AskDefine | Define monogenesis

Dictionary Definition

monogenesis n : asexual reproduction by the production and release of spores [syn: sporulation]

User Contributed Dictionary



From mono- + genesis.




  1. The theory that mankind originated with a single ancestor or ancestral couple.
    • 2003: Some held that negritude was a product of living under the tropical sun, a perhaps beneficial adaptation to a fierce climate – an environmentalist solution chiming with monogenesis and Lockean malleability models. — Roy Porter, Flesh in the Age of Reason (Penguin 2004, p. 248)
  2. The emergence from a single cause.


Extensive Definition

Monogenesis means "single origin". It has been used in various contexts as an antonym to polygenism or "multiple origin".
  • In nineteenth-century anthropology, the term was used to refer to the theory that all human beings descend from a single, recent pair of ancestors and are therefore closely related to one another. In contrast, polygenists argued that the different races of mankind had arisen separately in different parts of the world. This dispute later evolved into the debate over the single-origin hypothesis. The term is still used in discussions of Catholic theology over the same issue.
  • In linguistics, monogenesis refers to the theory that all languages derive from a single ancestral language, sometimes referred to as Proto-World, as opposed to the view that language may have evolved independently on more than one occasion. See Monogenesis (linguistics).
monogenesis in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Monogenese (disambiguation)
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