Human evolution theory utilizing concepts of neoteny & female sexual selection
An etiology of neuropsychological disorders such as autism and dyslexia, and the origin of left handedness.

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Wolff

Wolff: bibliographical excerpts


"The progress which Wolff made in the entire science of Biology was so great that the naturalists of that time could not grasp it. The mass of important new researches, and of fruitful and great ideas accumulated in his publications, is so enormous that their full value has only been gradually appreciated, and their bearing properly understood during the present century. Wolff opened up the right path into the most various branches of biological investigations. Firstly, and above all, by the Theory of Epigenesis, he first made the real nature of organic evolution intelligible. He proved satisfactorily that the evolution of every organism consists of a series of new formations, and that no trace of the form of the developed organism exists either in the egg or in the semen of the male. These are simple bodies of an entirely different significance. The germ, or embryo which develops from the egg, shows in the various phases of its evolution an internal structure and an external form totally different from those of the developed organism. In none of these phases do we find any pre-formed parts; nowhere any encasement. In these days we can scarcely continue to call this Theory of Epigenesis a theory, for we have been thoroughly convinced of its correctness in fact, and we are able to demonstrate it in any moment under the microscope. Nor, during the last decade, has any doubt of the truth of Epigenesis been expressed." (Haeckel, E (1897) The Evolution of Man: A Popular Exposition of the Principle Points of Human Ontogeny and Phylogeny, vols. 1 and 2: Appleton, New York p. 43-44)

"The case stood thus, when suddenly, in the year 1759, Caspar Friedrich Wolff, then a young man, appeared, and with his new Theory of Epigenesis gave the death-blow to the entire Theory of Pre-formation. Wolff was born at Berlin, in 1733. He was the son of a tailor, and studied natural science and medicine at first in Berlin, at the Medico-surgical College, under the celebrated anatomist Meckel, and subsequently in Balle. Here, the the twenty-sixth year of his age, he passed his examination for his doctor's degree; and on the 28th of November, 1759, in his dissertation as doctor, he defended the new doctrine of true evolution, the Theoria Generationis, founded on Epigenesis. This dissertation, in spite of its small limits and difficult language, ranks among the most important essays ever written in the whole range of biological literature. ....hardly anybody took any interest in Wolff's Theory of Generation. And the few who had read it, formost among whom was Haller, considered it totally false." (Haeckel, E (1897) The Evolution of Man: A Popular Exposition of the Principle Points of Human Ontogeny and Phylogeny, vols. 1 and 2: Appleton, New York p. 40-41)

"According to Wolff's observations, the different organic systems of the embryo are formed and completed successfully; first, the nervous system, then the skin covering the embryo, third the vascular system, and finally the intestinal canal. These observations not only eventually toppled the doctrine of preformation but also provided the basis for the foundation of the science of embryology, which took off in a very important way in the next 150 years." (Gottlieb, Gilbert (1992) Individual Development & Evolution. Oxford Univ. Press: New York p. 5)

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