Concept of Heredity and Variation

Concept of Heredity and Variation:

The children or off-springs closely look like their parents and to certain extent their grandparents and great grandparents. Still the off-springs of a set of parents vary from each other and from their parents in distinct degrees. They contain certain unique characteristics by which we can understand that they belong to the similar family. The Science which deals with the mechanisms responsible for inheritance similarities and differences in a species is termed as Genetics. It is a branch of biology which encompasses the study of the mechanism of transmission of characters from parents to off-springs. The term "genetics" is derived from the Greek word "genesis" that means "to grow" or "to become".

The Science of Genetics aids us to distinguish among heredity and variations and seeks to account for the resemblances and disparities due to heredity, their source and development.


Heredity refers to the transmission of characters, resemblances and also disparities from one generation to the next. It describes how off-springs in a family look like their parents.


Variation refers to the disparities shown by individuals of similar species and as well as by off-springs (siblings) of similar parents. It describes why off-springs even though born to the similar parents vary from each other. They are similar, however not identical (apart from in identical twins). Such similarities and differences are not co-incidental.

In short, genetics is the study of variation and heredity.

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