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Ontogenesis and Phylogenesis

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In the year 1866, Ernst Haeckel (1843–1919) formulated his so-called basic law of biogenetics, which postulated that human ontogenesis recapitulates phylogenesis in abbreviated form. At that time, the idea prevailed that development is a continuous progress from the inferior to the superior, especially since excavations had fostered the concept of a history of living beings (phylogenesis) as a continuously ascending development of species. Comparative anatomy, much celebrated at the beginning of the 19th century and mainly concerned with vertebrates, was entirely conceived in this sense.


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© 1977 Springer-Verlag New York Inc.

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Transemantics, Inc.. (1977). Ontogenesis and Phylogenesis. In: The Beginnings of Human Life. Heidelberg Science Library. Springer, New York, NY.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, New York, NY

  • Print ISBN: 978-0-387-90249-4

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-4612-6347-0

  • eBook Packages: Springer Book Archive