Mendelian hypothesis as opposed to that of Galton and the bearing of the great array of facts, the fruits of observation and experiment conducted by those who take opposite sides in the controversy. The present writer has often been surprised at the keenness of the interest which can coexist with an almost complete lack of knowledge of the essential details, and he feels that the present work provides precisely the information that is required—a clear, accurate, and dispassionate statement, not too long or too detailed, of researches and reasoning upon problems connected with variation.

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