The Address of the President: The Chromosome and the Origin of Species

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Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science

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Martin, J. N.
article description
In Lamark's Philosophy of Zoology published in 1809 and devoted to the author's views on the origin of species there is the following statement: The most important of the laws, methods, and progress of nature have nearly always sprung from the examination of the smallest objects which she contains and from apparently the most insignificant enquiries. The studies of chromosomes, nuclear bodies so minute that they escaped discovery until recently but now considered the primum mobile of nearly all life processes, have well verified the truth of Lamark's statement. That the chromosomes, insignificant in sizes as they are, constitute the only material connection between parents and offspring, and between successive generations is now common information. Also that plants and animals in general are double or as it is termed diploid, in their chromosome constitution, inheriting one set of chromosomes from their mother and one from their father parent, is well known.