Monogenesis

Monogenesis

[mon-uh-jen-uh-sis]
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).

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