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Unformatted text preview: His most ambitious book during the 1860's was The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication. Here he tried to understand the dynamics of inheritance, the actual mechanisms by which a pigeon with a slightly longer beak or oddly-colored feather might pass its traits down to succeeding generations. He correctly discovered that some traits tended to overpower others; this corresponds to the modern concept of dominant and recessive genes. But his "pan- genesis" theory of how traits were actually passed from generation to generation was flawed. He thought that each cell in the body contributed to the sperm and egg cells that created new life. According to this theory, small particles called gemules were supposed to travel from every cell of the body, through the blood stream, to the sperm and eggs, thereby conveying information about the current state of the organism. Part of the reason that this theory appealed to Darwin the current state of the organism....
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This note was uploaded on 12/13/2011 for the course ART 2313 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '10 term at Texas State.
- Fall '10