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In biology, epigenesis has at least two distinct meanings:

  • the unfolding development of an organism, and in particular the development of a plant or animal from an egg or spore through a sequence of steps in which cells differentiate and organs form;
  • the theory that plants and animals develop in this way, in contrast to theories of preformation.

Epigenesis is also the philosophical/theological/esoteric idea that since the mind was given to the human being, it is this original creative impulse, epigenesis, which has been the cause of all our development.

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