Talk:Gregor Mendel

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This section needs correction[edit]

Hybridizing experiments

In 1854, Mendel started his hybridizing experiments. He focused on the origin of plant variability. He tested the purities of selected varieties of Pisum and then began experiments with artificial fertilization. Mendel's experimental data illustrates that he must have been tested 28,000 Pisum plants during the years 1856-63.

           == Should read... ==

In 1854, Mendel started his hybridizing experiments. He focused on the origin of plant variability. He tested the purities of selected varieties of Pisum and then began experiments with artificial fertilization. Mendel's experimental data illustrates that he must have tested 28,000 Pisum plants during the years 1856-63.

           == Removed the word "been" ==

BinaryBitFlipper (talk) 20:17, 22 May 2014 (UTC)binarybitflipper

This page sounds like an argument[edit]

Like too many wikipedia articles, this page looks like an argument between opposite points of views nobody really cares about. To a reader who wants to know about Mendel it is not so relevant if scientists independently rediscovered Mendel's work or not, and if consensus cannot be reached neither claim should be made. Please guys, act like grown-ups.

Removals, Edits, and Possible misinformation[edit]

"An Austrian Empire's scientist" ? How about "an Austro-Hungarian scientist"? Are these articles written by adults?

Goodness gracious heavens to Betsy me, by George!

1:3 ratio[edit]

In the intro it is written that the green phenotype appears with a 1:3 ratio at the 2nd generation. However, it is actually a 1:4 ratio, since the peas have to get independently a (Green) allele from both parents. The odds are so 1/2*1/2=1/4. See — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dick tektiv (talkcontribs) 13:43, 4 May 2014 (UTC)

Known For...[edit]

In the little info box at the top right, suggest rephrasing the "Known For": instead of "discovering genetics" how about "early discoveries in genetics" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:08, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Gregor Mendel Institute[edit]

Is it possble to add the Gregor Mendel Institute as a web link? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:29, 23 November 2007 (UTC)


Vražné-Hynčice, district of Nový Jičín


Was there a good reason to remove the stub of his biography? Dennis

Possible misinformation[edit]

Mendel sending info to Darwin[edit]

I'm pretty sure he sent a copy of his papers to Darwin. :) I'm pretty sure Darwin got the copy and ignored it; however, I don't believe Darwin obtain Mendel's name from references at all. --Cyberman 15:22, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

I agree - I am researching a book by Anton Kerner von Marilaun, the eminent botanist. In the 2000 book, The Monk in the Garden, Robin Marintz Henig states:

"Kerner attended Franz Unger's lectures in Vienna at the same time Mendel did. In 1875 Kerner would begin a famous set of experiments. By transplanting lowland plants to alpine habitats, he was able to prove that altitude-related changes in the plants were not transmitted to offspring planted back in the lowlands. Kerner focused on highly variable plants in his search for the source of speciation, and he apparently saw little relevance in the monk's work with the stable garden pea. Nor did he show any interest in Mendel's career, although the two had crossed paths many times in Vienna. When a copy of Mendel's reprint [sent to a number of eminent authorities by Mendel] was recovered from Kerner's library after his death, the pages were uncut...Clearly the professor had never bothered to look at it."

"Another uncut reprint was found in the library of Charles Darwin, so Mendel must have sent him a copy, too. But even if Darwin had taken the time to cut through the folds...[he] had been exposed to the work of Charles Naudin, who reached many of the same conclusions that Mendel had - and he had not been especially impressed. "He cannot, I think, have reflected much on the subject, he once observed about Naudin. —Preceding unsigned comment added by KernerFan (talkcontribs) 23:37, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Incorrect history linkage?[edit]

Why is Lysenko linked to Mendel? Isn't that like linking Mengele to Christiaan Barnard.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:15, 10 February 2009 (UTC) 

Mendel's name[edit]

Okay - so which is it? Gregor Johann Mendel or Johann Gregor Mendel? - Haukurth 2 July 2005 19:43 (UTC)

Isn't Mendel generally a Jewish name? Is he from a family of Jewish converts? (edit by

Nothing mentions it. His parents were piss poor farmers from a willage who put their son to study priesthood to give him better life. Very detailed biography about his life was written by Vítězslav Orel (published in several languages, including English). I didn't read it but maybe it could give more info. Pavel Vozenilek 12:28, 24 July 2005 (UTC)
Orel (p.38) writes that according to A Schindler (as cited in Krizenecky 1965) the name appeared in the family around 1550. They were probably fugitives from Wuerttemberg. Mendel's mother and father were from Hyncice, where most of the inhabitants were ethnic Germans; father's family was from Veseli where most of the inhabitants were ethnic Czechs. Schindler claims that about 3/4 of Mendel's ancestors were of German origin and 1/4 of Czech origin. Orel does not say anything about Jewish origin. The form of the name changed depending whether the parish priest was German or Czech.--Jirka6 20:56, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

The name Mendel is Slavonic and corresponds to the Latin Ides - the 15th day of the month in the ancient Slavonic lunar calendar. Its interesting that Mendel who bears a Czech surname, spoke Czech from birth and was born in the Czech province of Moravia, is portrayed as an ethnic German. How utterly stupid. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:22, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

According to the onomastics dictionaries I have, Mendel is originally a given name contracted from a dithemtic given name beginning with Mend-. The surname originated as a patronym. --EncycloPetey (talk) 06:36, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

Darwin's maths skills[edit]

In the article the following sentence appears. "The leading expert in heredity at this time was Darwin's cousin Francis Galton who had mathematical skills that Darwin lacked and may have been able to understand the paper had he seen it. ". Is it possible that Darwin would not have been able to understand this paper. I find this hard to believe. I know this is irrelevant since we know Darwin did not see the paper but to speculate that he would not understand it seems strange. David D. (Talk) 19:20, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

Quoting Alan Grafen, who in turn was Burkhardt and Smith (1985), page 63) quoting some of Darwin's correspondence. See Fisher the evolutionary biologist.

I attempted mathematics, and even went during the summer of 1828 with a private tutor (a very dull man) to Barmouth, but I got on very slowly. The work was repugnant to me, chiefly from my not being able to see any meaning in the early steps in algebra. This impatience was very foolish, and in after years I have deeply regretted that I did not proceed far enough at least to understand something of the great leading principles of mathematics; for men thus endowed seem to have an extra sense.

Francis Galton on the other hand made major contributions to statistics and was especially concerned with heredity and biometrics. Mendel himself had a background in physics which requires some mathematical ability, that and probably influenced his mathematical approach to biology, which was unusual for its time since most of biology had not advanced beyond the "collecting specimens" stage. Ultimately it took Ronald Fisher, who was a mathematical genius, to properly understand Mendelism and Darwinism together. I suppose one could weasel it out by attributing it somewhere, I think Mendelweb has an essay to the same effect. Dunc| 21:03, 5 August 2005 (UTC)
Good stuff, that is very interesting. David D. (Talk) 21:54, 5 August 2005 (UTC)
What's still nagging me here is the implication that Darwin would not have understood the implications of Mendel's paper. Just how much math would he have needed to understand the paper? David D. (Talk) 22:19, 5 August 2005 (UTC)we are sorry to say but there is not alot of information on gregor
I've seen it written that Darwin even cites Mendel's paper, and therein speculated whether Darwin had read but not understood, or indeed cited without reading! - Samsara 18:29, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
I've never seen that. I've seen that Darwin had the papers but they were uncut. — Dunc| 18:41, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, as I can't find it in Brown's biography of Darwin, I must conclude that it is a false rumour. - Samsara 20:09, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
I suspect a rumor. I have heard Duncharris' version though. David D. (Talk) 23:11, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

Dates of birth & baptism[edit]

Mendel's birthdate: 22 July (baptised on 24 July): + lecture at Masaryk University in Brno OMaj 23:54, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

We have reputable sources for both dates. Can we resolve this is, or do we need to state both dates in the article? Please discuss here before changing things again. Awolf002 18:05, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
The 22 July is date of his baptism. That explains, why it's often mentioned. But I really don't know where the date 20 July came from. I only consider the Mendel Museum to be credible and up-to-date source. OMaj 18:36, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
I understand that "on record" is the day of his baptism (July 22). Does anybody have a copy of his autobiography? Maybe that will have some info on the birthday... Awolf002 18:50, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
I think the date should be July 22. According to van der Pas (1972, The date of Gregor Mendel's birth Folia Mendeliana, 7) the date is Julvfnmcnnnnnnnnnnnn

y 22. For example, Orel (1996, Gregor Mendel: the first geneticist. Oxford University Press, page 36) writes:

Mendel was born 22 July 1822 [..] The entry in the baptismal register of the village church gives his date of birth as 20 July, but Mendel himself always stated that he was born on 22 July, and the biographical sources accept this date (van der Pas 1972) [the reference given above].
So I think, the article should say July 22, with a note that the baptismal register says something July 20, but that Mendel himself used July 22. --Jirka6 03:39, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
If nobody objects, I will change the birth date to probably July 22 adding the above information. I think both published book by Orel and an article by van der Pas carry more weight than a web page.--Jirka6 00:53, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
I would only object if the baptismal record is a transcribed copy. Church baptismal entries are as close to real-time as a birth certificate is. And remember things such as education levels of parents, etc. How many anniversaries have been forgotten or misremembered. I would say use the primal document. — Preceding unsigned comment added by BinaryBitFlipper (talkcontribs) 19:46, 22 May 2014 (UTC)

Characteristics of Pea Plants[edit]

Which of the following is NOT a characteristic of the pea plants in which Mendel worked? a) They produced male and female parts. b) They exhibited blending inheritance. c) They would normally self-fertilize. d) They had many different traits and exhibited some pure-breeding varieties.

Which is it? I know it's not a or c. I'm leaning toward d, but am not sure.

