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November 24, 1934


JAMA. 1934;103(21):1625-1626. doi:10.1001/jama.1934.02750470047013

In the Penrose Memorial Lecture before the American Philosophical Society, the Princeton biologist Edwin G. Conklin traces the progress of a generation in the study of evolution. A recapitulation of this instructive lecture1 may be of interest. At the beginning of this century the study of evolution entered a new era. This study before had been based largely on observation and deduction. While the fact of evolution was accepted generally by scientists, the factors concerned were largely matters of personal opinion and speculation. As Conklin says, what seemed probable to one seemed very improbable to another. But in 1900 Mendel's principles of heredity were rediscovered and genetics, a new experimental science of heredity, was born. The actual laws of heredity begin at last to be established. In the following year De Vries published his great work on the mutation of the evening primrose, which was living evidence of evolution

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