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date: 30 June 2022

p. 535. Heredity in the 19th centurylocked

p. 535. Heredity in the 19th centurylocked

  • John Waller

Abstract

The 19th century stands out in the history of ideas about heredity both for the striking progress made in the biological sciences and for the intensity of the conflict between competing views about the nature of gender, class, and race. ‘Heredity in the 19th century’ shows that the scientific study of heredity benefited from much-improved microscopes, the rise of the biological laboratory, and meticulous experiments in plant and animal breeding. But the human sciences again made less headway, remaining subject to the spurious, but ideologically potent, beliefs of an age prone to denigrate the minds of women, non-whites, and the lower social classes.

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