Beyond Mendelism and Biometry

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 89 (C):155-163 (2021)
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Historiographical analyses of the development of genetics in the first decade of the 20th century have been to a great extent framed in the context of the Mendelian-Biometrician controversy. Much has been discussed on the nature, origin, development, and legacy of the controversy. However, such a framework is becoming less useful and fruitful. This paper challenges the traditional historiography framed by the Mendelian-Biometrician distinction. It argues that the Mendelian-Biometrician distinction fails to reflect the theoretical and methodological diversity in the controversy. It also argues that that the Mendelian-Biometrician distinction is not helpful to make a full understanding of the development of genetics in the first decade of the twentieth century.

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Yafeng Shan
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology


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