Important Figures in Heredity

By: Alanna Huggett

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck

Lamarck was a French naturalist who developed a theory on how traits/genes passed down from generation to generation. He thought that an organism could pass on characteristics that it acquired during its life to its offspring (children). This idea is also known as soft inheritance. He developed soft inheritance into his evolutionary theories as a supplement to help out his concept of an inherent progressive tendency driving organisms to become more complex. In align with but separate with lineage but without extinction. He didn't actually develop the idea of soft inheritance he just used it to further his own research.

Gregor Mendel

Mendel, was a monk who studied pea plants. He is known today as the "father of genetics" and he discovered the ideas of dominant and recessive genes. He developed two laws, the law of segregation and the law of independent assortment. These two laws combined, became the law of inheritance. The law of segregation says, that all living things have a pair of alleles for any particular or specific trait. Each parent, passes on a randomly selected copy (allele) to its offspring. The law of independent assortment says, that separate genes for separate traits are passed independently from one another by the parents to their offspring. The biological selection of a particular gene in the gene pair that is passed to the offspring is different from than the selection for any other trait.

Ronald Fisher

Fisher was a British man who knew of Gregor Mendel's works. He wrote a paper called, "The Correlation Between Relatives on the Supposition of Mendelian Inheritance". He writes in the paper about Mendel's discoveries. It also had a genetic model that shows the continuing variations that could be the result of Mendelian inheritance.