virus: Mendel

Eva-Lise Carlstrom (
Thu, 26 Dec 1996 22:12:38 -0800 (PST)

On Mon, 16 Dec 1996, XYZ Customer Support wrote:

> If replication were inexact, there would be no such thing as a
> science of heredity since whether an organism inherited a trait or
> not would be random and not predictable. Mendal and his genetic
> experiments proved you wrong many years ago.

Actually, I've read that Mendel's reported results fit so very exactly to
the expected probabilities of a simple mathematical model that there is a
high likelihood he fudged them (quite possibly on the premise that he
must have erred where they varied from an otherwise neat pattern); in
real life, the chance combinations don't come out exactly even every
time, and there are occasional mutations to boot. This doesn't mean
Mendel was wrong, of course! It just means that he probably
overcorrected his results when he noted a very real pattern emerging in
them. Both the pattern (the predictability of heredity) and the
deviations from the pattern (random mutations and variations in
distribution), are necessary to evolution.