Professor Adolf Portmann (27.V.1897 Basel – 28.VI.1982), Swiss zoologist and anthropologist. Former Rector of University of Basel.
His name is listed among fifteen “great names, great achievements” of Basel University next to Paracelsus, Bernoulli or Nietzsche (1). He is sometimes considered to be one of the most original biological thinkers of the twentieth century (2)(3). There has been a revival of interest in his work recently (2)(3)(4). Those who are interested in his thoughts about self-representation of species (Selbstdarstellung), own appearance (eigentliche Erscheinung) etc… should try his New paths in biology (5). I will just focus on one aspect of his legacy – form development and polarization of nerve and reproductive centres in Vertebrata. This issue may be of interest because it aroused noteworthy response of some Neodarwinian apologists.
- Butterfly mimicry rings – a case of natural selection?
- Adolf Portmann and two poles of Vertebrata
- Wilhelm Troll and German Idealistic Morphology.
- Franz Heikertinger’s rejection of natural selection
- John Davison’s Evolutionary Manifesto
- Richard Goldschmidt and the Controversial Chapter of Darwinism.
- Ludwig von Bertalanffy and ‘the Tibetan prayer mills of selectionism’.
- Friedrich Nietzsche’s Anti-Darwin
- Marxistic critique of Darwinism.
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