Standing on the Shoulders of Darwin and Mendel: Early Views of Inheritance explores early theories about the mechanisms of inheritance. Beginning with Charles Darwin's now rejected Gemmule hypothesis, the book documents the reception of Gregor Mendel's work on peas and follows the work of early 20th century scholars. The research of Francis Galton, a cousin of Darwin, and the friction it caused between these two are a part of longer story of the development of genetics and an understanding of how offspring inherit the characteristics of their parents. Bateson, Garrod, de Vries, Tschermak and others are all characters in a scientific story of discovery, acrimony, cooperation and revelation.

chapter 1|18 pages

Seeds of hero worship

chapter 2|9 pages

A tale of two books

chapter 3|12 pages

Darwin’s grand theory13

chapter 4|5 pages

Trial by experiment15

chapter 5|15 pages

A bolt from the blue—Darwin’s response

chapter 6|12 pages

Cousins diverge

chapter 7|11 pages

The referee23

chapter 8|6 pages

Finding allies

chapter 9|5 pages

Still chasing the truth

chapter 10|4 pages

Losing allies

chapter 11|5 pages

Darwin’s and Mendel’s death29

chapter 12|3 pages

The Grim Reaper revisits

chapter 13|10 pages

Mendel again—Galton’s response

chapter 14|10 pages

Are Mendel’s ideas true?35

chapter 15|8 pages

Darwin and Mendel: The show down38

chapter 16|11 pages

Celebrating Mendel’s discovery