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Why didn't Darwin discover Mendel's laws?

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Mendel solved the logic of inheritance in his monastery garden with no more technology than Darwin had in his garden at Down House. So why couldn't Darwin have done it too? A Journal of Biology article argues that Darwin's background, influences and research focus gave him a viewpoint that prevented him from interpreting the evidence that was all around him, even in his own work. Darwin's commitment to quantitative variation as the raw material of evolution meant he could not see the logic of inheritance, argues Jonathan Howard of the University of Cologne, Germany. "Quantitative variation was at the heart of Darwin's evolution, and quantitative variation is the last place where clean Mendelian inheritance can be seen," says Howard. "Darwin boxed himself in, unable to see the laws of inheritance in continuous variation, unable to see the real importance of discontinuous variation where the laws of inheritance could be discerned." Moravian priest and scientist Gregor Mendel (1822 - ... more
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