Letter | Published:

The Mnemic Theory of Heredity

Nature volume 88, pages 585586 (29 February 1912) | Download Citation



THE reply to Prof. Dendy's comments upon my letter (NATURE, February 8, p. 482) is briefly as follows. The germ-cells are unicellular living organisms with a lifecycle of their own, part of which they pass in a metazoan individual. When they enter it, they are all in potentialities so many twins identical with this. For the time being its environment is theirs. The non-existent protoplasmic bridges need not be postulated. If the germ-cells could not “remember events in the past history of the race”, I fail to perceive how any developmental unfolding would be possible. The relation of the doctrine of acquired characters to the theory depends solely upon the embryological facts of the cycle of animal life.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Author information


  1. 8 Barnton Terrace, Edinburgh, February 15.

    • J. BEARD


  1. Search for J. BEARD in:

About this article

Publication history





By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.