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transmutationtransmutatio (lat.); Transmutation (ger.)

  • Conversion or transformation of one species into another. (OED 2011)

    Aliud enim est: transmutatio manente eadem materia, sine putrefactione: aliud, mutari materiam per putrefactionem, atque ex ea fieri aliud. Intelligo sane in superiore propositione nunc: materiam manere, ad sensum respiciens. Nam ubi transit in Sisymbrium Menta, aut è contrario, propter formarum affinitatem: si species aliud est: materia quoque aliud.

    Scaliger, J.C. (1557). Exotericarum exercitationum liber xv: fol. 386r-v; cf. Blank, A. (2010). Biomedical Ontology and the Metaphysics of Composite Substances 1540-1670: 61ff.


    The Transmutation of Plants, one into another, is inter Magnalia Naturæ: for the Transmutation of Species is, in the vulgar philosophy, pronounced Impossible: […] but seeing there appear some manifest Instances of it, the Opinion of Impossibilitie is to bee rejected.

    Bacon, F. (1626). Sylva Sylvarum or a Naturall Historie in Ten Centuries: 136 (Nr. 525).


    The most that can be inferred from hence is, a transmutation of Species.

    Ray, J. (1692). Wisdom of God, 2nd ed.: 91; cf. id. (1686). Historia plantarum, 3 vols.: I, 42 (I, xxi).


    Transmutation of one species into another.

    Wollaston, W. (1722). The Religion of Nature Delineated: 194.


    Transmutation, […] a term adopted by Lamarck and his followers to express their hypothetical views of the derivation of existing species from preceding species, by slow and gradual Transmutations of one form of organisation into another form, independent of the interference of any creative agent, and merely by the influence of external or physical conditions, or by the internal impulses of the organism as affected by extraneous causes.

    Page, D. (1859). Handbook of Geological Terms: 357.


    transmutation The theory that one species can evolve into another.

    Lincoln, R.J., Boxshall, G.A. & Clark, P.F. (1982). A Dictionary of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics: 250.