Richard Goldschmidt: hopeful monsters and other 'heresies'

  title={Richard Goldschmidt: hopeful monsters and other 'heresies'},
  author={Michael R. Dietrich},
  journal={Nature Reviews Genetics},
  • M. Dietrich
  • Published 2003
  • Biology
  • Nature Reviews Genetics
Richard Goldschmidt is remembered today as one of the most controversial biologists of the twentieth century. Although his work on sex determination and physiological genetics earned him accolades from his peers, his rejection of the classical gene and his unpopular theories about evolution significantly damaged his scientific reputation. This article reviews Goldschmidt's life and work, with an emphasis on his controversial views. 

Reinventing Richard Goldschmidt: Reputation, Memory, and Biography

  • M. Dietrich
  • Biology
    Journal of the history of biology
  • 2011
When viewed from the perspective of the biographer, Gould’s revival of Goldschmidt as an evolutionary heretic in the 1970s and 1980s represents a selective reinvention of GoldSchmidt that provides a contrast to other kinds of biographical commemorations by scientists.

Mendelian-Mutationism: The Forgotten Evolutionary Synthesis

This work finds no evidence of a delay in synthesizing mutation, rules of discrete inheritance, and selection in a Mendelian-Mutationist Synthesis, and suggests contemporary evolutionary thinking seems closer to their more ecumenical view than to the restrictive mid-twentieth-century consensus known as the Modern Synthesis.

Saltational evolution: hopeful monsters are here to stay

It is argued that the complete dismissal of saltational evolution is a major historical error of evolutionary biology tracing back to Darwin that needs to be rectified.

Beyond the Boss and the Boys: Women and the Division of Labor in Drosophila Genetics in the United States, 1934–1970

A profile of the gendered division of labor within Drosophila genetics in the United States during the middle decades of the 20th century is offered and supports a reconsideration of laboratory practices as different forms of work.

The proper place of hopeful monsters in evolutionary biology

Will evolutionary psychology become extinct? Evolutionary psychology as the Leaning Tower of Pisa

  • A. Simón
  • Psychology, Biology
    Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment
  • 2018
There is evidence that the classical theory of evolution is flawed in that the emphasis on adaptation as the basis for evolution is incorrect and the author predicts that evolutionary psychology may ultimately become extinct as a subdiscipline.

Theodor and Marcella Boveri: chromosomes and cytoplasm in heredity and development

The contributions of Theodor B overi and his co-worker, Marcella O'Grady Boveri, to the understanding of heredity and development go beyond the localization of the Mendelian hereditary factors onto the chromosomes.

Fifty years later: I. Michael Lerner's Genetic homeostasis (1954)--a valiant attempt to integrate genes, organisms and environment.

  • B. Hall
  • Biology
    Journal of experimental zoology. Part B, Molecular and developmental evolution
  • 2005
Genetic Homeostasis is the most original and innovative of Lerner’s books, a testament to what can emerge from the combination of a prepared mind, sabbatical leave, ‘‘Guggenheim’’, solitude and an Italian winter.



Richard Goldschmidt's “heresies” and the evolutionary synthesis

  • M. Dietrich
  • Philosophy, Medicine
    Journal of the history of biology
  • 1995
La reputation scientifique de R. Goldschmidt est principalement fondee sur la contribution qu'il a apportee dans deux domaines : l'etude du determinisme sexuel et l'etude des variations geographiques

From Hopeful Monsters to Homeotic Effects: Richard Goldschmidt's Integration of Development, Evolution, and Genetics1

The history of Goldschmidt's research on homeotic mutants highlights the continuing challenge of producing a balanced and integrated developmental evolutionary genetics.

On the Mutability of Genes and Geneticists: The “Americanization” of Richard Goldschmidt and Victor Jollos

Throughout the 1930s two of Germany’s most senior geneticists were caught up in controversy as they tried to enter the distinctly American culture of Drosophila genetics. When Richard Goldschmidt and

Opposition to the Mendelian-chromosome theory: The physiological and developmental genetics of Richard Goldschmidt

  • G. Allen
  • Biology
    Journal of the history of biology
  • 1974
Richard Goldschmidt had a considerable influence on his contemporaries, and to dismiss him as an obstructionist because his opponents later proved to be more nearly right, distorts history and obscures significant questions which the authors might well be asking.

What Determines Sex? A Study of Converging Approaches, 1880-1916

Interest in sex determination did not of course begin in 1892 or 1906, but by 1892 Charles Otis Whitman suggested that problems of sex determination held the "highest philosophical interest" in zoology at the time.

"An Empirical Evolutionary Generalization" Viewed from the Standpoint of Phenogenetics

The opponents of Neo-Darwinism could easily use much if not most of the important material assembled to illustrate their heterodox point of view, and this may serve as an example to show how dangerous it is to look at evolutionary facts only from the standpoint of static genetics.

Die sexuellen Zwischenstufen

IT is now eleven years since Dr. Goldschmidt brought out the well-known volume of which an English translation appeared in 1923 as “The Mechanism and Physiology of Sex-Determination”. The present

The embryological origins of the gene theory

  • S. Gilbert
  • Biology
    Journal of the history of biology
  • 1978
The emergence of the gene theory out of embryology will be seen in the context of these researchers' attempts to solve the problem of which cellular compartment the nucleus or the cytoplasmdirected development.

The Mechanism and Physiology of Sex Determination

An object-lesson in the way in which a single problem, at the outset not apparently more important than a thousand others, may, if pursued to its limit, be made to yield results of the deepest importance and the widest application.

Tempo and mode in evolution.

  • W. FitchF. Ayala
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1994
In the introduction to his book, Simpson averred that an essential part of his study was an "attempted synthesis of paleontology and genetics," an effort that pervaded the whole book, but was particularly the subject of the first two chapters, which accounted for nearly half the book's pages.