Field of Science

Nothing makes sense...

Nothing is biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky.

Nothing in evolution makes sense except in the light of genetics.
William Rice.

Nothing in genetics makes sense except in the light of epistasis and pleiotropy.
Bjørn Østman.

More statements of this nature could be added under Dobzhansky's and next to Rice's, and similarly more under Rice's. It would be a whole tree of nothing makes sense's. Please feel free to contribute your own.

This was prompted by two articles on epistasis and pleiotropy in Nature Education. Excellent reads:

Epistasis: Gene Interaction and Phenotype Effects by Ilona Miko in Nature Education 1(1).

Pleiotropy: One Gene Can Affect Multiple Traits by Ingrid Lobo in Nature Education 1(1).


  1. "Nothing in evolution makes sense except in the light of population genetics"
    -Michael Lynch, The Origins of Genome Architecture (2007) AND PNAS 2007

    Of course, we true organismal biologists shudder at the very thought of population genetics... but in this case, he uses it to argue for neutral evolution, so I'm willing to put up with it! =D

  2. oh, we can make up our own?

    "Nothing in epistasis and pleiotropy makes sense except in light of biochemistry" *shudder* - some fictional biochemist

    "Nothing in biochemistry makes sense except in the light of physical chemistry" - some fictional chemist

    "Nothing in pchem makes sense...physics"

    "Nothing in physics ... math"

    "...math... logic"



    Great circle of nonsense now complete! ^_^

  3. I think Bill Rice meant population genetics also.

    I feel uneasy about your great circle, but I can't put my finger on why.

  4. Nothing makes sense!

    except in the light of an understanding mind.

    Cheers Arend

  5. "Nothing in biology makes sense"

    Ford Doolittle, reflecting on the patent absurdity of gene and genome organization (introns, gene scrambling, RNA editing, junk DNA, and so on).


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