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Evolutionary theory in the late nineteenth century was marked by controversy over the way in which Darwin’s insights could be reconciled with theories of heredity, culminating in the rediscovery of the work of Mendel. Darwin’s proposal of common descent was rapidly accepted, but natural selection’s uptake was delayed as a result of this debate. Two schools of thought rapidly developed, one (the “biometricians”) using statistics to describe patterns of inheritance, and the other (the “Batesonians,” later the “Mendelians”) using traditional morphological study. The sociological structure of this debate is well understood, and interesting both for the large number of biologists it encompasses and the “conversion” of several key players. In this talk, by analyzing a few thousand of the contributions of these biologists to the journal Nature (using the evoText project), I will map the discursive structure of this debate, letting us understand who in the literature was in conversation with whom, in the process drawing parallels and making hopefully informative contrasts. A few speculative insights for philosophy of science will also be offered.