Synopses & Reviews
Excerpt from Principles of Breeding: A Treatise on Thremmatology or the Principles and Practices Involved in the Economic Improvement of Domesticated Animals and Plants
It may seem to the student that an undue amount Of attention is given to variation and that a disproportionate amount Of space is devoted to that subject. In that event I have to say that variation is not the antithesis of heredity but rather its constant and insep arable attendant, and that the facts Of variation constitute the best portion of that stock of information with which the student must become possessed before he is ready to study the principles involved in those generalizations upon which practical Operations may be safely based.
One is painfully aware, too, of the necessity of ranging far and wide for facts, and the student cannot fail to feel Ofttimes that the subject-matter in hand is far removed from agriculture. When this is the case it is because we are forced to take what is avail able and make the most of it. Unfortunately the workers in Strictly agricultural fields are all too few and the reliable data deplorably meager, though some original and I trust valuable matter has been recently added to our stock Of knowledge.
While the same principles doubtless apply in thremmatology as in evolution, yet important distinctions are to be observed. First, there is every reason to suppose that even fundamental laws apply to different species in different ways. For example, Indian corn seems particularly sensitive to close breeding, whereas wheat is almost exclusively inbred and has been so inbred for unknown generations. Again, the circumstances of the case Often introduce into the problem certain economic considerations not resting upon general evolution. For example, man cannot afford the countless ages and untold generations which are accorded nature for accomplishing results. In practical breeding Operations substantial results must follow at once and exhibit a high degree Of success within the period of a lifetime or they will be discarded as valueless.
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