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Mutations in Fruit Flies and Arthur Koestler

Magnus Selhammar magnus at solaris.astro.uu.se
Thu Jul 16 07:19:36 EST 1992

I read in Arthur Koestlers book "The Ghost in the Machine" about an
experiment on fruit flies. The book is from the middle of the 
sixties I think. Unfortunately I haven't the available so I can't
check where Koestler read about it.

Koestler described the experiment like this, (as far as I remember):
The experimentalists had isolated fruit flies that hadn't any eyes,
which of course is not good for the individual fly. They kept the
flies isolated for a couple of generations, and to their surprise
the new generations had developed eyes.

The time was too small for the flies to have evoluted eyes in the
standard Darwinian way. They draw a conclusion from this, which I
don't remember. I can draw conclusions myself too, the simplest 
that they failed to keep them completely isolated. But I'm not
a biologist so I don't know much about this.

However, this experiment has been in my mind for a while now. Does
anyone know anything about it, is it forgotten, was it a failure
or even false?

If anyone could help me with this, I would be very grateful.

Magnus Selhammar

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