biogenetic law

Medical Dictionary

biogenetic law n.
The theory that the stages in an organism's embryonic development and differentiation correspond to the stages of evolutionary development characteristic of the species. Also called Haeckel's law, law of recapitulation, recapitulation theory.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

biogenetic law

postulation, by Ernst Haeckel in 1866, that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny-i.e., the development of the animal embryo and young traces the evolutionary development of the species. The theory was influential and much-popularized earlier but has been of little significance in elucidating either evolution or embryonic growth.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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