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THEODOSIUS DOBZHANSKY (1900 – 1975)

Geneticist.

This Russian scientist came to the U.S. as a student and chose to remain there when the spurious environmental doctrines of Lysanko became the communist dogma under the Stalin’s regime. He began his research on the fruit fly ‘Drosophila’ but soon became interested in the evolution of human populations. This led him to a study of race and later to the attempt ‘to understand mankind as a product of evolution and as an evolving whole’. In 1959 he was invited to deliver the Silliman lectures at the Columbia University, which formed the basis of ‘Mankind Evolving’. He stressed that the most important point of Darwin’s evolutionary theory had been missed – man not only has evolved but is still evolving. He argued that man, by changing the world, changed also himself both culturally and physically. He saw in this the hope that changes resulting from knowledge could also be directed by knowledge. ‘Evolution need no longer be a destiny imposed from without. It may concievably be controlled by man’. He is best known for works such as Genetic diversity and Human Equality and Heredity and the Nature of Man. His ‘Mankind Evolving’ has been dubbed the most judicious scientific treatis ever written on the nature of man.

compiler:benny

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