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Abstract

Homology is resemblance caused by a continuity of information. In biology it is a unified developmental phenomenon. Homologies among and within individuals intergrade in several ways, so historical homology cannot be separated sharply from repetitive homology. Nevertheless, the consequences of historical and repetitive homologies can be mutually contradictory. A detailed discussion of the rise and fall of the “premolar-analogy” theory of homologies of mammalian molar-tooth cusps exemplifies such a contradiction. All other hypotheses of historical homology which are based on repetitive homology, such as the foliar theory of the flower considered phyletically, are suspect.