You will have to research the answer to this test yourself. Wikipedia is there to help you, but it's not a forum of tutors. Awolf002 18:05, 16 March 2006 (UTC)


Since he was born in Moravia, which constitute from 1019 Czech lands and he also died there, I really do not understand why he should be called "Austrian monk" with a link to Austria ... is Mahatma Gandhi a british politician? --PowerCS 12:49, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

He was ethnically Austrian, spoke German, and trained in Vienna. At the time the was part of the Austrian Empire and later Austria-Hungary. The Czechs have named a university after him and (I think) tried to claim him for themselves but the evidence is contrary. Gandhi (apart from being dead, btw) was Indian but also campaigned for civil rights in South Africa. That by your reasoning makes him South African? — Dunc| 20:50, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
1)There was no "Austrian ethnicity" at that time. 2)Bohemia (including Moravia) was a multiethnic state at that time (just like Switzerland or Belgium of today), where about 1/3 of the population spoke German as their mother tongue. 3)Spending two years at the University of Vienna doesnt make one Austrian. 4)He spend virtually all his life in Moravia, which was since 11th century part of Bohemia, which was since 1804 (i.e. 12 years when Mendel was born) part of the Austrian Empire. Mendel was as Austrian, as Antonín Dvořák, František Palacký, Lajos Kossuth or Sándor Petőfi. Qertis 09:23, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
My flipping rear-end there wasn't. I'm sure my Austrian ancestors, the Aufschlagers (and my relatives still in the Wien area), would be more than happy to explain to you that you are incorrect.
The man was of Germanic, not Slavic ancestory, so the real question is whether or not one considers him German or Austrian. He was as Czech as my Bavarian relative who enjoyed his 1938-1939 vacation in the Sudetenland. •Jim62sch• 20:45, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
1)We dont know whether he had any Slavic ancestors or not. 2)One can consider him Moravian (he was born in Moravia), Bohemian (Moravia was/is part of Bohemia), Austrian (Bohemia was part of the Austrian Empire) or German (he was German speaker). Puting only the third one of them into the first sentence is highly confusing, since present-day tiny Republic of Austria and former enormous Austrian Empire are completely different states and Mendel spent on the territory of present-day Austria only two or three years of his life. Qertis 12:30, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, if (1) you are born in in the kingdom of Bohemia, (2) you die there, (3) you spend most of your life there, (4) you speak one of the languages spoken there, and (5) you are its citizen, then what would be the reason not to call you a Czech (for obvious reasons, one uses only the word Czech for the inhabitants of Bohemia and not Bohemian)? Ethnically he was German, similarly as say Bob Dylan is Jewish (but he is still an American). You can make the same argument for Austria or Europe (since Bohemian kingdom was part of Austrian Empire and Europe), but Bohemia is more precise. My family spoke German until recently, I have German, Czech, Jewish, Croatian and probably French ancestors, but I was born in Czechia, and I have spent most of my life there and even though I speak English and I spent several years at a university in U.S. but I am still a Czech (and a European of course)--Jirka6 20:49, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

i have not stated that he was a czech (despite the fact that he was born in the czech kingdom as its citizen), however i don't think it is correct to write austrian – he considered himself btw as of a german nationality. as was correctly noticed by Qertis, until second world war the population of Czech lands was of mixed nationality: czech, german (never heard about austrian, sorry) and jewish. moreover the czech kingdom was more-or-less independent despite that it was not acknowledged by crowning the austrian kings as a czech suvereign. is Franz Kafka also an austrian author? i don't think so ... --PowerCS 11:00, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Usually people like Mendel are described as Austrian, although at that time his ethnicity would have been described as German. He was certainly not Czech. Neither would people at that time have used this term nor did Czechs later do so. In 1945-47, all ethnic Germans, in the range of some millions, were driven out of the country for reasons of "collective guilt" for Nazi atrocities, and would Mendel have lived at that time, he would have been one of them. By the way, nobody spoke of "Austrians" at that time, and nearly all refugees settled in neighbouring Bavaria, which is part of Germany. The Austrians did not want to accept these people, because this would have posed difficult logical questions: When these people are driven out because they are Austrians, then Austrians would have been guilty of something. But as Austria was a self-declared victim of the war, this could not be true in the new ideology of the Austrian republic. So that is why Mendel, Mozart and Freud are considered Austrian (=good), Hitler, Eichmann and the refugees after 1945, however, German (=bad). In reality, the nationality and ethnicity of "Austrian" was invented in 1945. Please don't ask what nationality Kafka was. It is always difficult to project ideas onto a time where these ideas did not exist or had a different meaning.
Another dispute which hasn't come up yet (but which is beautifully suitable to excite nationalists) is why the German names for some places are not used in the article. Brno was at that time a city with a German majority and was generally known as Brünn in both in German and in English. See also Sudeten German. You will see that black/white doesn't work with matters of that complexity.

i agree that this question is quite complicated and the answer is not clear. however to solve this i suggest to change the first line to either "... was an Austria-Czech monk who ..." (like in Ernst Mach article) or to "... was a Brno monk who ..." (like in Franz Kafka one).
reacting to the previous post: are you sure that he did not consider himself as a german Czech? there were such people, especialy in time when after germanisation the majority of czech lands speaks german and not czech. therefore also Brno was called Brünn despite the fact that before and after it was always Brno. it is like after an occupation (please see [1]) anywhere else on the world. --PowerCS 15:55, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

This reminds me of the Simon Dach article, where Poles try to claim Dach was Polish. •Jim62sch• 20:55, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
While modern Austria (Deutcher Osterreich) is a post-1919 creation, the Hapsburg Empire after 1806 was called the the Austrian Empire, and after 1867 it was Austria-Hungary. So to call a German from Bohemia an "Austrian" seems reasonable. More importantly, since he is generally called an Austrian, I think we should refrain from calling him "Bohemian" unless we can find a reasonable source which supports that interpretation. Guettarda 22:43, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Nowadays concepts of nationality simply do not fit the situation in the 19th century. I replaced the term "Austrian" by a whole sentence describing the situation. Nahabedere 11:51, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

i fully agree, thanx. --PowerCS 13:56, 24 April 2006 (UTC)


I rewrote the introduction. The introduction should be precise and short, giving an idea about why this person is cited here. His place of birth and the description of where it was and where it is today can be found in the biography section. I changed "Moravia" to "Austrian Silesia", because his birthplace was not located in Moravia. "Austrian Silesia" was the part of Silesia which was not incorporated into Prussia by Frederic the Great and thus remained with Austria. It was called "Duchy of Silesia" or, in German, "Herzogtum Schlesien". I did not use the latter term however, because people would certainly not understand where this place is geographically located (as everybody would then think he would have been born in the Prussian province of Silesia, which was much bigger and more important than the small and till today rather unknown "Duchy of Silesia"). It was only later, after 1918 - that is, long after Mendel's death, that this region was incorporated into Czechoslovakia and was then known as "Moravian Silesia". Thus, I think that "Austrian Silesia" fits best. I also included the German names of Olmütz, because this was the name which was mainly known in the English-speaking world at that time. The Czech is mentioned with a link. See also here: [[2]]. Concerning his ethnicity and nationality: I did not put anything about this in the text to avoid a further heating-up of the discussion. For most people who studied his biography and the history of his region of birth, it is quite clear that Mendel himself would have considered himself both German and Austrian, but certainly not Czech. Although there was a certain mixture of populations, it was relatively clear who was Czech and who was German. In Moravia, where Mendel spent most of his time, most cities had a German majority, the Czechs often prevailed in more rural regions. The Moravian diet was later (starting 1905) elected in ethnically defined constituencies, and a lot of things were organized according to ethnicity. Unfortunately, there is not much English literature about this topic online, but see for example here: [[3]]. By the way, I hope that the other details of his life, and of course, his scientific accomplishments, receive as much attention as does the question of his ethnicity and nationality. Candidus 19:01, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

i have a slight impression that the terms "nationality" and "domicile" are mixed here inappropriately. but what i wanted by my first comment emphasize was that it is much more complicated than to describe him just as a "Austrian monk" since his only bound to Austria empire was (except of studies in Vienna and his language) that he was born and lived in the country occupied (in today terms) in 1620 by Austria ... btw: you all went a bit crazy, that those bloody Czechs want to claim him for themself but i have not find a single line suggesting to write something like "he was a czech monk" :P --PowerCS 12:22, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
I am puzzled by your use of the word "occupied" and I don't know where 1620 comes from. Silesia passes from Polish to Bohemian control in 1335, and Bohemia is under continuous Hapsburg control from 1526 - in other words, longer than Calais has been French. At the time he was born the area was considered part of the Austrian Empire. More importantly, he has always been referred to as an Austrian monk. It isn't for us to logic out what the "best" term for a person is - that constitutes OR. It isn't for us to reject established terminology because we don't like it. If you can find a modern, reputable source which argues against the old labels, then by all means go with that. I have no problem with using modern revisionist history, I just don't think that it's appropriate for us to formulate the ideas. Guettarda 13:28, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

I would also favor staying with Mendel as an Austrian. This is not without problems, but it is commonly recognized, and all the alternatives will bring about even more problems. In my version, which was reverted in the meantime and then again established (not by me), I just let out the term "Austrian" because I wanted to avoid an edit war about a detail in an article. I also do not understand the word occupation. That is an anachronistic term in that context. Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia were colonized - not occupied - by German colonists starting, as far as I know, in the 12th/13th century. This was however not a national conflict, and this was not unique to that part of the world, but a very common phenomenon elsewhere. The slavic population did the same thing a few centuries earlier - the country was not empty when they arrived, there were already Celtic and Germanic tribes well before the Slavic settlement. A quarrel like this will thus always end in an infinite regress and does not help answer our question. Candidus 14:11, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

well, i didn't want to start any edit war i just posed a simple question. i think the whole concept of "my scientist, your scientist" is crazy, i could be childishly happy that e.g. Kurt Gödel or Sigmund Freud were born on Moravia and i have no need to claim them Czech. i was just surprised that Mendel was marked as Austrian since he spent virtually whole his life in Moravia.
concerning the "occupation" i am sorry to all those who were confused by this my hyperbole – the thing is that until 1620 the czech kingdom (despite the fact it belongs to the habsburg empire) has some level of autonomy and in those times world unique freedom of religion isued by Rudolf II. but after the Battle of White Mountain this all ended and czech lands were systematicly recatholicizied and germanizied. i called that "occupation", but that's inappropriate, it was used in those time and historically i guess common. --PowerCS 16:14, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
a side-remark unrelated to Mendel: I agree to recatholization (which happend throughout the empire, not only in the Czech lands), but the Habsburgs were not directly interested in germanization (their primary goal was to have power over an as-large-as possible part of Europe, whatever language they have to use for that). Of course, indirect germanization occurred as a consequence of the fact that the Czech lands were then part of an empire where a large part of the population spoke German and where German was the lingua franca. Germanization was done systematically only in the times of Marie Theresia and Josef II, but not due to some kind project to build a nation state, but simply due to the fact that they thought that systematic use of the German language would make their empire more efficient (i.e., out of power politics) Nahabedere 07:43, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

