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The doctrine that evolution is governed by intrinsic factors and occurs in predictable directions.
[ortho- + G. genesis, origin]
1. Biology The hypothesis, now largely discredited, that the evolution of species is linear and driven largely by internal factors rather than by natural selection.
2. Anthropology The hypothesis that all cultures evolve in a linear manner from primitivism to civilization.
or′tho·ge·net′ic (-jə-nĕt′ĭk) adj.
Etymology: Gk, orthos + genesis, origin
the theory that evolution is controlled by intrinsic factors within the organism and progresses according to a predetermined course rather than in several directions as a result of natural selection and other environmental factors. orthogenetic, adj.