One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The theory, now generally held, that an embryo develops progressively from an undifferentiated egg cell.Often contrasted with preformation
- ‘In epigenesis, the developing organism begins in an undifferentiated state and gradually changes to a more complex state through multiple interactions.’
- ‘The contrary view to epigenesis, namely that the embryo was preformed from the beginning, was championed anew in the late 17th century.’
- ‘Chapter 5 introduces their role in development, concluding that epigenesis is really, really complicated.’
- ‘But while the wholesale conversion to epigenesis put an end to fictitious accounts of miniature organisms, it brought biologists face to face once again with the old question of how the egg gave rise to a fully formed organism.’
- ‘He did not assume that an inert and common matter was sufficient for a plausible formulation of a theory of mechanical epigenesis.’
Mid 17th century: from epi- ‘in addition’ + genesis.
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