The mistake of describing Mendel as Czech seems to be occurring with increasing frequency (most recently in the New York Review of Books, latest edition). Describing him as a German speaker from Austrian Silisea is cumbersome and so he is usually described simply as an Austrian. -- MikeKr 03:39, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

And describing him as Austrian is as (in)correct as describing him as Czech. Nowadays simple national thinking simply does not fit the more complex historical situation Nahabedere 12:24, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
No, it is not. Calling him Austrian is an English language convention, and also a convenient shorthand for various more accurate descriptors (as I've said). Calling him Czech is simply wrong, and makes as much sense as describing East Prussians as Polish, and would be equally offensive. In fact it would make even less sense. In the English language the word "Czech" didn't gain currency until the twentieth century. Before that members of the ethnic group, of which Mendel was not a part, were referred to in English as Bohemians. So much for rhetoric about 'Nowadays simple national thinking'. MikeKr 23:02, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
"Austrian" is more than a convenient shorthand, since he was a German-speaking citizen of the "Austrian Empire". Czech would be incorrect (since he was not a Czech speaker or ethnically Czech) - it would have been like calling a Hungarian living in Vienna a German. Guettarda 23:19, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
Yes. I would amend my post to add 'at the very least' before 'also a convenient shorthand'. -- MikeKr 23:44, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't agree: he fulfills the definition of Czech as "a person living in the Czech lands". The East Prussia-Poland analogy does not at all fit, since in the 19th century Poland did not exist, while the Czech lands, the Czech crown etc. DID exist (with the Habsburgs as kings), and btw. I am Austrian. Nahabedere 07:39, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
As far as I am concerned, I can live with the current version, which does not cite a nationality in the introduction, but explains his origins later in more detail. "Austrian" or "German" would also fit with me, "Czech" however sounds strange to me. If you apply the above definition ("a person living in the Czech lands"), you will end up in strange, anachronistic conclusions. Nobody would have called Mendel a "Czech" in the 19th century, and after World War II, all Germans (and probably also Mendel's relatives, if there were some at that time) in Czechoslovakia were as such deported. At least I am happy that the discussion so far seems to stay civilized. I think discussions like this can be very instructive, because everybody of us grew up in a specific environment with specific textbooks written in a certain national tradition, and perhaps even with familiy stories related to historic events. And the relations between Czechs, Austrians and Germans indeed were complicated, and unfortunately full of suffering. Candidus 16:37, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
It's hard to see Nahabedere's definition of Czech as anything other than purposefully obtuse in this context, but I'll persist in assuming that the correspondent is simply mistaken, that in his or her antagonism to nationalism of any kind s/he has somehow mistakenly ended up saying exactly the same thing as Czech nationalists.
Czech nationalism says exactly the opposite: root out everything that even remotely smells German, replace all the German loan-words in Czech by Slavic ones, deny that the German-speaking population of the Czech lands had anything in common with the Czech speaking one ... Nahabedere 06:20, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
About the issue, rather than anyone here (necessarily): It may be useful to note that the creation of a supposed controversy where none actually exists is a classic extremist debating tactic. The American religious right's attempt to portray evolution as somehow controversial, when it is not, is the textbook example. Attempts to portray Mendel's heritage as disputed, when it is not, are getting harder to see in any other light.
The current introduction is a little convoluted. It reads as if it had been written to include the word Czech as often as possible! <g> Perhaps the following alternative would torture grammar a little less. If nobody objects, perhaps we could change it:
Mendel was born on July 22, 1822, in a German-speaking family in the village of Heinzendorf in Austrian Silesia, at that time a part of the Austrian Empire (today: Hynčice in the Czech Republic).
-- MikeKr 23:24, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
the current introduction does not contain the word Czech AT ALL (and neither the word Austrian or German). We should leave it at that. Nahabedere 06:20, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
It says what you want, it's not suprising you don't want to change it. Mendel was Austrian and German, and that is neither controversial nor in dispute, except to those who want to erase the history of the Germans in Austrian Silesia. I am happy for it to be mentioned in the first line of his biography, as it now is, but ...
That line is the one I was suggesting be changed as its construction is quite clumsy. It now reads: Mendel was born on July 22, 1822, in a German-speaking family of Heinzendorf in Austrian Silesia (today: Czech Silesia, Czech Republic), which was at that time a land of the Austrian Empire (today: Hynčice (part of Vražné), district of Nový Jičín, Czech Republic).
The word Czech is indeed there three times, but it is the excess of commas and brackets I want to fix. My alternative is above, it is less convoluted but has the same meaning.
Note that the link for Austrian Silesia is now to a page on "Czech Silesia". The link should be to the Silesia page. -- MikeKr 06:57, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
you changed the biography, NOT the INTRODUCTION, I am fine with those changes Nahabedere 07:27, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
At his time the common label was "Czech Germans", "Deutschboehme", "cessti Nemci", one of two major ethnics in Czech lands. Austrian meant then Lower/Upper Austria inhabitant. Biographies of Mendel exist and they could answer this question better. Pavel Vozenilek 12:23, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

Mendel was NOT austrian, he was completely czech (born in czech teritory, education mainly in czech teritory, experiments in czech teritory, czech surname, he spoke mainly czech). I hope to do not see again that lie! At that time the Austria-Hungary had teritories from current Italy, Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia, Slovenja, Croatia, Ukraine, Poland, Rumania and so on...therefore at that time born in the teritory of the old Austria-Hungary did NOT mean to be austrian -- (talk) 13:25, 1 February 2009 (UTC)RSW

As I say above, I would call him Czech too (or Czech German if to be precise). But, he did not speak mainly Czech and his surname is not Czech.--Jirka6 (talk) 13:31, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
Mendel was not Austrian!

All of you are forgoting one important think: AUSTRIA-HUNGARIAN EMPIRE! My great great grandfather was born there, that doesnt make him Hungarian! Please see article about Austria-Hungarian empire. It was NOT only Austria and Hungaria. Other nationality were also living in this empire and other lands were also included in this empire. Czech lands is one of them for example.

I don't see no reason why using "25 names" of the city he was born in as they go in the history. Use cotemporaly name, with proper link. Reader can always click on that name of that, or any other city, and read history of that city and name.

I have been seing this a lot here at wiki. Seems like German or Austrian trying to push their agenda. Let me tell you this for once: Czech Republic is not part of Austria anymore! Not since 1918. We are not your peasants! Get over it finaly! (talk) 17:35, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Old discussion but... Mendel was dead before 1918... so we don't use what he would be considered in today's nationality. (talk) 18:36, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

I think we may discuss about whether Mendel was German, Czech-German or Czech, but he definitely was not Austrian! Because using that logic, everyone born in Austrian empire would be Austrian regardless of the place of born and mother tongue... and that's an obvious nonsence. -- (talk) 07:30, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

Using this logic, historically all the people from Great Britain's colonies were British, so there would be no historical "Australians", "Canadians", and among the most influential Brits is probably George Washington, right? And Daniel O'Connell one of the most influential people in Irish history, was not Irish but a Brit. Please do not forget that Habsburgs didn't rule Silesia (where Mendel was born) and Moravia (where he died) as archdukes of Austria neither as emperors of Austria, but from the position of Czech kings (kings of Bohemia). Cimmerian praetor (talk) 08:25, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

Czech German[edit]

I created category Category:Czech Germans which was common term from cca 1948 to around start of WW2 when Sudetent ggermans took it over. To reduce category clutter I would recommend to remove Czech botanist etc cats and leave only the Austria counterparts (there are no Austrian Empire scientist categories, unfortunately). Pavel Vozenilek 12:00, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Common term from 1948. Mendel died in 1884. How is that applicable? — Dunc| 12:03, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
Pavel probably meant 1848. "Czech German" (deutschbohmisch) was a well established term used to describe german speaking inhabitants of Czech lands (along with simple "bohmish" reserved to either all "czechs" or - more often - those of czech language) until the invention of the ethnically "cleaner" term "Sudeten German" in the beginning of the 20th century which eventually prevailed in the following era of heated nationalisms. Actually IMO it is the only appropriate way how to describe Mendels nationality/ethnicity, and probably the way he would call himself. To call him an "Austrian" is highly misguiding given the current meaning of this nationality and I cannot see a humble reason for its use (the same goes for the use of past empires to identify places of birth/death). Wikipedia should INFORM, not promote an outdated agenda of some wikipedians. Just 2 cents of a frequent user. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:50, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

Over Simplification of Research?[edit]

I thought that the description of Mendels hybrization studies are obscenely over simplified. I realise that this page is meant to be about Mendal, not his work, but it is precisely this work that makes him notable. Any thoughts? 15:57, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Be bold. Just go ahead and make the changes you think are needed. For one, this will kick start discussion. did you see this page: Mendelian inheritance? David D. (Talk) 16:14, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

what's the date of birth?[edit]

You can't be born in 1822 AND 1823. I'm pretty sure it was 1822... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

You're correct, i reverted your edit since you were an anon IP, I should not have jumped the gun. Thanks for the helpful contribution. David D. (Talk) 20:08, 25 September 2006 (UTC)
The Gregor Mendel article asserts the following, without citation:
"July 20 is his birthday; often mentioned is July 22, the date of his baptism."
But Britannica, Encarta, and The Catholic Encylopedia all give the date of birth as July 22, 1822. Does anyone have an authoritative citation for the July 20 date of birth? -- Jim Douglas (talk) (contribs) 05:59, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
Ok, I found it, here:
Born on 20 July (baptised on 22 July) in Hyncice, northern Moravia (then Austrian Silesia) to farmers, Anton and Rosina.
That citation ought to be in the article, no? -- Jim Douglas (talk) (contribs) 06:14, 3 October 2006 (UTC)


Mendel's attraction to research was based on his love of nature. He was not only interested in plants, but also in meteorology and theories of evolution. Mendel often wondered how plants obtained atypical characteristics. On one of his frequent walks around the monastery, he found an atypical variety of an ornamental plant. He took it and planted it next to the typical variety. He grew their progeny side by side to see if there would be any approximation of the traits passed on to the next generation. This experiment was "designed to support or to illustrate Lamarck's views concerning the influence of environment upon plants." He found that the plants' respective offspring retained the essential traits of the parents, and therefore were not influenced by the environment. This simple test gave birth to the idea of heredity.

