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2014-09-06T11:35:46+05:30

Alfred Russel Wallace, co-discoverer of natural selection, died on the morning of November 7, 1913, at 90 years of age. It was the end of a remarkable career that was intimately connected with evolution on the one hand and boldly emblematic of a vocal dissent against materialistic scientism on the other.But in reflecting on Wallace's passing nearly a century ago, I would like to add to David's observations by pointing out another way that Wallace spoke to modernity, namely, his appreciation of August Weismann (1834-1914). Weismann was one of the first scientists to accurately describe the intricacies of cell division and the role of the chromosome based upon the work of Walther Flemming (1843-1905), Theodor Boveri (1862-1915), and others. It was Weismann who suggested the so-called "Weismann barrier" that put an authoritative end to Lamarckian notions of the inheritance of acquired characteristics.



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