21. Weismann’s quotation continues as follows: “Were it possible for growth to take place under absolutely constant external influences, variation would not occur; but as this is impossible, all growth is connected with smaller or greater deviations from the inherited developmental tendency. When these deviations only affect the soma, they give rise to temporary non-hereditary variations; but when they occur in the germ-plasm, they are transmitted to the next generation and cause corresponding hereditary variations in the body” (1893 [1892], 463; emphasis in the text).


 [ return to text ]