Published:  02:21 AM, 05 November 2019

August Weismann

August Weismann

Prof August Friedrich Leopold Weismann FRS (For) HFRSE LLD  was a German evolutionary biologist. Ernst Mayr ranked him as the second most notable evolutionary theorist of the 19th century, after Charles Darwin.

Weismann became the Director of the Zoological Institute and the first Professor of Zoology at Freiburg.  His main contribution involved germ plasm theory, at one time also known as Weismannism,  according to which inheritance (in a multicellular organism) only takes place by means of the germ cells-the gametes such as egg cells and sperm cells. Other cells of the body-somatic cells-do not function as agents of heredity.

The effect is one-way: germ cells produce somatic cells and are not affected by anything the somatic cells learn or therefore any ability an individual acquires during its life.

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