Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Pangenesis

Obsolete theory of development that claimed that pangenes or gemmules from different parts of a body collected in the reproductive cells and were transmitted to offspring. The idea originated with Hippocrates, was implicit in the work of Lamarck, and explicit in Charles Darwin’s theory of reproduction (but not evolution or natural selection). Discarded in 1892 in favor of the germ-plasm theory and the proposal of Weismann’s barrier, which specifically countered the proposed action of granular pangenes or gemmules.

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