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Schwartz Jeffrey H. | Fellow Visitor
2010-07-02 - 2010-07-13 | Research area: EvoDevo
Ontogeny and Phylogeny
The first application of von Baer’s Laws in an evolutionary context was T. H. Huxley’s (1863) case for human relationships lying well within the Order Pri- mates. In spite of the logic of his approach–distinguishing between different levels of taxic inclusivity vis-à-vis commonality in the development and characteristics of emergent features–Haeckel’s Biogenetic Law, in which ontogeny reflects a phylogenetic sequence of adult ancestors, has largely informed zoo-paleontological (and even neontological) practice. We must situate developmental/ontogenetic information not only in conceiving evolu- tionary models of species formation (tempo/mode) but also in the method- ology of phylogenetic reconstruction with the understanding that while methodologically rigorous because of its hypothetico-deductive underpinnings, a cladistic approach to determining relationships via a hierarchical analysis of character state polarity conflates two different developmental phenomena: the emergence of novel features and their subsequent modification.