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    The Sperm & Egg Debate: Science During the Early Enlightenment

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    During mid 17th century, scientists engaged in protracted dispute aboute role(s) played by sperm and egg in animal generation. Discuss what was at issue. Discussion should include but no limited to: description of principle scientists, theories, experiments, and publication of this debate and significance of this work.

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    The predominant theory of the 17th century regarding egg, sperm and reproduction was called preformation - or that the embryo was completely formed, with all structures just smaller, in the final form. As early as the Greeks and Aristotle, studies were made on embryology, though - for instance the development of chickens. It took the development of the microscope, though, to change the way the scientific debate was handled. Eggs had been identified in animals, but in 1677, Anton ...

    Solution Summary

    The solution presents a picture of the legendary debate in the early part of the Age of Enlightenment (see original problem) about the reasons behind the protracted dispute between the roles of the sperm and the egg in relation to animal reproduction. Tracing the historical outline of the debate, it discusses the topics of epigenisis and pangenisis. References are provided.