Removed this paragraph since it is blatant copyright violation from ' . Unless it was scraped, anyone know? David D. (Talk) 20:04, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

Cultural depictions of Gregor Mendel[edit]

I've started an approach that may apply to Wikipedia's Core Biography articles: creating a branching list page based on in popular culture information. I started that last year while I raised Joan of Arc to featured article when I created Cultural depictions of Joan of Arc, which has become a featured list. Recently I also created Cultural depictions of Alexander the Great out of material that had been deleted from the biography article. Since cultural references sometimes get deleted without discussion, I'd like to suggest this approach as a model for the editors here. Regards, Durova 18:51, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Mendel LAW.jpg[edit]

The image trying to illustrate Mendel's law is very confusing and unhelpful. The concept of "generation" and of "gene inheritence/transfer" is not correctly visualized by the four squares and rather "random-looking" lines. Can somebody improve this? Otherwise we should ditch this image... Awolf002 13:55, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Nobody seems to care, so I will remove it. Awolf002 00:32, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

"Possible Exception to his laws of Inheritance"[edit]

This section and its detailed description needs to be moved to Mendelian inheritance. Maybe we can keep some summary, but this has little to do with Mendel's life and accomplishments, in my book. Awolf002 03:20, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

No summary needed. Just link to the page from the See Also section.--Ed ¿Cómo estás? 03:57, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Jesuit priest[edit]

<!-- I could not substantiate that Mendel was ever ordained as a Jesuit priest. It appears, instead, that he was an Augustinian which is not the same, so I struck the following text. --> In 1847 he was ordained as a Jesuit priest

I removed the above from the text since it looks unsightly. Anyone have a source? David D. (Talk) 19:56, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Oh dear. Mendel is probably the MOST FAMOUS AUGUSTINIAN of the last two centuries because of his genetic work. He was the Abbott of the Augustinian Monastery in Brno, (modern Czech Republic). He WAS NOT A JESUIT!!!!!!! Not every smart priest has to be a Jesuit. Just a lot of them. I have added the linkCor Unum 10:54, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

OK folks, Father Gregor Mendel was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest in 1847. He dedicated his life and studies to God. I can't believe that this is not acknowledged in the record on wikipedia nor is it mentioned on google celebration of his birthday. sited: Catholic Encyclopedia 1913. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:49, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

Semi-protection needed?[edit]

Currently, this page is being vandalized about five times a day. Please respond here if you think semi-protection would be a good idea. Unfortunately it would be almost permanent, because the attacks have been going for 3 months or more. Heavy vandalism clutters up the history file with junk. EdJohnston 19:42, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree - semi-protection is needed. I never could figure out why this article gets so much vandalism. DLX 19:54, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree too. I revert vandalism whenever I see it, but I can't be here every second, eh? RedRollerskate 06:02, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
Agree, I'm checking it several times a day for vandalism. --ArmadilloFromHellGateBridge
Requested semi-protection at WP:RFPP. EdJohnston 19:55, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Nationality issue[edit]

What's the big deal about it? Why is it so important that he was German, Bohemian, Czech, Austrian, Silisian, European, or whatever? Why do we even have it in the article? This is silly. He was a human and his scientific accomplishments benefit all of us, so cut the origin crap please, it is so irrelevant. -- Boris 01:49, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

It is relevant because it has to do with his identity. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:19, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Well- the isse seems to be nationalism. Having lived in his town of Brno (and quite near his Monastery in 1995), I became acutely aware that the Czechs are very nationalistic about him. I think, in fact, he was a native German-speaking Austro-Hungarian subject who also spoke Czech. I am not sure what he considered himself as apart from a Austro-Hungarian. Truth is, this is sort of eclipsed by the invasion of the Czechs in WW2, then the ejection of the Germans from the Sudetenland after WW 2. It's quite a hot issue there. Only the very old Czechs speak native German any more (the general language of the Austro-Hungarian empire) Cor Unum 11:01, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Fraud issues[edit]

It should be noted that Mendel's research is a favorite example of laboratory fraud. He very likely fudged his results, but we don't much care because he appears to have been right, ... but it is worth mentioning. See: Ronald A. Fisher, "Has Mendel's Work Been Rediscovered?" Annals of Science, Volume 1, (1936): 115-137. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by BMBTHC (talkcontribs) 14:49, 10 March 2007 (UTC).

The issue of whether he committed "scientific fraud" is debated at least once a week in my lab, albeit with some humour. The fact is that most of the people in my lab (we a re geneticists) think he probably did indulge in the occasional "fudging" for his published paper, since his statistics are much too close to the perfect 3:1 ratios; however in order for him to realise the 3:1 ratio existed in the first place he would have had to do a lot of valid work in the first place. He either worked out the ratio, and stopped counting as soon as his results closely approximated the ratios, or only published his "best" (albeit true) data. There is a tendency in science to publish your "best data" rather than "all relevant data", to boost your argument. It's an ugly practice, but not really fraud.Cazza411 23:02, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Bias concerns[edit]

I have watched this article over a long time. It has been tending to emphasise Mendel as scientist as if this was his primary goal in life. He was a priest and Abbot of his Augustinian religious order - also very committed to his religious practice. He was a monk/friar. My view is it is good to include this in his biography very clearly, most importantly because there is sometimes a false dichotomy between Science and religion. Mendel is one of the important bridging people betyween the disciplines. He did both well. Cor Unum 11:12, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

No that's stupid. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:18, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Score one for a logic argument? (talk) 18:42, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

Science is what he is known for. It is why he has an article. It's like complaining that the article on Martin Luther King Jr. focuses too much on the civil rights movement and not enough on him being a Baptist minister. It is like complaining that the article on Francis Scott Key focuses too much on The Star Spangled Banner and not enough on his law career. The fact is, while these may have not been their only tasks, they would likely not be remembered had they not done these things. inclusivedisjunction (talk) 04:45, 23 October 2010 (UTC)

Nationality & birthplace[edit]

Encyclopaedia Britannica (not reputable enough for Jirka6?) says he was Austrian. Place of birth: Hynčice/Heinzendorf was situated in Austrian Silesia (Silesia without the prefixed "Austrian" refers to a part of Prussia). -- 09:35, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Bohemia (Czech lands) was part of Austrian empire. Mendel was born, spend most of his life and died in Czech lands. Thus it makes sense to call him Czech, or Czech Austrian, or Czech German. But it seems weird to leave out the word Czech. If you considered any citizen of Austrian Empire to be an Austrian, it would mean there would not be any Czech, Hungarian, Slovenian etc. culture/peoples for a couple of centuries. Personally I think it is correct to refer to him as Czech. It is possible to call him Czech-German if you want to stress his native language (most of Czech intelligentsia spoke German at that time, including my grandfather), or Czech-Austrian if you want to stress that Czech lands were part of Austrian Empire at that time.
Re Britannica - there is a lot of good information in there but also a lot of bad articles. Just have a look at computational linguistics - they haven't updated it since 1960's Jirka6 04:29, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Please add a quotation that says Mendel was not Austrian and which is as reliable as Britannica. I found nothing (for example: MSN Encarta says he was an Austrian [4]).
I don't know if the Britannica article is up to date. But is there any reason Mendel's nationality should have changed since the 1960s?
In Mendel's lifetime there were several millions of ethic Germans (who considered themselves as Austrians) in Bohemia, Moravia and Austrian Silesia. As far as I can see Mendel was one of them and not a member of Czech intelligentsia.
Please: If you change his nationality in the article then refer to reliable sources. --Ref45q 11:06, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
I do not say he was not Austrian. He was Czech-German, and since Czech lands were part of the Austrian Empire (and later of the Austrian part of Austria-Hungary), he was an Austrian by transitivity. He also was an European. The article provides references for the fact that he was born, lived (except 2 years in Vienna) and died in Czech lands. The exact dates and place can be found for example in Orel V. (1996): Gregor Mendel: the first geneticist. Oxford University Press. It is a good source about Mendel in general. Jirka6 00:54, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Why does this article call him a Moravian, Silesian, and a Bohemian? Where the hell is he from? The main article says Moravian, and the info box says "Silesia, Bohemia". Silesia isn't in Bohemia. +Hexagon1 (t) 10:26, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Silesia in Bohemia?[edit]

I think that Silesia is not in Bohemia (at least not in Bohemia as defined by Wikipedia; usually it is claimed that Bohemia + Moravia + part of Silesia = Czech Lands or Czechia, currently Czech Republic). I think that Bohemian Kingdom refers to Czech Lands or Lands of Bohemian/Czech Crown, thus including Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia, but I am not expert on that. In any case using simple Bohemia is in my view wrong. I corrected that, but it was reversed. Apparently there was some discussion on this page about it I cannot find it. (on contrary Hexagon1 above also thinks that Silesia is not in Bohemia) --Jirka6 00:49, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Was Heinzendorf in Bohemia in 1822, when Mendel was born? That ought to be a well-defined factual question. Perhaps if a scan of his birth certificate exists that would answer it. The Kingdom of Bohemia was quite large in various periods, and seems to have included part of Silesia from time to time. See List of rulers of Bohemia, and see Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor, who was the ruler of Austria, Bohemia and Silesia in 1822. Maps available through Wikipedia show Heinzendorf must have been either in Austrian Silesia or Moravia in 1822, so the question is whether Austrian Silesia was considered part of Bohemia at that time. EdJohnston 03:38, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
Oops, further reading of this Talk page (above) shows this question was exhaustively discussed earlier, where people are confident he was born in Austrian Silesia. They don't seem to have hard evidence whether that was considered Bohemia at the time, but that's the general impression. EdJohnston 03:52, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
I did not question he was born in Silesia, he was. I was just wondering if it can be called part of Bohemia. Informally, I have always use Bohemia to refer to what is sometimes referred to as Czechia or Czech (Lands/Republic), I was just not sure if it can be used in an encyclopedia. The usage of the word in the article Bohemia excludes Silesia, on the other hand it links to a map with the label Historical map of Bohemia (Bohemia proper - pink, Moravia - yellow, Austrian/Bohemian Silesia - orange). Also in Latin Bohemoslovaca meant Czechoslovakia, so Bohemo- included Austrian/Czech Silesia. So okay, why not use Bohemia in that sense (but then the Bohemia article should mention such use).--Jirka6 00:02, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
Short of finding a biography of Mendel that considers this in detail, I don't see how we can go further. Note this supremely ambiguous sentence from our article on Bohemia: "Together with Moravia and Czech Silesia, Bohemia constitutes the traditional Czech Lands and in its broader meaning, Bohemia is often used to refer to this entire area". So, properly considered, everything is in Bohemia :-). EdJohnston 00:59, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
It was me who added that sentence to the Bohemia article today :-). I do not think a bibliography of Mendel is a place to look for this. It is clear which coordinate he was born in and it is also clear it was in Austrian/Czech Silesia. Silesia was part of the Czech kingdom for centuries, the question is what was the legal status at Mendel's birth.
The problem is that there is no simple English name for the Czech state, The Lands of the Czech Crown is horribly long, Czech Lands may be better, Czechia is pushed only by few people (not native speakers of English), Bohemia is as using Holland for Netherlands, ... --Jirka6 04:21, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Need reliable sources for nationality[edit]

