Mendel’s peas – when life was easy

Today the Google doodle reminds us of a famous plant scientist – Gregor Mendel.

Doodle honoring Gregor Mendel
Doodle honouring Gregor Mendel

While many see in Mendel the father of modern genetics, an example scientist (for both biased and unbiased) research, I personally associate with him first of all the revelation that biology is not as easy as they try to tell you.

At school pupils count and segregate colour and shape according to Mendel. All adds up – such is life at this point, simplified, easy. Not to forget about the biological facts set down in laws that can be memorized and that’s it.

But, to quote one of my favourite science writers ‘I think you’ll find it’s a bit more complicated than that’.

Experimenting and learning about biology means predominantly that things don’t add up, they don’t work, or at least not the way imagined. Life turns out to be neither easy nor straight forward. As to the laws they are to be questioned, reconfirmed or overthrown.

Life is great and alive this way – this is exactly what Gregor Mendel reminds me of.

 

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