Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
the idealistic doctrine that strives to explain the evolution of organisms as resulting from the action of inherent factors alone. Elements of autogenesis were present in the theory of J. B. Lamarck. The idea of autogenesis was elaborated more consistently by the zoologists K. Baer, A. Kölliker, and L. S. Berg, the botanists K. Nägeli and S. I. Korzhinskii, the paleontologist E. Cope, and the ǵeneticists H. de Vries and Iu. A. Filipchenko. The conjectured inherent factor of development is sometimes called the “principle of perfection” (Nägeli) and sometimes the “force of growth,” or “bath-mism” (Cope). Autogenesis opposed the materialistic theory of evolution which is based on natural selection. C. Darwin, A. Weismann, K. A. Timiriazev, A. N. Severtsov, and other Darwinist biologists have made valid criticisms of autogenesis.
REFERENCEIstoriia evoliutsionnykh uchenii v biologii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1966.
L. IA. BLIAKHER