I would welcome contributions by (talk · contribs · count) to this Talk page, since he just replaced another flag (Bohemia) with an Austrian flag. Though I have yet to see evidence that Mendel's part of the Austrian Empire was referred to as Bohemia during the period of his life, I don't think any reliable information can be found without crawling through 19th-century sources. It doesn't seem very important to Mendel's story to keep on tweaking these nationalities, especially without adding references. So I would welcome discussion on this Talk page prior to any further adjusting of national affiliations. Previous discussions here have suggested that Mendel, though born to a German-speaking family, lived in an environment with a lot of Czech interaction, so simple national classification is likely to be misleading. EdJohnston 18:08, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Do you consider Encyclopedia Britannica a reliable resource? Here's a link - he is referred to as an "Austrian botanist".
Furthermore here's a map - you can see states that were part of the German Confederation – and you will see, that Heinzendorf belonged to the Austrian Empire.
Of course there were different regions in the Austrian Empire – but that holds true for modern nations, too – you still use the name of the nation.
Apropos tweaking nationalities – who tweaks nationalities? If Gregor Mendel and his parents had spoken Czech – he would today certainly be called Czech – but for many parts of eastern Europe where German minorities (and sometimes majorities) lived, somehow members of those minorities seem to have been tagged with a new nationality – the one of state the region belongs to today.
Jirka6 wrote that Mendel had Czech ancestors – can somebody name some? Otherwise the category "Czech botanist" is simply not correct.
Regards, 22:37, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
PS I think this case is NOT AT ALL comparable with Copernicus, who (he wrote in Latin and German) seems to have been both – Polish AND German – his father was of Polish ancestry and his mother German.
I would prefer either to drop the reference to nationality completely (it is hard to fit these categories across centuries) or write Czech-Austrian or Czech-German. It makes sense to include Austrian/German since Mendel was born into a German speaking family in the Austrian Empire, and it makes sense to include Czech because he spent most of his life in Czech Lands, his ethic group was called Czech-Germans, and he had both German and Czech ancestors (see Orel 1996 and his sources). The argument about John Jacob Abel and Ohio vs. America does not hold - Czechia is and was a country, Ohio is not. BTW Czech communists in 1950s and 1960s were happy that Austria is claiming Mendel to be Austrian because communism considered genetics to be a pseudo-science.--Jirka6 21:33, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't think dropping the nationality is justified (cf. e.g. Encyclopedia Britannica) – and you certainly do not propose to drop the nationality for ALL people who lived in those regions with a mixed population, right? Only for those who belonged to the German minorities? If somebody spoke Czech and belonged to the Czech part of the population you surely would want to keep it. If it's historically correct that he had both – Czech and German ancestors – then the category should be kept. But can you name some – and is it a reliable resource? And what do other resources say? Aren't those post-WW2 claims?
You say Czechia was a country – it certainly was a nationality, a people – but what state are you talking about? Those Kingdoms (that at Mendel's time played no role anyway) did not carry the name of a single nationality – just because there were several.
And the argument concerning Ohio was meant in the following way – it makes sense to show the flag of the state that was politically in power – and not the flag of a region where somebody was born.
Regards, 22:51, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
I think you are right about the flag and Austrian Empire as place of birth, it is also consistent with other people like F. Kafka (see that above I was objecting to using the flag of Bohemia).
You are mixing ethnicity, citizenship, nationality (recall that nationalism was emerging during Mendel's life), kingdoms/state and language. Czech-Germans and Czechs of Slavic origin were two major ethnic groups living in Czech Lands. Many Slavic Czechs spoke German (including my in-laws). The adjective "Czech" can be used to refer to somebody being Czech by blood or by place. Similarly as Einstein can be called German or Jewish (the war made that even more complicated) and Kafka is Jewish-Bohemian, moreover also speaking German (natively, Czech as second lg).
I am returning the categories that were in the article for a long time: Czech-German (because that's the name for ethnic Germans living in Czech Lands), and Czech botanist/biologist (he was born/lived/worked/died in Czech Lands). If you want to remove/modify one or more of these categories please discuss it first. The category Austrian X suggests he is related to modern Austria, one solution would be a category X of the Austrian Empire (similarly as his birth place has the flag of Austrian Empire and not of modern Austria).--Jirka6 01:52, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
You keep saying "Czech Lands" like it was written in granite – what were Czech Lands? There were regions populated by different ethnic groups under the rule of kings of different origin. You keep blending the situation of today with history.
"Czech-German (because that's the name for ethnic Germans living in Czech Lands)" like you say is a category of today - back then they were not Czech German and 'funnily enough' nobody back then could know that the region would be part of a Czech state in a distant future. When you read old literature (like War and Peace etc.) you will see, that the people of those regions with a mixed population where called referring to their nationality. You see – I'm not mixing nationality and citizenship – just an example: Mozart called himself German several times in his letters – he considered himself belonging to the German people – and at his time there was not a single German state. So when one is talking about a time when a people did not have its own nation-state – the right method is to refer to the ethnicity.
You say: "The category Austrian X suggests he is related to modern Austria" – this logic turns against you – at least there actually was an Austrian Empire back then – and Mendel's hometown was part of that Austrian Empire – he actually was an Austrian citizen – there was no "Czech Empire etc." – and the category "Czech botanist" which you keep adding even more suggests a relation to modern Czechia.
Regards, 13:03, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
PS Why do you think the Encyclopedia Britannica calls him an Austrian?
PPS Mentioning the Jewish Germans – I have no doubt that they considered themselves Germans before the Nazi atrocities – e.g. when you read Victor Klemperer's diaries you see, that even during the Third Reich he called himself - quote - "liberal and German forever" and called the Nazis Un-German.
PPPS Apropos the categories Austrian / Austrian Empire – yes there really is a little problem here: if one would use the logic that for example Tolstoy used, one would simply refer to a part of the population of the Austrian Empire as German (like Mozart called himself) – there were many bigger and smaller states with a German population back then ... only after WWI did the Allies forbid that Austria called herself "German-Austria" ... so for historical reasons I think it's OK (though not just) that some Germans of that time are called Germans instead of Saxons, Bavarians, Westphalians etc. while other Germans of that time are called Austrians.
PPPPS I wonder how long it will take until Martin Opitz retroactively receives a new nationality and new categories. Maybe in the future every German whose hometown is today located in a another state will be tagged with that nationality, too. That would be wrong, but maybe can't be averted.
Czech state in a distant future? Wasn't Czech state there since the 9/10th century? And what's unstable about it? Moravia was under the Bohemian crown continuously for centuries (with a short exception in the 15th century). The fact that there were different rulers is kind of natural, people do not live forever. Czech state was part of the German Empire (the Bohemian king was one of the electors) and since 1804 of the Austrian Empire. Czech-German WAS the label used for Germans living in Czech Lands.
I looked at some German history books and they are clearly incompatible in these things with the Czech ones. So probably the historians need to sort this out first. It is just weird to ignore the whole German part of Czech history. Germans lived in Czech Lands for centuries (most of them came in 1300s), some areas like Cheb were colonized by Germans in 1100s and only later came under the Bohemian crown (Cheb in 1322). If there were no WWII and no expulsion of Germans after it, nobody would object to calling them Czech-Germans, similarly as Germans in Switzerland are called Swiss-Germans. Ignoring all the German side of Czech history is also what the Czech communists tried to do - there were really not that many Germans in Czech Lands, they were not important, they did not do much and if they did, then mostly some trouble. (BTW I have read recently that Czechs have only about 50% the typical Slavic DNA footprint, the rest is mostly Germanic. I am not a geneticists so I cannot comment on that).
We could probably discuss it forever, I am not touching the nationality anymore (although personally I think it is better to describe Mendel as Czech-German than as Austrian) I would prefer if the Czech scientist categories stayed - they do not refer to his ethnicity, but to the place where he spent his life and made his discoveries. Jirka6 15:00, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
One last thing - I looked at the article about Nicolaus Copernicus, a similar case. Wikipedia does not use any geographical adjective because people did not agree. Some call him clearly Polish, some call him clearly Prussian or German. Britannica calls him Polish, so it follows the opposite logic than with Mendel (probably because Polish communists were not ashamed of Copernicus, while Czech communists considered genetics to be junk-science, so they were happy somebody else is claiming Mendel). I think there should be some basic guidelines about how to do these to to resolve these Jirka6 15:42, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
We probably won't come to a conclusion, but I'll try again to make clear my point of view.
Bohemia was a multi-national kingdom – so instead of saying there were German-Czech people it would be appropriate to say there were Czech-Bohemians, German-Bohemians, Polish-Bohemians, Gypsy-Bohemians ... just like there are Swiss-Germans, Swiss-Italians, ... you seem to identify Bohemian with Czech - I don't think that this is justified. First, there lived many nationalities and the word Bohemian did not refer to a special part of the population. Second the rulers were not all Czech – was it even the majority in time, or a large majority? I'm not sure, but I guess not. John I. was from the House of Luxembourg (beginning of the 14th century) - do you consider him Czech? Probably not - look at his ancestors. Furthermore the history book in front of me right now says, that early in the 16th century the titles combined with the Crown of Stephen and the Crown of Wenceslas were transferred to the Kaiser of the Holy Roman Empire – so that he could call himself King of Bohemia, too. Thus Bohemian is not an ethnicity. 17:02, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
PS Well, like I wrote, Copernicus seems to have been both, he was Polish-German or German-Polish, regarding his ethnicity. I don't know why Britannica settled with only calling him Polish. Maybe because (like written in the Wikipedia) those towns of Royal Prussia asked for Polish support against the Teutonic Order.
PPS Interesting fact about the DNA footprint – so the Slavic and Germanic people intermingled more than I thought.
PPPS Of course I know that in many cases the issues are hard to settle. I think for the people themselves the language they speak makes much of the identity and what they think where they belong. The Polish for example who migrated to the Rhineland (the soccer player Ernst Kuzorra was a famous descendant) quickly considered themselves to be German.
There is no distinction between the word Bohemian and Czech in the Czech language. Both of them are "Cech" (person) or "cesky" (adjective). Czechs try to avoid the English word Bohemia(n) since most people are think you are talking about some bar. As far as I know, technically, there is no difference between the meaning of Bohemian and Czech in English (Bohemian is probably more frequently used to refer to Bohemia proper, while Czech is used for the whole Czech Lands/Czechia, but they are also used the other way round). The word Czech/Cech is sometimes used to refer to ethnic Czechs sometimes to any citizen of Czechia. Similarly we talk about German Turks (Americans say Turkish Germans). I think once some German of Turkish origin discovers something really important, there will be discussions whether he is a Turkish or German scientist. (BTW Czechia allows dual citizenship, unlike Germany).
I do not know whether to consider John of Luxembourg (also) a Czech, definitely not by blood. His son is considered to be the greatest Czech ever by most of the Czechs. Do you consider the kings of the Hanoverian dynasty to be English? I think the articles about people like Mendel or Copernicus should say that multiple nations consider them to be their own.Jirka6 17:26, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
I will answer later. I have no time right now. 18:15, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
Later? It's been over a year. Mendl is definitely a Czech name in its origin, but there is more to ethnicity than a name. O'Neil is an Irish name, but that doesn't make Shaquille O'Neil Irish. (talk) 02:54, 18 May 2010 (UTC)


this is a good article about mendel

Please upload more detailed and accurate information about Mendel

Disputed Darwinian Influence[edit]

Some passages in Mendel's paper are Darwinian in character, evidence that The Origin of Species influenced Mendel's writing.

