from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Plural form of spermist.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The preformationists believed that the egg or sperm, for the preformationists were subdivided into ‘ovists’ versus ‘spermists’ contained a tiny miniature baby or ‘homunculus’.
Second, preformationists of this kind had to face a Russian-doll-style infinite regress of homunculi within homunculi – or if not infinite, at least long enough to take us back to Eve Adam for the spermists.
First, at least in its early naïve form, it requires what everybody knows to be false: that we inherit only from one parent – the mother for the ovists, the father for the spermists.
Nicolaas von Hartsoeker gave us the image in 1694 of a tiny man in the sperm, which became the starting point for spermists.
Cue epic battle between "ovists" and "spermists," then an uneasy truce brokered by the emerging field of genetics.