August Weismann

August WeismannIn science, August Weismann (1834-1914) was a German chemical zoologist noted for []

Morality
In 1889, Weismann, in his Essay on Heredity, stated the following thought-provoking quote: [2]

“We can, indeed, kill all organic beings and thus render them inorganic at will. But these changes are not the same as those which we induce in a piece of chalk by pouring sulphuric acid upon it; in this case we only change the form, and the inorganic matter remains. But when we pour sulphuric acid upon a worm, or when we burn an oak-tree, these organisms are not changed into some other animal and tree, but they disappear entirely as organized beings and are resolved into inorganic elements.”

This quoted attracted the attention of: Karl Pearson (1900) and C.W. Formby (1907). (Ѻ)

Germ plasm
In 1892, Weismann published his germ plasm theory, according to which inheritance only takes place by means of the germ cells—the gametes such as egg cells and sperm cells. [3]

Internal force
Weismann, in regards to the concept of internal force, also theorized about "forces residing in the organism" influencing the germ-plasm, an imperceptible entity he halves and divides as if it were a physical quantity. [2]

Evolution | Life
In 1902, Weismann, in his Lectures on the Theory of Evolution, as summarized by Alexander Oparin (1936), rejected vitalism, and asserted his belief that life must have arisen sometime or other from inanimate matter. [4]

References
1. (a) Weismann, August. (1889). Essays on Heredity (txt) (pg. 33). Oxford.
(b) Pearson, Karl. (1900). The Grammar of Science (pg. 330). Adam and Charles Black.
2. Pearson, Karl. (1900). The Grammar of Science (pg. 329). Adam and Charles Black.
3. Weismann, August. (1892). Das Keimplasma: eine Theorie der Vererbung. Fischer, Jena.
4. (a) Weismann, August. (1902). Lectures on the Theory of Evolution (Vorträge über de Deszendenztheorie). Jena.
(b) Oparin, Alexander. (1936). The Origin of Life (introduction and translation: Serguis Morgulis) (pdf) (pg. 46). Dover, 2003.

External links
August Weismann – Wikipedia.

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