This section claiming that Mendel was influenced by Darwin is un-sourced. It is also a far cry from having read Darwin's book and underlined a few sentences to having adopted Darwin's theory and included elements in his research paper. Many people underline things while reading books they strongly disagree with as well. At any rate, this claim is unsupported and would require specific citation of the alleged "darwinian passages".

Mendel's laws demonstrate the conservation of genetic information, not the development of new information that Darwin claimed. The concept of mutations would have required extremely strict controls and very large sample sizes to find in the data set. This kind of research came decades after Mendel. It does not seem likely that Mendel would have agreed with Darwin's theory given that it appears to contradict Mendel's genetic laws - if you are not aware of mutations.

Perhaps Mendel agreed with Darwin, but no proof has been cited here and this speculative passage should be removed. Cadwallader 15:15, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

I checked 'Experiments in plant hybridization' for any hint of Darwinian influence. There was none, unless you think this passage qualifies, from the last page of Bateson's English translation:

Gärtner, by the results of theses transformation experiments, was

led to oppose the opinion of those naturalists who dispute the stability of plant species and believe in a continuous evolution of vegetation. He perceives in the complete transformation of one species into another an indubitable proof that species are fixed with limits beyond which they cannot change. Although this opinion cannot be unconditionally accepted we find on the other hand in Gärtner’s experiments a noteworthy confirmation of that supposition regarding variability of cultivated plants which has already been expressed. Among the experimental species there were cultivated plants.

Since I didn't think this represents Darwinian influence, I removed the sentence alleging such influence from the article. I also removed the sentence speculating that Galton could have done the math for Darwin, and since I assume this takes care of Cadwallader's objection, I removed the 'disputed' tag. EdJohnston 16:22, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Fine by me. Cadwallader 21:29, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Nationalism strikes again?[edit]

In this edit User:Qertis has now switched Mendel from being an Austrian to a Moravian. He offers as a reference a biography by Robin Henig, which could be useful, but it sounds like a popular work and seems unlikely to be based on careful reading of primary sources. We know that the political unit in which Mendel was born was called the Austrian Empire. That is what is shown in Wikipedia to be the government in power at the time of his birth. I don't think we should start playing around with 'Moravian' unless we have the word of an historian who has studied the primary sources. You'll see that Mendel's nationality has already been extensively discussed on this Talk page, and I think that the way that article was prior to Qertis's change enjoyed the tacit support of quite a number of people. Let me know if I'm wrong.

The obvious question is, did Mendel carry a birth certificate issued by the Moravian government? Did he travel abroad as a Moravian citizen? Such technicalities would need to be addressed if you want to make the change, but since this is primarily a scientific article, I don't think we should spend a lot of time refining such details, and we shouldn't disturb what's already here without truly convincing evidence. EdJohnston 20:27, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Moravian seems weird to me as well. How about changing it into Austrian and adding the following sentence (after correcting my English) at the end of introduction:
Mendel is commonly labeled as being Austrian, since he lived in the Austrian Empire which later transformed into Austrian-Hungarian Empire. However he might be, and sometimes also is, labeled as Czech (he lived in the Czech Lands) or German (he was of German ethnicity).
BTW Copernicus is labeled as Polish even though by the logic of Mendel's article he should be labeled as Prussian. --Jirka6 02:52, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
Also, I think the German names of places should be given as well (eg Olomouc (Olmuetz)), at least at first mention. Mendel spoke both languages, but German was his native and German was commonly used then.Jirka6 03:03, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
I'd be in favor of changing him back to Austrian. This describes his nationality and is no comment at all on his language or ancestry. Even someone whose parents were Chinese, if (like Mendel) he were born in Hynčice in 1822, he would still be correctly considered Austrian. I will try to find out more about the doubled town names (both German and Czech). It may be covered in the Manual of Style. It would be good to 'bulletproof' this article against nationality issues if at all possible, to stop the cycle of reverts. EdJohnston 14:50, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Similar cases have been discussed and solved. Wikipedia already has policies regarding historical town naming, see Talk:Gdańsk#Other_subjects, but some editors still try to push their national POV, and to erase historical facts. The proper town names of the person's life time have to be used, with the current names given in parentheses when first mentioned, thus Heinzendorf (Hynčice), and Brünn (Brno), and Olmütz (Olomouc). Any later use is only in the native language of the person, German in Mendels case, thus Heinzendorf, Brünn, Olmütz.-- Matthead discuß!     O       18:07, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

My edit has nothing to do with nationalism, rather quite the opposite (the whole issue smells like Austrian or German nationalism to me). I have read the discussions above and to say the truth I can hardly add anything to my previous or User:Jirka6 comments and proposals. The single word "Austrian" in the introduction is simply misleading as most readers would immediately connect Mendel with modern Republic of Austria, which is, regarding his biography, a nonsense. Therefore it should be either enlarged in a way Jirka6 suggested or the whole nationality issue should be completely omitted from the header and moved to the separate section like in the Copernicus article. Qertis 19:21, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Re geographical names: If there is a policy about names, good. But I do not think the Gdansk discussion is relevant here: Both Gdansk and Danzig are used in current English for that city, while only Olomouc and Brno are used for the Czech cities (see eg American Heritage Dictionary at [5]). The choice is not between German and Czech, but between various names in English. So it makes sense to decide on which name to use for Danzig/Gdansk, but not which name to use for Olomouc since there is simply nothing to decide between. Similarly, the article talks about Vienna and not Wien; if it mentioned Prague, it would use Prague, not Prag or Praha. BTW both Bruenn and Brno were used during Mendel's life (if you look at census forms, say, from 1869 you can see both names). But it seems really weird to use a historical name of a city in a caption name under a modern photograph with buildings made out of concrete, as Matthead did. I was suggesting to add the German names because they are historically relevant, not to use German names exclusively. Moreover, I would think it is polite to wait with reverts while the relevant discussion is in process. --Jirka6 02:16, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Since this is an English wikipedia, the names of cities should be as used in English (thus Prague, Brno, Pilsen, Vienna), Czech wikipedia can use Czech names (Praha, Brno, Plzeň, Vídeň), and German wikipedia can use German names (Prag, Brünn, Pilsen, Wien). English names of Czech cities are usually equal to the Czech names, but not always, sometimes they are equal to the German names. I will change the names to use names used in English. When German and/or Czech variants are different, I will add it at first mention in parentheses. Any objections? Jirka6 22:56, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Re nationality: I think that the word 'Austrian' really implies (although not entails) Mendel is somehow related to modern Austria, which is not true. So I would either do it as with Copernicus - no adjective in the first sentences, 2 sentences along the lines I suggested. Or Austrian in the first sentence and then the 2 sentences later in the introduction. Jirka6 02:16, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
'Austrian' necessarily refers to the Austria of Mendel's own time. What am I missing here? We have to be able to use the adjective Austrian to refer to the older political unit. What other term would you suggest for citizens of that country? EdJohnston 00:05, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
I am fine with using Austrian there is really no other way, I suggest this introduction:
Gregor Johann Mendel (1822-07-20 – 1884-01-06) was an Austrian Augustinian priest and scientist often called the "father of modern genetics" for his study of the inheritance of traits in pea plants. Mendel showed that the inheritance of traits follows particular laws, which were later named after him. The significance of Mendel's work was not recognised until the turn of the 20th century. Its rediscovery prompted the foundation of genetics.
Mendel is commonly labeled as being Austrian, since he lived in the Austrian Empire (which later transformed into Austrian-Hungarian Empire). However he might be, and sometimes also is, labeled as Czech, because he lived in the Czech Lands, or German, because he was of German ethnicity.

If people don't object I will update it. --Jirka6 01:00, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

I do object to this change, unless you can find a source for 'commonly labeled.' If there is no source, it is WP:OR.
Here is the advice on nationality from Wikipedia:Manual of Style (biographies):
Nationality (In the normal case this will mean the country of which the person is a citizen or national, or was a citizen when the person became notable. Ethnicity should generally not be emphasized in the opening unless it is relevant to the subject's notability.)
It will be hard to find a definition of 'Czech' under which Mendel qualifies as Czech. The boundaries of modern nations are irrelevant when analyzing people's affiliations in the 19th century. He probably spoke Czech, but speaking a language doesn't make you a citizen, or a national. As the Manual of Style implies, ethnicity is less important than nationality. Austria was the country he lived in all his life; that ought to define his nationality. EdJohnston 01:35, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Since there is a such a recommendation, I think it should stay as it is. I do not really understand why you need definition of 'commonly labeled', I would understand if you asked for some source labeling Mendel as Czech (e.g. Czechs do label him as Czech :), I just noticed that he was voted one of the 100 Greatest Czechs recently).
(BTW following the same logic, Copernicus should be labeled as Polish only, Prussia was part of Poland during his life, similarly as Czech Lands were part of Austria during Mendel's life. But I am not getting into that). I think the naming of cities is more important. Currently the article looks as if it were written around 1900. Current English does not use Bruenn for Brno. Jirka6 03:29, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
You should know things are way more complex than you suggest in your comment. We are talking about a period of time when nation states did not exist (at least as we know them today) and the term "nationality" had therefore a little different meaning too. According to you, all citizens of the post-1804 Habsburg monarchy should be called Austrians in the opening paragraph. Well, then tens and perhaps hundreds of articles about notable Czechs, Hungarians, Poles, Slovaks, Italians and others ought to be rewritten. And what about pre-1804 Habsburg monarchy? Should we call these people Habsburgs? The only difference between these periods was that the head of Habsburg dynasty started to use a new title he created for not losing his imperial dignity after the imminent dissolution of HRE. The whole nationality issue here is simply too much complicated to be solved with one paragraph in Wikipedia's Manual of Style.
P.S. The manual itself seems to have a serious problem regarding your POV. Francesco Petrarca is called " Italian scholar, poet, etc." there, while this is obviously wrong, since there was no nation called Italy at that time. Qertis 06:28, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Huge copy and paste[edit]

I copied a new version of Gregor Mendel from the New World Encyclopedia, with a view to getting acceptance by Veropedia.

