Hopeful Heretic – Richard Goldschmidt’s Genetic Metaphors

Richard Goldschmidt famously rejected the notion of atomic and corpuscular genes, arranged on the chromosome like beads-on-a-string. I provide an exegesis of Goldschmidt’s intuition by analyzing his repeated and extensive use of metaphorical language and analogies in his attempts to convey his notion of the nature of the genetic material and specifically the significance of chromosomal pattern. The paper concentrates on Goldschmidt’s use of metaphors in publications spanning 1940-1955.
Keywords Analogical models  gene action  systemic mutation  genetic hierarchy
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DOI 10.2307/23334456
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