You know how to figure out if a man was a true genius or not? It’s simple; his works should have been less popular than reality portrays, his words should stand the test of time and he should have a cool name. Shakespeare was a genius, Socrates was a genius and Gregor Mendel was, for sure, a brilliant man. But like I said, his work goes unknown in today’s age. Here’s what made Gregor Mendel a true genius:
8. He’s the Father of Modern Genetics
Gregor Mendel was an Austrian, German speaking scientist who created the foundation for what is today known as the Genetic Code. His research is the field of Gene Theory and that which came from it has yet to be practically proven wrong, although his concepts have taken something of a beating over the past few 100 years.
7. He began his research in the mid 1800s
Gregor was born in Austria on the 20th of July, 1822. Much of his research began toward the mid 1800s when his research led him to the theory of dormant or recessive genes. Though his work went back over 150 years, his theories have yet to be discredited practically.
6. He formulated Modern Genetics using plants
Mendel formulated his earliest work by cross breeding yellow and green pea plants. He focused on seven key characteristics of these plants; height, pod shape and colour, seed shape and colour, flower position and colour. The first generation of peas were all yellow, while the second generation yielded yellow and green in a ratio of 3:1. This led to the understanding of something known as the recessive and dominant gene, a part of the gene which has direct influence and the hidden characteristics which may appear every so often.
5. His work was greatly scrutinized
Like most scientists ahead of his time, Mendel’s work was taken with a tub of salt. He became increasingly unpopular as his theories made more and more sense. Jealousy held its grip over most aspiring researchers. Most spread rumors which led to him becoming infamous, while others openly laughed and mocked his work because his experiments were being conducted on plants. This eventually led to him becoming a book shelf name, until the 20th century when his theories were independently proven right by four researchers; Erich von Tschermak, Hugo de Vries, Carl Correns and William Jasper Spillman.
4. He earned the title of Abbot
It’s worth noting that not all shied away from his work. Mendel accepted the role of Abbot in 1868, which was a post of remarkable importance back in the day, dealing with a ton of administrative work. In fact, his taking Abbotship ensured the end of his researching days as his work piled on and there seemed less and less time to actually work on something worth working on.
3. He created deadly killer bees!
In between his romance with the pea plants, Mendel tried his hand at cross breeding a set of honey bees in order to observe if his hypothesis could be transferred on from the plants to other species. Needless to say, his breeding strategies worked, but it came at a price. The bees he created were so aggressive, they began attacking anything in sight, including themselves. They were so out of control, a containment order had been issued on their existence and they had to be put to rest once and for all.
2. His work was later proven wrong, yet it remains…
Hundreds of scientists have read and re-read his work several times over. His theoretical understanding of genetics came under heavy fire and was later considered ‘a work of fiction’. But here’s the strange part. Although his work was questionable on paper, experiments proved that his ratio of 1:3 of the recessive to dominant gene remained as they were. No matter how you tried to outbreed the ratio, it remained constant, thus solidifying his work in practicality. It was later understood that the genes exhibit a dominant and recessive strain.
1. Darwinians forbade his theory
Passionate followers of Charles Darwin refused to allow an unproven, bugged theory emerge and overrule the natural selection theory. They took to the streets, proclaiming Darwin’s survival of the fittest. It was pushed to the extent that they demanded his theory be wiped from the history books and allow only Darwin’s theory to prevail. The law prevailed and his works were shoved aside, but like I said, most geniuses have their work scrutinized till they’re shredded to pieces. This proves that he was a true genius, one whose understanding of genetics was way beyond his time.