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Encyclopedia > Bloodline
For the scientific journal Heredity see Heredity (journal)

Heredity (the adjective is hereditary) is the transfer of characters from parent to offspring, either through their genes or through the social institution called inheritance (for example, a title of nobility is passed from individual to individual according to relevant customs and/or laws).


In biology, heredity refers to the transference of biological characteristics from a parent organism to offspring, and is practically a homonym for genetics, as genes are now recognized as the carriers of biological information. In humans, defining which characteristics of a final person are due to heredity and which are due to environmental influences is often a site of controversy (the nature versus nurture debate), especially regarding intelligence and race.

It was apparent to ancient humans that offspring resembled their parents. For example, Genesis 30_46 tells how Jacob and Laban split their sheep into white and speckled varities so they could distinguish the two to ensure none was later stolen. The mechanism of heredity was not clear however.

Various hereditary mechanisms were proposed without being properly tested. These include blending inheritance and the inheritance of acquired characteristics.

The inheritance of acquired characteristics was part of Lamarckism and later Lysenkoism.

Charles Darwin proposed a theory of evolution in 1859 and one of its major problems was a lack of coherent hereditary mechanism. Darwin believed in a mix of blending inheritance and the inheritance of acquired characteristics. Blending inheritance would lead to uniformity across populations in only a few generations and thus would remove variation from a population on which natural selection could act. This led to Darwin adopting some Lamarckian ideas in later editions of The Origin.

The idea of particulate inheritance of genes can be attributed to the Austrian monk Gregor Mendel who published on pea plants in 1865. However, his work was not widely known and was only rediscovered in 1901.

The inheritance of acquired characteristics was shown to have little basis when August Weissman cut the tails off mice to find that their offspring. This, combined with better genetic knowledge led to the idea being dropped.


The social institution called inheritance. One's bloodline is one's familial ancestry. See also meme.

  Results from FactBites:
Bloodlines :: d20srd.org (4028 words)
Characters with bloodlines of the lesser evil giants (hill, frost, and fire) may be the result of voluntary or involuntary breeding with the greatfolk.
Bloodlines of stone, cloud, or storm giants, on the other hand, are more likely the results of long-ago alliances between those races and the ancient nobility of the world.
Bloodlines are best included as part of a character with both the game master and player working together to select an appropriate bloodline for the PC.
Preview - Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines // PC /// Eurogamer (1300 words)
Bloodline is not a sequel to the Nihilistic developed Vampire: The Masquerade - Redemption, which slightly disappointed Tom almost exactly three years ago.
"Bloodlines is the first game to combine the classic RPG feel with a first person shooter engine, with gameplay mechanics never before seen in an RPG," says Troika's representative.
For example, your character may have excellent seduction skills, or be part of a specific clan that allows you to ask questions or offer responses otherwise unavailable to you, and these 'special' branches of the conversation will be shown in a different font to indicate this.
  More results at FactBites »



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