Etymology (Meaning of Words)/Latin translation
Dion Blackler wrote at 2007-06-30 02:38:37
The phrase should be "Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" (as opposed to "phyogeny"). It's an evolutionary theory that an organism's development repeats the evolutionary transitions of its past descendants. It was developed by Ernst Haeckel in 1866 and was termed the "biogenetic law". For example, he saw a human embryo's development as following the same path as its evolution from fish to chicken to dog to man. Of course, this is a ridiculous claim, and this "law" has been discredited. See Stephen Jay Gould's (1977) "Ontogeny and Phylogeny" for further discussion of this. I see this question was posted almost a year ago, but I hope this answer is of some interest
Beze wrote at 2012-11-30 16:40:03
Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny, is a phrase from Haeckel which refers to the seeming replay of evolutionary ancestry during eartly fetal life stages. This is a central maxim of evolutionary biology, or if you will, the New Genetics.