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Hormones and Heredity by Cunningham, J. T., 1859-1935

Hormones and Heredity by Cunningham, J. T., 1859-1935

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Hormones and Heredity, by J. T. Cunningham

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Title: Hormones and Heredity
Author: J. T. Cunningham
Release Date: July, 2005 [EBook #8517]

[Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule]

[This file was first posted on July 18, 2003]
Edition: 10
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

Juliet Sutherland, Charles Bidwell
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team
A Discussion Of The Evolution Of Adaptations
And The Evolution Of Species
Sometime Fellow of University College, Oxford
Lecturer in zoology at East London College, University of London



My chief object in writing this volume was to discuss the relations of
modern discoveries concerning hormones or internal secretions to the
question of the evolution of adaptations, and on the other hand to the
results of recent investigations of Mendelian heredity and mutations. I
have frequently found, from verbal or written references to my opinions,
that the evidence on these questions and my own conclusions from that
evidence were either imperfectly known or misunderstood. This is not
surprising in view of the fact that hitherto my only publications on the
hormone theory have been a paper in a German periodical and a chapter in
an elementary text-book. The present publication is by no means a thorough
or complete exposition of the subject, it is merely an attempt to state
the fundamental facts and conclusions, the importance of which it seems to
me are not generally appreciated by biologists.

I have reviewed some of the chief of the recent discoveries concerning
mutations, Mendelism, chromosomes, etc., but have not thought it necessary
to repeat the illustrations which are contained in many of the volumes to
which I have referred. I have made some Mendelian experiments myself, not
always with results in agreement with the strict Mendelian doctrine, so
that I am not venturing to criticise without experience. I have not
hesitated to reprint the figure, published many years ago, of a Flounder
showing the production of pigment under the influence of light, because I
thought it was desirable that the reader should have before him this
figure and those of an example of mutation in the Turbot for comparison
when following the argument concerning mutation and recapitulation.

I take this opportunity of expressing my thanks to the Councils of the
Royal Society and the Zoological Society for permission to reproduce the
figures in the Plates. I also desire to thank Professor Dendy, F.R.S., of
King's College for his sympathetic interest in the publication of the
book, and Messrs. Constable and Co. for the care they have taken in its

London, _June_ 1921.
INTRODUCTION - Historical Survey Of Theories Or Suggestions Of Chemical

Influence In Heredity
CHAPTER I - Classification And Adaptation
CHAPTER II - Mendelism And The Heredity Of Sex

CHAPTER III - Influence Of Hormones On Development Of Somatic

CHAPTER IV - Origin Of Somatic Sex-Characters In Evolution
CHAPTER V - Mammalian Sexual Characters,

Evidence Opposed To The Hormone Theory
CHAPTER VI - Origin Of Non-Sexual Characters: The Phenomena Of Mutation
CHAPTER VII - Metamorphosis and Recapitulation

PLATE I. Recessive Pile Fowls
PLATE II. Abnormal Specimen Of Turbot
PLATE III. Flounder, Showing Pigmentation Of Lower Side

After Exposure To Light
Historical Survey Of Theories Or Suggestions Of
Chemical Influence In Heredity

Weismann, strongly as he denied the possibility of the transmission of
somatic modifications, admitted the possibility or even the fact of the
simultaneous modification of soma and germ by external conditions
such as temperature. Yves Delage [Footnote: Yves Delage, _L'H r dit _

\ufffd \ufffd

(Paris, 1895), pp. 806-812.] in 1895, in discussing this question, pointed
out how changes affecting the soma would produce an effect on the ovum
(and presumably in a similar way on the sperm). He writes:--

'Ce qui emp che l'oeuf de recevoir la modification reversible c'est
qu' tant constitu autrement que les cellules diff renci es de l'organisme
il est influenc autrement qu'elles par les m mes causes perturbatrices.
Mais est-il impossible que malgr la diff rence de constitution
physico-chimiques il soit influenc de la m me fa on?'
The author's meaning would probably have been better expressed if he had
written 'ce qui para t emp cher.' By 'modification reversible' he means a

change in the ovum which will produce in the next generation a somatic
modification similar to that by which it was produced. It seems natural to
think of the influence of the ovum on the body and of the body on the ovum
as of similar kind but in opposite directions, but it must be remembered
always that the development of the body from the ovum Is not an influence
at all but a direct conversion by cell-division and differentiation of the
ovum into the body.

Delage argues that if the egg contains the substances characteristic of
certain categories of cells of the organism it ought to be affected at the
same time as those cells and by the same agents. He thinks that the egg

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