Origins of Genetic Determinism in Medieval Creationism

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Douglas Wahlsten, Visiting Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: The discovery of statistical laws of heredity by Gregor Mendel was an important advance in biological science. However, Mendel's opinion that the entire character was transmitted was not derived from his data and instead reflected prior beliefs outside the domain of science. It is argued here that Mendel, a monk and later abbot of an Augustine monastery, was influenced by St. Augustine's theory of divine creation of the rationes seminales which specified the form for all future beings in great detail. Furthermore, the continued adherence to genetic determinism among contemporary scientists is largely, despite strong evidence supporting a developmental systems or dialectical view of heredity and development.

Additional Information

Race, Gender & Class, 5: 90-107
Language: English
Date: 1998
St. Augustine, Mendel, Bateson, Heredity, Epigenesis, Dialectics, Reductionism

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