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Processes of Reproduction

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Processes of Reproduction.

After instancing the simplest processes of propagation by self-division, and by the formation of buds (Gernmatio), Haeckel proceeds, "A third mode of non-sexual propagation, that of the formation of germ-buds (Polysporogonia) is intimately connected with the formation of buds. In the case of the lower, imperfect organisms, among animals, especially in the case of the plant-like animals and worms, we very frequently find that in the interior of an individual composed of many cells, a small group of cells separates itself from those surrounding it, and that this small isolated group gradually develops itself into an individual, which becomes like the parent and sooner or later comes out of it . . . . . . . The formation of germ buds is evidently but little different from real budding. But, on the other hand, it is connected with a fourth kind of non-sexual propagation, which almost forms a transition to sexual reproduction, namely, the formation of germ cells (Monosporogonia). In this case it is no longer a group of cells but a single cell, which separates itself from the surrounding cells in the interior of the producing organism, and which becomes further developed after it has come out of its parent.

p. 26

[paragraph continues] Sexual or amphigonic propagation (Amphigonia) is the usual method of propagation among all higher animals and plants. It is evident that it has only developed at a very late period of the earth's history, from non-sexual propagation, and apparently in the first instance from the method of propagation by germ-cells . . . . . . In all the chief forms of non-sexual propagation mentioned above--in fission, in the formation of buds, germ-buds, and germ-cells--the separated cell or group of cells was able by itself to develop into a new individual, but in the case of sexual propagation, the cell must first be fructified by another generative substance. The fructifying sperm must first mix with the germ-cell (the egg) before the latter can develop into a new individual. These two generative substances, the sperm and the egg, are either produced by one and the same individual hermaphrodite (Hermaphroditismus) or by two different individuals (sexual-separation).

"The simpler and more ancient form of sexual propagation is through double-sexed individuals. It occurs in the great majority of plants, but only in a minority of animals, for example, in the garden snails, leeches, earth-worms, and many other worms. Every single individual among hermaphrodites produces within itself materials of both sexes--eggs and sperm. In most of the higher plants every blossom contains both the male organ (stamens and anther) and the female organ (style and germ). Every garden snail produces in one part of its sexual gland eggs, and in another part sperm. Many hermaphrodites can fructify themselves; in others, however, reciprocal fructification of both hermaphrodites is necessary for causing the development of the eggs. This latter case is evidently a transition to sexual separation.

"Sexual separation, which characterises the more complicated of the two kinds of sexual reproduction, has evidently been

p. 27

developed from the condition of hermaphroditism at a late period of the organic history of the world. It is at present the universal method of propagation of the higher animals . . . . . . The so-called virginal reproduction (Parthenogenesis) offers an interesting form of transition from sexual reproduction to the non-sexual formation of germ-cells which most resembles it. . . . In this case germ-cells which otherwise appear and are formed exactly like egg-cells, become capable of developing themselves into new individuals without requiring the fructifying seed. The most remarkable and the most instructive of the different parthenogenetic phenomena are furnished by those cases in which the same germ-cells, according as they are fructified or not, produce different kinds of individuals. Among our common honey bees, a male individual (a drone) arises out of the eggs of the queen, if the egg has not been fructified; a female (a queen, or working bee) if the egg has been fructified. It is evident from this, that in reality there exists no wide chasm between sexual and non-sexual reproduction, but that both modes of reproduction are directly connected." 1

Now, the interesting fact in connection with the evolution of Third Race man on Lemuria, is that his mode of reproduction ran through phases which were closely analogous with some of the processes above described. Sweat-born, egg-born and Androgyne are the terms used in the Secret Doctrine.

"Almost sexless, in its early beginnings, it became bisexual or androgynous; very gradually, of course. The passage from the former to the latter transformation required numberless generations, during which the simple cell that issued from the earliest parent (the two in one), first developed into a bisexual being; and then the cell, becoming a regular egg, gave forth a unisexual creature. The Third Race mankind is the most mysterious

p. 28

of all the hitherto developed five Races. The mystery of the "How" of the generation of the distinct sexes must, of course, be very obscure here, as it is the business of an embryologist and a specialist, the present work giving only faint outlines of the process. But it is evident that the units of the Third Race humanity began to separate in their pre-natal shells, or eggs, and to issue out of them as distinct male and female babes, ages after the appearance of its early progenitors. And, as time rolled on its geological periods, the newly born sub-races began to lose their natal capacities. Toward the end of the fourth sub-race, the babe lost its faculty of walking as soon as liberated from its shell, and by the end of the fifth, mankind was born under the same conditions and by the same identical process as our historical generations. This required, of course, millions of years." 1


27:1 Ernst Haeckel's " The History of Creation," 2nd ed., Vol. I., pp. 193-8.

28:1 "The Secret Doctrine," Vol. ii., p. 197.


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