Item #3937 [GENETICS AND HEREDITY 1744]. Dissertation Physique a l'Occasion du Negre Blanc. Pierre Louis Moreau de Maupertius.
[GENETICS AND HEREDITY 1744]. Dissertation Physique a l'Occasion du Negre Blanc
[GENETICS AND HEREDITY 1744]. Dissertation Physique a l'Occasion du Negre Blanc
[GENETICS AND HEREDITY 1744]. Dissertation Physique a l'Occasion du Negre Blanc
[GENETICS AND HEREDITY 1744]. Dissertation Physique a l'Occasion du Negre Blanc
[GENETICS AND HEREDITY 1744]. Dissertation Physique a l'Occasion du Negre Blanc
[GENETICS AND HEREDITY 1744]. Dissertation Physique a l'Occasion du Negre Blanc
[GENETICS AND HEREDITY 1744]. Dissertation Physique a l'Occasion du Negre Blanc
[GENETICS AND HEREDITY 1744]. Dissertation Physique a l'Occasion du Negre Blanc
[GENETICS AND HEREDITY 1744]. Dissertation Physique a l'Occasion du Negre Blanc
Prompted by the sight of an albino negro boy in Paris: An early work on human genetics and heredity, anticipating Darwin and Mendel

[GENETICS AND HEREDITY 1744]. Dissertation Physique a l'Occasion du Negre Blanc

Leiden: s.n., 1744. First Edition. 8vo. 5 ff. (of 6, lacking half-title), 132 pp. Early 19th-century green glazed boards, spine richly gilt, red morocco lettering piece, marbled pastedowns and endleaves. Binding slightly rubbed, lower cover scuffed. An attractive copy. Very good. Item #3937

FIRST EDITION of one of the earliest and most importance works in the history of genetics, significantly anticipating the ideas of Darwin and Mendel over a century later. Inspired by the appearance in Paris of an albino negro boy, Maupertius, a French mathematician and philosopher, here expresses with great erudition his theory of biparental heredity.

Elmas (Heirs of Hippocrates) explains that "Maupertuis was years ahead of his time in many aspects of biology, particularly embryology and genetics. His arguments against the then-prevailing theory of peformation and for epigenesis were so close to the idea of evolution that he is a true forerunner of Darwin and Mendel. His theories and observations are contained in this work, which he may have had published anonymously to avoid repercussions from Church authorities."

As we learn from the editors of DSB, "Maupertuis argued convincingly that the embryo could not be preformed, either in the egg or in the animalcule (spermatozoon), since hereditary characteristics could be passed down equally through the male or the female parent He rejected the vitalistic notion that some 'essence' from one of the parents could affect the preformed fetus in the other parent, or that maternal impressions could mold the characteristics of the offspring A strict mechanist, although a believer in the epigenetic view of the origin of the embryo, he looked for some corporeal contribution from each parent as a basis of heredity."

Heirs of Hippocrates, 847 (1845 edition). DSB, IX, 186-89. Caillet 7733-7735. Needham, A History of Embryology (2nd ed., 1959), pp. 218-220. Garrison & Morton, 215.1. Norman, 1459. Osler 3349. Wellcome IV, p. 175. Waller 6355. Cole, Early Theories of Sexual Generation, pp. 93-94 and 174-75. Glass 'Maupertuis, Pioneer of Genetics and and Evolution’ in: Forerunners of Darwin 1745-1859 (1959).

Price: $2,500.00

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