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The Information icon (an i in a circle) will give you valuable information about PEP Web data and features. You can find it besides a PEP Web feature and the author’s name in every journal article. Simply move the mouse pointer over the icon and click on it for the information to appear.

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Tansley, A.G. (1927). The Memory Factor in Biology: By C. J. Patten, M.A., M.D., Sc.D. (Baillière, Tindall & Cox, London, 1926. Pp. xiv + 175. Price 5 s.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 8:292.

(1927). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 8:292

The Memory Factor in Biology: By C. J. Patten, M.A., M.D., Sc.D. (Baillière, Tindall & Cox, London, 1926. Pp. xiv + 175. Price 5 s.)

Review by:
A. G. Tansley

The author of this little book, who is Professor of Anatomy in Sheffield University, is 'an ardent and zealous advocate of the doctrine of somatic inheritance' (p. 43). He regards 'somatic inheritance' (transmission of acquired characters) as the prime factor in evolution, and seeks to show, as others have done before him, that 'organic memory' is what he calls the vis a tergo of evolutionary change.

The book contains no marshalled evidence, no sustained argument. The author is extremely discursive, occupying most of his space in stating his own beliefs and describing various biological phenomena in terms of them, supporting himself by quotations from Hering, Semon, Samuel Butler, Sir Francis Darwin, and others. The last chapter begins: 'The evidences that memory is the mainspring, the vis a tergo of Evolution, are convincing'. It may be so, but unfortunately the author quite fails to make the point clear to his readers. Incidentally the book contains many sound, if somewhat platitudinous, precepts, especially in the chapter on Education.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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