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Image LYSENKOISM
This theory about evolution is named after Ukrainian agronomist Trofim Lysenko (1898-1976). Lysenko believed that characteristics acquired by an organism in itís life could be inherited by its descendents. This idea is also known as Lamarkism but ĎLysenkoismí refers specifically to the scientific atmosphere of the mid-20th century Soviet Union in which scientists were forced to accept the view because it was favored by the government. Adopted by the Stalin regime, these ideas, contrary to genetic findings at the time, were put in textbooks and taught in schools and universities. As an example of what can happen when science and politics become too closely joined, those who championed Darwinian evolution and Mendelian genetics not only didnít get jobs, they got sent to prison camps Ė some were never heard from again. Lysenkoism was not good science; the experiments claiming to support Lysenkoism were poorly designed and the data had been manipulated to obtain the desired result. It eventually passed out of favor after Stalinís death.
- Sharon Hill (Scientist)
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