Conrad Hal Waddington

Born: November 8, 1905

Died: September 26, 1975 (Age 69)

Conrad Hal Waddington was a British developmental biologist, paleontologist, geneticist, embryologist and philosopher who laid the foundations for systems biology, epigenetics, and evolutionary developmental biology.

Although his theory of genetic assimilation had a Darwinian explanation, leading evolutionary biologists including Theodosius Dobzhansky and Ernst Mayr considered that Waddington was using genetic assimilation to support so-called Lamarckian inheritance, the acquisition of inherited characteristics through the effects of the environment during an organism's lifetime.

Waddington had wide interests that included poetry and painting, as well as left-wing political leanings. In his book The Scientific Attitude he touched on political topics such as central planning, and praised Marxism as a "profound scientific philosophy."

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