News | Published:

Progress in Biology

Nature volume 113, pages 681682 (10 May 1924) | Download Citation



WE have reached contemporary developments. The study of variation, and indeed of several branches of what we now call genetics, especially cross breeding, had been pursued with vigour in the 'sixties and 'seventies, but had totally lapsed. Renewal of those inquiries led at once to an advance. We saw that the received ideas as to the magnitude of variations, and especially as to the interrelations of the domesticated breeds, were largely erroneous. As in regard to the incidence of sterility in interspecific crosses, so in regard to variation, we found ourselves among an intricate mass of empirical observations, obeying none of the principles which the orthodoxy of the time presupposed. The incidence of variation was utterly capricious, and was determined neither by utility, nor the antiquity of the feature, nor by the conditions of life, nor by any other ascertainable circumstance.


  1. 1.

    Artbildung u. Verwandschaft bei den Schmetterlingen, ii. 1895, p. 3.

Download references

About this article

Publication history




  1. Search for W. BATESON in:


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.

Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing