Definition of biogenetic law in US English:

biogenetic law


  • The theory that evolutionary stages are repeated in the growth of a young animal.

    • ‘Moreover, the biogenetic law has become so deeply rooted in biological thought that it cannot be weeded out in spite of its having been demonstrated to be wrong by numerous subsequent scholars.’
    • ‘Of Haeckel, Richard Milton says, ‘No errant scientist has been more thoroughly disowned by his colleagues.… The biogenetic law is no longer taken seriously by embryologists.’’
    • ‘All the important evidence called upon in the rejection of the biogenetic law was there from the first days of the law's acceptance.’
    • ‘This paper also reviews many of the biogenetic law claims commonly used in pre 1960's textbooks including the gill slits, tail, and yolk sac.’
    • ‘Wells and Behe both claim that the existence of a conserved stage midway through development shows, also, that Haeckel's biogenetic law, ‘ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny,’ is false.’
    • ‘Even today both subtle and overt uses of the biogenetic law are frequently encountered in the general biological literature as well as in more specialized evolutionary and systematic studies.’
    • ‘You may never have heard of Haeckel, but his famous biogenetic law you will probably recognize right away.’
    • ‘Recall that the central theme of monism is the so-called biogenetic law stating that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.’
    • ‘No biologist has accepted the biogenetic law for many decades.’
    • ‘Haeckel's biogenetic law was never part of Darwin's theory and was challenged even in his own lifetime.’


biogenetic law

/ˌbīōjəˌnedik ˈlô/