from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A theory of heredity proposed by Charles Darwin in which gemmules containing hereditary information from every part of the body coalesce in the gonads and are incorporated into the reproductive cells.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A mechanism for heredity proposed by Charles Darwin long before the true mechanism was discovered, according to which the cells of the body shed "gemmules" which collect in the reproductive organs prior to fertilization.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. An hypothesis advanced by Darwin in explanation of heredity.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A provisional hypothesis advanced by Darwin to explain the phenomena of reproduction in organisms.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The main inducement leading to the original formu - lation of the idea of pangenesis was the ancients 'rec - ognition that many single characters of the organism can vary quite independently of the rest and can be separately transmitted to offspring.
Despite there being devastating experimental evidence against the notion of pangenesis provided by
Francis Galton, Charles Darwin stubbornly held to the notion of pangenesis as he had no
Darwin himself favored a more Lamarckian version of variation (mutation) called "pangenesis," and Herbert Spencer was a positive Lamarckian.
Darwin's theory of "pangenesis" and other similar explanations are of the character, and of them it may be said that they not only rest upon no demonstrable evidence but require so complicated a machinery as to become practically inconceivable.
Will you turn two or three times in your mind this question: what I called "pangenesis" means that each cell throws off an atom of its contents or a gemmule, and that these aggregated form the true ovule or bud, etc.?
I believe I like "pangenesis" best, though so indefinite; and though my wife says it sounds wicked, like pantheism; but I am so familiar now with this word, that I cannot judge.
The best of us indulge in far-fetched hypotheses, such as pangenesis, panmixia, the existence of determinants, and if this be so should we not excuse Lamarck, who gave so many years to close observation in systematic botany and zoölogy, for his flights into the empyrean of subtle fluids, containable and uncontainable, and for his invocation of an _aura vitalis_, at a time when the world of demonstrated facts in modern biology was undiscovered and its existence unsuspected?
"pangenesis," and by others under other titles with which it is unnecessary to burden these pages.
I like #3 because it specifically dismisses ANY person's "views" and "opinions" as irrelevant to whether or not Lamarckian pangenesis (Darwin's version of variation) and natural selection are the sole means of evolution.