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Medical Term:

recapitulation theory


Definition: the theory formulated by E.H. Haeckel that people during their embryonic development pass through stages similar in general structural plan to the stages their species passed through in its evolution; more technically phrased, the theory that ontogeny is an abbreviated recapitulation of phylogeny.

Synonym(s): biogenetic law, law of biogenesis, Haeckel law, law of recapitulation

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