German evolutionary biologist; working with butterflies in Germany and later at UC Berkeley, Goldschmidt propounded two major theories, both of which were viciously criticized during his lifetime: (a) that chromosomes
, not genes
, are the fundamental units
(now largely discredited); and (b) in The Material Basis of Evolution
(1940) that systemic macromutations
produce hopeful monsters
that are the basis of at least some new species
(an idea resurrected by S. J. Gould, and now supported by recent work on homeotic mutations).