Epigenesis is a biological theory about the development of the embryo which stresses the influence of the environment. The interaction of embryo and environment produces new properties that were not present in the fertilized egg, or zygote. In certain psychological theories, especially those of Erik Erikson, epigenesist refers to a sequence of developmental STAGES that must be followed to attain psychological maturity.

Webster Dictionary Meaning

1. Epigenesis
- The theory of generation which holds that the germ is created entirely new, not merely expanded, by the procreative power of the parents. It is opposed to the theory of evolution, also to syngenesis.
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