Orthogenesis


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Related to Orthogenesis: Saltationism, orthogneiss

orthogenesis

[‚ȯr·thə′jen·ə·səs]
(evolution)
A unidirectional evolutionary change among a related group of animals.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Orthogenesis

 

the hypothesis that evolution proceeds directly toward higher adaptive states.

Orthogenesis is rooted in the views of J. B. Lamarck. The German scientists W. Haacke, who introduced the term “orthogenesis,” and G. H. T. Eimer, who used this term extensively, proceeded from the mechanistic Lamarckian position that the direction of evolution is controlled by the immediate influence of the environment and that the internal organization of an individual can change only in certain set directions. Subsequently, “orthogenesis” was often used to describe evolution as being controlled by an internal driving force as well as by the immediate influence of the environment.

Modern evolutionary theory, according to which the direction of evolution is a result of natural selection, usually contradicts the concept of orthogenesis. Although linearity is a feature of evolutionary change, modern theory attributes it to limitations imposed on the structural features of the organism; linearity essentially is the result of natural selection in past generations. (See AUTOGENESIS, LAMARCKISM.)

REFERENCES

Simpson, G. G. Tempy i formy evoliutsii. Moscow, 1948. (Translated from English.)
Shmal’gauzen, I. I. Problemy darvinizma, 2nd ed. Leningrad, 1969.
Haacke, W. Gestaltung und Vererbung, Leipzig, 1893.
Eimer, G. H. T. Die Entstehung der Arten. part 2: Die Orthogenesis der Schmetterlinge. Leipzig, 1897.

A. V. IABLOKOV

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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The modern synthesis of the 1940s rid evolutionary biology of teleological theories such as aristogenesis and orthogenesis (Romer 1949; Mayr 1988), but more biologically plausible theories have been formulated that predict an inherently directional course of evolution as a result of both intrinsic and extrinsic factors (Alberch 1980; LaBarbera 1986; Vermeij 1987; Bonner 1988; McKinney 1990).
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