Questions tagged [history]

Questions relating to how the field of biology has developed over time.

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15
votes
2answers
840 views

Did Darwin ever reach the conclusion that selection will remove variation?

According to simple models of selection the genetic variance in a population should be reduced by selection. (Fisher's fundamental theorem states that the rate at which a population can evolve is ...
22
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2answers
4k views

Why should a tumor look like a crab?

Origin of the word "cancer" The disease was first called cancer by Greek physician Hippocrates (460-370 BC). He is considered the “Father of Medicine”. Hippocrates used the terms carcinos and ...
15
votes
10answers
2k views

A good book for history of biology/biotechnology for lay people

I have many friends who are interested in Biology and want to know more about the subject in general (like a history of biology, from Darwin's theory, to DNA structure discovery, to the human genome ...
20
votes
3answers
1k views

Impact of Alan Turing's approach to morphogenesis

Shortly before his untimely passing, the computing pioneer Alan Turing published his most cited paper The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis (1952). The central question for Turing was: how does a ...
9
votes
2answers
324 views

How was the resemblance between apes and humans explained in pre-Darwinian biology?

Humans and apes have somewhat obvious similarities, these must have been apparent to natural philosophers before the possibility of a common ancestry was first proposed in the mid-1800's. These ...
11
votes
1answer
4k views

Did the eugenics program in Nazi Germany have a measurable effect? [closed]

Did the killing or sterilisation of people considered as living a "life unworthy of life" in Nazi Germany have any measurable effect on the "average health" of Germany? Is there any statistical ...
5
votes
1answer
416 views

History: Do evolutionary and ecological processes occur at the same timescales?

Classically, it was thought that evolutionary processes occurred at a much slower pace than demographic/ecological processes. Nobody, ever thought about incorporating both processes into the same ...
4
votes
1answer
321 views

Was Darwin aware of the difficulties behind the concept of species?

Introduction The concept of species is a very old concept that suffers from not being a natural category. There exists no single definition that would categorize living beings into groups and that ...
2
votes
1answer
161 views

How was Restriction Site of EcoRI sequenced?

The sequence of restriction site of EcoRI - GAATTC was identified in the early 1970s, before Sanger Sequencing was invented.(1977) How was the restriction site of EcoRI sequenced ?
10
votes
2answers
209 views

Acknowledging differentiation of species, in historical times

This is at least partly an historical question, and I am not even remotely a biologist of any sort, so apologies beforehand if it's a little obscure. I often wonder how many distinctions were made in ...
8
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2answers
5k views

How many species did Carl Linnaeus classify?

How many species did Carl Linnaeus (senior) classify?
5
votes
2answers
198 views

Did Carl Linnaeus ever name a species he never saw?

According to this post Carl Linnaeus named more than 13,000 species which is definitely quite impressive. If we consider a 50 years career it makes about 5 species per week! It would feel impressive ...
4
votes
1answer
408 views

Was Raymond Gosling supervised by Rosalind Franklin? [closed]

The story of how the structure of DNA was deduced is fairly complicated and controversial, but most parties agree that a key pieces of data was "Photo 51", an X-ray diffraction image of DNA taken by ...