Please, stop me if I'm doing something "too bold" :-) --Uncle Ed 14:04, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Huh? Did you compare the two versions before this action, to ensure this was an improvement? Are you sure everybody will agree with you on that? Why is "getting acceptance" anything we should strive for? Please explain. Awolf002 14:13, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
No, I didn't compare - sorry. No, I'm not sure everybody will agree; should I self-revert?
I was trying to make the article better by copying the preview edition of an article which was copied from Wikipedia and edited by paid writers. I want to see if those edits resulted in any recognizable improvement.
Please revert - with my compliments! - if I'm just messing things up! :-) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ed Poor (talkcontribs) 14:29, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
I applaud your goal of trying to improve the article, but this seems a very "ad hoc" way of doing it. Why don't you leave the original version, and improve by "merging" the changes made by those other authors? The only problem I see with that approach is that GDL/GFDL, I think, forces you to provide attribution to all contributors. How are you going to do this? Until we figure this out (maybe via edit summary), I would not cut'n'paste over or merge content. Awolf002 16:12, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Unneeded section Gregor Mendel#Mendel, Darwin, and Galton[edit]

Does anyone still see value in the above-named section? It appears to be crystal-ball speculation about:

  • how the history of the 19th century might have turned out differently,
  • who would have been in a position to know what, and
  • why Mendel missed out on anticipating the analytical methods of population genetics.

The idea from Bowker, it would not matter much if Darwin or even Francis Galton had read Mendel, does not seem to be the sort of plain fact that ought to be recorded in an encyclopedia. Please comment if you think this section should be kept. EdJohnston (talk) 05:12, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Not hearing any objections, I went ahead and removed the paragraph. It's possible that whoever added this material was trying to show Mendel's significance in a 'causal chain' leading toward 20th century population genetics. But I believe that much better sources, and fewer counterfactual conditionals, would be needed for that. Talking about who would have helped whom invent population genetics 50 years earlier just appears lacking in sense. If more 'history of science' material is to be added, I'd suggest focussing on the years 1900-1910, when very interesting stuff was happening, involving both orthodox Mendelians and anti-Mendelians. EdJohnston (talk) 03:11, 7 February 2008 (UTC)


Lately there have been more than three IP vandal edits per day, for several days. Does anyone object if I request semi-protection? It seems we need to do this periodically. EdJohnston (talk) 03:01, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

Genotype or Phenotype?[edit]

The insertbox showing the breeding process mendel used is correct. But isn't the term used to desecribe the traits suggested by the gene combinations GenoType and not Phenotype? Phenotype is the actual displayed features, and cannot be predicted by a punnet square (because phenotype is observation, not prediction). Maybe the caption should be edited.

German-Czech people[edit]

An editor just removed Mendel's page from Category:German-Czech people. I sense that there is a very-slow-moving edit war taking place over at Category:German-Czech people (click on the History tab of the category to see it). To avoid further ethnic dissension, can I suggest that people wait for a while before reverting this change? Or if you are concerned, go over and join the discussion at Category talk:German-Czech people. I think that Mendel was properly included in the category before User:HLT removed the category definition just now. If HLT's definition wins that debate, then things could be different. EdJohnston (talk) 04:15, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Semi-protection again?[edit]

In the first 8 days of March there were 19 reverts of IP vandalism, which is more than two events a day. Anyone object if semi-protection is restored? The article was last semi-protected from 20 January to 20 February. EdJohnston (talk) 03:05, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Segregation Distortion[edit]

Currently the word that links to linkage is "segregation distortion," which is a different phenomenon. SD is the preferential recovery of one chromosome; linkage is the appropriate term to describe co-segregation of two alleles caused by physical location on chromosome. Can someone change this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Km1116 (talkcontribs) 19:21, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Quite right, page is no longer protected, so made this change. Grothmag (talk) 03:32, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Categorization by nationality[edit]

The categorization is primarily made by nationality, that is by citizenship. In some cases, you can also use the ethnicity. Mendel was a German speaker, born in an ethnic German family, a citizen of Austria, educated in Vienna, Austria and he lived all the rest of his life in Bohemia, which was part of Austria, back then.

He was not a Czech citizen (the country didn't exist), nor ethnically a Czech. Just because some time after his death, the city where he lived became part of the Czech Republic, he becomes automatically a Czech?

Using the same reasoning, is Immanuel Kant a Russian and Arthur Schopenhauer a Pole because their cities are in Russia or Poland? bogdan (talk) 20:59, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

Response to Fisher's allegations[edit]

Maybe someone could work this critique of bias into the article : —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:03, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

Added as a footnote to "controversy", pending a more knowledgeable editor's incorporating it into the article. --Old Moonraker (talk) 13:52, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
I think what Old Moonraker has done is sufficient. The wikipedia article already addresses the probability of confirmation bias (without going into other possible forms of this bias as the cited article does), and ends up giving the right impression of honesty but likely unconscious bias without belabouring the point. In my opinion nothing further is necessary, but that's just one opinion.Grothmag (talk) 01:03, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
The new paper listed above might be worth including as a reference, since we do include Fisher's critique. (Fisher's paper is both in references and bibliography, and one can perhaps be removed). The full story of the Mendel-Fisher business might take an entire separate article to tell, since there are many published analyses. Mendel's research data and papers were deliberately burned after his death, so the modern critique of his work lacks some data that it would like to have. EdJohnston (talk) 16:16, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
Here is a more recent work on the Mendel-Fisher controversy:
Allan Franklin, A.W.F.Edwards, D.J.Fairbanks, D.L.Hartl and T.Seidenfeld (2008). Ending the Mendel-Fisher Controversy. Univ of Pittsburgh Press. ISBN 0822959860.  EdJohnston (talk) 21:05, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

birth date[edit]

he was born on the 22nd of July, not the 20th. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cazcomputor (talkcontribs) 12:45, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

confirmation of Bees?[edit]

Do we have a citation on his working with bees (and their being too vicious)? RJFJR (talk) 02:19, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

An unfortunate choice of insect, at least for genetic studies, as male bees are haploid organisms. Whatever Mendel learned from his pea plants, much of it wouldn't apply here! WHPratt (talk) 18:40, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

One author has documented their vain attempt to verify this factoid: . --adonovan. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:25, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

Agree: that "vicious" has to go. All the references I have found, e.g. Breeding the honeybee in captive conditions from the US Department of Agriculture, indicate that Mendel's problem was identifying the "parent" as the matings took place in free flight. No serious book suggests that he failed because the offspring were too dangerous, but some web pages, including one from the National Museum of Health and Medicine, do include the much-copied phrase "so vicious that they stung everybody around for miles and had to be destroyed". --Old Moonraker (talk) 08:39, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Afterthought: "after the pea experiments" may also be wrong; while researching this I found several sources suggesting that Mendel may have studied bees at the same time, or even before, his plant work. --Old Moonraker (talk) 08:47, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

OK, I've also looked for evidence of 'vicious' bees and can't find anything sourced that stands up (while researching a book on peas). Given the above findings, and lack of any countercase having been made. I suggest it is time for someone to remove the parenthetical vicious comment. Who can does this? The page is 'semi-protected'. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:38, 19 June 2014 (UTC)


Biography Mendel was born into a German-speaking family in Heinzendorf bei Odrau, Austrian Silesia, Austrian Empire (now Hynčice, Czech Republic), and was baptized two days later. He was the son of Anton and Rosine Mendel, and had one older sister and one younger. They lived and work on a farm which had been owned by the Mendel family for at least 130 years.[2] During his childhood, Mendel worked as a gardener, studied beekeeping, and as a young man attended the Philosophical Institute in Olomouc in 1840–1843. Upon recommendation of his physics teacher Friedrich Franz, he entered the Augustinian Abbey of St. Thomas in Brno in 1843. Born Johann Mendel, he took the name Gregor upon entering monastic life. In 1851 he was sent to the University of Vienna to study, returning to his abbey in 1853 as a teacher, principally of physics.

Gregor Mendel, who is known as the "father of modern genetics", was inspired by both his professors at university and his colleagues at the monastery to study variation in plants, and he conducted his study in the monastery's garden. Between 1856 and 1863 Mendel cultivated and tested some 29,000 pea plants (i.e. Pisum sativum). This study showed that one in four pea plants had purebred recessive alleles, two out of four were hybrid and one out of four were purebred dominant. His experiments brought forth two generalizations which later became known as Mendel's Laws of Inheritance.

Mendel read his paper, "Experiments on Plant Hybridization", at two meetings of the Natural History Society of Brünn in Moravia in 1865. When Mendel's paper was published in 1866 in Proceedings of the Natural History Society of Brünn,[3] it had little impact and was cited about three times over the next thirty-five years. His paper was criticized at the time, but is now considered a seminal work.

After Mendel completed his work with peas, he turned to experimenting with honeybees, in order to extend his work to animals. He produced a hybrid strain (so vicious they were destroyed), but failed to generate a clear picture of their heredity because of the difficulties in controlling mating behaviours of queen bees. He also described novel plant species, and these are denoted with the botanical author abbreviation "Mendel".

Elevated as abbot in 1868, his scientific work largely ended as Mendel became consumed with his increased administrative responsibilities, especially a dispute with the civil government over their attempt to impose special taxes on religious institutions.[4]

At first Mendel's work was rejected, and it was not widely accepted until after he died. The common belief at the time was a mixture of blended inheritance and the inheritance of acquired characteristics. The modern synthesis uses Mendelian genetics.

