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Encyclopedia > Atavism

The term atavism (derived from the Latin atavus, a great-grandfather's grandfather and, thus, more generally, an ancestor) denotes the tendency to revert to ancestral type. An atavism is a real or supposed evolutionary throwback, such as traits reappearing which had disappeared generations ago.[1] Atavisms occur because genes for previously existing phenotypical features are often preserved in DNA, even though the genes are not expressed in some or most of the organisms possessing them. Atavistic Records is a jazz record label. ... This article is about evolution in biology. ... For other uses, see Gene (disambiguation). ... Individuals in the mollusk species Donax variabilis show diverse coloration and patterning in their phenotypes. ... The structure of part of a DNA double helix Deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, is a nucleic acid molecule that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms. ...



Examples observed include:

Atavisms have been observed in humans as well. For example, babies have been born with a vestigial tail, called "coccygeal process", "coccygeal projection", and "caudal appendage".[1] It can also be evidenced in humans who possess large, ape-like teeth.[4] This article is about the animal. ... For other uses, see Dolphin (disambiguation). ... Binomial name Equus caballus Linnaeus, 1758 The horse (Equus caballus, sometimes seen as a subspecies of the Wild Horse, Equus ferus caballus) is a large odd-toed ungulate mammal, one of ten modern species of the genus Equus. ... Reconstruction, left forefoot skeleton (third digit emphasized yellow) and longitudinal section of molars of selected prehistoric horses The evolution of the horse involves the gradual development of the modern horse from the fox-sized, forest-dwelling Hyracotherium. ... Sexual reproduction is a union that results in increasing genetic diversity of the offspring. ... Binomial name (L.) F.W.Schultz & Sch. ... Crotoniidae are a family of mites of the Desmonomata group that may be the first animal lineage to have abandoned sexual reproduction and then reevolved it, which is a spectacular case of atavism. ... A scorpion tail The tail is the section at the rear end of an animals body; in general, the term refers to a distinct, flexible appendage to the torso. ...

Atavism in history

During the interval between the acceptance of evolution and the rise of modern understanding of genetics, atavism was used to account for the reappearance in an individual of a trait after several generations of absence. Such an individual was sometimes called a "throwback". The term is often used in connection with the unexpected reappearance of primitive traits in organisms. This article is about evolution in biology. ... This article is about the general scientific term. ... In biology, a trait or character is a genetically inherited feature of an organism. ... Life on Earth redirects here. ...

The notion of atavism was used frequently by social Darwinists, who claimed that inferior races displayed atavistic traits, and represented more primitive traits than their own race. Both the notion of atavism, and Haeckel's recapitulation theory, are saturated with notions of evolution as progress, as a march towards greater complexity and superior ability. Social Darwinism is the idea that Charles Darwins theory can be extended and applied to the social realm, i. ... For other uses, see Race (disambiguation). ... Ernst Haeckel. ... Three billion years ago, life on Earth consisted of single-celled organisms, but now there is a tremendous variety of complex multi-celled creatures. ...

In addition, the concept of atavism as part of an individualistic explanation of the causes of criminal deviance was popularised by the Italian criminologist Cesare Lombroso in the 1870s. He attempted to identify physical characteristics common to criminals and labeled those he found as atavistic, ‘throwback’ traits that determined 'primitive' criminal behavior. His statistical evidence and the notion that physical traits determine inevitable criminality (an idea closely related to the concepts of eugenics) have long since been debunked, but the concept that physical traits may affect the likelihood of criminal behavior in the individual remains popular in some circles. Cesare Lombroso Cesare Lombroso (Verona, November 6, 1835 - Turin, October 19, 1909) was a historical figure in modern criminology, and the founder of the Italian Positivist School of criminology. ... Eugenics is the self-direction of human evolution: Logo from the Second International Eugenics Conference [7], 1921, depicting it as a tree which unites a variety of different fields. ...

