The Wizard of Santa Rosa: Luther Burbank

At 20, young Luther discovered Darwin’s “Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication” and it opened a new world to him. He realized that instead of waiting for the mysteries of divine creation, one could rightly and properly help those mysteries unfold with selective breeding. He became a world-renowned expert in plant breeding, and suggested applying this new science to other species. We will review and discuss how the debate over human breeding intrigued him, and how a childless scientist became a sought-after expert on child rearing with his book; “The Training of the Human Plant.”