The eyes of the olms

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The eyes of the olms. / Berz, Peter.

In: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, Vol. 31, No. 2, 2009, p. 215-238.

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@article{5894f98ab4b3489498be42130d8b1119,
title = "The eyes of the olms",
abstract = "The experiments of the Austrian biologist Paul Kammerer to breed eyes in blind olms is probably one of the most notable manifesations of Lamarckian thinking and research at the beginning of the 20th century. If living in the environment of the dark caves in the Slovenian Kraijna for thousands of years has reduced the eyes of the olms until they nearly disappeared, then is it possible to influence the development in the other direction and speed it up? Will a transformed milieux or media (in a Lamarckian sense) conduct olms to vision, to the mysteries of light? Kammerer's legendary skill in taking care of animals (especially amphibians), the highly modern research environment of an institution unique in whole Europe and America at that time (the Biologische Versuchsanstalt Wien), years of experimental crossings, and, finally, the convergence of biological media and technical media (for example media of development in photography), provided the opportunity for Kammerer to succeed. The olm experiments are part of an elaborate research program of the Viennese Versuchsanstalt and its facilities that assume the environment of animals to be the critical point in developmental, hereditary, and evolutionary research. Theoretically Kammerer's olms ask questions about vision in general and its organ, the eye.",
keywords = "Philosophy, Amphibia, Biological media, Developmental biology, Inheritance of acquired characters, Media, Non-darwinian biologies, Paul kammerer, Theory of vision, Vienna biology",
author = "Peter Berz",
year = "2009",
language = "English",
volume = "31",
pages = "215--238",
journal = "History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences",
issn = "0391-9714",
publisher = "Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn",
number = "2",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - The eyes of the olms

AU - Berz, Peter

PY - 2009

Y1 - 2009

N2 - The experiments of the Austrian biologist Paul Kammerer to breed eyes in blind olms is probably one of the most notable manifesations of Lamarckian thinking and research at the beginning of the 20th century. If living in the environment of the dark caves in the Slovenian Kraijna for thousands of years has reduced the eyes of the olms until they nearly disappeared, then is it possible to influence the development in the other direction and speed it up? Will a transformed milieux or media (in a Lamarckian sense) conduct olms to vision, to the mysteries of light? Kammerer's legendary skill in taking care of animals (especially amphibians), the highly modern research environment of an institution unique in whole Europe and America at that time (the Biologische Versuchsanstalt Wien), years of experimental crossings, and, finally, the convergence of biological media and technical media (for example media of development in photography), provided the opportunity for Kammerer to succeed. The olm experiments are part of an elaborate research program of the Viennese Versuchsanstalt and its facilities that assume the environment of animals to be the critical point in developmental, hereditary, and evolutionary research. Theoretically Kammerer's olms ask questions about vision in general and its organ, the eye.

AB - The experiments of the Austrian biologist Paul Kammerer to breed eyes in blind olms is probably one of the most notable manifesations of Lamarckian thinking and research at the beginning of the 20th century. If living in the environment of the dark caves in the Slovenian Kraijna for thousands of years has reduced the eyes of the olms until they nearly disappeared, then is it possible to influence the development in the other direction and speed it up? Will a transformed milieux or media (in a Lamarckian sense) conduct olms to vision, to the mysteries of light? Kammerer's legendary skill in taking care of animals (especially amphibians), the highly modern research environment of an institution unique in whole Europe and America at that time (the Biologische Versuchsanstalt Wien), years of experimental crossings, and, finally, the convergence of biological media and technical media (for example media of development in photography), provided the opportunity for Kammerer to succeed. The olm experiments are part of an elaborate research program of the Viennese Versuchsanstalt and its facilities that assume the environment of animals to be the critical point in developmental, hereditary, and evolutionary research. Theoretically Kammerer's olms ask questions about vision in general and its organ, the eye.

KW - Philosophy

KW - Amphibia

KW - Biological media

KW - Developmental biology

KW - Inheritance of acquired characters

KW - Media

KW - Non-darwinian biologies

KW - Paul kammerer

KW - Theory of vision

KW - Vienna biology

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=77949412100&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Journal articles

VL - 31

SP - 215

EP - 238

JO - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences

JF - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences

SN - 0391-9714

IS - 2

ER -

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