Two smaller images depict common plants that were important to the development of botany in the period surrounding the design of the Academy dome. The generation of the common pea plant emerged as a major boon to the theory of evolution, providing crucial and productive evidence of the mechanism by which evolution operates. Scientists had long endorsed the basics of Darwin's theory, and had found a wealth of confirming evidence in the vast collections of living and preserved specimens and fossils. But their inability to identify just how characteristics were passed down to successive generations had eluded them for decades, until the work of Gregor Mendel was rediscovered just about the time the dome was being designed. This image shows parent peas of different colors, and their offspring of only one color. The mechanics and mathematics of mixing and passing various dominant and recessive characteristics suggested something was being transmitted, and this was later identified as a component of cells known as the gene.