: A Plea For A Better Race of Men * Oh, why are you men so foolish-- You breeders who breed our men Let the fools, the weaklings and crazy Keep breeding and breeding again?
Mendel's laws are so effective in resolving questions that had baffled many a great mind before him that there was a powerful temptation to use these same laws to explain any resemblance whatsoever between related persons, including those resemblances that were not considered a priori to have any obvious biological foundation.
These attempts to apply Mendel's laws in such varied domains as anthropometry, physiology, psychology, or sociology received generous support and political backing at the highest level.
In fact, no observation can directly support |he hypothesis of a gene for such behaviors, since no one has been able to prove their universal transmission according to Mendel's laws from generation to generation.
By 1900, the year that Mendel's laws resurfaced, the population of the world numbered 1.625 billion people.
The science of plant breeding, based on Mendel's laws - selecting desirable plants and crossbreeding them, then selecting and crossing again until the right combination of properties is achieved - is to older methods of plant improvement what a modern computer is to counting on your fingers and toes.
"These methods are particularly interesting since they appear to show that genes and chromosomes are not equivalently passed on to the offspring as we always have believed from Mendel's laws
of inheritance," Messing says.