Gregor Mendel is commonly referred to as the “Father of Modern Genetics.” Mendel facilitated discoveries involving plant crossbreeding. Through pea plant experiments, Mendel determined many rules of heredity that are now known as Mendelian inheritance. Through his experiments in the mid 1800s, Mendel formed the terms "recessive" and "dominant" to describe genes in the pea plants’ characteristics.
Crossbreeding was not a foreign idea and was a common practice around this time, but Mendel was able to understand the science behind it. Mendel worked with several characteristics of pea plants, such as color, height, shape of pods, and seeds. This is where Mendel discovered which characteristics were dominant and which were recessive in a respective 3 to 1 ratio. He discovered that genes were responsible for the characteristics of organisms. In addition to working with plants, Mendel also did diverse experiments with mice, bees, astronomy and meteorology.
Mendel was able to extrapolate his experimental study to plant fertilization and described the law of segregation. When Mendel first published his work, its implications were overlooked as something that was already assumed, and just now demonstrated. The variability and evolutionary implications were not understood. However, today it is known as a foundational aspect of biology.
CENTERED ON CHRIST
Mendel, a man of great faith, became an Augustinian Friar in a Catholic religious order. Mendel began training to become a monk and also pursued his studies in physics, which is where he conducted his plant experiments. Later, Mendel became the abbot (head) of his monastery and, as a result, concluded his scientific career.
In one of his sermons, Mendel stated, “The seed of supernatural life, of sanctifying grace, cleanses from sin, so preparing the soul of man, and man must seek to preserve this life by his good works. He still needs the supernatural food, the body of the Lord, which received continually, develops and brings to completion of the life… With the day of the victory of Christ, the Easter, the bonds are broken, the death and sin laid, and the Redeemer of mankind rises strongly the human race from night time and fetters, in blessed heights, heavenly gates!”
Mendel demonstrated his belief in the life of Jesus and the redemption and sanctification that He brought to completion through His resurrection.