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Sex and Plants

22 January 2017
Inside science

I suppose this should come under biology but it is also interesting in the way science works and how it is influenced by cultural bias. Apparently the claim is that sex in plants was ignored by whoever the great and the good might have been in the period from the Palaeolithic to the 19th century AD. What they are talking about is plant breeding. Do they claim improvements, in shall we say sweetcorn, were due to chance rather than purposeful human activity.The story is at https://phys.org/print404050546.html … which is more or less a press release on the publication of a book by Lincoln and Lee Taiz, 'Flora Unveiled: the discovery and Denial of sex in plants' – which appears to be an attack on religion and bias where flowers were perceived as feminine rather than containing both sides of gender. It is therefore a diatribe against gender bias. One might suspect it is also a eulogy in favour of mainstream science. Mind you, there are bound to be gems to be sifted from the book. I shall look out for a review.

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