Mendel died on January 6, 1884, at age 61, in Brünn, Austria-Hungary (now Brno, Czech Republic), from chronic nephritis. Czech composer Leoš Janáček played the organ at his funeral. After his death, the following abbot burned all papers in Mendel's collection.

Rediscovery of Mendel's work

Dominant and recessive phenotypes. (1) Parental generation. (2) F1 generation. (3) F2 generation.It was not until the early 20th century that the importance of his ideas was realized. In 1900, his work was rediscovered by Hugo de Vries and Carl Correns. Though Erich von Tschermak was originally also credited with rediscovery, this is no longer accepted because he did not understand Mendel's laws.[citation needed] Mendel's results were quickly replicated, and genetic linkage quickly worked out. Biologists flocked to the theory, even though it was not yet applicable to many phenomena, it sought to give a genotypic understanding of heredity which they felt was lacking in previous studies of heredity which focused on phenotypic approaches. Most prominent of these latter approaches was the biometric school of Karl Pearson and W.F.R. Weldon, which was based heavily on statistical studies of phenotype variation. The strongest opposition to this school came from William Bateson, who perhaps did the most in the early days of publicising the benefits of Mendel's theory (the word "genetics", and much of the discipline's other terminology, originated with Bateson). This debate between the biometricians and the Mendelians was extremely vigorous in the first two decades of the twentieth century, with the biometricians claiming statistical and mathematical rigor, whereas the Mendelians claimed a better understanding of biology. In the end, the two approaches were combined as the modern synthesis of evolutionary biology, especially by work conducted by R. A. Fisher as early as 1918.

Mendel's experimental results have later been the object of considerable dispute.[5] Fisher analyzed the results of the F2 (second filial) ratio and found them to be implausibly close to the exact ratio of 3 to 1.[6] Only a few would accuse Mendel of scientific malpractice or call it a scientific fraud — reproduction of his experiments has demonstrated the validity of his hypothesis — however, the results have continued to be a mystery for many, though it is often cited as an example of confirmation bias. This might arise if he detected an approximate 3 to 1 ratio early in his experiments with a small sample size, and continued collecting more data until the results conformed more nearly to an exact ratio. It is sometimes suggested that he may have censored his results, and that his seven traits each occur on a separate chromosome pair, an extremely unlikely occurrence if they were chosen at random. In fact, the genes Mendel studied occurred in only four linkage groups, and only one gene pair (out of 21 possible) is close enough to show deviation from independent assortment; this is not a pair that Mendel studied. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:45, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Born in 22 July 1822 Gregor Mendel was a monk who experimented with garden peas and other plants in his spare time. Mendel discovered the fundamental principles of genetics. Between 1856 and 1863 he grew at least 28,000 pea plants and analyzed characteristics such as height, flower color, and pod shape.
He carefully cross-pollinated plants, and then noted what sort of plants developed from the seeds. In an 1865 paper he characterized what came to be called Mendel's laws.
The law of unit characters says that characteristics of an individual are controlled by hereditary factors (now called genes) and that these factors occur in pairs. The law of dominance says that some inherited factors are dominant and can mask other, recessive factors. The law of segregation says that the factors of a pair are separated during reproduction, so only one goes to a particular offspring.
Mendel's principle of incomplete dominance is that for some characteristics neither gene is dominant. The importance of Mendel's work was not recognized until 1900, when three botanists working independently reached similar conclusions and, in the process, discovered his paper.

Mendels papers burned? I doubt it.[edit]


The assertion "After his death, the succeeding abbot burned all papers in Mendel's collection" is dubious. I couldn't find any evidence for this in any encyclopaedia or any of the two lexica of eminent scientists I consulted. That Carl Safina claims such an act in his article for the NY Times on February 9, 2009 does not proof it is true. So this assertion definitively needs a reference to a reliable source (a sound scholary biography for instance) - or should be deleted.

It is also arguable wheather the said assertion should be left in the acticle, if the Mendel papers in fact did get destroyed but for other reasons than church officials wanting to supress Mendels reasearch. Because this is exactly what the average reader would imply - but to me this makes no sense at all. During his life Mendel never had any problems with his superiors publishing, hadn't he?

Rauchhaupt (talk) 13:52, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Question: Where is the passage? Leujohn (talk) 06:26, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
Ref added.--Old Moonraker (talk) 07:50, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Religion and Science category[edit]

Does it really fit? I'm not aware of Mendel writing on the topics of the religion and science "argument" (if you can even call it that). Yes, he was a priest. Yes, he was a scientist. But does that mean he should be in the category? I can understand Leonhard Euler and Francis Collins as fitting the category, but Mendel? (talk) 18:53, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

Categories are not that important; they are only used as useful links. No need to sweat about it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:31, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
They are important. A lot of editors work hard sorting those things out and they work hard aquiring the correct iformation for them. (talk) 07:00, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

>=[) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:10, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from, 26 May 2011[edit]

Gregor Medel is the father of classical genetics, not modern genetics. (talk) 18:22, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

A quick Google Books comparison shows "father of modern genetics" to be a somewhat more common appellation. Feezo (send a signal | watch the sky) 18:52, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

Mendel was not austrian[edit]

Mendel was not austrian, at that time Austria did not exist (it existed the empire which can not be considered Austria), he was not born in current austrian teritory therefore he can not be considered austrian. It should be more correct to consider him czech because he was born in the current Czech Republic and he studied for long time in Opava and in Olomouc, but this is also not completely correct because his family was ethnically german (and not austrian), moreover at that time also Czech Republic did not exist. Therefore I suggest that the most correct definition of his nationality is "czech-german". --Moscone (talk) 13:19, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

Problem is that most written sources indeed write that he was Austrian. It is most probably because the authors see "Austrian Silesia" and, as they know nothing about history of the Czech Crown lands, Silesia or Central Europe altogether, they wrongly deduce out the Austrian ethnicity.Cimmerian praetor (talk) 13:43, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

True, at that time the meaning of "nationality" was far different than now, at that time many nations did not exist (Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Germany, Italy etc.). Considering that he was ethnically german and pratically czech (he lived and studied for most of his time in the current Czech Republic, he spent his life with czechs and he surely could speak czech as well) we can say that he was czech-german, maybe it is not nice definition but it is the closest to the reality.--Moscone (talk) 19:15, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Actually he lived in the time of strong nationalistic feelings in the Czech lands, that to some extent were also responsible for the Revolutions of 1848 in the Habsburg areas. Especially the University of Olomouc, where he studied, was the main centre of Non-Austrian German and Czech nationalism, see Palacký_University,_Olomouc#Olomouc_University_in_the_year_of_revolutions. Therefore at some point he probably had to define himself either as Czech, or German, and considering his parents he would most probably consider himself German. But without anything pointing out to a particular choice, you are right, that Czech-German is the most correct (and it would be also if he would consider himself German only, considering that he lived in the Czech Crown lands, ruled by Habsburgs primarily from the position of Czech(/Bohemian) kings).Cimmerian praetor (talk) 19:47, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
This is only your original research. It's been discussed at length above that according to Wikipedia:Manual of Style (biographies): The opening paragraph should have... the country of which the person is a citizen or national (according to each nationality law of the countries), or was a citizen when the person became notable. Ethnicity or sexuality should not generally be emphasized in the opening unless it is relevant to the subject's notability. Similarly, previous nationalities or the country of birth should not be mentioned in the opening sentence unless they are relevant to the subject's notability. --Garik 11 (talk) 05:52, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
Yup, he was born and lived in the Austrian Empire of which he was a citizen. He was of German ethnicity, but it's not relevant here. bogdan (talk) 07:10, 20 July 2011 (UTC)


On 20/07/2011 following was displayed as the google logo - --Dr DBW (talk) 02:22, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

It's advertising; inappropriate for wikipedia; removed. Nadiatalent (talk) 14:27, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

Mendel's work on Hieracium is missing[edit]

Mendel's work with Hieracium should be discussed on this page. One of the species that he chose is apomictic, and it produced a very different pattern of inheritance from the pea experiments. Nogler, G.A. (2006). "The lesser-known Mendel: His experiments on Hieracium". Genetics 172 (1): 1–6.  Nadiatalent (talk) 12:57, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

Yes, I came to this page to find out more about the Hawkweed business - as I remember the story, Mendel wrote to Prof. Nägeli (the big man in the relevant area of biology at the time), and was given the very unfortunate advice to try to replicate his findings in Hawkweed. It has even been suggested that this was a deliberate bum steer, but this seems very improbable to me.

The Wikipedia article on Nägeli has a very little bit about Nägeli/Mendel correspondence. (talk) 05:32, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 13 February 2012[edit]

Please tell the year this essay was written. Ex. "Gregor Mendel". (2009) (talk) 17:29, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Not done: please be more specific about what needs to be changed. What do you want me to do? I don't understand. If you're talking about adding extra information, please find it yourself and re-open this edit request, because unfortunately that's not what this template's for. Cheers --andy4789 · (talk? contribs?) 00:17, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

More Pictures in the Gallery[edit]

Currently, I am researching more about genetics to get ready for Biology next year, which brought me to this article. When I checked the gallery, though, I thought that the pictures were quite few. I already searched for the pictures that I needed for my research, but I want to suggest for people to add more pictures with references here... just for future needs of others.

That's just my opinion, though. If majority decide that this is unnecessary, then that will also be okay for me. I was just posting this for people to at least consider. Thanks. QueenQuorra Consult 11:24, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

Interesting link[edit]

  • Mendel in Darwin's Shadow, by David Allen at is an interesting read which appears valid, why remove it? . . dave souza, talk 06:48, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
    • Without going into details of the article and without having anything to the merit of your question, I would only like to point out that an article which deals with what had influenced Mendel and which totally omits Johann Karl Nestler, a teacher at Olomouc who spent years researching and publishing on issues of hereditary traits (although due to his focus in sheep never got so far as Mendel with the plants) partially also at time when Mendel was there seems to be incomplete. Cimmerian praetor (talk) 17:28, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 17 March 2013[edit]

Punnett (1905) is the separate republication as a booklet of 65pp of an entry in Encyclopaedia Britannica and so differs considerably from the subsequent works Punnett published under the same title. Perhaps the source as an entry in EB11, vol. 18 should be noted (as it is, for instance, in W. B. Provine, Sewall Wright and Evolutionary Biology Science and Its Conceptual Foundations (2nd ed., University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, 1989), p. 25). (talk) 05:16, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

This page is no longer protected. RudolfRed (talk) 04:27, 22 March 2013 (UTC)