Journal of the History of Biology
Written by Roberta Millstein, Rob Skipper, and myself, Survival of the Luckiest is the first book length treatment of the history and philosophy of drift in evolutionary biology. And it comes at an important time in the history of evolutionary biology: Random genetic drift is now recognized as a major factor in evolution, especially at the molecular level. The history of drift, however, has been marked by significant controversy, especially when drift is juxtaposed to natural selection.
Richard Goldschmidt was one of the most accomplished geneticists in Germany until he was forced to leave by the Nazis. In the United States, Goldschmidt rejected the classical gene and advocated saltatory evolution and hopeful monsters.
Goldschmidt's research and reputation as a scientific heretic have been the subject of my research for several years, as well as a book in progress.
Biologists in the twentieth century have studies thousands of different organisms. But, does organism choice really matter? Is there one best organism for any problem? Using a mix of qualitative and quantitative research, we seek to understand the impact of organismal choices on twentieth century biology, especially on problems in developmental biology, genetics, and genomics.
"Drawn to Controversy"
Digging through dusty storerooms and reading dead people's mail ...
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