Some early views of heredity

Some early views of heredity:

Most of the view points were put forward before Mendel to describe the transfer of characters to the following generation.

1. Moist Vapor Theory:

This was mentioned by the Greek philosopher Pythagoras who believed that each and every organ of the animal body generated vapors and new organism was build up by the combination of various organs.

2. Fluid Theory:

This was introduced by Aristotle who was of the view that both female and male produced semen and whenever these mix the female semen that is not so pure provided the inert substance for the formation of the embryo and the male semen provide form and vitality to the embryo.

3. Preformation Theories:

Anton Von Leeuwenhoeck inspected human sperms for the very first time. This theory according to Swammerdam (1679) assumes that the sex cells either the sperm or egg contained in it the whole organism in a miniature form termed as "homunculus". Development was only a raise in size of the miniature. This hypothesis was supported by Malpighi (1673), Delepatius (1694) and Roux (1800).

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 Figure: Homunculus as per Preformation Theory

4. Particulate Theory:

French biologist Maupertius stated that the body of each parent gave mount to minute particles for reproduction which blend altogether to form the offspring.

5. Pangenesis:

This theory mentioned by Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) holds that the animal body generates minute bodies termed as pangenes or gemmules that were carried by blood to the reproductive organs. Here the pengenes from two parents blend to give mount to a new individual.

This theory prevailed for numerous centuries and was accepted by great biologists like Charles Darwin (1809-1882).

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