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saltationism

[sal-tey-shuh-niz-uh m] /sælˈteɪ ʃəˌnɪz əm/
noun, Biology
1.
any of several theories holding that the evolution of species proceeds in major steps by the abrupt transformation of an ancestral species into a descendant species of a different type, rather than by the gradual accumulation of small changes.
Origin
1970-1975
1970-75; saltation + -ism
Related forms
saltationist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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