Article ID: CBB238032821

“Treasure your exceptions!” (William Bateson, 1908): leggi e variazioni nella genetica mendeliana (2017)


The methods and theoretical principles of genetics constitute a theoretical paradox. It is perhaps the only biological discipline in which we can speak of ‘laws’ or rules of universal validity (Mendel’s laws, the central dogma of molecular biology, the genetic code), but at the same time all its explanatory framework is based on the identification of mutations, the ‘exceptions’ to the rigid regularity of hereditary transmission. A character that is transmitted unchanged remains silent. Only when it changes, producing inheritable variations, it becomes visible for the observer and allows us to trace the hereditary factors that determine it. The exceptions are therefore the tool for the understanding of the rules of inheritance. Mutations are also the source of the variability within the populations which is the basis of evolution by natural selection. Life is therefore the result of the fruitful synthesis between rules and exceptions, between chance and necessity.

Citation URI

Similar Citations

Article Radick, Gregory; (2011)
Physics in the Galtonian Sciences of Heredity (/isis/citation/CBB001023997/)

Book Rushton, Alan R.; (2009)
Genetics in Medicine in Great Britain 1600 to 1939 (/isis/citation/CBB001020882/)

Chapter Opitz, Donald L.; (2011)
Cultivating Genetics in the Country: Whittingehame Lodge, Cambridge (/isis/citation/CBB001231556/)

Article Yafeng Shan; (2021)
Beyond Mendelism and Biometry (/isis/citation/CBB308136354/)

Article Zevenhuizen, Erik; (2000)
Keeping and scrapping: The story of a Mendelian lecture plate of Hugo de Vries (/isis/citation/CBB000111937/)

Book Carlson, Elof Axel; (2011)
Mutation: The History of an Idea from Darwin to Genomics (/isis/citation/CBB001220988/)

Review Sheldon, Myrna Perez; (2014)
Review of "Human Heredity in the Twentieth Century" (/isis/citation/CBB001500038/)

Article Pareti, Germana; (2019)
Ereditarietà come storia. Il contributo degli embriologi alla discussione biogenetica (/isis/citation/CBB806978292/)

Chapter Ruse, Michael; (2010)
Evolution and the Idea of Social Progress (/isis/citation/CBB001020305/)

Review Sheldon, Myrna Perez; (2014)
Review of "A Cultural History of Heredity" (/isis/citation/CBB001500037/)

Book Rheinberger, Hans-Jörg; (2010)
An Epistemology of the Concrete (/isis/citation/CBB001023158/)

Chapter Newman, Stuart A.; (2007)
William Bateson's Physicalist Ideas (/isis/citation/CBB000774372/)

Authors & Contributors
Sheldon, Myrna Perez
Richmond, Marsha L.
Radick, Gregory
Bertoldi, Nicola
Yafeng Shan
Tau, Ramiro
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Endeavour: Review of the Progress of Science
Mefisto: Rivista di medicina, filosofia, storia
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Science and Education
Physis: Rivista Internazionale di Storia della Scienza
Trafford Publishing
Duke University Press
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
Centre for Sciences and Humanities of the Institute of Contemporary History of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Mendelism; Mendelian inheritance
Science and culture
Bateson, William
Pearson, Karl
Mendel, Gregor Johann
Galton, Francis
Weldon, Walter Frank Raphael
Darwin, Charles Robert
Time Periods
20th century
19th century
20th century, early
18th century
20th century, late
17th century
Great Britain
Cambridge University
Royal Society of London

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment