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Mendel’s laws of genetics and their modern-day refinements explain almost all physical variations occurring within species. Mendel discovered that genes (units of heredity) are merely reshuffled from one generation to another. Different combinations are formed, not different genes. The different combinations produce many variations within each kind of life, such as in the dog family. A logical consequence of Mendel’s laws is that there are limits to such variation (a). Breeding experiments (b) and common observations (c) have also confirmed these boundaries.
a. Monroe W. Strickberger, Genetics, 2nd edition (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1976), p. 812.
Alfred Russel Wallace, who independently proposed the theory of organic evolution slightly before Charles Darwin, was opposed to Mendel’s laws of genetics. Wallace knew Mendel’s experiments showed that the general characteristics of an organism remained within distinct boundaries. In a letter to Dr. Archdall Reid on 28 December 1909, Wallace wrote:
“But on the general relation of Mendelism to Evolution I have come to a very definite conclusion. This is, that it has no relation whatever to the evolution of species or higher groups, but is really antagonistic to such evolution! The essential basis of evolution, involving as it does the most minute and all-pervading adaptation to the whole environment, is extreme and ever-present plasticity, as a condition of survival and adaptation. But the essence of Mendelian characters is their rigidity. They are transmitted without variation, and therefore, except by the rarest of accidents, can never become adapted to ever varying conditions.” James Marchant, Letters and Reminiscences (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1916), p. 340.
b. “Every series of breeding experiments that has ever taken place has established a finite limit to breeding possibilities.” Francis Hitching, The Neck of the Giraffe: Where Darwin Went Wrong (New Haven, Connecticut: Ticknor and Fields, 1982), p. 55.
“All competent biologists acknowledge the limited nature of the variation breeders can produce, although they do not like to discuss it much when grinding the evolutionary ax.” William R. Fix, The Bone Peddlers: Selling Evolution (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1984), pp. 184–185.
“A rule that all breeders recognize, is that there are fixed limits to the amount of change that can be produced.” Lane P. Lester and Raymond G. Bohlin, The Natural Limits to Biological Change (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1984), p. 96.
Norman Macbeth, Darwin Retried: An Appeal to Reason (Ipswich, Massachusetts: Gambit, 1971), p. 36.
William J. Tinkle, Heredity (Houston: St. Thomas Press, 1967), pp. 55–56.
c. “... the distinctions of specific forms and their not being blended together by innumerable transitional links, is a very obvious difficulty.” Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, 6th edition (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1927), p. 322.
“Indeed, the isolation and distinctness of different types of organisms and the existence of clear discontinuities in nature have been self-evident for centuries, even to non-biologists.” Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (London: Burnett Books, 1985), p. 105.
[From “In the Beginning by Walt Brown
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