Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In Italian history, the parliamentary situation and the financial and administrative policies and methods which marked the premiership of Agostino Depretis (1876–86). See the extract.
- n. In biology, the fact or the doctrine of such modification of specific characters in any organism as suffices to change one species into a different species, whether immediately or in the course of time; transmutation of species (see transmutation, 1). The term has nothing to do with the transformation or metamorphosis which any organism may undergo in the course of its individual life-cycle. It has attached to some extreme views of the natural possibilities of transmutation, as of a plant into an animal, a horsehair into a hairworm, and the like—nothing of this sort being known as a fact in nature. But in the scientific conception of the term, transformism, like
transmutationin its biological sense, is simply the doctrine of descent with modification on accepted principles of evolution, and, so understood, commands the assent of nearly all biologists. See Darwinism, evolution, 2 , selection, 3, species, 5, transmutation, 1 , and transpeciation.
- n. uncountable the doctrine that living organisms have evolved from previously existing forms of living matter
- n. countable any particular version of the doctrine of transformism
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Biol.) The hypothesis, or doctrine, that living beings have originated by the modification of some other previously existing forms of living matter; -- opposed to
“Darwin ... from the idea of transformism (?) to the idea of evolution.”
“What I will call 'transformism' is a loose category of people who would answer 'yes' to the above question.”
“Are they expert opportunists in the historical tradition of "transformism" in Italian parliamentary governments, which long predates fascism and communism?”
“Teleology is consistent with both transformism and fixism.”
“It might help to think in terms of fixity and transformism.”
“This decline was due in great part to the practice of trasformismo transformism, which the noted Italianist Norman Kogan defines as the “sacrifice of political convictions in the scramble for power, possessions, and honors.””
“Charles Darwin's version of transformism has been the subject of massive historical and philosophical scholarship almost unparalleled in any other area of the history of science.”
“In the fourth volume of the Natural History (1753) devoted to the large domestic quadrupeds, Buffon first raised the option of species transformism, only to reject it.”
“Since this article will survey the broad history of these theories, the term ˜transformism™ will generally be used to designate the theory of species change prior to the shift in meaning of the term ˜evolution™ that occurs in the 1860s.”
“The principal axis of Lamarckian transformism is a linear series, realized in time, that moves from simpler forms up a scale of organization to more complex forms.”
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