36 thoughts on “Google is awesome

  1. More specifically, it shows that GG (green) is dominant over gg (yellow), and that in the F1 all you get is green peas, but that if you cross F1 hybrids to each other, you get a 3:1 ratio of Green:Yellow peas. NB This hybrid business is really what Mendel was interested in – trying to establish stable hybrids and to understand why they broke down. This was part of a research programme encouraged by the wool merchants of Brno – Mendel was specifically brought into the monastery by Abbé Napp to solve this question. Oh, and “GG” and “gg” are modern 20th century notations. Mendel didn’t know about chromosome number (chromo-somes – coloured bodies – were identified after he worked, using dyes), so he just wrote G and g.

    1. Maybe you will remember that the Stranglers had a song that mentions Mendelian inheritance – Genetix –
      “The first law of Segregation
      States that any gamete male
      Or female can carry the
      Determinant gene of only one
      Pair of alternative characteristics.
      The second law of free assortment
      States that in a cross involving
      One pair of alternative characteristics,
      The characteristics will segregate
      In the second filial generation,
      In the relative proportions of
      9, 3, 3, 1”

      Oh noes – my peaz is all wrinkled!

  2. You know, it’s kinda scary how varied the legumes are and how many of them we eat. All peas, all beans, soy, carob, mesquite (many pods are quite tasty), peanuts — we even feed clover to our livestock.


    1. Scary, how? As a gardner, I love ’em. This year is turning out great for peas and beans.

      They even fixate their own nitrogen. (Technically, it’s symbiotic bacteria that do the job.)

      1. Scary in an “ooh, that’s spooky” kind of way.

        When I finally get a chance to put in the garden in the front, I’ll definitely be planting the “holy trinity” of corn, beans, and squash. But the beans will likely be either sugar snap peas or soy, and the squash is much more likely to be melons than zucchini….


        1. Maybe you haven’t tried fresh from the garden green beans? They are much different ,as are most vegetables compared to store bought. The fresh from the garden green beans I’ve eaten are much better, as much difference as a garden fresh tomato compared to a store tomato. The garden fresh green beans taste more like peas.

      2. Legumes are commonly grown and then plowed under or composted for just that reason, that they fix their own nitrogen.

    2. What’s scarier is how relatively few things we eat, compared to all the options. By “we”, I mean average Americans.

      1. No joke.

        Take the mangosteen, one of my favorite fruits. Damn few Americans have even heard of it, let alone eaten one…and the overwhelming majority of those only eat it in pill form as some sort of herbal cure-all. Madness!

        I tend to think of myself not being particularly adventurous, but even I’m in some sort of embarrassing upper percentile….


    3. A nutrition student I know is trying to make crisps out of lupin flour because it is 40% protein. Not sure how they’re turning out.

  3. An alert reader should immediately be able to guess its significance, and verify it by further Googling.

    An alert reader might guess then, look in the comments at WEIT to find the answer.

    (No need to add to the satisfaction of the warped minds of the Google executives.)

  4. I once read in a book somewhere about why evolution is true that,

    for many years thereafter, scientists remained skeptical about Darwin’s key innovation: the theory of natural selection. Indeed, if ever there was a time when Darwinism was “just a theory,” or was “in crisis,” it was the latter half of the nineteenth century, when evidence for the mechanism of evolution was not clear, and the means by which it worked—genetics—was still obscure. This was all sorted out in the first few decades of the twentieth century, and since then the evidence for both evolution and natural selection has continued to mount, crushing the scientific opposition to Darwinism.

    But the book never mentions Mendel once, and only hints at the great story of how Fisher synthesized the discrete Mendelian explanation of inheritance with the continuous view by a simple application of the binomial distribution. That populations adhere to predictions made by the binomial distribution is certainly a undeniably strong reason why evolution is true—and another reason to laugh at the idea of Adam and Eve, so I always wondered why the author didn’t cover this great subject.

    Also, you people should be using the EFF’s HTTPS Everywhere to encrypt as much as your traffic as possible: Google’s SSL encrypted page https://encrypted.google.com/ never has any of these shiny toys, but it’s secure.

  5. I’m mystified, but charmed. Can’t even figure out how to search it! senior moments! Help!

  6. As soon as I realised they were peas I figured it was Mendel’s birthday, then I thought possibly it was the anniversary of the publication of his article but I was right the first time. Pity he didn’t send Darwin a copy of his paper.

  7. There is a copy of Mendel’s paper in Darwin’s library. However, the pages have not been cut, so Darwin did not read it.

    If you are ever in Brno, visit the Mendel Museum in the Abby. Mendel is buried across the road. The Abby has an apiary, and Mendel intended to study the genetics of bees, which would have completely confused him. Fortunately he went into administration instead.

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