The notion that somehow, atavisms could be made to accumulate by selective breeding led to breeds such as the Heck cattle. This had been bred from ancient landraces with selected primitive traits, in an attempt of "reviving" the extinct aurochs. Selective breeding in domesticated animals is the process of developing a cultivated breed over time. ... Heck Cattle, also called reconstructed aurochs, is a hardy breed of cattle (Bos taurus) often referred to by its promoters by the name of aurochs. (The aurochs was an extinct recent ancestor to modern cattle. ... Landrace refers to a race of animals or plants ideally suited for the land (environment) in which they live and, in some cases, work; they often develop naturally with minimal assistance or guidance from humans (or from humans using traditional rather than modern breeding methods), hence are usually older, less... In biology and ecology, extinction is the ceasing of existence of a species or group of species. ... Binomial name Subspecies Bos primigenius primigenius   (Bojanus, 1827) Bos primigenius namadicus   (Falconer, 1859) Bos primigenius mauretanicus   (Thomas, 1881) See Ur (rune) for the rune. ...

Cultural references to atavism

The term atavism is sometimes also applied in the discussion of culture. Some social scientists describe the return of older, "more primitive" tendencies (e.g., warlike attitudes, "clan identity," etc. -- anything suggesting the social and political atmosphere of thousands of years ago) as "atavistic." "Resurgent Atavism" is a common name for the belief that people in the modern era are beginning to revert to ways of thinking and acting that are throwbacks to a former time. This is especially used by sociologists in reference to violence. Marxists refer to pre-capitalist classes (such as the peasantry, the aristocracy and the petit-bourgeoisie) as "atavistic" to indicate that they do not fit into the bipolar class division (bourgeoisie/proletariat) of modern capitalist society. Marxists therefore view them as a reactionary force that will try to stop not only socialism, but also bourgeois progress itself. Sociology (from Latin: socius, companion; and the suffix -ology, the study of, from Greek λόγος, lógos, knowledge [1]) is the systematic and scientific study of society, including patterns of social relationships, social action, and culture[2]. Areas studied in sociology can range from the analysis of brief contacts between anonymous... For other uses, see Clan (disambiguation). ... Marxism is the political practice and social theory based on the works of Karl Marx, a 19th century philosopher, economist, journalist, and revolutionary, along with Friedrich Engels. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The proletariat (from Latin proles, offspring) is a term used to identify a lower social class; a member of such a class is proletarian. ...

The neo-pagan subculture also uses this same terminology ("atavism" or "resurgent atavism") to describe how modern, Western countries are experiencing both the decline of Christianity and the rise of religious movements inspired by the pagan religions of centuries past. Some cite the rise of environmentalism, scientific inquiry, and liberalization of society as contributing to an increasingly secular society, one in which religious sentiments are more frequently tied with an appreciation of the physical world rather than set against it.[citation needed] Occasionally, the use of these terms in reference to "alternative" spirituality or in an occult context implies the use of violence to assert these changing religious views--for example, in the book Lords of Chaos a rash of church burnings across Scandinavia has been described as a part of this trend because many of the perpetrators were self-described "pagans" seeking to overthrow what they deemed to be centuries of religious oppression by Christianity. Neopaganism (sometimes Neo-Paganism, meaning New Paganism) is a heterogeneous group of religions which attempt to revive ancient, mainly European pre-Christian religions. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is... Pagan and heathen redirect here. ... The historic Blue Marble photograph, which helped bring environmentalism to the public eye. ... A magnet levitating above a high-temperature superconductor demonstrates the Meissner effect. ... Social liberalism is either a synonym for new liberalism or a label used by progressive liberal parties in order to differentiate themselves from the more conservative liberal parties, especially when there are two or more liberal parties in a country. ... This article is about secularism. ... Spirituality, in a narrow sense, concerns itself with matters of the spirit. ... For other uses, see Occult (disambiguation). ... Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground is a book by Michael Moynihan & Didrik Søderlind. ... For other uses, see Scandinavia (disambiguation). ... Religious persecution is systematic mistreatment of an individual or group due to their religious affiliation. ...

