"The fly could be bred by the thousands in milk bottles. It cost nothing but a few bananas to feed all the experimental animals; their entire life cycle lasts a short time and they have only four chromosomes."—*R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 169.
"The fruit fly has long been the favorite object of mutation experiments because of its fast gestation period (twelve days). X-rays have been used to increase the mutation rate in the fruit fly by 15,000 percent. All in all, scientists have been able to "catalyze the fruit fly evolutionary process such that what has been seen to occur in Drosophila is the equivalent of many millions of years of normal mutations and evolution."—*Jeremy Rifkin, Algeny (1983), p. 134.
"In the best-known organisms, like Drosophila, innumerable mutants are known. If we were able to combine a thousand or more of such mutants in a single individual, this still would have no resemblance whatsoever to any type known as a [new] species in nature."—*Richard B. Goldschmidt, "Evolution, As Viewed by One Geneticist," American Scientist, January 1952, p. 94.
The obstinate, stubborn little creatures!
"Fruit flies refuse to become anything but fruit flies under any circumstances yet devised."—*Francis Hitching, The Neck of the Giraffe: Where Darwin Went Wrong (1982), p. 61.
"Radiation is in fact the only type of agent yet known to which human beings are likely to be exposed in quantity sufficient to cause any considerable production of mutations in them."—*George W. Beadle, "Ionizing Radiation and the Citizen," Scientific American, September 1959, p. 224.
"There is a reason to believe, however, that exposure to high energy irradiation of any kind, and at any dosage level, is potentially harmful. Mutations are generally proportional to the dosage and the effect is cumulative."—*E.J. Gardner, Principles of Genetics (1964), p. 192.
Much more from The Evolution Handbook
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