Decorative Initial uring the eighteenth century, when the word [evolution] was used, it meant the stages through which a living being passes in the course of its development from egg to adult. That is, it gives an account of a single life span and remains within the pale of individual development. The term for this in biology is ontogeny. But evolutionary theory challenged the single life span as a sufficient model for understanding experience. In the 1830s the word evolution was used for the first time to describe the development of the species rather than of the individual. For this the biological term is phylogeny. [15]


Beer, Gillian. Darwin's plots: evolutionary narrative in Darwin, George Eliot, and nineteenth-century fiction. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1983, 15]

Created 1998

Last modified 14 January 2020