Share this entry
orthogenesis Line breaks: ortho|gen¦esis
Pronunciation: /ˌɔːθə(ʊ)ˈdʒɛnɪsɪs/

Definition of orthogenesis in English:


[mass noun] Biology , chiefly historical
Evolution in which variations follow a particular direction and are not merely sporadic and fortuitous.
Example sentences
  • Weidenreich tried to explain the seeming contradiction between isolated regional development and the unity of the human species by advancing the notion of orthogenesis, or directed evolution.
  • A once-popular hypothesized evolutionary mechanism was orthogenesis, in which change in organisms was due not to natural selection, but to internal directional trends within a lineage.
  • In contrast, other scientists imagine channeling, aka orthogenesis, to exist not only for individuals but also for species and for evolution: while there are lots of possibilities, the domain is restricted.


Example sentences
  • And a person who believes in evolution might be a devout Lamarckian or a pious Orthogenesist.
Pronunciation: /ˌɔːθə(ʊ)dʒəˈnɛtɪk/
Example sentences
  • Basically, Newell rejected the common view according to which allometry implies nonadaptive, or orthogenetic evolution.
  • The fuel in his orthogenetic engine is ‘mutation bias’. Mutation produces novel phenotypes, but it does not produce all novel phenotypes in equal frequency in a given population.
  • Most American biologists had a looser expectation - that some progressive, or ‘orthogenetic’, force guided life in certain directions, most notably toward humanity and Anglo-American civilization.
Pronunciation: /ˌɔːθə(ʊ)dʒɪˈnɛtɪk(ə)li/
Example sentences
  • These three groups evolved orthogenetically and remained very similar.
Definition of orthogenesis in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources