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the theory formulated by E.H. Haeckel that people during their embryonic development pass through stages similar in general structural plan to the stages their species passed through in its evolution; more technically phrased, the theory that ontogeny is an abbreviated recapitulation of phylogeny.
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The discredited theory that the stages in an organism's embryonic development repeat the stages in the evolutionary history of the species. Also called Haeckel's law, recapitulation theory.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
biogenetic law(1) Biogenesis.
(2) Recapitulation theory, see there.
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