Print Version of the webpage. Jan.2008.
The Cylcic Time within the Linear And the Linear within the Cyclic.
Of Ernst Haeckel. Ontogenesis as a recapitulation of the Phylogenesis.
The fetus development, partly stylized is depicted in anti-clock wise within the womb.
From a series dedicated to Time.
As far as the sub-title goes ( Time in a Nutshell ) one could relegate this depiction to a purely cyclic abstract phenomenon of time, one might say to a "platonian" representation of the idea of Ernst Haeckel. But as soon as you associate the depicted with a specific woman, you have a linear phenomenon of Time (that specific woman and her history) that has a cyclic embedded within it (the recapitulation of the millions of years of phylogenetic history, in fact all terrestrial history).
And as you follow on the development of that specific embryo, you have linear Time (the present sequence of events) being currently embedded in a cyclic one (the new next-generation genetic resource). The transcription occurring within a given linear time frame, in our case it would be the here and now .
It may be worthwhile to add here, that Haeckel's formulations of this phenomenon tended to be universal and thought to be manifested in all stages of development and amongst all organisms. Later research however has however proved that this is not the case. Ontogenesis may not repeat each and every stage of the Phylogenesis. This however may not necessarily point toward an absence of an evolutionary inheritance but may indicate the fact that there there are generally no selective pressures that explicitly demand the retention of these most-of-the-time redundant features and as such may disappear with time. Add to that a significant aspect of evolution, that nature would tend to take a short cut wherever and whenever it is economical to do so, as far as the overall fitness of the organism is concerned, assuming such accidental mutations did occur anywhere in time. Nevertheless for our purposes, this phenomena does illustrate a significant aspect of Time, that is more a property (and in a way the essence) of Biology rather than Physics.
Mushtaq Bhat 2008. Reasonable Rights Reserved.
Website : http://www.mushtaqbhat.com