Mendel on Patterns of Inheritance
Mendel's approach when compared to other evolutionists of his time was considered unorthodox. There is also a notion that non-evolutionists neglected Mendel's work because he was attempting to present evidence that supported evolution. Hybridists during Mendel's times focused on species differences, but not on single character differences. Hybridists then felt that species had inherent essential qualities and that they did not evolve, so they typically crossed different species to see how the hybrids showed essential qualities of their parents. Mendel on the other hand did not cross different species; instead he crossed varieties that were closely allied. Mendel's statistical approach to analysis was a sharp contrast to the methods of investigating hybrids in those times.
Mendel chose pea plants because they possess constant yet differentiating characteristics. Pea plants produce flowers that can be protected from foreign pollen with relative ease. Mendel selected garden pea plant for its ability to be grown easily in large numbers and the flexibility it provides in terms of reproduction manipulation through both female and male reproductive organs, which meant that they can not only be self-pollinated but cross-pollinated with different plants as well. Mendel observed the phenomena of segregation and dominance and noted that traits get inherited in specific numerical ratios.
Mendel conducted detailed research for seven years to cross and score thousands of plants and piece together the inheritance laws. Mendel's laws of heredity infer that factors of heredity do not actually combine but get passed intact with each parental generation member transmitting half hereditary factors to each of its offspring. Some of these passed-down hereditary factors are more dominant over the others, with different offspring belonging to the same parents getting hereditary factors in different sets. Mendel's invaluable work turned out to...