Atavism is a key term in Joseph Schumpeter's explanation of World War I in 20th Century liberal Europe. He defends the liberal belief in international relations that an international society built on commerce will avoid war because of its destructiveness and comparative cost. His reason for WWI is termed "Atavism," in which he claims the vestigial governments in Europe (the German Empire, Russian Empire, Ottoman Empire, and Austro-Hungarian Empire) pulled the liberal Europe into war, and that the liberal structure of the continent did not cause it. He used this idea to say that liberalism and commerce would continue to have a soothing effect in international relations, and that war would not arise in nations who are built on commercial ties. Joseph Schumpeter Joseph Alois Schumpeter (February 8, 1883 – January 8, 1950) was an economist from Austria and an influential political scientist. ... “The Great War ” redirects here. ... Look up liberal on Wiktionary, the free dictionary Liberal may refer to: Politics: Liberalism American liberalism, a political trend in the USA Political progressivism, a political ideology that is for change, often associated with liberal movements Liberty, the condition of being free from control or restrictions Liberal Party, members of... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... Foreign affairs redirects here. ... For German colonial territories, see German Colonial Empire. ... The subject of this article was previously also known as Russia. ... Ottoman redirects here. ... Official languages Latin, German, Hungarian Established church Roman Catholic Capital & Largest City Vienna pop. ... Liberalism is an ideology, philosophical view, and political tradition which holds that liberty is the primary political value. ...

Hunter S. Thompson frequently refers to atavism in many if not all of his books. Atavism seems to be a sort of recurring motif or theme in many of Thompson's works, however he rarely tangents into much direction discussion of atavism itself. His most famous line involving atavism would most certainly be from "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas", his most famous work: "The mentality of Las Vegas is so grossly atavistic that a really massive crime often slips by unrecognized."

See also

The human vermiform appendix is a vestigial structure; it no longer retains its original function. ... Atavistic regression is a hypnosis-related concept introduced by the Australian scholar and psychiatrist Ainslie Meares in, for example, his 1960 work A System of Medical Hypnosis. ...

External links


  1. ^ a b c d TalkOrigins Archive. 29+ Evidences for Macroevolution: Part 2. Retrieved on 2006-11-08.
  2. ^ ABC News. ABC News: Dolphin May Have 'Remains' of Legs. Retrieved on 2007-07-21.
  3. ^ Norton, R. (2007), Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, April 24, cited in Science News, vol. 171, p. 302
  4. ^ http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-ed-tails15feb15,0,283979.story?coll=la-opinion-leftrail

  Results from FactBites:
Atavism (587 words)
Atavism is also used to express the tendency to revert to one of the parent varieties or species in the case of a hybrid; this is the atavism of breeders.
Atavism is employed by a certain school of evolutionistic psychologists to express traits in the individual, especially the child, that are assumed to be, as it were, reminiscences of past conditions of the human race or its progenitors.
Atavism is commonly supposed to be a proof of the evolutlon of plants and animals, including man. Characters that were normal to some remote ancestor after having latent for thousands of generations suddenly reappear, thus give a clue to those sources to which the present living forms are to be traced back.
Atavism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (786 words)
An atavism can mean an organism that is a real or supposed evolutionary throwback; the unexpected appearance of primitive traits; or a reversion to or reappearance of a trait that had been present in a lineage in the past, but which had been absent in intervening generations.
Both the notion of atavism, and Haeckel's recapitulation theory, are saturated with notions of evolution as progress, as a march towards greater complexity and superior ability.
In addition, the concept of atavism as part of an individualistic explanation of the causes of criminal deviance was popularised by the Italian criminologist Cesare Lombroso in the 1870’s.
  More results at FactBites »



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