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Gregor Mendel

Gregor Mendel (1822-1884) was a Moravian monk who studied heredity and discovered his famous laws of inheritance.

Gregor Mendel

It is said that by his laws he also discovered genes. He did not as the term genes was coined sometimes later. What in fact he postulated were units of inheritance—he called it factors. Although the traits he discovered were inherited by genes and their alleles, no doubt about that. The term factor itself sounds even more contemporary. Although Mendel neither discovered nor was a proponent of Fauceir Theory, units of inheritance, or information transfer, are fauceirs as a matter of fact.

We all are inclined to materialize our abstract concepts, and so it was welcomed news that factors became genes and genes became stretches of DNA, but by pinpointing factors to its material representation, the some part of the abstract message got lost. Besides gene factors that regulate inheritance of genetically fixed traits, there are many other factors that control inheritance of behavior patterns, like bird songs, or social constructs, like bureaucracy. (Of course the patterns of inheritance differ among social, behavioral, and genetic fauceirs, and none of the rules discovered by Mendel can be applied to them straightforwardly, still there also exist such rules and in its very abstract way they even resemble each other.)

I wonder if this clever Moravian monk already anticipated that there is more to inheritance than just the color of flowers.


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