J. B. S. Haldane

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John Burdon Sanderson Haldane FRS (5 November 1892 – 1 December 1964), known as Jack (but who used 'J.B.S.' in his printed works), was a British-born geneticist and evolutionary biologist. He was one of the founders (along with Ronald Fisher and Sewall Wright) of population genetics.



Aristocratic family

Haldane was born in Oxford to physiologist John Scott Haldane and Louisa Kathleen Haldane (née Trotter), and descended from an aristocratic intellectual Scottish family (See Haldane family).[1] His younger sister, Naomi, became a writer. His uncle was Richard Haldane, 1st Viscount Haldane, politician and one time Secretary of State for War; his aunt was the author Elizabeth Haldane. His father was a scientist, a philosopher and a Liberal, and his mother was a Conservative. Haldane took interest in his father’s work very early in his childhood. It was the result of this lifelong study of the natural world and his devotion to empirical evidence that he felt atheism was the only rational deduction available in light of all evidence saying, "My practice as a scientist is atheistic. That is to say, when I set up an experiment I assume no god, angel or devil is going to interfere with its course... I should therefore be intellectually dishonest if I were not also atheistic in the affairs of the world." [2]

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