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March 25, 1933

The Scientific Basis of Evolution.

JAMA. 1933;100(12):993. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740120131035

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This volume consists of twelve chapters, each of which is the substance of a lecture, somewhat expanded but essentially as delivered. These lectures, the Messenger Lectures, were delivered at Cornell University in the spring of 1931. The author, a leading geneticist, makes it his prime object to point out the contrast between truly scientific theories of evolution and various speculative theories. He asserts that "evolution is not so much a study of the history of the species as it is an investigation of what is taking place at the present time." He thus limits the truly scientific study of evolution to the field known as genetics. In this field alone, he asserts, is it possible to apply the really scientific methods of experiment and accurate analysis that are characteristic of the physical sciences. The facts and theories of genetics are presented simply, ably and attractively. No one else has done

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