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Trofim Lysenko

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Trofim Denisovich Lysenko (1889-1976) was a Ukrainian born agronomist whose variant of Michurinism and theory of "vernalisation", "Lysenkoism", become the genetic orthodoxy in Stalinist Soviet Union. Lysenkoism posited extremely rapid and even next generation adaptive changes in species to new enviromental conditions and as such was fundamentally at odds with Mendelian genetics and Darwinian evolution. The belief that biological life was essentially plastic in its adaptivity to new environmental conditions was consistent with the Stalinist view that human nature was also essentially plastic in its adaptivity to new social conditions.


Lysenko was educated at the Kiev Agricultural Institute.


According to David Joransky, Lysenko exhibited a talent for self-promotion and a "total, angry refusal to give any thoughful consideration to criticism." (Pp. 58-60).


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