(redirected from ectogenetic)
Also found in: Dictionary, Medical.


Development of an embryo or of embryonic tissue outside the body in an artificial environment.



a trend in the theory of evolution according to which biological evolution is the result of environmental conditions, which bring about changes in organisms (the organisms themselves are only the passive material formed by these conditions). Adherents of ectogenesis argue that the environment, acting either directly or through the use or disuse of organs, causes adaptive changes that are later transmitted by heredity.

Ectogenesis is the opposite of autogenesis, which explains the evolution of organisms by the action of internal factors alone, for example, adaptive mutations or absolute expediency as the primary and immanent property of life. Neither ectogenesis nor autogenesis can account for all the observed phenomena of evolution, heredity, and variability. These mechanistic views are refuted by Darwinism, which affirms the dialectical unity of the external and internal factors of evolution. The British philosopher H. Spencer, the founder of mechano-Lamarckism, presented the most coherent exposition of the ideas of ectogenesis (seeNEO-LAMARCKISM).


Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
171) If an ectogenetic fetus is a person, the question arises why
go so far as to require women to accept ectogenetic gestation in lieu of
technology, attempting to distinguish between ectogenetic technology and
Once an ectogenetic fetus is determined to be viable, and thus
whether the property law which would apply to ectogenetic fetuses and
would then have to examine the protection of the ectogenetic fetus
191) in a debate over an ectogenetic fetus, the mother's
necessitate that an ectogenetic fetus could not be terminated.
for caring for unwanted ectogenetic fetuses, requiring the State to
extends that right to the parents of an ectogenetic fetus.
the differences between ectogenetic fetuses and those in utero, or an
brought on by ectogenetic technology far outstrip the ability of any one