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Doug, didn't Mendel do things "naturally"? ;)
In the area of animal husbandry (not a commonly used term today), weaknesses and undesired characteristics are bred out of and strengths and desired traits are bred into certain lines of animals (cows, horses, laboratory mice, etc). This has also been happening in horticulture at least since the time of Mendel and most probably before that. The difference from today and Mendel's is the increased depth of understanding, the technological abilities are greater, the public and government is more informed in scientific events, and Mendel wasn't nearly as famous during his life as he became after. If Mendel had not been a monk and had a better PR staff, Green Giant would never have been conceived, and Mendel's Monster would have been a household name.
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