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Inheritance160-page2 - Inheritance Patterns 2 Prior to...

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Inheritance Patterns - 2 Prior to Mendel, the subject of inheritance was mostly guesswork. Although the practice of selective animal and plant breeding was well established, virtually nothing was known of the mechanisms of inheritance beyond the presence of an egg and a sperm in animals, and pollen and carpel in plants. It was generally believed at that time that characteristics of parents were "blended" in offspring since offspring generally had features of both parents. No one went so far as to question why, after several generations, variations still were present, since differences over time should have been thoroughly blended. The subject of variation among individuals and how different variants were passed on (or apparently not passed on) from generation to generation was very important to science in the 1800's. Mendel's work coincided with the publications of Darwin and Wallace, who addressed variation among the individuals of
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