Zitate von William Bateson

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William Bateson

Geburtstag: 8. August 1861
Todesdatum: 8. Februar 1926

William Bateson war ein britischer Genetiker. Er prägte 1905 den Begriff Genetik. Der Biologe, Anthropologe und Naturphilosoph Gregory Bateson war sein Sohn. Wikipedia

Zitate William Bateson

„Our knowledge of the nature and properties of living things is far too meagre to justify any such attempts.“

—  William Bateson

Preface
Problems In Genetics (1913)
Kontext: Few who are familiar with the facts that genetic research has revealed are now inclined to speculate as to the manner by which the process [species come into existence] has been accomplished. Our knowledge of the nature and properties of living things is far too meagre to justify any such attempts. Suggestions of course can be made: though, however, these ideas may have a stimulating value in the lecture room, they look weak and thin when set out in print.

„Memory is a mystery as deep as any that even psychology can propound.“

—  William Bateson

Quelle: Problems In Genetics (1913), p. 191
Kontext: Memory is a mystery as deep as any that even psychology can propound. [Natural] Philosophers might perhaps encourage themselves to attack the problem of the nature of memory by reflecting that after all the process may in some of its aspects be comparable with that of inheritance, but the student of genetics, as long as he can keep in close touch with a profitable basis of material fact, will scarcely be tempted to look for inspiration in psychical analogies.

„The concept of evolution as proceeding through the gradual transformation of masses of individuals by the accumulation of impalpable changes is one that the study of genetics shows immediately to be false.“

—  William Bateson

Quelle: Mendel's Principles of Heredity (1913), Chapter XV, p. 289.
Kontext: The concept of evolution as proceeding through the gradual transformation of masses of individuals by the accumulation of impalpable changes is one that the study of genetics shows immediately to be false. Once for all, that burden so gratuitously undertaken in ignorance of generic physiology by the evolutionists of the last century may be cast into oblivion. For the facts of heredity and variation unite to prove that genetic variation is a phenomenon of individuals.

„Since the belief in transmission of acquired adaptations arose from preconception rather than from evidence, it is worth observing that, rightly considered, the probability should surely be the other way. For the adaptations relate to every variety of exigency. To supply themselves with food, to find it, to seize and digest it, to protect themselves from predatory enemies whether by offence or defence, to counter-balance the changes of temperature, or pressure, to provide for mechanical strains, to obtain immunity from poison and from invading organisms, to bring the sexual elements into contact, to ensure the distribution of the type; all these and many more are accomplished by organisms in a thousand most diverse and alternative methods. Those are the things that are hard to imagine as produced by any concatenation of natural events; but the suggestions that organisms had had from the beginning innate in them a power of modifying themselves, their organs and their instincts so as to meet these multifarious requirements does not materially differ from the more overt appeals to supernatural intervention. The conception, originally introduced by Hering and independently by S. Butler, that adaptation is a consequence or product of accumulated memory was of late revived by Semon and has been received with some approval, especially by F. Darwin. I see nothing fantastic in the notion that memory may be unconsciously preserved with the same continuity that the protoplasmic basis of life possesses. That idea, though purely speculative and, as yet, incapable of proof or disproof contains nothing which our experience of matter or of life at all refutes. On the contrary, we probably do well to retain the suggestion as a clue that may some day be of service. But if adaptation is to be the product of these accumulated experiences, they must in some way be translated into terms of physiological and structural change, a process frankly inconceivable.“

—  William Bateson

Quelle: Problems In Genetics (1913), p. 190

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