Re: virus: Mendel

Vicki Rosenzweig (
Fri, 27 Dec 96 14:31:00 PST

I don't remember the citation on this--it was a few years back--
but Eva-Lise is _not_ making this up out of whole cloth (and,
if you'd read her post, is not attempting to discredit Mendel
or discard his life's work). Someone relatively recently went
back and looked at Mendel's data, and they are suspiciously
good. What Mendelian genetics actually tells us is that, *on
average*, if you have a parent with two genes AA and one with
two genes aa, and they have four children, you'll get one AA,
two Aa, and one aa. That doesn't mean you'll get that exact
assortment with every set of four children, just as it's entirely
possible for a fair coin to come up heads five times in a row
(and any statistician will be suspicious if you claim to have
tossed a coin 100 times, and had it come up heads, tails,
heads, tails, and so on 50 times).

As an earlier poster said, I don't think Mendel was consciously
cheating, and he was right about the broad point: but he seems
to have fudged the data.


From: owner-virus
To: virus
Subject: Re: virus: Mendel
Date: Friday, December 27, 1996 11:01AM

> From: Eva-Lise Carlstrom <>

> > If replication were inexact, there would be no such thing as a
> > science of heredity since whether an organism inherited a trait or
> > not would be random and not predictable. Mendal and his genetic
> > experiments proved you wrong many years ago.
> Actually, I've read that Mendel's reported results fit so very exactly to
> the expected probabilities of a simple mathematical model that there is a
> high likelihood he fudged them (quite possibly on the premise that he
> must have erred where they varied from an otherwise neat pattern); in
> real life, the chance combinations don't come out exactly even every
> time, and there are occasional mutations to boot. This doesn't mean
> Mendel was wrong, of course! It just means that he probably
> overcorrected his results when he noted a very real pattern emerging in
> them. Both the pattern (the predictability of heredity) and the
> deviations from the pattern (random mutations and variations in
> distribution), are necessary to evolution.

Well eva, here we go again. You have attempted to discredit the lifework
of one man without a shred of evidence. Mendal's work is still taught AND
reproduced in major universities around the world, all in defiance to your
assertation that it *must* be flawed.

Too bad you don't have any legitimate research to back up your false claim.